State v. Glowacki, C8-99-1507.

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Citation630 N.W.2d 392
Docket NumberNo. C8-99-1507.,C8-99-1507.
PartiesSTATE of Minnesota, Petitioner, Appellant, v. William GLOWACKI, Respondent.
Decision Date12 July 2001

630 N.W.2d 392

STATE of Minnesota, Petitioner, Appellant,
William GLOWACKI, Respondent

No. C8-99-1507.

Supreme Court of Minnesota.

July 12, 2001.

Rehearing Denied August 8, 2001.

630 N.W.2d 394
Mike Hatch, Atty. Gen., Peter A. MacMillan, Pondoni, MacMillan & Schneider, Ltd., Minneapolis, for appellant

Deborah Ellis, St. Paul, for respondent.

Howard Bass, Daniel Guerrero, Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd., Minneapolis, for amicus curiae MN Ass'n of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Atty., Michael Richardson, Asst. County Atty., Minneapolis, for amicus curiae MN County Attorneys Association.

Heard, considered, and decided by the court en banc.



Respondent William Glowacki was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and domestic assault for allegedly attacking a woman in his home. At trial Glowacki asserted that he was acting in self-defense and requested that the district court instruct the jury on self-defense. The court, relying on a Minnesota Court of Appeals case that had been reversed, included a duty to retreat instruction along with a self-defense instruction. Glowacki was found guilty on all charges. The court of appeals reversed the jury's guilty verdicts on assault and domestic assault, concluding that the district court had erroneously instructed the jury that Glowacki had a duty to retreat. The state appealed. We reverse the court of appeals, reinstate the jury's verdicts, and remand to the court of appeals for consideration of Glowacki's other issues on appeal.

Respondent William Glowacki and Priscilla Andrews met at a bar in Dolthan, Alabama late in the summer of 1998. After Glowacki returned to his Corcoran, Minnesota home, he and Andrews maintained telephone contact over the next few months. In late December 1998 or early January 1999, Glowacki returned to Dolthan and he and Andrews spent part of a day together. Following this visit, Glowacki and Andrews had more frequent telephone contact. Glowacki visited Andrews in Dolthan in late January and at this time they became intimately involved. Beginning in February, Glowacki and Andrews met approximately every two weeks in either Dolthan or Minnesota. Glowacki paid for Andrews' airplane tickets to Minnesota, and in March of 1999, he paid for tickets for Andrews' two adult daughters to accompany her. During this March visit, Andrews and her daughters brought many of Andrews' clothes with them, which they left at Glowacki's home. Glowacki provided closet and dresser space for Andrews to store her clothes. In late March, Glowacki spent a week in Dolthan making repairs to Andrews' house.

Andrews testified that Glowacki made the repairs on her house and she brought her clothes to Corcoran in anticipation of her moving in with Glowacki. Glowacki testified that he never intended Andrews to move into his home. He also testified that his sexual relationship with Andrews ended during his weeklong visit to Dolthan in March, although he admits that the two continued to sleep in the same bed when they were together.

Andrews flew to Minnesota on April 1, 1999 and stayed with Glowacki. Andrews had a return ticket to Dolthan on April 21. Andrews had quit her job in Dolthan, but did have another job in place there. Andrews testified that she was returning to Dolthan on April 21 only to get her children settled. Andrews further testified that she and Glowacki had set a July wedding date.

On April 2, 1999, Glowacki and Andrews had an argument, during which Glowacki

630 N.W.2d 395
struck Andrews. Andrews testified that Glowacki became angry and struck her in the face, knocking her unconscious and giving her a black eye. Glowacki testified that he did strike Andrews, but not in the manner she suggested; rather, that he struck her only after she became hysterical and threatening. Glowacki also produced witnesses who testified that Andrews did not have a black eye following the incident. Andrews testified that she put theater makeup on her eye to cover the bruising. Andrews stated that after the incident on April 2 she considered her relationship with Glowacki over and began making plans to return to Dolthan as soon as possible

Six days later, on April 8, Andrews accompanied Glowacki to a city council meeting. At the time, Glowacki was a member of the Corcoran City Council. After the meeting, the pair returned to Glowacki's home and the incident leading to the criminal charges in this case occurred. Andrews and Glowacki gave differing versions of what happened after they returned home.

