Anoka County District Court File No. 02-CR-12-1501
Lori Swanson, Anthony C. Palumbo, Anoka County Attorney, M. Katherine Doty, Assistant County Attorney, Anoka, Minnesota (for respondent)
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Jennifer Lauermann, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Schellhas, Judge.
Appellant challenges his conviction of domestic assault, arguing that the admissible evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Because the evidence was sufficient to support appellant's conviction, and because the record is not sufficient to consider appellant's ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim on direct appeal, we affirm.
On February 28, 2012, Anoka County 911 dispatch received a call from D.K.A. about her husband, appellant Michael Sedlak. She stated that she had found pornography in the house and wanted him to stay away from their children. The dispatcher asked if there had been a physical or verbal altercation, and D.K.A. stated, "He's chasing me, yelling and screaming." She then stated that she was in her room and had to go because "I don't want him to [catch] me while I'm talking to you."
Officers Williams, Magana, and Pankonin responded to the 911 call. By the time they arrived at the house, appellant had left in his vehicle. Officer Magana testified that D.K.A. was distraught, crying, and "kept putting her hands to her face . . . and looking down and pacing." She told officers that she was upset because she had found some pornography of her husband's that was now strewn across the living room floor.
D.K.A. told officers that she had been assaulted by her husband. Officer Williams testified that D.K.A. "claimed that [appellant] pushed her, punched her and strangled her." Officer Magana testified that D.K.A. told him that she had been punched by appellant when she came out of her room and that as a result she had pain in her right cheek. Officer Magana also testified that D.K.A. stated that appellant had gotten on top of her, strangled her, and told her, "I am going to kill you and the children."
Officer Magana took three pictures of D.K.A. to show swelling in her right cheek allegedly caused by appellant's assault, but Officer Magana observed no other physical indications that D.K.A. had been assaulted. She told officers that this was not the first time she had been assaulted by appellant. The officers could not determine if there were physical indications of strangulation because D.K.A. would not remove her headdress when requested.
Appellant was charged with three counts arising from the incident: (1) making felony terroristic threats in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1 (2010); (2) felony domestic assault by strangulation in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.2247, subd. 2 (2010); and (3) misdemeanor domestic assault for "commit[ting] an act with intent to cause fear in a family or household member of immediate bodily harm or death" in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 1(1) (2010).
In April 2012, D.K.A. executed an affidavit stating that when she accused her husband of striking her, she was "suffering from a mental infirmity" that caused her "to become extremely agitated, and have audio and visual hallucinations. The genesis of this condition goes back to March of 2010 when I began suffering post-partum depression." D.K.A. stated that she was admitted to the psychiatric unit of a hospital two days after the incident. She concluded that she did not recall her husband choking her, that their argument ...