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Levengood v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

November 4, 2014

KENNETH RAY LEVENGOOD, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff)

Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County. The Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Donald A. Cole, Cole & Cole, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jenny L. Craig, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Caitlin F. Young, Assistant Attorney General.

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

OPINION

Page 1202

FOX, Justice

[¶1] Kenneth Levengood was convicted of aggravated assault and battery under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-502(a)(iii) for threatening to use a drawn deadly weapon on his ex-girlfriend. On appeal, Mr. Levengood contends there was insufficient evidence that he threatened to use the weapon. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Was the evidence presented at trial sufficient to prove Mr. Levengood threatened to use the knife he was carrying?

FACTS

[¶3] On the morning of January 9, 2013, as twelve-year-old A.L. got ready for school, her father, Mr. Levengood, opened her bedroom door with an eighteen-inch kitchen knife in his hand and told her to go back to sleep. Realizing he was drunk and " acting strange," A.L. followed her father into the hallway and told him to go to the kitchen and stay there. Mr. Levengood did not respond, but clenched his jaw, and with knife still in hand walked to the kitchen.

[¶4] A.L. " had never seen him act like that before," and, scared that he would hurt her, his ex-girlfriend, or himself, she entered the bedroom Mr. Levengood shared with his ex-girlfriend, Aundrea Thompson,[1] to tell her what was going on. Ms. Thompson told A.L. to lock the bedroom door and then she tried calling two members of Mr. Levengood's family. Mr. Levengood rattled the doorknob while asking to be let in, to which Ms. Thompson responded, " No." Mr. Levengood forced the bedroom door open and entered, holding the knife down at his side. Ms. Thompson told him to leave, and he complied. A.L. locked the bedroom door once again.

[¶5] Unable to reach Mr. Levengood's relatives, Ms. Thompson called 911. A.L. testified that while Ms. Thompson was talking to the 911 dispatcher, " [D]ad came again to the door, and it sounded like he was kind of like knocking, kind of like pounding on it."

Page 1203

[¶6] Officer Michael Sutton, a crime scene technician with the Cheyenne Police Department who arrived shortly thereafter, estimated the bedroom door contained eight to eleven independent marks " consistent with knife marks that I've seen on other cases." Towards the top of the door, and down to the center, " was a very long and sort of pyramid-shaped . . . or triangular-shaped slash mark which appeared to be done with some sharp object." At several other locations, Officer Sutton reported " smaller holes that looked like something was poked into the door, very skinny, which I would attribute to what I've seen with knife wounds[.]" In one location there was an entry hole followed by a four-to-five inch slash that appeared to have been created by a knife pushed into the door and then forced down through the door using " significant force." Officer Sutton also observed an " unusual" large dent and pry marks on the top of the doorknob, as well as " jab" marks in the door jamb, appearing as though " something had been stuck into the door, and then it appeared as someone pried down on the doorknob, like someone was trying to damage the doorknob." At trial, commenting on the marks, Officer Sutton testified:

You know, typically when I see marks like this in a door, this is from a very violent situation. It's not the first time I've seen marks like this. I've seen marks like this in walls. I've seen marks like this in doors. I've seen marks like this in people. And ...

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