This opinion will be unpublished and
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,
James Allan Lyman,
Filed August 24, 1999
Anoka County District Court
File No. K89714880
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul,
MN 55101; and
Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, M. Katherine Doty, Assistant County
Attorney, Anoka County Government Center, 2100 Third Avenue, 7th Floor, Anoka,
MN 55303 (for respondent)
Lawrence W. Pry, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E.,
Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant James Allan Lyman contends there was insufficient evidence to convict
him of criminal damage to property and raises various other challenges to his
conviction in a pro se brief. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
In a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, review on
appeal is limited to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether
the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction, was
sufficient to permit the jurors to reach the verdict they did. State v.
Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). A reviewing court must assume
"the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the
contrary." State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989). "A
jury normally is in the best position to evaluate circumstantial evidence, and
* * * [the jury's] verdict is entitled to due deference." Webb,
440 N.W.2d at 430.
A person is guilty of first-degree criminal damage to property
if the person causes damage to the physical property of another without the
latter's consent and if the damage reduces the value of the property by more
than $500 measured by the cost of repair and replacement. Minn. Stat. §
609.595, subd. 1(3) (1996). A person is criminally liable for a crime
committed by another if the person "intentionally aids, advises, hires,
counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the
crime." Minn. Stat. § 609.05, subd. 1 (1996). The statute for aiding and
abetting requires more than mere "inaction or passive acquiescence" to impose
liability as a principal, but a jury may infer the requisite state of mind for
a conviction of aiding and abetting when the defendant plays "some knowing role
in the commission of the crime and takes no steps to thwart its completion."
State v. Pierson, 530 N.W.2d 784, 788 (Minn. 1995). Factors from
which a criminal intent may be inferred include presence, companionship, and
conduct before and after the offense. Id.
Appellant argues there was insufficient evidence at trial to support his
conviction. We disagree. The record indicates: (1) police pulled over a car
in which appellant was riding near the scene of the damage; (2) witnesses
identified the car; (3) one witness identified appellant as the person he saw
at the crime scene who ran to the getaway car and fled the scene; (4) police
found a tool that could have caused the damage to the property in the getaway
car, accessible to both the driver and appellant; (5) appellant intentionally
misidentified the driver of the car to police; (6) the clerk at a nearby
convenience store identified the driver of the car as the person who came into
the store asking for directions to the location of the crime; and (7) appellant
admitted that he went to a convenience store with the driver sometime that
Further, the factors regarding criminal intent support appellant's conviction.
Appellant was present at the crime, he admits that he and the driver spent the
evening together, and his conduct after the crime indicated criminal
involvement. Appellant argues his mere presence at the scene of the crime is
not enough to justify accomplice liability. See State v. Ostrem,
535 N.W.2d 916, 924 (Minn. 1995) (stating that mere presence does not alone
prove that a person aided or abetted, because "inaction, knowledge, or passive
acquiescence does not rise to the level of criminal culpability"). But a
person's presence can be sufficient to impose liability if it somehow aids the
commission of the crime. Id. at 924-25 (quoting State v.
Parker, 282 Minn. 343, 355-56, 164 N.W.2d 633, 641 (1969)).
There is ample evidence here placing appellant at the scene of the crime and
indicating that even if he did not directly cause the damage to the vehicles,
by fleeing the scene and later trying to conceal his partner's true identity
from the police, his actions contributed to the crime. We conclude the
evidence was sufficient to permit the jury to find appellant guilty.
To support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant
must show that (1) counsel's representation "fell below an objective standard
of reasonableness;" and (2) there is a "reasonable probability that, but for
counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different." Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992)
(quoting Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688, 694, 104 S.
Ct. 2052, 2064, 2068 (1984)). In his pro se brief, appellant did not allege
facts showing his counsel rendered ineffective assistance, but merely asserted
that he was ill-advised to waive his right to an omnibus hearing. From this
general allegation, we cannot conclude appellant's counsel's representation
fell below an objective standard of reasonableness or that but for counsel's
errors the result of the proceeding would have been different. See
Townsend v. State, 582 N.W.2d 225, 229 (Minn. 1998) (the mere
allegation that the appellant's Sixth Amendment rights were violated was
insufficient to justify an evidentiary hearing by the district court).
Therefore, appellant does not have a valid ineffective assistance of counsel
claim regarding his counsel's advice to waive his omnibus hearing. See
Flournoy v. State, 583 N.W.2d 564, 570 (Minn. 1998) (finding appellant
did not have a valid claim regarding counsel's failure to bring a
Finally, we have considered appellant's remaining pro se arguments concerning
unconstitutional restitution and alleged evidentiary errors by the district
court and conclude they are without merit.