Case Blog: State v. Hayes

Case Blog: State v. Hayes

A perfect example of why it is very important to know your elements and how they apply in your case.

A11-1314        State of Minnesota, Respondent, vs. Christopher James Hayes, Appellant.
Hennepin County.
1.   To commit the criminal offense of drive-by shooting, a person must, while in or having just exited a motor vehicle, recklessly discharge a firearm at or toward another motor vehicle or a building.  Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1e(a) (2012).
2.   An individual who discharges a firearm at or toward an occupied building, an occupied motor vehicle, or a person is eligible for an enhanced sentence, Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1e(b) (2012), but only if the individual has committed the criminal offense of drive-by shooting, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1e(a).
3.   The record contains insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict that the appellant was guilty of the offense of first-degree felony murder while committing a drive-by shooting because there is no evidence in the record that the appellant recklessly fired at or toward another motor vehicle or a building while committing the homicide.
4.   The district court did not commit plain error by admitting testimony that a witness was threatened and attacked for being a “snitch.”
Reversed and remanded.  Justice David R. Stras.
Took no part, Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright.

By: Landon J. Ascheman, Esq.
(B) 612.217.0077 (C) 651.280.9533 (F) 651.344.0700

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