State v Wilder

Wilder appealed his aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping convictions and the denial of his motion for a new trial. The panel affirmed. It affirmed the denial of the new trial motion as Wilder presented no evidence supporting his allegation of juror bias. It affirmed the aggravated kidnaping conviction as the ordinary meaning of “detains or restrains” in the kidnapping statutes is to restrict the victim’s movement’s but does not mean complete confinement and Court of Appels precedent approved jury instructions with delay, limit or restrict as possible ways to detain or restrain and evidence that Wilder intentionally dragged victim by the hair causing her to move backwards down an apartment complex hallway coupled with the inference this was done to return victim to Wilder’s car was sufficient to support a kidnapping conviction and the pulling victim by the hair and punching her in the face was sufficient to prove aggravation. It finally held that there was no ineffective assistance of counsel here because Wilder initially committed sexual assault in the car by biting victim on her breast then, after victim escaped, stopped the escape and impeded her movement by grabbing her hair and pulling her down the stairway which, under Utah case law, was not incidental to the sexual assault and had independent significance and thus there was no merger and no deficient performance in failing to move for a merger of charges.

Ellsworth et al. v Huffstatler et al.

Ellsworth appealed the district court’ judgment rejecting his will challenge arguing the district court erred in ruling certain coins passed from his father to Huffstatler’s mother under the father’s will and that Huffstatler’s daughter did not exercise undue influence. The panel affirmed. It held that the coins passed to mother under father’s will because the will left personal property to mother, did not define personal property, but, interpreting the provision to give all the property not otherwise disposed to mother is the more reasonable as it avoids intestacy and the lack of definition is more likely a scrivener’s error than an intentional disinheritance of mother. It affirmed on undue influence as mother independently went to her lawyer to change her estate plan and told her lawyer that she wanted to disinherit Ellsworth and his siblings because he wanted her to resign as trustee of the trust set up by father and mother.