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,
Willis J. Beauvais,
Filed July 27, 1999
Washington County District Court
File No. K8-98-2268
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Doug Johnson, Washington County Attorney, Eric C. Thole, Assistant County Attorney, Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Theodora Gaitas, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Ave. Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Appellant Willis J. Beauvais challenges his conviction for third-degree burglary, claiming the evidence of intent is insufficient on the element of intent. We affirm.
A veterinarian associated with the hospital, Dr. Michael Westfall, testified that on the day of the burglary, the hospital caretaker had opened the shed while working, but the shed was intact at 5:00 p.m. when he walked around it. In regard to the items found outside of the shed, Dr. Westfall identified the tubing and weed trimmer as belonging to the hospital and stated that the weed trimmer was normally stored inside the shed on a hook or braced in between two wall panels.
Beauvais testified that he did not know how he got into the shed, but he wanted only to sleep there for the night because he had been dropped off on the road after a dispute with two drinking companions. He testified that the hospital was about 60 miles from his Maple Plain residence.
The trial court found Beauvais guilty of third-degree burglary under Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 3 (1996) and imposed a 30-month sentence based on Beauvais's significant criminal history. On appeal, Beauvais claims the evidence was insufficient to show he intended to commit burglary.
Where sufficiency of the evidence is challenged on appeal, our review is limited to determining whether the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, is sufficient to permit the jurors to have reached a guilty verdict. State v. Spaeth, 552 N.W.2d 187, 192 (Minn. 1996); State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). The appellate court must assume the jury believed the evidence supporting the conviction and disbelieved contradictory evidence favoring the defendant. Dale v. State, 535 N.W.2d 619, 623 (Minn. 1995). In a case tried to the court, the findings are given the same weight as a jury verdict. State v. Bouwman, 354 N.W.2d 1, 4 (Minn. 1984).
In proving intent to commit burglary, the state must show that the defendant "intended to commit some independent crime other than trespass after illegal entry into the building." State v. Ring, 554 N.W.2d 758, 760 (Minn. App. 1996) (citation omitted), review denied (Minn. Jan. 21, 1997).
[T]he proof of intent to commit a crime in connection with proof of burglary is always one that must rest on a permissible inference from the facts proved.
State v. Crosby, 277 Minn. 22, 25, 151 N.W.2d 297, 300 (1967). Generally, those facts include "the time of entry, the nature of the building and its contents, any things which defendant may have had with him and all the other evidence in the case." State v. Johnson, 417 N.W.2d 143, 146 (Minn. App. 1987) (quoting 10 Minnesota Practice CRIMJIG 17.07 (1985)).
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court's decision, we conclude the evidence is sufficient to prove that Beauvais intended to commit third-degree burglary. He entered the shed late at night and damaged it in several places. The noises emanating from the shed upon police arrival contradicted Beauvais's claim that he was merely sleeping there. The location of the weed trimmer, found outside the shed on the ground but within arm's reach of the shed, also suggests criminal intent. Although Beauvais had an innocent explanation for his actions, the court, as fact-finder, was not obliged to believe his story. State v. Ostrem, 535 N.W.2d 916, 923 (Minn. 1995). The record supports a finding that Beauvais intended to commit burglary when he entered the shed. See Ring, 554 N.W.2d at 760 (circumstantial evidence sufficient to sustain conviction for attempted first-degree burglary); Johnson, 417 N.W.2d at 146 (evidence sufficient to support second-degree burglary conviction where defendant entered drug store with force late at night, disturbed property inside, and was arrested with items on his person that could have been from store); State v. Roehl, 409 N.W.2d 44, 47 (Minn. App. 1987) (evidence sufficient to support third-degree burglary conviction where defendant forced entry into business after hours late at night and fled after being found inside building).