Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CR-11-7537
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and
John J. Choi, Ramsey County Attorney, Peter R. Marker, Assistant County Attorney, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Bridget Kearns Sabo, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Hooten, Judge.
Appellant challenges his conviction of violating an order for protection (OFP), arguing that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of criminal contempt of court and by admitting relationship and hearsay evidence. In a pro se supplemental brief, appellant submits additional arguments. We affirm.
On June 17, 2010, S.B. obtained an OFP against appellant Marvin Spencer. The OFP, which was served on Spencer the day it was issued, prohibited Spencer from having any contact with S.B. and from going near her home and workplace for a period of two years.
On August 26, 2011, S.B. was working at a security desk in the Alliance Bank Center in downtown St. Paul. The security desk is located near an escalator on the skyway level of the building. Early that afternoon, S.B. saw Spencer coming up the escalator with his cell phone in his hand. Spencer appeared to take a picture of S.B. with his phone and asked S.B. if they could talk. S.B. responded that they had nothing to talk about or that he was not supposed to talk to her. Spencer then left, and S.B. reported the incident to the police.
Spencer was charged with one count of violation of an OFP pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(a), (d)(1) (2010). Prior to trial, Spencer stipulated to committing two prior violations of a domestic-abuse no-contact order (DANCO). The state moved, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 634.20 (2010), to admit as "relationship evidence" testimony concerning Spencer's previous violations and his conduct toward S.B. and his former girlfriend, A.M. The district court admitted the evidence over Spencer's objection.
Spencer waived his right to remain silent and testified at trial. He admitted that he was aware that the OFP was in place and acknowledged that the OFP prohibited him from having any contact with S.B. He further admitted that he encountered and spoke to S.B. on August 26 while she was at work.
At the close of trial, Spencer requested a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of criminal contempt of court. The district court denied Spencer's request. The jury convicted ...