may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Tduardo Jacques Head,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 96028163
Filed December 16, 1997
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda K. Jenny, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
Rochelle Rene Winn, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Randall, Judge, and Norton, Judge.
Appellant Tduardo Jacques Head challenges his conviction of assault in the second degree. Head appeals, arguing the trial court abused discretion by admitting Spreigl evidence. Because the trial court judge did not abuse discretion, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
The decision to admit Spreigl evidence lies within the discretion of the trial court and will be allowed to stand absent an abuse of discretion. The accused has the burden of showing that the trial court erred in admitting the evidence.
State v. Moorman, 505 N.W.2d 593 (Minn. 1993)(citations omitted). We will not disturb the verdict if the jury,
acting with due regard for the presumption of innocence and for the necessity of overcoming it by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, could reasonably conclude that a defendant was proven guilty of the offense charged.
State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988).
Because he was tried for the assault of Dickinson, appellant contends the bail bond receipt was admitted in error. He contends the bail bond receipt was presented to waitress, Terry Kanis, only as identification proof of legal drinking age. Appellant claims that later, restaurant bartender, Dickinson, attempted to persuade him to return to the restaurant and satisfy his check. However, an altercation ensued, resulting in appellant's assault on Dickinson.
At appellant's trial for assault, the state introduced the bail bond receipt during Kanis' testimony. Counsel for appellant objected to its admission as irrelevant, but the objection was overruled. There was no further discussion regarding the bail bond receipt. Prior to closing arguments, the court instructed the jury not to convict appellant of any offense not charged in the assault case. There was neither a request for an instruction regarding the Spreigl evidence, nor an instruction given by the court regarding admission of the bail bond receipt. Appellant, however, claims admission of the bail bond receipt unfairly prejudiced the jury because the receipt indicated that he had been previously picked up on a warrant for financial transaction fraud.
Evidence of other crimes may be admitted, "to establish motive, intent, absence of mistake or accident, identity or common scheme or plan." State v. Slowinski, 450 N.W.2d 107, 113 (Minn. 1971)(citing State v. Spreigl, 272 Minn. 488, 491, 139 N.W.2d 167, 169 (1965)). When the admissibility of Spreigl evidence is unclear, the accused must be given the benefit of the doubt and the evidence rejected. State v. Titworth, 255 N.W.2d 241, 246 (Minn. 1972)(citing State v. Saucedo, 294 Minn. 289, 293, 200 N.W.2d 37, 40 (1971)). When determining the admissibility of Spreigl evidence, the trial court must find (1) that the evidence is clear and convincing that the defendant participated in the Spreigl offense, (2) that the Spreigl evidence is relevant and material to the state's case, and (3) that the probative value of the Spreigl evidence is not outweighed by its potential for unfair prejudice. State v. Norris, 428 N.W.2d 61, 69 (Minn. 1988)(quoting State v. Morrison, 310 N.W.2d 135, 137 (Minn. 1981)). On this record, we believe the trial court's admission of the bail bond receipt constitutes serious error, but falls short of reversible error. The prosecutor asked Kanis if she recognized the receipt. She testified that appellant had presented the bail bond receipt to her as identification when he ordered a round of drinks for his table. Because the receipt did not include appellant's picture, Kanis told appellant that she could not accept the receipt as identification. We are directed to no evidence in the record to show that a discussion of the nature of the receipt or of appellant's prior convictions took place at trial.
We observe there were numerous witnesses that testified that appellant's attack on Dickinson was unprovoked. Thus, the jury must have believed the testimony of the state's witnesses and disbelieved appellant's testimony to the contrary. See Alton, 432 N.W.2d at 756. Because there is a substantial amount of evidence in the record to support appellant's conviction, we conclude the admission of the bail bond receipt was not reversible error.