may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the
Filed September 9, 1997
Anoka County District Court
File No. J3-96-52507
Wright County District Court
File No. J9-96-50814
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, M. Katherine Doty, Assistant Anoka County Attorney, Anoka County Courthouse, 2100 Third Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303; and
Wyman A. Nelson, Wright County Attorney, Anne L. Mohaupt, Assistant Wright County Attorney, Wright County Government Center, 10 - 2nd Street NW, Room 150, Buffalo, MN 55313 (for Respondent Counties)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
Sixteen-year-old R.G. appeals from an order adjudicating him delinquent for committing the offense of misdemeanor theft. Appellant argues that he was denied his right to a fair trial because his adjudication was based upon an inadmissible, prior witness statement. He further argues that the disposition ordered was arbitrary because it was not in his best interest and was not the least restrictive alternative necessary to restore him to law-abiding conduct. We disagree and affirm.
Even if the statement was inadmissible, appellant received a fair trial because other evidence supports the trial court's finding that appellant committed theft. The victim testified that appellant took his sunglasses and refused to return them. Appellant testified that he asked the victim if he could look at the sunglasses and admitted that he did not return the glasses even after the victim asked for them. While appellant claimed that he gave the sunglasses to a friend and never saw them again, his initial admissions were sufficient to prove theft. See Minn. Stat. § 609.52, subd. 2(1) (1994) ("theft" occurs when one "intentionally and without claim of right takes, uses, transfers, conceals or retains possession of movable property of another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property"); In re Welfare of R.L.N., 371 N.W.2d 84, 86 (Minn. App. 1985) (evidence sufficient to show intent to steal when juvenile found searching storage locker at night in secretive manner and gave implausible explanation for conduct).
In this case, the trial court found that appellant's best interests were served by placement in a secure detention center program for five to ten days. The court further considered but rejected the proposed alternative disposition of placement in the program for a longer period of time. Although the trial court's findings in this case could have been more detailed, we conclude that the disposition ordered was justified by the record.
Examination of appellant's prior record reveals that appellant has committed a series of escalating offenses since 1995, including disorderly conduct, fifth-degree assault, felonious possession of a controlled substance, and felonious third-degree assault. Appellant's probation officer recommended a secured detention because he believed appellant needs to be held accountable for his continued criminal behavior and his bullying of fellow students. Finally, appellant agreed that some period of detention is appropriate but merely disagreed over the length of time he should be detained. Under these circumstances, the trial court's choice of a brief period of secure detention was not arbitrary.
We therefore affirm the order adjudicating appellant delinquent and imposing disposition.