State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Danny Dale Hazeman, Appellant.
This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Danny Dale Hazeman,
Filed May 28, 2002
Clay County District Court
File No. T1-01-1833
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Lisa N. Borgen, Clay County Attorney, Pamela L. Harris, Assistant Clay County Attorney, 807 North 11th Street, P.O. Box 280, Moorhead, MN 56561-0280 (for respondent)
Peter E. Karlsson, Assistant Public Defender, 200 South Fifth Street, Moorhead, MN 56560 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
G. BARRY ANDERSON, Judge.
Appellant Danny Dale Hazeman challenges his conviction for violation of an order for protection pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(b) (2000), arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Because sufficient evidence supports the jury verdict, we affirm.FACTS
On August 30, 2000, the district court entered an order for protection based on a petition filed by Colleen Griffin-Hazeman (petitioner). The district court found that appellant had committed acts of domestic abuse creating a pattern of intimidation. The order also dealt with visitation of the parties' minor son, stating that the parties were to use Rainbow Bridge, a visitation-exchange center, as the drop-off and pick-up location for appellant's visitation sessions.
To avoid contact between the parties, Rainbow Bridge directed appellant to use the south side entrance to drop off his son. Petitioner was directed to use the north side entrance. Appellant was to wait in a room while petitioner picked up their son from Rainbow Bridge workers, and then he was to wait a period of time for petitioner and son to leave Rainbow Bridge, so that contact would be avoided by the parties.
On Sunday, March 4, 2001, appellant dropped off his son at Rainbow Bridge. Petitioner drove to Rainbow Bridge with a friend. She entered the building to pick up her son, and soon thereafter, petitioner's friend came into Rainbow Bridge and told petitioner that he was having problems with the car. Petitioner retrieved her son from the Rainbow Bridge workers, and called another friend to assist with the car. Petitioner, her son, and her friend went to wait by the car for assistance. During that time, petitioner saw appellant's car. Petitioner testified that she became very frightened and called 911. While waiting for the police to arrive, petitioner testified that she witnessed appellant drive near her location more than once.
A witness and friend of petitioner, assisting in jump-starting the car, testified that she saw appellant drive near the vehicle. She also testified that at one point appellant was driving without his headlights on, even though lights were required, and that appellant stopped for a period of two to three minutes near their location.
Officer Jeffery Carlson was dispatched to the scene after petitioner's 911 call. When he arrived at the scene, appellant was not present. The officer located appellant's vehicle in the area of Rainbow Bridge, parked with its lights off. The officer then followed appellant in his squad car, eventually stopping him. When the officer asked appellant what he was doing, appellant claimed that he was going to see a friend.
A jury convicted appellant of violating the order for protection and this appeal followed.D E C I S I O N
In considering a claim of insufficient evidence, our review is limited to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, is sufficient to support the verdict returned by the jury. State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). We will not disturb the verdict if the jury, acting with due regard for the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, could reasonably conclude the defendant was guilty of the charged offense. State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988).
Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(b) (2000) provides:
[W]henever an order for protection is granted by a judge or referee * * *, and the respondent or person to be restrained knows of the order, violation of the order for protection is a misdemeanor.
Here, the order for protection stated,
[Appellant] shall have no contact, either direct or indirect, with Petitioner * * * whether in person, with or through other persons, by telephone, letter, or in any other way * * * .
Furthermore, the order of protection also prohibited appellant from causing petitioner fear of harm.
Appellant implicitly argues that the testimony presented was implausible because it was physically impossible for appellant to drive around a four-block perimeter in the time alleged by the state. But the state presented testimony from petitioner that appellant performed such actions as well as evidence from another witness who also saw appellant driving near petitioner's location. These matters concern witness credibility, and we give great deference to a jury's decisions on these issues. See State v. Johnson, 568 N.W.2d 426, 435-36 (Minn. 1997) (holding that, in matters involving witness credibility, jury is sole judge of witnesses' credibility and of the weight to give witnesses' testimony). Furthermore, a conviction may "rest upon the testimony of a single credible witness." Id. at 435. Because we must assume the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the contrary, State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989), we conclude appellant's argument is without merit.
There was testimony presented at trial that appellant, with knowledge of the order for protection, drove near petitioner more than once, parked near her location with his lights off, drove away when approached by the police, and when asked about what he was doing in the area, gave an implausible explanation. There seems little doubt that appellant's actions could reasonably be construed to constitute either indirect contact with petitioner or actions causing fear of harm in petitioner. There is sufficient evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict, to support appellant's conviction.