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,
Brian Lester Solem,
Filed November 10, 1998
Scott County District Court
File No. 19722259
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Patrick Ciliberto, Lisa A. Skoog, Pamela J. Converse, Scott Joint Prosecution Assoc., P.O. Box 197, Shakopee, MN 55379 (for respondent)
Mark A. Page, 295 Marie Ave. E., Ste. 200, West St. Paul, MN 55118-4084 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Appellant Brian Lester Solem was charged with petty misdemeanor speeding in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169.14 (1996) for driving 75 miles per hour in an area with a posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour. On appeal, Solem challenges the sufficiency of the arresting trooper's identification of him. We affirm because we conclude that Solem was properly identified during trial.
In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence in a case tried to the court, the appellate court "view[s] the evidence in a light most favorable to the decision and decide[s] whether the court could conclude the person committed the offense." In re Welfare of D.K.K., 410 N.W.2d 76, 77 (Minn. App. 1987) (citation omitted). "A trial court's findings are entitled to the same weight as a jury verdict." Id. (citation omitted).
At his trial, Solem, an attorney representing himself, was the only person seated at defense counsel's table. State trooper Paul Andrescik improperly identified a person sitting in the courtroom as Solem during direct examination. Andrescik also testified that during the traffic stop he had identified Solem by a valid driver's license.
The record also demonstrates, however, that Trooper Andrescik rectified this misidentification. On cross-examination, he properly identified Solem and stated that he discovered his identification error after reading the description contained in his police notes. As the credibility of witnesses and weight of their testimony is a question for the factfinder, the court was free to determine that Trooper Andrescik's identification of Solem was correct and credible in the second instance. See State v. Travica, 398 N.W.2d 666, 670 (Minn. App. 1987) (determination of witness credibility and weight of witness testimony for factfinder). Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Solem was properly identified.