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State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

August 21, 2017

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Daley Marie Smith, Appellant.

         Mille Lacs County District Court File No. 48-CR-13-2482

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Matthew Frank, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Joe Walsh, Mille Lacs County Attorney, Milaca, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Cathryn Middlebrook Chief Appellate Public Defender, Jenna Yauch-Erickson, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Reilly, Judge; and Klaphake, Judge. [*]

         SYLLABUS

         A district court does not err by instructing the jury that the knowledge requirement for accomplice liability under Minn. Stat. § 609.05 (2012) is satisfied if the defendant knew the alleged accomplices "were going to or were committing a crime."

          OPINION

          RODENBERG, JUDGE

         Appellant challenges her convictions of aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery, aiding and abetting second-degree assault, aiding and abetting third-degree assault, and aiding and abetting simple robbery. She asserts that she is entitled to a new trial because the district court erred in its accomplice-liability instruction to the jury. Because the district court's jury instruction did not misstate the law, we affirm.

         FACTS

         This case arises from an assault and robbery in the home of N.N. and A.M. on December 21, 2013. J.F. was there as a visitor. On that day, Chadric McKee struck N.N. three times in the head, fracturing N.N.'s jaw. McKee grabbed A.M. by the hair, pointed a gun at her head, and demanded money. Finally, McKee approached J.F. with the gun in his hand and took her cash, prescription medication, and cell phone. A total of three cell phones were taken.

         Appellant Daley Marie Smith was charged as McKee's accomplice under Minn. Stat. § 609.05. At trial, the central issue was whether appellant is criminally liable for the crimes committed by McKee.

         Appellant had repeatedly asked to borrow money from J.F. before the robbery. J.F. initially agreed to lend money to appellant, and then changed her mind. Appellant came to the home of N.N. and A.M. on December 21 to borrow money. J.F. was at the home, but hid in a bedroom under the pretense of not being home. Appellant left and told N.N. and A.M. that she would return later in the day. Appellant then called J.F. and asked when she would return home and if she had paid rent to A.M. and N.N.

         Later that day, appellant returned to the home of N.N. and A.M., accompanied by McKee, whom N.N. and A.M. did not know. J.F. again retreated to the bedroom to avoid appellant. Upon entering the home with appellant, McKee pulled a bandana over his face and struck N.N. three times in the head. A.M. testified that appellant was standing between her and McKee in the hallway during part of the attack, and "was just kind of blocking my way so I couldn't get [past] her." Between McKee's second and third strike to N.N.'s head, appellant went to the bedroom where J.F. was hiding.

         J.F. heard the commotion and called 911 from a bedroom closet. Without ending the call with the emergency operator, J.F. stepped from the closet and saw appellant in the bedroom. J.F. testified that appellant looked surprised. When J.F. asked appellant what was going on, appellant said, "[McKee's] going crazy." McKee approached the bedroom and stopped near the bedroom door, holding the gun in his hand. J.F. gave him her money, prescription pills, and cell phone, which was still connected to 911. J.F. testified that appellant stood by while this occurred, but did not demand or ...


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