State of Minnesota
                            in Court of Appeals

     State of Minnesota,


Alvin Jones,
     Holtan, Judge

Hennepin County District Court

File No. 94109783

Hubert H. Humphrey III, Minnesota Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445
Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County
Attorney, Michael Richardson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government
Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for Respondent)

John M. Stuart, Minnesota State Public Defender, Bradford S. Delapena,
Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600,
Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant)

Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and
Holtan, Judge.(1)
        [Footnote] (1)Retired judge of the district court,
        serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals

        by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI,
        § 10.
                        Unpublished Opinion

HOLTAN, Judge (Hon. Franklin J. Knoll, District Court Trial Judge)

This appeal is from a judgment of conviction for first-degree assault and
attempted second-degree murder. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.17, .19(1), .221
(1994). Appellant Alvin Jones, who was sentenced to 173 months for the
attempted second-degree murder, argues that the evidence is insufficient to
support the conviction.

Jones was charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree
assault for an attack on Steven Smith, who suffered life-threatening slash
wounds to his neck. The injury occurred at the home of a woman with whom
each man had been romantically involved and after considerable drinking by
all three participants.

Earlier in the evening, Smith had punched Jones several times, at one point
sending him through a glass window. Smith fled the house, but returned
several hours later. Jones awoke to hear Smith and the woman, Louisa White,
in an altercation. White was calling for help. Jones ran over and hit Smith
on the head with a vodka bottle. Although he denied any further assaultive
act, the state presented evidence that Smith had two deep slash wounds, one
on each side of his neck. Jones also told White, immediately after the
incident, that he had ``cut'' Smith.

Jones contends the evidence does not support the conviction for attempted
second-degree (intentional) murder because there is insufficient evidence
that he deliberately inflicted the life-threatening wounds to Smith's neck.
He admits, as he did at trial, that he struck Smith on the head with the
vodka bottle, but argues that the state failed to prove a separate,
intentional act (or acts) causing the neck wounds.

In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, this court
must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the verdict, assuming
the jury believed the state's evidence and discredited contrary evidence.
State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). The court must
determine whether, given the facts in the record and the legitimate
inferences from those facts, the jury could reasonably conclude that the
defendant was guilty of the offense charged. State v. Thunberg, 492
N.W.2d 534, 538 (Minn. 1992). As Jones points out, the evidence of intent
in this case was circumstantial. In such case, the circumstances must be
inconsistent with any rational hypothesis of innocence. State v.
Jones, 516 N.W.2d 545, 549 (Minn. 1994). This court, however, must give
due deference to the verdict of the jury, which is in the best position to
evaluate the circumstantial evidence. State v. Anderson, 379 N.W.2d
70, 75 (Minn. 1985).

Jones argues there is insufficient evidence that he deliberately slashed
Smith's neck with the neck of the vodka bottle. Jones testified that he
thought he hit Smith once, but was not sure how many blows he struck. He
also testified that Smith turned around quickly and swung at him. From this
evidence the jury could infer that Jones committed an intentional second
assaultive act on Smith. The jury could also have inferred, from evidence
of the love triangle involving Jones, Smith, and White, that Jones intended
to injure Smith, not merely to defend White.

The state's theory of a separate act (or acts) directed at Smith's throat
is also supported by the medical evidence. Smith reported to the hospital
with two widely-spaced gashes on either side of his neck, with no

connecting wound. This evidence tended strongly to negate the defense
theory of wounds caused by a single motion of bringing the vodka bottle
down over Smith's head. Thus, the defense theory of a single blow is
contrary to all the available physical evidence.

Finally, Jones' statements to White immediately after the assault indicated
that he was aware he had cut Smith's throat and had intentionally done so.
A defendant's conduct or statements made after an assault or homicide may
suggest the requisite criminal intent. See, e.g., State v.
Starkey, 516 N.W.2d 918, 922 (Minn. 1994). Jones' comments, viewed in a
light most favorable to the verdict, support an inference that Jones
intentionally hit Smith over the head and intentionally cut his throat. The
evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.