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EN BANC CALENDAR

Before the Minnesota Supreme Court

February 2020

SUMMARY OF ISSUES

Summaries prepared by the Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office

Monday, February 3, 2020

Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol Building, Second Floor

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Paul Robert Hansmeier, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0387795 – Case No. A19-0173: An attorney discipline case that presents the question of what discipline, if any, is appropriate based on the facts of the matter.

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Richard C. Mollin, Jr., a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0074342 – Case No. A19-0268: An attorney discipline case that presents the question of what discipline, if any, is appropriate based on the facts of the matter.

 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol Building, Second Floor

 

State of Minnesota, Appellant vs. Tyler James Dexter, Respondent – Case No. A18-0761: The police obtained a warrant to search the residence of respondent Tyler Dexter, alleging that a confidential reliable informant (CRI) personally observed marijuana and firearms in the residence. Based on the evidence discovered during the execution of the warrant, appellant State of Minnesota charged Dexter with several offenses, including fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance. Dexter filed a pretrial discovery motion seeking, in part, information regarding the CRI’s relationship with the police and the CRI’s entry into Dexter’s residence. After the district court denied the motion, Dexter was convicted of fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance. On appeal, the court of appeals concluded that Dexter was entitled to non-identifying information about the CRI and reversed the denial of the discovery motion accordingly.

On appeal to the supreme court, the issue presented is whether Dexter was entitled to non-identifying information about the CRI. (Anoka County)

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Karlowba R. Adams Powell, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 0327335 – Case No. A18-1967: An attorney discipline case that presents the question of what discipline, if any, is appropriate based on the facts of the matter.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol Building, Second Floor

Nonoral: Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson, Appellant vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent – Case No. A19-1229: Following a jury trial, appellant Shavelle Chavez-Nelson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of release. Chavez-Nelson filed a direct appeal. In his supplemental pro se brief, he argued, in part, that his trial counsel was ineffective. The supreme court affirmed Chavez-Nelson’s conviction.

Chavez-Nelson filed a petition for postconviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective and that his appellate counsel was ineffective for not arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective. He also filed a motion seeking discovery. The district court summarily denied the postconviction petition and denied the motion for discovery.

On appeal to the supreme court, the following issues are presented: (1) whether Chavez-Nelson’s ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim is procedurally barred by State v. Knaffla, 243 N.W.2d 737 (Minn. 1976); (2) whether the district court abused its discretion by summarily denying Chavez-Nelson’s ineffective assistance of appellate counsel claim; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion by denying Chavez-Nelson’s discovery motion. (Dakota County)

Nonoral: Diamond Lee Jamal Griffin, Appellant vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent – Case Nos. A18-1002, A19-1083: Following a jury trial, appellant Diamond Griffin was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and second-degree assault for a July 8, 2013 incident involving three victims. The district court sentenced Griffin to consecutive sentences of life in prison for first-degree murder, 153 months for attempted first-degree murder, and 36 months for second-degree assault. The supreme court affirmed Griffin’s convictions on direct appeal.

Griffin filed a petition for postconviction relief, arguing, in part, that his trial attorneys were ineffective when they advised him not to take the State’s plea offer of 330 months because the State would not be able to prove its case. The district court held an evidentiary hearing on Griffin’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Following that hearing, the district court denied relief on that claim. The district court accepted as credible the testimony of Griffin’s trial attorneys that they did not advise Griffin to reject the State’s plea offer or advise him that the State would not be able to prove its case and rejected as not credible Griffin’s testimony about what his trial attorneys told him about the State’s plea offer.

Griffin appealed the denial of his petition for postconviction relief. That appeal was stayed in order to allow Griffin to file another petition for postconviction relief. Griffin filed a second petition for postconviction relief, which the district court summarily denied. Griffin appealed, the stay of his prior appeal was lifted, and the appeals were consolidated.

On appeal to the supreme court, the following issues are presented: (1) whether the district court abused its discretion when it denied Griffin’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion when it summarily denied the claims in Griffin’s second postconviction petition as procedurally barred by State v. Knaffla, 243 N.W2.d 737 (Minn. 1976), and time-barred. (Hennepin County)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Supreme Court Courtroom, State Capitol Building, Second Floor

State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Sergey Nikolaevich Balandin, Appellant – Case No. A19-0625: Following a trial, a jury found appellant Sergey Balandin guilty of first-degree premediated murder, first-degree domestic-abuse murder, and second-degree murder for the death of his girlfriend. Balandin was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.

On appeal to the supreme court, the following issues are presented: (1) whether the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was premeditated; (2) whether the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Balandin acted with the intent to effect the death of any other person; (3) whether the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Balandin committed a past pattern of domestic abuse; and (4) whether Balandin is entitled to a new trial because his statements to police were not the product of a valid Miranda waiver. (Scott County)