may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Todd Evan Denton,
Filed February 16, 1999
Freeborn County District Court
File No. K297782
Michael A. Hatch, Attorney General, Paul R. Kempainen, Assistant Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Craig S. Nelson, Freeborn County Attorney, 411 South Broadway, Albert Lea, MN 56007 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Scott G. Swanson, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Following a dispute with his girlfriend, Todd Evan Denton was charged with fifth-degree assault in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.244, subd. 2(a) (1998), and terroristic threats in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1 (1998). After a two-day trial, the jury acquitted Denton on the assault charge and convicted him of making terroristic threats. On appeal, Denton argues the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction. We affirm.
Evidence is sufficient to support a conviction if, given the facts in the record and the legitimate inferences taken from those facts, a jury could reasonably conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime charged. State v. Wilson, 535 N.W.2d 597, 605 (Minn. 1995). We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, and assume the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any contrary evidence. State v. Merrill, 274 N.W.2d 99, 111 (Minn. 1978); see also State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989) (stating "jury normally is in the best position to evaluate circumstantial evidence, and * * * their verdict is entitled to due deference").
Denton argues the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the victim's testimony lacked credibility. However, the record demonstrates: (1) on multiple occasions during the trial, the victim testified she feared for her life because Denton told her during the altercation that, "If she had him arrested, it would only be for murder because he was going to kill her"; (2) the victim fled Denton's house during the fight, flagged down a state trooper on the highway, and appeared shaken and panicky; (3) the emergency room report states the victim was extremely concerned her boyfriend would kill her if he found out she went to the police; (4) after the dispute, Denton admitted he told the victim he did not want her around; and (5) the defense highlighted the victim's testimonial inconsistencies and challenged her credibility during cross-examination.
Given these facts, we conclude the evidence is sufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Denton was guilty of making terroristic threats. See Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1 (stating individual guilty of terroristic threats if he/she makes threat to commit act of violence with purpose of terrorizing another); State v. Reichenberger, 289 Minn. 75, 79-80, 182 N.W.2d 692, 695 (1970) (recognizing weighing credibility of witness is solely function of jury); see also State v. Lakin, 378 N.W.2d 101, 103 (Minn. App. 1985) (concluding defense's cross-examination sufficiently pointed out witness's inconsistencies and left jury to resolve conflicts), review denied (Minn. Jan. 17, 1986).