McCarthy v. Com., No. 92-SC-0264-MR

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtREYNOLDS; STEPHENS; LEIBSON; LEIBSON
Citation867 S.W.2d 469
PartiesMichael A. McCARTHY, Appellant, v. COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
Decision Date28 October 1993
Docket NumberNo. 92-SC-0264-MR

Page 469

867 S.W.2d 469
Michael A. McCARTHY, Appellant,
v.
COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
No. 92-SC-0264-MR.
Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Oct. 28, 1993.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 31, 1994.

Daniel T. Goyette, and J. David Niehaus, Deputy Appellate Defender, of the Jefferson District Public Defender, Louisville, for appellant.

Chris Gorman, Atty. Gen., Gregory C. Fuchs, Asst. Atty. Gen., Crim. App. Div., Frankfort, for appellee.

REYNOLDS, Justice.

This appeal is from a judgment of conviction for burglary in the first degree, assault in the fourth degree, and PFO in the second degree. Appellant received sentences of imprisonment respectively for ten years, 12

Page 470

months, and the enhancement of the burglary conviction from ten years to 20 years. He appeals to this Court as a matter of right. We affirm.

This appeal raises two issues: (a) Whether it was error to permit introduction of testimony concerning previous emergency protective orders; and (b) whether the trial court erred by not allowing voir dire as to the complete penalty range. Such issues require consideration of the facts.

The victim of the assault was appellant's estranged wife and, at the time of the crimes, he was subject to an emergency protective order (EPO) which prohibited him from coming about his wife or onto her premises. Irrespective, appellant went to the home of his estranged wife, sought and was denied entry, and thereafter kicked down the door. He then entered the dwelling. A visitor, an off-duty police officer, left the house to summon assistance. A fight erupted between appellant and his wife and, as a result, she sustained injuries.

At trial a deputy clerk testified as to the general nature of EPOs and read from the most recent order against appellant. The clerk, over objection, was permitted to testify as to a history of EPOs against appellant, as there were prior EPOs in effect.

At issue is the prejudice sustained by virtue of the evidence relating to the EPOs. Appellant contends that the only evidence which should have been admitted was the current/pending EPO directing him to stay away from the premises, and that was a fact which he offered to stipulate. In his claim of prejudice he refers to a written question emanating from the jury during its deliberation which is as follows:

Under Instruction # 1, section a (the burglary instruction) the phrase "with intent to commit a crime" can you tell us if this refers to the crime of coming onto the property or the crime of assault?

The trial court responded by furnishing this answer--"To commit any crime."

Appellant states that the question indicated a jury belief that he was guilty of burglary when he intentionally violated the EPO rather than when he entered into the dwelling with the intention of assaulting his wife. Additionally, he states that the trial court's answer did nothing to eliminate confusion; that it contributed to the mistaken impression that a violation of an EPO is a sufficient criminal act to satisfy the burglary statute. Appellant's request for an admonition that an EPO was not proof that he was guilty of a crime was denied.

Kentucky Rules of Evidence Rule 404(b) provides:

Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible:

(1) If offered for some other purpose, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident; or

(2) If so inextricably intertwined with other evidence essential to the case that separation of the two (2) could not be accomplished without serious adverse effect on the offering party.

It is quite evident that the EPOs, issued at the behest of the victim, ordering appellant to stay away from her house, in the time framework of this case, are relevant as evidence of motive or state of mind, and also as part of the immediate circumstances bearing on the crimes charged. Matthews v. Commonwealth, Ky., 709 S.W.2d 414 (1986). While the prosecution is not privileged to show unconnected and isolated unlawful conduct that had no bearing whatsoever upon the crime under scrutiny, yet all the circumstances may be shown which have a relation to the particular violation of the law imputed, even if, in so doing, other offenses may be brought to light. Francis v. Commonwealth, Ky., 468 S.W.2d 287 (1971).

