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State v. McKinley

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

February 13, 2017

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Jacob Michael McKinley, Appellant.

         Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CR-15-4868

         Affirmed

          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)

          Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Anders J. Erickson, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Jesson, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Schellhas, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         A district court does not err when it sustains a for-cause challenge of a juror under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.02, subd. 5(1)(1), because the juror is untruthful, evasive, or lacking in candor during voir dire and the court is satisfied that the juror cannot try the case impartially and without prejudice to the substantial rights of the challenging party.

          OPINION

          SCHELLHAS, Judge

         Appellant challenges his convictions of first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, arguing that the district court erred by striking a prospective juror for cause.

         FACTS

         Very early on a June 2015 morning, appellant Jacob McKinley entered a St. Paul apartment through a partially open window. He then dragged a female tenant from her bedroom to a living-room couch and sexually assaulted her. The state charged McKinley with first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

         McKinley demanded a jury trial, and the district court required prospective jurors to complete a juror questionnaire that stated, "YOU ARE UNDER OATH AND ARE REQUIRED TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS TRUTHFULLY. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO SIGN THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND YOUR ANSWERS WILL HAVE THE EFFECT OF A STATEMENT GIVEN UNDER OATH TO THE COURT." The questionnaire included question number 37, as follows: "Have you or has anyone close to you ever been arrested, accused, charged, indicted, or convicted of a crime?" Prospective juror K.H. answered yes to the question and stated, "I was convicted of CVO in 2006 driving while drinking."

         Regarding juror K.H., the prosecutor informed the district court that he had found public criminal-history records that revealed that K.H. had been arrested in 2002 for felony criminal sexual conduct, convicted in 2003 of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, and arrested in 2004 for auto theft. The following colloquy occurred:

THE COURT: Well, I'm concerned here . . . . [Y]ou've indicated now three additional incidents. Are ...

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