from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable John W. Grinsteiner, Judge.
M. Vaagen, Assistant Burleigh County State's Attorney,
Bismarck, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
R. Loraas, Bismarck-Mandan Public Defender Office, Bismarck,
ND, for defendant and appellant.
1] Shawn Teggatz appeals from a criminal judgment entered
after a jury found him guilty of reckless endangerment and
fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer. Because we
conclude the verdicts are supported by substantial evidence
and the district court did not abuse its discretion when it
did not permit Teggatz to testify about his mechanic's
out-of-court statements, we affirm the criminal judgment.
2] On April 13, 2016, Teggatz was arrested after spike strips
were deployed by police to stop Teggatz's vehicle
following a high speed chase. The State charged Teggatz with
reckless endangerment under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-17-03 and
fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer under N.D.C.C.
§ 39-10-71. The district court held a preliminary
hearing on May 23, 2016, at which Teggatz pleaded not guilty.
The case was heard before a jury on October 5, 2016.
3] At trial, an officer testified he was parked facing south
while running stationary radar when he observed Teggatz's
vehicle traveling northbound at 82 miles per hour. The
officer stated as the vehicle got closer to him, it slowed to
74 miles per hour. According to the officer, the highway
speed limit is 70 miles per hour in the area where Teggatz
was traveling. After the vehicle passed the officer, the
officer turned his patrol car around and attempted to catch
up to the vehicle. After catching up to Teggatz, the officer
activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop.
The officer testified he was five or six car lengths from
Teggatz at that point. The officer testified:
The vehicle slowed down to about 50 miles an hour from the 74
it was traveling at. And it went from the passing lane into
the right-hand lane and then swerved over the fog line nearly
into the ditch and then back into the travel lane and then
the passing lane and accelerated away at about 100 miles an
officer followed the vehicle after it sped off. The officer
testified, while he attempted to catch up to Teggatz's
vehicle, he was traveling "about 130 miles an hour and
[Teggatz's vehicle] was pulling away from me." At
trial, the officer estimated Teggatz's vehicle reached
speeds of about 140 miles per hour during his pursuit. The
officer called for assistance and continued to pursue the
speeding vehicle. The officer testified while in pursuit, he
observed the vehicle's lights turn off for about a half
mile before he turned them back on again.
4] Officers deployed spike strips that blew out the front
tires on Teggatz's vehicle. The officer in pursuit of the
vehicle observed sparks coming from the front rims of
Teggatz's vehicle. The officer testified he observed the
car continue to drive on its rims on Highway 83 from mile
marker 107 to about mile marker 111, where it came to a stop.
The officer yelled commands to the driver, but received no
response. Other officers arrived on scene. The officer
testified Teggatz said the door was locked and asked officers
to cut his battery cable. Officers broke the car door to get
Teggatz out of the vehicle. Teggatz told officers to take a
photo of the accelerator pedal, and the officer testified he
took a photo of it, but the photo was lost. The officer also
testified that, after being arrested, Teggatz stated he had
fled in the past and gotten away. Teggatz moved for judgment
of acquittal at the close of the State's case in chief,
and the district court denied the motion.
5] At trial, Teggatz argued a malfunction with his car had
caused his gas pedal to get stuck. Teggatz testified the car
he was driving on the night of his arrest had been at a
mechanic shop for almost a year, and he had picked it up two
days before the incident. The State objected when Teggatz was
asked what his mechanic said about the car and argued the
question called for hearsay. Teggatz argued what the mechanic
told him would fall under the present sense impression
exception to hearsay because the mechanic was describing the
condition of the car at the time it was observed. The
district court sustained the objection. Teggatz also offered,
and the district court admitted, the receipt from the
mechanic into evidence. Teggatz testified he had concerns
about the accelerator pedal in his car; he stated he had to
be careful when he drove it and that the pedal would
"fall to the left." Teggatz claimed when he went to
pass a vehicle, he "hammered on [his] accelerator"
and a piece of the pedal split, causing the accelerator to
stick and the car to accelerate uncontrollably. Teggatz
stated the car continued to accelerate, and he was not able
to stop it until after he had driven over the spike strips.
6] After Teggatz rested, the State called rebuttal witnesses.
Teggatz renewed his motion for judgment of acquittal at the
close of evidence, and the district court again denied the
motion. The jury found Teggatz guilty of ...