We continue to reject the position that there is any absolute right on the part of one spouse to be with the other against the other's wishes, giving a right to break into the home of the other with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary is an invasion of the possessory property right of another and extends to a spouse. Matthews, supra.

Page 471

We disagree with appellant's claim that the jury's question directed to the trial court disclosed that the jury considered the violation of an EPO as evidence of a crime so as to render the defendant guilty of burglary. Such a position is speculative. Burglary in the first degree, KRS 511.020, provides:

(1) A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree when, with the intent to commit a crime, he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building, and when in effecting entry or while in the building or in the immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime:

(a) Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or

(b) Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or

(c) Uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument against any person who is not a participant in the crime.

While appellant contends he went to the house to confer with his wife and not with the intent to commit an assault, he may be convicted of the crime of burglary providing the jury finds that he knowingly entered the building with intent to commit a crime or that he remained unlawfully in the building with intent to commit a crime. Therefore, even if one believes that appellant did not have the requisite intent as he entered the house, one could surely believe he subsequently formed the intent necessary to be guilty of the crime of burglary.

The trial court's answer to the jury's question is deemed to be a correct statement of the law. The video record discloses that counsel acquiesced to the judge's decision to answer in the manner that he did.

Three versions of the facts exist from which the jury could choose to believe. The visiting off-duty police officer observed the door being knocked down, but advised that no...

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21 practice notes
  • Parson v. Com., No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2004
    ...information). It is voir dire that is the "sine qua non to the seating of a fair and impartial jury." McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (1993), overruled on other grounds by Lawson v. Commonwealth, supra, at 544. To the extent that juror qualification forms contain informat......
  • Parson v. Commonwealth, No. 2002-SC-0103-MR (KY 6/21/2004), No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 21, 2004
    ...Page 5 It is voir dire that is the "sine qua non to the seating of a fair and impartial jury." McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (1993), overruled on other grounds by Lawson v. Commonwealth, supra, at 544. To the extent that juror qualification forms contain information rel......
  • United States v. Bernel-Aveja, No. 15-20308
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 13, 2016
    ...state must present sufficient evidence to permit a jury to find each means beyond a reasonable doubt).128 See McCarthy v. Commonwealth , 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Ky. 1993) (holding, in a case in which the defendant unlawfully entered by kicking down the door after being denied entry but argued ......
  • Soto v. Com., No. 2000-SC-0828-MR.
    • United States
    • Kentucky Supreme Court
    • April 22, 2004
    ...of defendant's prior indictment for flagrant nonsupport admissible as proof of motive to murder his wife); McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 470 (1993) (evidence that defendant was subject to emergency protective order issued at the behest of his estranged wife admissible "as e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Parson v. Com., No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2004
    ...information). It is voir dire that is the "sine qua non to the seating of a fair and impartial jury." McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (1993), overruled on other grounds by Lawson v. Commonwealth, supra, at 544. To the extent that juror qualification forms contain informat......
  • Parson v. Commonwealth, No. 2002-SC-0103-MR (KY 6/21/2004), No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 21, 2004
    ...Page 5 It is voir dire that is the "sine qua non to the seating of a fair and impartial jury." McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (1993), overruled on other grounds by Lawson v. Commonwealth, supra, at 544. To the extent that juror qualification forms contain information rel......
  • United States v. Bernel-Aveja, No. 15-20308
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 13, 2016
    ...state must present sufficient evidence to permit a jury to find each means beyond a reasonable doubt).128 See McCarthy v. Commonwealth , 867 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Ky. 1993) (holding, in a case in which the defendant unlawfully entered by kicking down the door after being denied entry but argued ......
  • Soto v. Com., No. 2000-SC-0828-MR.
    • United States
    • Kentucky Supreme Court
    • April 22, 2004
    ...of defendant's prior indictment for flagrant nonsupport admissible as proof of motive to murder his wife); McCarthy v. Commonwealth, Ky., 867 S.W.2d 469, 470 (1993) (evidence that defendant was subject to emergency protective order issued at the behest of his estranged wife admissible "as e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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