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State v. Hannah

Supreme Court of North Dakota

January 14, 2016

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Jeremy David Hannah, Defendant and Appellant

Editorial Note:

The opinion cannot be considered final until disposition of such petition for rehearing by the court or expiration of 14 days from filing date.

Appeal from the District Court of McKenzie County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Paul W. Jacobson, Judge.

Charles B. Neff, McKenzie County Assistant State's Attorney, Watford City, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.

Ashley M. Gulke, Minot, ND, for defendant and appellant.

Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom.

OPINION

Page 669

Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Jeremy Hannah appealed from a criminal judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of simple assault-domestic violence. We affirm.

I

[¶2] On October 8, 2014, Watford City Police responded to a call reporting an assault occurring in a vehicle parked along a downtown street. The reporting witness alleged to have seen an individual in the vehicle's driver's seat repeatedly hitting another individual in the passenger's seat. After responding to the call, the officers identified Hannah as the individual in the vehicle's driver's seat. The officers arrested Hannah and the State charged him with simple assault-domestic violence under N.D.C.C. § § 12.1-17-01(1)(a), (2)(b).

[¶3] At trial, the reporting witness testified that upon leaving her office she witnessed what she perceived to be a scuffle occurring in a vehicle. Unsure about what she was seeing, the witness moved to a better vantage point. The witness testified she saw a male, later identified as Hannah, hitting the alleged female victim repeatedly in the upper-body in what the witness described as a pummeling motion. The witness further testified the female raised her arms for protection. The witness testified she saw the female exit the vehicle with a red face, although the witness did not know why the female's face was red. If put in these same circumstances, the witness testified she would have felt pain.

[¶4] The State also called the officers as witnesses. One officer testified to witnessing a fresh laceration on Hannah's hand. A second officer testified he did not observe any physical injuries to the female, although she appeared upset after the incident. He also testified he previously investigated situations of domestic assaults involving no visible physical injury and these situations are not uncommon because any injury may be delayed in appearing depending on the type of injury. A third officer also testified it is not unusual to investigate domestic assaults involving no readily apparent injury.

[¶5] Hannah and the alleged victim testified. Both testified they were in a dating relationship at the time the alleged assault occurred. The alleged victim testified ...


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