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 Welfare of: J.J.R., Child.
Filed December 15, 1998
Blue Earth County District Court
File No. J39750651
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Ross E. Arneson, Blue Earth County Attorney, Mark A. Lindahl, Assistant County Attorney, 410 South Fifth Street, Post Office Box 3129, Mankato, MN 56002-3129 (for respondent Blue Earth County)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Peterson, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
This is an appeal from an adjudication of delinquency for aiding and abetting third-degree assault in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.05, subd. 1, 609.223, subd. 1 (1996). Because we conclude the state did not violate any duty of discovery and because the evidence is sufficient to support the adjudication, we affirm.
J.J.R. was charged, along with three other juveniles, with aiding and abetting third-degree assault. The delinquency petition alleges that J.J.R. and the other juveniles pursued a lone victim and assaulted him.
The trial court granted the state's motion to have a single adjudicatory hearing for all four juveniles. The court ordered that none of the juveniles who testified would be subject to cross-examination by attorneys for the other juveniles, only by the prosecutor.
The state presented testimony from several eyewitnesses who described a large group of boys chasing the victim and then assaulting him when he fell. The victim identified J.J.R. as one of his attackers. At the end of the state's case the court granted the motion of N.T., one of the other juveniles charged, to exclude the other juveniles and their attorneys during the presentation of each defense case.
N.T., the first juvenile to proceed with his defense, called his cousin, who testified that N.T. was not involved in assaulting the victim. The attorney for T.T., N.T.'s brother, also called the same cousin, who testified he did not see T.T. among the group assaulting the victim. The cousin listed five people that he identified "as being right next to [the victim] or as hitting him or kicking him." This list did not include J.J.R.
J.J.R.'s attorney was granted permission to proceed next. He rested without presenting any evidence and later submitted closing argument in writing, arguing that the victim's identification of J.J.R. as one of the assailants was not credible.
The district court issued an order adjudicating J.J.R. delinquent for aiding the assault, citing the victim's identification of him. The court dismissed the petitions against the T. brothers for lack of proof, but found Z.M., the fourth juvenile, guilty.
1. J.J.R. argues that the prosecutor had a duty to disclose the testimony of the cousin, given in the "sequestered" defense cases of J.J.R.'s co-defendants, N.T. and T.T.
The file does not indicate the cousin was listed as a potential witness by the state, nor did he give a statement to police. The discovery rules in juvenile delinquency proceedings require the prosecutor to
disclose to the child's counsel any material or information within the possession and control of the prosecuting attorney that tends to disprove the allegation(s).
Minn. R. Juv. P. 10.04, subd. 1(F). J.J.R. presents no relevant authority, however, to support his claim that the prosecutor has a duty to disclose testimony offered on behalf of a co-defendant, in a "sequestered" part of the same joint hearing.
If J.J.R. lacked full access to the cousin's testimony, this was due primarily to a co-defendant's request for sequestration, which J.J.R. did not oppose. The state, which had sought a joint hearing, was not responsible for the sequestration. Cf. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 1196-97 (1963) (holding that prosecutor's suppression of evidence favorable to defendant, and requested by him, violated due process). The cousin's information was not "within the possession and control of the prosecuting attorney," Minn. R. Juv. P. 10.04, subd. 1(F), so as to create a duty of disclosure under the rules. Moreover, the cousin's testimony was not fully exculpatory. It still put J.J.R. at the scene of the assault, which, given his participation in the group's activities the entire evening, may have been sufficient to adjudicate him as an accomplice. Even assuming the prosecutor violated a duty to disclose, J.J.R. has not shown a reasonable probability that a disclosure of the cousin's testimony would have changed the outcome. See generally State v. Clobes, 422 N.W.2d 252, 255 (Minn. 1988) (stating test for showing of prejudice from discovery violation).
2. J.J.R argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the adjudication for aiding and abetting the assault on the victim. In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a delinquency adjudication, this court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. In re Welfare of D.A.H., 360 N.W.2d 676, 677 (Minn. App. 1985). The adjudication will not be reversed if the factfinder, giving due regard to the presumption of innocence and the state's burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, could have reasonably found the juvenile guilty. See id. (applying standard for review of sufficiency of evidence to support criminal conviction).
The victim's identification of J.J.R. as one of his assailants is sufficient to support the adjudication. Moreover, the state's evidence established that J.J.R. accompanied the group that participated in the assault for much of the evening, was aware of two fights that provided a motive for the assault on the victim, was present when retaliation was apparently discussed, was present during the car chase, and got out of one car to pursue the victim on foot, along with the others, and then left the scene along with the others. There is ample evidence that J.J.R. was a sufficiently knowing and active participant to be guilty as an accomplice even without striking any blows. See generally State v. Ostrem, 535 N.W.2d 916, 924 (Minn. 1995) (stating test for person to be guilty of aiding a crime).