CASE LAW UPDATE: Whether the evidence was sufficient for defendant’s threats of violence conviction?
Defendant was convicted of threats of violence against his daughter, and, his son. Defendant was also convicted of child endangerment against his daughter, and, his son. Defendant was sentenced on both the threats of violence convictions and child endangerment convictions. Defendant appealed his convictions and sentences. On appeal, defendant argued that (1) his convictions for threats of violence must be reversed on the grounds of insufficient evidence; and (2) that his convictions for threats of violence and child endangerment as to his two children arose out of single behavioral incident, and that therefore, the child endangerment sentences must be vacated under Minnesota Statute §609.035.
Section 609.035 of the Minnesota Statutes is known as the double jeopardy statute. Generally, it prevents a defendant from being punished twice for the same crime.
Historically, the crime of “threats of violence,” was called “terroristic threats.” More recently, there has been an affirmative effort to re-name this crime “threats of violence,” so that people charged or convicted of this crime will not be confused with having engaged in terrorism related criminal activity. Generally speaking, threats of violence can be a threat to commit a crime of violence, or, a threat made in disregard of this risk of causing a person terror.
Noting that defendant threatened to shoot the gas meter and mentioned a bomb, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient for threats of violence against his daughter, but given the lack of evidence as to what his four hear old son heard, said conviction must be vacated. Further, the threats of violence and child endangerment offenses arose out of single behavioral incident whereby the latter conviction against his daughter must be vacated.
State v. Bolster, A21-0373, Dakota County.
Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.