Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CR-11-5803
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Peterson, Judge
This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2012).
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Chutich, Judge.
In this appeal from a conviction of felony domestic assault, appellant argues that the district court (1) erred in denying his motion to dismiss for a speedy-trial violation, and (2) committed plain error when it (a) allowed a police officer to testify about statements that the victim made to him, and (b) admitted evidence regarding appellant's prior assault conviction and the sentence for the current offense. We affirm.
Appellant Ambakisye Adam Holmes was charged with one count of third-degree assault and one count of felony domestic assault, and the case was tried to a jury. At trial, the victim testified that she went to a convenience store near her residence with blood on her face. The store clerk described the victim as "scared, shaken up," and testified that her lip was split. The clerk testified that the victim told him that her boyfriend had beaten her up. The clerk called 911 and tried to give the phone to the victim, but she was too shaken up to talk.
St. Paul Police Officer Jeff Stiff responded to the 911 call. He described the victim as bleeding "pretty profusely from the mouth." Stiff testified that the victim told him that she had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend, who punched her multiple times. The victim testified that she told a police officer that appellant hit her in the face two times and caused her injury.
Stiff brought the victim to a hospital, where she was treated by Dr. Steven Atwater. Atwater testified that the victim told the first nurse who treated her that she had not been assaulted but told a second nurse and Atwater that her injury resulted from being punched. Atwater opined that because there was no sign of an abrasion on the victim's face or contamination of the wound with dirt or concrete, the victim's injury was consistent with having been punched in the face and inconsistent with having fallen.
St. Paul Police Officer Jeffrey Schwab testified that, in an interview the day after the incident, the victim stated that appellant punched her in the face four times following an argument. Schwab also testified about two telephone calls that appellant made from jail, and transcripts of the telephone conversations were admitted at trial. Two days after the incident, appellant called the victim from jail and told her to tell police that "you fell or something like that" and to make sure that the case did not go to trial. Appellant also called another woman and told her to make sure that the victim did not attend the trial. He also told the woman that the charges had been increased to a felony and that he faced a potential prison sentence of six and one-half years.
When Schwab went to the victim's apartment the next day to have her sign a release form, the victim said that her injuries occurred when she tripped and fell. The victim initially refused to testify and did not appear in court until after she was picked up on a warrant.
The jury found appellant not guilty of third-degree assault and guilty of felony domestic assault. This ...