State of Utah v. West

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State v. West. Filed April 1, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


State of Utah,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Todd Shontel West,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981258-CA

April 1, 1999
  1999 UT App 105 -----

Fifth District, Cedar City Department
The Honorable J. Philip Eves

Daniel T.A. Cotts, Cedar City, for Appellant
Jan Graham and J. Frederic Voros, Jr., Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Wilkins, Davis, and Orme.


Appellant Todd West argues that he was not given a proper Miranda warning and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. We disagree.

West was given the following Miranda warning:
  [Officer] Stapley: 





West:  Todd, let me explain your rights to you. You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to have an attorney and have him present with you while you are being questioned. If you cannot afford to hire one, one will be appointed to represent you before any question begins if you wish. Do you understand those rights?


As we go through here and talk, if you want an attorney, just let me know. Okay?


Now, with those rights in mind, do you want to answer a few questions that I have, and discuss our problem?


The trial court agreed that a few of Detective Stapley's words were slurred, but concluded that the warning was sufficient to meet the requirements of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 471 (1966). We have no reason to conclude otherwise. The audiotape of the detective's interview with West was transcribed twice in the record, once as an attachment to West's motion to suppress and a second time in the trial transcript. In neither transcription is there any indication that the detective's words were unintelligible. On the contrary, they were sufficiently clear that the reporters could accurately transcribe them from an audio recording. From all that appears in the record before us, the warning is sufficient under Miranda.

Similarly, we disagree with West's argument that there was insufficient evidence to convict him. We do not "reweigh the evidence or investigate witness credibility." Butterfield v. Cook, 817 P.2d 333, 337 (Utah Ct. App. 1991). Instead, we review "the evidence in the light most favorable to upholding the [jury's] verdict" and will "upset a jury verdict 'only upon a showing that the evidence so clearly preponderates in favor of the appellant that reasonable people would not differ on the outcome of the case.'" State v. Peters, 796 P.2d 708, 710 (Utah Ct. App. 1990); Billings v. Union Bankers Insurance Co., 918 P.2d 461, 467 (Utah 1996)(citation omitted). In the subject case, we cannot say that the evidence so clearly preponderates in West's favor such that reasonable minds would differ on the outcome of the case. West was present at the time of the child's injuries; there was testimony that he treated the baby roughly; he conceded to police that he sometimes pushed Marquel down into her crib, pulled her legs out from under her, and may have caused the injuries she suffered; the weight of the medical evidence suggested that the spiral fracture to Marquel's left leg was non-accidental as was the buckle fracture above her right ankle.

We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the verdict.

Accordingly, the trial court is affirmed.

Michael J. Wilkins,
Presiding Judge

James Z. Davis, Judge

Gregory K. Orme, Judge