PEOPLE OF MI V CHARLES NELSONAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
July 28, 1998
Saginaw Circuit Court
LC No. 96-012028-FC
Before: Bandstra, P.J., and Griffin and Young, Jr., JJ.
Defendant appeals as of right from his conviction by jury of carrying a dangerous weapon with
unlawful intent, MCL 750.226; MSA 28.423. The trial court sentenced him to three to five years’
imprisonment. We affirm.
Defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. In assessing
whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain a verdict, we view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecutor and determine whether a rational jury could have found the defendant guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt. People v Wolfe, 440 Mich 508, 515; 489 NW2d 748 (1992), amended
441 Mich 1201 (1992). The elements of the crime of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent
are (1) carrying a dangerous weapon, and (2) with the intent to unlawfully use the weapon against
another person. People v Harrington, 194 Mich App 424, 428; 487 NW2d 479 (1992); MCL
750.226; MSA 28.423.
Here, these elements were shown by the following evidence: (1) defendant admitted to carrying
a steak knife and a curved knife; and (2) the victim testified that defendant threatened to stab her with
one of the knives. Although defendant denies that he made this threat, we will not disrupt the jury’s
resolution of credibility disputes. People v DeLisle, 202 Mich App 658, 660; 509 NW2d 885 (1993).
The evidence was sufficient for the jury to find defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of carrying a
dangerous weapon with unlawful intent. Moreover, it is of no legal consequence that the jury acquitted
defendant of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, MCL 750.520b; MSA 28.788(2),
that allegedly arose from the same transaction. See People v Lewis, 415 Mich 443; 330 NW2d 16
(1982); People v Vaughn, 409 Mich 463, 466; 295 NW2d 354 (1980).
Defendant argues that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel
failed to move for a new trial on the ground that the verdict was against the great weight of the evidence.
We disagree. To prove ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant must show that his attorney’s
performance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and that the representation so
prejudiced the defendant as to deprive him of a fair trial. Strickland v Washington, 466 US 668, 687
688, 690; 104 S Ct 2052; 80 L Ed 2d 674 (1984); People v Pickens, 446 Mich 298, 302-303; 521
NW2d 797 (1994). A defendant is required to show that, but for counsel’s error, the result of the
proceeding would have been different and that the result of the proceeding was fundamentally unfair or
unreliable. People v Messenger, 221 Mich App 171, 181; 561 NW2d 463 (1997). Here, because
the jury’s verdict was not against the great weight of the evidence, defendant cannot establish that he
was prejudiced by counsel’s failure to seek a new trial on that basis.
Defendant argues that his sentence was disproportionate. We review the trial court’s sentencing
decision for an abuse of discretion. People v Milbourn, 435 Mich 630, 636; 461 NW2d 1 (1990).
Because defendant’s three-year minimum sentence is within the guidelines, it is presumed to be
proportionate. People v Daniel, 207 Mich App 47, 54; 523 NW2d 830 (1994). Moreover,
defendant has failed to cite any unusual circumstances that would overcome that presumption. Id.
Finally, we note that defendant has six prior felony convictions and one prior misdemeanor conviction.
Defendant was paroled twice and each time violated the terms of his parole. The trial court did not
abuse its discretion in sentencing defendant.
Finally, defendant argues that the trial court failed to adequately articulate its reasons for
sentencing, as required by People v Triplett, 432 Mich 568, 570; 442 NW2d 622 (1989). However,
the court stated that defendant’s sentence was being imposed “pursuant to the sentencing guidelines.”
Thus, the articulation requirement was satisfied. People v Lawson, 195 Mich App 76, 77; 489 NW2d
/s/ Richard A. Bandstra
/s/ Richard Allen Griffin
/s/ Robert P. Young, Jr.