April 8 incident—Andrews' version

Upon returning home, Glowacki and Andrews sat down in the kitchen and began drinking wine. Andrews estimated that she drank approximately one-third of a bottle of Sangria and that Glowacki drank an entire bottle of Merlot. Andrews believed that Glowacki was upset about the city council meeting. She set her wineglass down and Glowacki yelled at her that she had almost spilled on an expensive chair. Glowacki and Andrews then moved to the bedroom and Glowacki laid down on the bed. Andrews asked Glowacki if he was going to bed and Glowacki responded with a profane statement and made a reference to another woman whom he had dated. After hearing this, Andrews left the bedroom and went to the den in the basement.

Soon after Andrews reached the den, Glowacki followed. Glowacki again made a profane statement and hit Andrews on the side of her head, knocking her down. Glowacki then kicked Andrews severely between 50 and 100 times, telling her he was going to kill her. During the kicking, Andrews was screaming and attempted to get up and she testified that "[e]very time I would try to stand up he would kick me back down * * *." At one point Andrews managed to stand up and Glowacki put his hands around her throat. Glowacki also ripped the button off of her robe and told her to "[g]et the hell out of my goddamn house." Andrews denied hitting or threatening Glowacki during the incident. Andrews estimated that the abuse lasted for about 20 minutes before she managed to run upstairs, grab a phone, and lock herself in the bathroom. Andrews then called the operator, who transferred her call to a 911 dispatcher.

April 8 incident—Glowacki's version

When he and Andrews returned home from the city council meeting, Glowacki changed his clothes, poured himself a glass of wine, and sat down at the kitchen table to review some papers from the meeting. Andrews then sat down at the table and the two began talking about the council meeting.

Glowacki suggested that he and Andrews move to the den in the basement to watch a movie. Glowacki and Andrews sat in large stuffed leather recliners next to each other. Andrews was talking about something, but Glowacki was not paying attention. Glowacki saw Andrews nearly spill her wine on her recliner and asked her to be careful. Andrews asked Glowacki what his problem was, but he did not reply. Andrews then jumped out of her chair and stood directly in front of

630 N.W.2d 396
Glowacki, only inches away from him, and bent over him. Glowacki testified that she began screaming "a lot of horrible things." Andrews rested her left hand on the arm of the chair, but kept her right arm behind her back, causing Glowacki to fear that she had something in her right hand. At one point during the screaming, Andrews hit Glowacki on the shoulder with her left hand

Eventually Glowacki kicked Andrews with his right leg and she fell to the floor. Glowacki then stood up from the chair and told Andrews that she needed to "knock it off" and that in the morning she needed to pack her bags and leave. Glowacki began to walk toward the stairs when he sensed Andrews behind him. He began to turn and saw something moving toward his head, so he threw his arm out as he turned and pushed Andrews to the floor. Glowacki then backed up and stood next to the recliner. Andrews stood up, screaming and yelling at Glowacki, walked over to the couch, sat down and began to cry. Glowacki waited until she had settled down a bit and while speaking quietly, began to approach Andrews. When he got close to the couch, Andrews kicked him in the left thigh. Glowacki testified that he got angry and told Andrews that they were going to pack her things and he was taking her to a hotel right then. In response, Andrews screamed an expletive at Glowacki and yelled that she was going to destroy him. Andrews then got up from the couch and went upstairs.

Glowacki sat down in the basement for about five minutes and then went upstairs to the kitchen to look for phone books so he could arrange a hotel room and a flight for Andrews. He was sitting in the kitchen when the police arrived.

Subsequent Events and Court Proceedings

Officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department and the Corcoran Police Department responded to Andrews' call. After arriving on the scene, some of the officers questioned Andrews and photographed her injuries and others questioned Glowacki. When the officers informed Glowacki that they would have to arrest him, he stated that he did not want to leave Andrews in his home. Glowacki then gave the officers $200 to pay for a hotel for Andrews and called the airlines and changed Andrews' ticket so she could return to Dolthan the next day. The officers assisted Andrews in packing her clothing and took her to a hotel near the airport. Glowacki was arrested and taken to the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center.

Glowacki was subsequently charged with fifth-degree assault, domestic assault, and disorderly conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.224, subd. 1 (2000), 609.2242, subd. 1 (2000), and 609.72, subd. 1(3) (2000). Glowacki requested a jury trial, which was held August 13-18, 1999. At trial, Andrews testified for the state, along with the officers who responded to the 911 call. The state introduced into evidence the photographs of Andrews taken at Glowacki's home on April 8, photographs...

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