716 A.2d 11 (Vt. 1998), 97-003, State v. Sanders

Docket Nº:97-003.
Citation:716 A.2d 11, 168 Vt. 60
Opinion Judge:Morse, J.
Party Name:STATE of Vermont, v. Mark SANDERS.
Attorney:William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, and Susan R. Harritt, Assistant Attorney General, Montpelier, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Robert Appel, Defender General, and Henry Hinton, Appellate Attorney, Montpelier, for Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:April 24, 1998
Court:Supreme Court of Vermont
 
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Page 11

716 A.2d 11 (Vt. 1998)

168 Vt. 60

STATE of Vermont,

v.

Mark SANDERS.

No. 97-003.

Supreme Court of Vermont.

April 24, 1998

Motion for Reargument Denied June 10, 1998.

Page 12

William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, and Susan R. Harritt, Assistant Attorney General, Montpelier, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Robert Appel, Defender General, and Henry Hinton, Appellate Attorney, Montpelier, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before AMESTOY, C.J., and DOOLEY, MORSE, JOHNSON and SKOGLUND, JJ.

MORSE, Justice.

Defendant appeals his jury conviction of aggravated domestic assault, 13 V.S.A. § 1043(a)(2), claiming that the court erred by (1) permitting the State to introduce "prior bad acts" evidence without giving defendant proper notice, (2) admitting evidence that defendant had assaulted the victim on prior occasions, and (3) allowing the State to question the victim about prior assaults after she recanted that they had occurred. We affirm.

The assault charge stemmed from a confrontation on March 31, 1996, in Burlington. The victim, defendant's live-in girlfriend, came home that evening with a friend, Jodi Bell. She was surprised to find [168 Vt. 61] defendant home because he had told her earlier that day he was moving out due to problems in their relationship. As the victim and her friend were getting ready to go out for the night, they heard defendant breaking glass and smashing things around the house. Frightened, the women locked themselves in the bathroom. Bell then ran next door to call the police, and when she returned, she found defendant and the victim standing in the kitchen. Bell, to protect the victim, inserted herself in between them. Defendant then picked up a knife and said "someone is going to die ... who's it gonna be?" The State charged defendant with aggravated domestic assault for being armed with a deadly weapon and threatening to use that weapon on a household member.

Over two months prior to trial, the State sent defense counsel a letter listing several "prior bad acts" they intended to introduce at trial. Defendant brought a motion in limine to exclude the evidence, but the judge allowed the State to introduce two of the prior bad acts to go to the issue of intent. The first was an incident that occurred on December 30, 1995, in which the victim asked defendant to leave the apartment. In response to her request, he choked her and threw her...

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