PEOPLE OF MI V RYAN CHRISTOPHER KELLYAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
November 13, 1998
Kalamazoo Circuit Court
LC No. 96-000498 FH
RYAN CHRISTOPHER KELLY,
Before: Whitbeck, P.J., and Cavanagh and Neff, JJ.
Defendant appeals by leave granted his jury trial conviction of retail fraud, first degree, MCL
750.356c; MSA 28.588(3). The trial court sentenced defendant to two years’ probation. We affirm.
Defendant first argues that the trial court erred in refusing to reinstruct the jury on mere presence
after they asked for additional instructions on aiding and abetting. We review jury instructions in their
entirety to determine if there is error requiring reversal. Even if jury instructions are imperfect, there is
no error if they fairly presented the issues to be tried and sufficiently protected a defendant's rights.
People v Whitney, 228 Mich App 230, 252; 578 NW2d 329 (1998).
Defendant argues that reinstruction on aiding and abetting was misleading without an additional
instruction that mere presence does not constitute participation. However, it was not necessary for the
court to elaborate or give instructions in addition to those requested. See People v Panko, 34 Mich
App 297, 300-301; 191 NW2d 75 (1971). The instructions, considered in their entirety, fairly
presented the issues to be tried and sufficiently protected defendant’s rights. See Whitney, supra.
Next, defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. When
ascertaining whether sufficient evidence was presented at trial to support a conviction, this Court must
view the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution and determine whether a rational trier of
fact could find that the essential elements of the crime were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. People
v Wolfe, 440 Mich 508, 515; 489 NW2d 748 (1992). Circumstantial evidence and reasonable
inferences arising therefrom may be sufficient to prove the elements of a crime. People v McKenzie,
206 Mich App 425, 428; 522 NW2d 661 (1994).
After reviewing the record, we find no error requiring reversal. Defendant himself testified that
he and Jackson were friends. The prosecution provided evidence that defendant and Jackson stayed
close together as they moved through the aisles. Defendant and Jackson were both bent down over the
cart while the latter switched the tags on a $200 sump pump and a $7.99 length of piping. Afterward,
defendant continued to push the cart through the store. When the pair reached the checkout, defendant
handed one of the substituted price tags to the cashier. Several Meijer employees testified that while in
the store defendant was looking around nervously. Finally, when apprehended, defendant gave a false
name and birth date. This evidence was sufficient for a rational trier of fact to conclude that defendant
aided and abetted Credell Jackson in switching price tags. See MCL 767.39; MSA 28.979.
/s/ William C. Whitbeck
/s/ Mark J. Cavanagh
/s/ Janet T. Neff