State v Walker

Walker appealed his aggravated assault conviction arguing a jury instruction violated his right to a fair trial. The panel agreed, reversed and remanded for a new trial. It held that neither the legislature nor the judiciary can remove a fact determination form the jury, the instruction here that strangulation resulting in unconsciousness constitutes serious bodily injury unlawfully took the issue of serious bodily injury from the jury, the Utah Supreme Court cases relied upon by the government involved sufficiency challenges and do not require the instruction given here and the error was not harmless as the prosecution used the instruction in closing argument and the evidence could have supported a factual finding of no serious bodily injury and the jury sent out a question indicating it was following the erroneous instruction.

Sate v Steed

Steed appealed the district court ruling denying their motion to refund tax penalties and interest, incarceration costs and probation costs after their convictions were reversed. The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. It first held there was jurisdiction over the case as refund issues were not ripe during the first appeal and the refund issues were properly before the district court after the reversal and entry of a judgment of acquittal. It reversed on the tax penalties and interest as those were ordered as criminal restitution and the acquittal eliminated jurisdiction to impose them and the tax commission did not seek the penalties and interest in an independent action. It affirmed on incarceration costs as steed entered a contract with the jail they served time in and did not challenge the district court ruling that the contract precluded refund. It finally affirmed on probation costs as Utah precedent holds probation costs are rehabilitative not punitive and thus refund is not authorized.

State v Isaacson

Isaacson appealed his conviction for unlawful concealed carry of a loaded firearm. The panel, with one member concurring, affirmed. The majority held that the district court decision refusing to allow two witnesses to testify about Isaacason’s truthfulness was not error as the government did not in fact challenge his truthfulness on cross examination. The concurrence argued the truthfulness evidence was irrelevant at it concerns an issue which wouldn’t have provided a defense and in fact would have proved his guilt.

State v Nay and Hanson

Nay and Hanson appealed their drug convictions arguing the district court erred in trying them jointly. The panel affirmed. It held nay failed to preserve his arguments that Hanson’s confession would have been excluded at a separate trial based on faulty memory and admitting it would violate his confrontation rights as he did not raise them at the district court level.

Mingolello v Megaplex Theaters

Mingolello appealed summary judgment to theaters on his slip and fall claim. The panel affirmed. It held that Mingolello failed to present any evidence as to how the flashlight that he tripped on ended up on the stairway or how long it had been there and thus there was no basis for a finding of breach of duty by theaters.

In the Interests of J.S. (J.S. v State)

 

J.S. appealed the juvenile court’s detention order. The panel dismissed as moot as the juvenile court terminated its jurisdiction over J.S., he did not identify any actual collateral legal consequences the order will have and because the record in the case is incomplete, the panel declined to review it under the public interest exception.