Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Plevell

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

January 3, 2017

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
John Joseph Plevell, Petitioner.

         St. Louis County District Court File No. 69VI-CR-15-1566

         Petition denied.

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Mark S. Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney, Michelle M. Anderson, Assistant County Attorney, Duluth, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Daniel K. Lew, Sixth District Public Defender, Bruce R. Williams, Assistant Public Defender, Duluth, Minnesota (for petitioner)

          Considered and decided by Cleary, Chief Judge; Ross, Judge; and Jesson, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         1. Although the Minnesota Rules of Evidence do not apply to grand jury proceedings, the state must comply with Minn. R. Crim. P. 18.05 and demonstrate that hearsay evidence presented to a grand jury will be admissible at trial.

         2. For an out-of-court statement to be admitted as a prior consistent statement in a grand jury proceeding, the witness must testify, the prior statement must be consistent with that testimony, and the statement must be helpful in evaluating the witness's credibility.

          SPECIAL TERM OPINION

          CLEARY, Chief Judge.

         Petitioner John Joseph Plevell was charged by indictment with the first-degree premeditated murder of his former girlfriend. See Minn. Stat. § 609.185 (2014). Petitioner's motion to dismiss the indictment was denied by the district court and petitioner seeks discretionary review of the order, arguing that: (1) the evidence presented to the grand jury is insufficient to sustain the offense charged, because it involves hearsay statements of witnesses and does not comply with Minn. R. Crim. P. 18.05, subd. 1; (2) the state failed to present material exculpatory evidence to the grand jury; and (3) the indictment must be dismissed because of the cumulative effect of errors in the proceedings. We conclude that the hearsay statements were improperly admitted, but we also conclude, based on our review of the grand jury proceedings, that sufficient admissible evidence was presented to sustain the allegation of premeditation. Because petitioner has not otherwise established a compelling reason for discretionary review, we deny the petition.

         FACTS

         A woman was fatally shot while she was outside the American Legion in a town in northern Minnesota on November 8, 2015. The woman's current boyfriend was standing next to her when she was shot. The primary investigator reviewed documents from other law enforcement agencies and summarized the investigation for the grand jury. Petitioner, who was the woman's former boyfriend, became "a person of interest" based on conversations that law enforcement officers had with several witnesses who did not testify before the grand jury. The investigator testified that, at the time of the shooting, there was a domestic abuse no-contact order that prohibited petitioner from contacting the woman. A search warrant was obtained and executed at petitioner's residence where investigators found clothes in the washing machine that appeared to match clothes petitioner was wearing the night of the shooting. Investigators also found a wet towel on the bathroom floor, several deer rifles, and ammunition. One of the rifles fired the fatal bullet. A compact disc containing body camera videos from the officers who responded to the 911 call and attempted to resuscitate the woman was played for the grand jury. Investigators testified and summarized their interviews with numerous lay witnesses who did not testify before the grand jury. The grand jury also considered petitioner's post-Miranda statement to investigators.

         DECISION

         Petitioner seeks discretionary review of an order denying his motion to dismiss the first-degree murder indictment, which is an order that is not appealable as of right. See State v. Johnson, 441 N.W.2d 460, 467 (Minn. 1989) ("Defendants do not have an appeal as of right from an order denying the dismissal of an indictment."). In the interests of justice, this court may grant discretionary review of an order that is not otherwise appealable. Minn. R. Crim. P. 28.02, subd. 3; Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 105. But this court will only grant discretionary review if a "compelling reason" is shown. State v. Jordan, 426 N.W.2d 495, 496 (Minn.App. 1988). In deciding whether to grant discretionary review, this court considers a multi-factor test articulated in Gordon v. Microsoft Corp., 645 N.W.2d 393, 399-402 (Minn. 2002). See Doe 175 v. Columbia Heights Sch. Dist., 842 N.W.2d 38, 47 (Minn.App. 2014) (explaining that an appellate court should consider the Gordon factors to the extent that they are appropriate when considering a petition for discretionary review outside of the class-certification context). These factors are not exclusive, and this court has discretion to consider additional factors and circumstances that may apply to the particular case. Doe 175, 842 N.W.2d at 47. In this case, petitioner did not address these factors. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that a direct appeal may not afford an adequate remedy because the reviewing court generally rejects arguments challenging the grand jury ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.