IN THE MATTER OF EDMAR MOUNTAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of EDMAR MOUNT, Minor
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
November 24, 1998
Wayne Juvenile Court
LC No. 96-340967
Before: Smolenski, P.J., and McDonald and Doctoroff, JJ.
Following a bench trial before a juvenile division referee, defendant was adjudicated guilty of
possession of a device designed to explode upon impact with intent to use unlawfully, MCL 750.211a;
MSA 28.408(1), burning of real property, MCL 750.73; MSA 28.268, and malicious destruction of
real property over $100, MCL 750.380; MSA 28.612. The charges arose from the burning of a
garage. Defendant was placed on probation and was ordered to pay $550 as restitution. He appeals
as of right. We affirm.
Defendant argues that the trial court erred in disregarding his alibi defense. Specifically,
defendant argues that, since the court made no specific finding of fact that the alibi testimony was not
credible, but rather simply stated that “[w]hether or not [defendant] remained in the house and [sic] left
is unclear, anything’s possible,” the alibi defense raised a reasonable doubt as to his presence at the
crime scene. We disagree.
When reviewing a trial court’s finding of fact, we must give deference to the trial court’s ability
to view the evidence and the demeanor of the witnesses. MCR 2.613(C); People v Johnson, 202
Mich App 281, 288; 508 NW2d 509 (1993). A trial court’s finding of fact will not be disturbed on
appeal unless it was clearly erroneous. MCR 2.613(C); Johnson, supra, 202 Mich App 288. A
court’s finding of fact is clearly erroneous if the reviewing court is left with a definite and firm conviction
that a mistake has been made. People v Everard, 225 Mich App 455, 458; 571 NW2d 536 (1997).
It is strictly within the province of the trier of fact to resolve all issues of credibility, including the
credibility of any witness whose testimony tends to establish an alibi. People v Diaz, 98 Mich App
675, 682; 296 NW2d 337 (1980); People v Smalls, 61 Mich App 53, 57; 232 NW2d 298 (1975).
Here, the trial court found that the alibi testimony given by defendant's cousin, uncle, and mother, was
not persuasive. The prosecution presented uncontroverted evidence that the fire was started at
approximately 11:00 p.m. However, the only fact that the alibi testimony tended to establish was that
defendant was dropped off at home, one block away from the crime scene, sometime between 9:00
p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Although defendant's mother testified that she would have heard her dogs barking
if defendant had left the house that night, the trial court was not required to accept her testimony. Under
these circumstances, we cannot conclude that the trial court clearly erred in finding that the alibi
testimony was not persuasive.
Furthermore, we find that Fields’ testimony was sufficient to establish defendant's presence at
the scene of the crime, and that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that her testimony was
/s/ Michael R. Smolenski
/s/ Gary R. McDonald
/s/ Martin M. Doctoroff