May not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Michael Anthony Wells,
Filed September 8, 1998
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 96107815
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Mary M. Lynch, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan J. Andrews, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant Michael Anthony Wells appeals his conviction of first-degree assault, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove his conviction. Because there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction, we affirm.
When an appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting a verdict, the appellate court is limited to an analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence was sufficient to permit the jurors to reach their verdict. State v. Steinbuch, 514 N.W.2d 793, 799 (Minn. 1994). Without retrying the facts, the appellate court reviews the evidence in a light most favorable to the verdict, assuming that the "jury believed the witnesses whose testimony supported the conviction and disbelieved the witnesses to the contrary." State v. Merrill, 274 N.W.2d 99, 111 (Minn. 1978).
Wells was convicted of first-degree assault. Minn. Stat. § 609.221, subd. 1 (1996), provides that [w]hoever assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm is guilty of assault in the first degree. "Great bodily harm" means bodily injury that causes serious permanent disfigurement. Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 8 (1996).
Relatively long and highly visible scars are deemed to cause "serious permanent disfigurement" within the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 8. See State v. McDaniel, 534 N.W.2d 290, 293 (Minn. App. 1992) (holding that two scars, one which was two-thirds of an inch long and located on victim's right center chest and one which was six centimeters long on front of victim's neck and highly visible, constituted serious permanent disfigurement under the definition of great bodily harm required for conviction of the offense of first-degree assault); cf. State v. Gerald, 486 N.W.2d 799, 802 (Minn. App. 1995) (holding that two scars, one-half inch in length located in the victim's ear and the other on the back of his neck behind his ear, did not constitute serious permanent disfigurement because the "scars were relatively small and in areas where they [were] not particularly noticeable"), review denied (Minn. Sept. 20, 1995).
Contrary to Wells' argument, both the law and the record support the jury's determination that he caused the victim great bodily harm. The victim has a large and prominent Z-shaped scar, which runs from "about his nose to the hairline on the left-hand side of his forehead." Because of its size and high visibility, the scar constitutes serious permanent disfigurement within the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 8. The evidence supports Wells' conviction of first-degree assault.