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Grimes v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 11, 2013

MORRIS EUGENE GRIMES, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff)

Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John R. Perry, Judge

Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender, PDP; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Morgan.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Theodore R. Racines, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson, Faculty Director, PAP; Emily N. Thomas, Student Director, PAP. Argument by Ms. Thomas.

Before KITE, C.J., HILL, VOIGT, BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.

KITE, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Morris Eugene Grimes was convicted after a jury trial of felony interference with a peace officer. On appeal, he claims the evidence that the officer was injured by his actions was insufficient to support the conviction. We conclude the evidence, viewed in accordance with our standard of review, supports the jury's decision. Consequently, we affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Mr. Grimes presents the following issue on appeal.

I. Whether there was sufficient evidence to support, beyond a reasonable doubt, a conviction for interference with a police officer in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-204(b)?

The State presents essentially the same issue.

FACTS

[¶3] On February 26, 2012, Mr. Grimes and his mother were guests at the Smart Choice Inn in Gillette, Wyoming. The motel also acted as a bus stop and tickets could be purchased from the motel staff. Gillette police officers Owen Kimberling and Chad Trebby responded to a call from motel staff about a disturbance involving Mr. Grimes. He was arguing with his mother and a motel staff member over bus transportation.

[¶4] The officers persuaded Mr. Grimes to go to his room, but he returned to the lobby a short time later and began shouting profanity. When he ignored the officers' commands to quiet down, they arrested him for breach of the peace and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Mr. Grimes kicked the front doors of the motel as the officers were escorting him to Officer Trebby's patrol vehicle, so they made him walk backward the rest of the way.

[ΒΆ5] Mr. Grimes refused to put his legs inside the vehicle and ignored the officers' warning that he would be "tased" if he did not comply. Officer Kimberling energized his taser on Mr. Grimes' leg, and he put his legs into the vehicle. The officers closed the door and continued to talk outside. Mr. Grimes manipulated his handcuffed hands by moving them from behind his back to his front, broke the overhead light and began ...


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