Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CR-10-46636
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Lee W. Barry, III, Linda M. Freyer, Assistant County Attorneys, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Renée Bergeron, Special Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Hooten, Judge; and Klaphake, Judge. [*]
Appellant Amecio Enge challenges his conviction of third-degree murder, arguing that the circumstantial evidence is insufficient to support the jury's verdict because the circumstances proved permit a reasonable inference that is inconsistent with guilt. We affirm.
Early on the morning of October 2, 2010, appellant and E.M.J. were socializing with a group of people at C.A.'s and M.M.'s house in North Minneapolis. The group included C.A., M.M., and several other guests. Around 7:00 a.m., an argument broke out between appellant and M.M., and everybody went outside. Once outside, M.M. and two others physically fought with appellant and E.M.J.
The men first moved to an area of grass between the house and an adjacent alley, then to the alley, the sidewalk, and the street. The others stood on the stairs leading to the house's front porch and on the sidewalk.
At some point, appellant left the fight and ran to his car. Appellant drove toward the alley, where he then turned and drove toward the people. Appellant struck E.M.J. with the front of his car and dragged E.M.J. under the car; when appellant reversed the car, E.M.J. fell from underneath the car onto the street. Appellant quickly reversed across the street, where he hit a car parked in front of a garage. The impact forced the parked car into the garage door and knocked down part of the garage wall. Appellant proceeded forward across the street toward C.A.'s and M.M.'s house and the people in front of the house. As appellant crossed the street, he accelerated and again hit E.M.J., who was lying on the street.
After crossing the street, appellant struck M.M., who was in front of the porch and attempting to flee from the oncoming car. After hitting M.M., appellant struck the front porch, which shattered and crashed into the yard. Appellant's car stalled in the porch debris with M.M. under the car. People yelled at appellant that M.M. was under the car, but appellant did not respond or open the locked car door. The car engine revved as appellant maneuvered his car out from the debris. Appellant subsequently backed up a bit and drove forward across the lawn in front of the house and onto the street. When appellant hit the curb, M.M. fell from underneath the car and landed on the street.
Appellant quickly drove away. His car was damaged in the passenger-side wheel area. A Minneapolis police officer who was nearby heard a loud noise and observed a white sedan traveling over 50 miles per hour, with damage to its passenger-side wheel. The officer pursued the car with his squad car's siren and emergency lights activated. But appellant did not stop until he reached his house. About two hours after the incident, appellant's alcohol concentration was .13.
M.M. was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead later that morning. M.M.'s injuries were consistent with being hit and dragged by a car. A jury found appellant guilty of third-degree murder of M.M. In this appeal, appellant challenges the sufficiency of ...