Court finds Jury had Enough Evidence to Convict Defendant


Case: People v. Devowe

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )

Issues:

Sufficiency of the evidence to prove defendant removed the electronic monitoring device; MCL 771.3f; People v. Wolfe; People v. Unger; People v. Kanaan; Circumstantial evidence;People v. Henderson; People v. Nowack; Right to confrontation; U.S. Const. amend. VI; Const. 1963, art. 1, § 20; People v. Yost; Crawford v. Washington; People v. Fackelman; People v. Nunley; Ineffective assistance of counsel; Failure to object to the admission of evidence of a report concluding that the tether unit was functioning properly; People v. Pickens; People v. Grant; People v. Rockey; Strickland v. Washington; People v. Elston

Summary:

Holding that there was sufficient evidence to prove the defendant removed the electronic monitoring device, he was not denied his right to confrontation, and he was not denied the effective assistance of counsel, the court affirmed his conviction of tampering with an electronic monitoring device. The case involved his removing a tether he was legally required to wear because he was on parole. A rational jury could conclude that he slid the electronic monitoring device off of his ankle and left it in his house while he went to Grand Rapids and that he slid it back onto his ankle on the morning. Also, a rational trier of fact could reasonably infer that he knowingly removed his tether, and there was no evidence that he had authority to remove it. The jury could reasonably conclude from the evidence that the tether did not somehow come off accidentally, that defendant knowingly used some type of jellylike substance as a lubricant and slid it off his ankle so that he would not be tracked to his meeting with another parolee, and that defendant subsequently slid it back on so that it would appear that he had never left his residence. Defendant essentially argued that the evidence was insufficient because the prosecution did not produce direct evidence that defendant removed his tether, the prosecution did not produce evidence that the monitoring device was not malfunctioning, and the prosecution’s theory that defendant removed it and left it in his residence while he went to Grand Rapids and then reattached his tether was purely circumstantial. However, “[c]ircumstantial evidence and the reasonable inferences that arise from that evidence can constitute satisfactory proof of the elements of the crime.”

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