295 N.W.2d 354 (Mich. 1980), 63958, People v. Vaughn

Docket Nº:63958.
Citation:295 N.W.2d 354, 409 Mich. 463
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Marcus VAUGHN, Defendant-Appellees.
Attorney:[409 Mich. 464] Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, Sol. Gen., William L. Cahalan, Pros. Atty., Edward Reilly Wilson, Principal Atty., Appeals, and Andrea L. Solak, Asst. Pros. Atty., Detroit, for the People. Norman R. Robiner, Detroit, for defendant.
Case Date:August 28, 1980
Court:Supreme Court of Michigan

Page 354

295 N.W.2d 354 (Mich. 1980)

409 Mich. 463

PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Marcus VAUGHN, Defendant-Appellees.

No. 63958.

Supreme Court of Michigan.

August 28, 1980

[409 Mich. 464] Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, Sol. Gen., William L. Cahalan, Pros. Atty., Edward Reilly Wilson, Principal Atty., Appeals, and Andrea L. Solak, Asst. Pros. Atty., Detroit, for the People.

Norman R. Robiner, Detroit, for defendant.

PER CURIAM.

In this case we are asked to consider whether inconsistent verdicts, one of which is an acquittal, require reversal of the conviction. We hold that they do not.

As the complainant was standing on the street trying to hail a taxicab, defendant allegedly approached her, grabbed her arm and pointed a gun at her stomach. The complainant professed some knowledge of guns and identified the one in question as a revolver.

Defendant testified that he wanted to buy some joints, walked up to the complainant and asked if she had anything to sell. When she told him to get away, he replied, "Oh, bitch, I will kill your ass." He testified that he never meant this to happen. Defendant denied having a gun, though he did say that he had black gloves on and did point his finger as he spoke.

The complainant was able to locate a policeman immediately and the defendant was taken into custody shortly following this event. No gun was ever discovered.

Defendant was charged in a two-count information with assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault), M.C.L. § 750.82; M.S.A. § 28.277, and possession of a firearm while committing or attempting to commit a felony ("felony firearm"), M.C.L. § 750.227b; M.S.A. § 28.424(2). The jury returned a verdict of guilty of felonious assault and [409 Mich. 465] not guilty of felony firearm. 1 Following the trial, defendant moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the ground that the verdicts were inconsistent. This motion was denied. The Court of Appeals, in a per curiam opinion, held that the verdicts were inconsistent and vacated defendant's conviction of felonious assault. People v. Vaughn, 92 Mich.App. 742, 744, 285 N.W.2d 444 (1979). We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals reasoned:

"The jury in returning a verdict of guilty as to count 1 must have decided

Page 355

that a gun did exist and in...

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