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Miles v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

December 11, 2013

John Miles, petitioner, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

Hennepin County Office of Appellate Courts

Zachary A. Longsdorf, Longsdorf Law Firm, PLC, Lake Elmo, Minnesota, for appellant.

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Thomas A. Weist, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent.

SYLLABUS

1. The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Miles was not entitled to a new trial based on newly discovered evidence.

2. The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion by not considering evidence submitted after the evidentiary hearing.

3. The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Miles was not entitled to a new trial in the interests of justice.

Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

OPINION

GILDEA, Chief Justice.

John Miles was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Tyrone Harrell. We affirmed Miles's conviction on direct appeal. State v. Miles (Miles I), 585 N.W.2d 368 (Minn. 1998). This case comes to us on appeal from the postconviction court's denial of Miles's fourth petition for postconviction relief. Because we conclude that the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in denying Miles relief, we affirm.

Our opinion in Miles I, 585 N.W.2d 368, contains a detailed factual description of the murder and the evidence presented at trial. We discuss in this opinion only those facts relevant to Miles's fourth petition for postconviction relief.

On July 31, 1996, the police found Tyrone Harrell shot to death in a Minneapolis driveway. Id. at 369. Three eyewitnesses came forward claiming to have witnessed various parts of the murder. Id. at 369-70. All three witnesses identified Miles in a photo line-up as the person they had seen in the alley. Id. In addition to the three witnesses, the State also offered evidence from Marcell Dupree Scott. Scott, who was incarcerated on a separate drug conviction, came forward in November 1996 and told authorities what he knew about the murder. Id. at 370. Scott testified that he saw Miles head toward the alley and then heard shots. Id. He also said that Miles later told him that Harrell tried to run so Miles "popped him a couple more times." Id.

Following his direct appeal, Miles pursued postconviction relief. The postconviction court denied his first two petitions. Miles v. State (Miles II), 800 N.W.2d 778, 781 (Minn. 2011). In his third petition, Miles contended that new evidence, an unsworn statement by O.B., an alleged eyewitness to the murder, entitled him to a new trial. Id. The postconviction court denied Miles's third petition. Id. On appeal, we affirmed, concluding that Miles was not entitled to relief because he did not meet his obligation "to offer evidence with sufficient indicia of reliability." Id. at 784.

Miles filed his fourth petition for postconviction relief in September 2011. Miles alleged the existence of the same new evidence as in his third postconviction petition, but with his fourth petition, Miles included a notarized affidavit and a signed and notarized statement from O.B. The notarized statement from O.B. is the same statement that Miles submitted ...


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