Salt Lake City, v. Deslis

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Salt Lake City v. Deslis. Filed march 4, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


Salt Lake City,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Dimitrios Deslis,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981269-CA

March 4, 1999


Third District, Salt Lake Department
The Honorable Leon A. Dever

Ronald J. Yengich and Vanessa Ramos-Smith, Salt Lake City, for Appellant
Augustus G. Chin, Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Greenwood, Bench, and Orme.
BENCH, Judge:

"To successfully challenge the sufficiency of the evidence, [defendant] 'must demonstrate that the clear weight of [the] evidence contradicts the trial court's verdict.'" State v. McBride, 940 P.2d 539, 541 (Utah Ct. App.) (quoting State v. Gurr, 904 P.2d 238, 242 (Utah Ct. App. 1995)) cert. denied, 953 P.2d 449 (Utah 1997). Although the trial court determined that defendant obstructed justice, it did not specify which subsection of the ordinance defendant violated. See Salt Lake City, Utah, Code § 11.04.060 (1987). After reviewing the record, we conclude that the obstruction of justice ordinance does not proscribe defendant's conduct.

Salt Lake City argues that defendant violated the ordinance by harboring or concealing the driver. See id. § 11.04.060(B). We disagree. Harboring or concealing involves hiding or giving refuge to an offender, not merely refusing to reveal a person's identity. The clear weight of the evidence showed that defendant simply chose not to disclose the name of the driver.

Furthermore, the officers impounded the vehicle before going to defendant's apartment. Thus, they had another avenue available to identify the driver. See State v. Ludlow, 28 Utah 2d 434, 435-36, 503 P.2d 1210, 1211 (1972) (holding trial court did not err in quashing information, which charged defendant for obstructing officer in performing his duty, when officer had another avenue available for serving process papers). We therefore conclude that the trial court had insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice.


Russell W. Bench, Judge



Pamela T. Greenwood,
Associate Presiding Judge

Gregory K. Orme, Judge