County District Court File No. 62-CR-16-3689
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, Andrea
Barts, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge;
Connolly, Judge; and Reilly, Judge.
search warrant that mistakenly includes an incorrect
person's name does not lack sufficient particularity when
the warrant provides a description of the correct person to
be searched that includes the correct person's name, date
of birth, and location, and the person intended to be
searched was searched.
challenges his convictions of assault with a dangerous
weapon, drive-by shooting, unlawful possession of a firearm,
and committing a crime for the benefit of a gang, arguing
that the district court erred by failing to suppress DNA
evidence and abused its discretion in admitting prior crimes
and testimony from a gang expert. We affirm.
19, 2016, A.B., a member of the Bang Out Boyz (BOB), a street
gang based in the Rice Street area of St. Paul, shot at T.R.
because of a dispute between T.R.'s younger brother,
S.L., and BOB. The dispute between S.L. and BOB began when
S.L. posted a rap video critical of a gang member associated
with BOB. BOB responded to the video by shooting at S.L. as
they drove past him. S.L. then posted another video showing
BOB that he was still alive and that included lyrics stating
that he would continue rapping. BOB then created a video of
D.B., a BOB gang member, rapping about how easy it was to
shoot at S.L. on the freeway.
was not a gang member and disliked the fact that his brother
S.L. was. Using a social-media post, T.R. attempted to
discourage S.L. and BOB from escalating their dispute. The
next day, T.R. noticed two males in a blue four-door car
circling the block where he was driving. The passenger, A.B.,
made eye contact with T.R. as T.R. turned onto another
street. T.R. knew A.B. T.R. stopped and heard A.B. state,
"That's his brother. That's his brother."
A.B. exited the blue car, pointed a gun at T.R., and fired at
least five times before the car sped away. T.R., unhurt,
followed the car to get a license-plate number. Although T.R.
was unable to get the license-plate number, he noticed a
scuff mark on the car's front bumper. T.R. called 911 and
informed the dispatcher that he was shot at by A.B. from a
blue, four-door car and explained that A.B. had a "rap
beef" with S.L.
police met T.R. at the scene of the shooting and recovered
five bullet casings. T.R. informed the police that A.B. shot
at him because of an ongoing dispute between A.B.'s gang
and his brother. T.R. told the police that he was not sure
who drove the car but that he believed he would recognize the
driver if he saw him. The police searched A.B.'s name in
their system and discovered a license-plate number from a
blue vehicle that A.B. was associated with from a previous
police encounter. The police then drove to A.B.'s address
and saw a blue Chevy Cobalt with a license-plate number that
matched the number in the system parked further down the
street where A.B. lived.
order to assist, Officer Robert Lokhurst and a second officer
drove to A.B.'s address and saw A.B. and another male
with short dreadlocks standing on A.B.'s driveway.
Officer Lokhurst recognized one male as A.B. and noticed that
the other male had short dreadlocks. When Officer Lokhurst
and the other officer exited the squad car and identified
themselves, the two males took off running. A third officer
saw the males running when he arrived in response to the
call. The third officer followed them and observed that one
was wearing dark clothing and carried something in his hand.
The police eventually stopped both males, arrested them, and
identified the man with short dreadlocks as appellant Cicero
Taylor and the other as A.B. When the police brought T.R. to
the scene, he identified both A.B. and Taylor as the
individuals in the car.
the arrests of Taylor and A.B., the police found a
dark-colored sweatshirt by a dumpster that the two had run
past and reviewed security video from a credit union that
captured them running away. The police returned to the area
the next day and found a Glock handgun in the garden of a
yard that Taylor and A.B. had run through. The police also
searched the Chevy Cobalt and found shell casings in the car.
on the May 19 shooting, the state charged Taylor with one
count of drive-by shooting under Minn. Stat. § 609.66,
subd. 1e(a) (2014); one count of second-degree assault with a
dangerous weapon under Minn. Stat. § 609.221 (2014); one
count of ineligible possession of a firearm under Minn. Stat.
§ 624.713, subd. 1(2) (2014); one count of committing a
drive-by shooting for the benefit of a gang under Minn. Stat.
§§ 609.66, subd. 1e(a), .229, subd. 2 (2014); and
one count of committing a second-degree assault for the
benefit of a gang under Minn. Stat. §§ 609.222,
subd. 1, .229, subd. 2 (2014).
trial, a St. Paul police officer applied for a search warrant
to obtain Taylor's DNA in order to compare it to the DNA
on the handgun. The district court authorized a search
warrant. A police officer subsequently performed a buccal DNA
swab on Taylor, and a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)
forensic scientist compared the DNA samples. The DNA profile
on the gun excluded two-thirds of the population but did not
state presented the DNA evidence at trial. In addition, a
resident who lived in the neighborhood where the chase
occurred testified that he heard two men anxiously whispering
in the alley behind his house. Thinking that was suspicious,
the resident told the two men that he was "calling the
police." In response, both men, one of whom was wearing
a dark-colored sweatshirt, ran away. A second neighbor
testified that she saw A.B. fire at T.R. five times. And T.R.
testified about the incident and the dispute between S.L. and
state also presented expert testimony from Officer Natalie
Davis, who testified generally about gang culture, identified
some of BOB's members, discussed the BOB rap video,
stated that rap videos disrespecting other gangs are the type
of incident likely to provoke retaliation, and discussed the
dispute between S.L. and BOB. In addition, the state played
the video that showed D.B. rapping about shooting at S.L.; a
video showing Taylor and A.B. running past a credit union
during a police chase; and a squad-car video showing A.B.
asking Taylor whether he "stashed that b-tch good"
immediately after they were arrested. The state also admitted
into evidence photos of Taylor and BOB members.
found Taylor guilty of all counts. The district court
sentenced Taylor to 129 months for the
committing-a-crime-for-the-benefit-of-a-gang conviction and
to a concurrent 60 months for unlawful possession of a
firearm. This appeal follows.
I. Did the district court err by failing to suppress
Taylor's DNA that was acquired as a result of a search
warrant that mistakenly included the name of a person not
involved in the case?
II. Did the district court abuse its discretion by admitting
evidence of a prior drive-by ...