Laundry Cart Ruled Dangerous Weapon


Basket on Wheels

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently found that "commonplace, seemingly innocuous items can be dangerous weapons when used 'against another in furtherance of an assault' and employed in a manner 'capable of inflicting serious injury.'"

The court held that there was sufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction of felonious assault. She was convicted for starting a fight with and injuring the victim, a woman she suspected was having an affair with her husband. After the women tussled and the police were called, defendant continued to throw objects, including a scale and a laundry cart, at the victim, who suffered bruises from blocking the objects. Defendant was also convicted of malicious destruction of property valued between $200 and $1,000. On appeal, the court rejected her argument that the prosecution presented insufficient evidence that objects she employed during the assault were transformed into "dangerous weapons," rendering her felonious assault conviction insupportable. It found that although "a laundry cart and scale are not generally used as weapons," this did not preclude defendant's conviction of felonious assault, noting that "commonplace, seemingly innocuous items can be dangerous weapons when used 'against another in furtherance of an assault' and employed in a manner 'capable of inflicting serious injury.'" Defendant "launched a heavy metal scale and a large metal cart at the victim. Such items flung through the air with the purpose of striking another are 'capable of inflicting serious injury.' Defendant's attempt to recharacterize as benign her use of these objects is futile." So were her "efforts to rewriteGoolsby as requiring the use of the object in a way likely to cause serious injury. The [trial] court heard the victim's testimony and reviewed security footage of the assault. From this evidence, [it] could conclude that defendant assaulted the victim with two dangerous weapons with the intent to injure the victim." Affirmed.

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