State v Trujillo

Trujillo appealed his witness retaliation conviction. The panel affirmed. It held that Trujillo’s statements that “do you expect me to go to … jail and nothing happens?” and that his “boys would be paying [neighbors] a visit” were threats given Trujillo’s role as gang leader and the conditional nature of the statements premised on being arrested. It held the threat was made against a witness, victim or informant for purposes of Utah Code 76-8-508.3(2) as the statute only requires a threat against a covered person not to that person and there is no requirement for the target to actually receive the message or for the accused to intend it reach the target and this element was satisfied here as Trujillo had been ordered by police to leave the neighbors alone just before he made the threats. It finally affirmed the admission of gang evidence as it was relevant to whether or not Trujillo’s statements were threats and was not unfairly prejudicial as the evidence was mostly about gangs generally, there was a limiting instruction and the prosecution limited its use of the evidence to permitted purposes.

Sauer v Sauer

Husband appealed various provisions of the parties’ divorce decree. The panel affirmed holding husband’s claims about valuation of lost property were irrelevant as he failed to prove wife lost the property; that the district court properly imputed income and expenses to wife in calculating alimony as wife’s underestimation of expenses and income weren’t credible and the values imputed were supported by the record; and husband’s claims that the district court made unsupported conclusions was itself unsupported by any citation to the record.

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

J.S. appealed the termination of his parental rights. The panel affirmed holding any error in terminating reunification services early in the case was invited by J.S. who stipulated to the termination and the juvenile court permissibly concluded that J.S. had prioritized work over the services and made no effort to continue them after a four-month period which ended with the stipulation.

Harmon v Board of Pardons and Parole

Harmon appealed the dismissal of his petition for extraordinary relief. The panel affirmed holding Harmon’s arguments about the rationale sheet were foreclosed on procedural arguments by Utah Supreme court precedent and unreviewable to the extent it attacked the substance of Board’s decision and all other arguments were inadequately briefed as Harmon’s brief lacked any legal reasoning or analysis as to those arguments.