Threats of violence

Multiple behavioral incidences

In phone calls from jail, defendant assured his former girlfriend, “When I get out, I’m gonna break your f-ckin face,” among similar violent promises.  At defendant’s trial for three counts of terroristic threats, the State introduced evidence that defendant had previously assaulted the former girlfriend.  The jury found defendant guilty on all three counts, and the trial court sentenced him for each offense separately.  Defendant argued on appeal that admitting the evidence of his prior conduct unfairly prejudiced his defense and that he should not have received multiple sentences because his jailhouse threats constituted a single course of conduct.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court acted within its discretion by concluding that any danger of unfair prejudice from defendant’s earlier domestic conduct did not substantially outweigh the probative value of the evidence, and defendant’s threats constituted multiple behavioral incidents.  Affirmed.

State v. Cook, A18-0110, Hennepin County.

Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

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