State v. Goodroad, No. 19414

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtGILBERTSON
Citation563 N.W.2d 126,1997 SD 46
Docket NumberNo. 19414
Decision Date20 February 1997
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Danny Dale GOODROAD, Defendant and Appellant. . Considered on Briefs

Page 126

563 N.W.2d 126
1997 SD 46
STATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Danny Dale GOODROAD, Defendant and Appellant.
No. 19414.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs Feb. 20, 1997.
Decided April 30, 1997.

Mark Barnett, Attorney General, Sherri Sundem Wald, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, for plaintiff and appellee.

John A. Schlimgen of Stuart and Gerry, Sioux Falls, for defendant and appellant.

GILBERTSON, Justice.

¶1 Danny Dale Goodroad appeals a judgment of conviction and sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol, false personation (impersonation) with an intent to deceive a law enforcement officer, receiving stolen property, and of being a habitual offender. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

¶2 In June 1994, John and Lanette Stoffel of Norfolk, Nebraska placed an ad in a local newspaper to sell their 1978 Ford LTD. The asking price was $700. On June 20, Goodroad responded to their ad and spoke to Lanette Stoffel on the telephone. When Goodroad arrived in Norfolk that evening, he telephoned the Stoffels and asked John Stoffel to bring the car to the motel where Goodroad was staying. He identified himself to Stoffel as Branch Breedlove. Stoffel brought the car to the motel and the two negotiated a price of $500. Goodroad gave Stoffel a Western Union money order in the amount of $700 claiming that was all the money he had and asked that Stoffel accept the money order and send him the $200 difference to his address in Custer, South Dakota. Stoffel agreed and the two men returned to Stoffel's home where title to the car was signed over to Goodroad as Branch Breedlove.

¶3 The next morning Stoffel deposited the money order at his bank and obtained a $200 money order to send to Goodroad which Lanette mailed to Goodroad the next day. That afternoon, Stoffels' bank informed them the Western Union money order was fraudulent. Stoffels immediately contacted their post office and were able to retrieve their

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$200 money order. Eventually, Stoffels' LTD was found in a Moorhead, Minnesota parking lot.

¶4 On July 1, 1994, a car dealership in Moorhead, Minnesota reported to the local police that a 1988 maroon Chevy Camaro was discovered missing during a monthly inventory check. On July 26, 1994, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Mitchell, South Dakota police received a complaint regarding a reddish-colored Firebird-type vehicle parked on a city street. When the police arrived, they discovered a maroon Chevy Camaro with its engine running, headlights on, and driver's door hanging open. Goodroad was slumped over the wheel. The officer turned off the engine, woke Goodroad and asked him to step out of the vehicle. Goodroad attempted to walk away from the officer twice but was stopped each time. When he was asked for identification, Goodroad told the officer his name was Patrick Karl Loftis and retrieved from his wallet a birth certificate indicating the same.

¶5 Goodroad's speech was slurred, he staggered when he walked, and he smelled of alcohol. He agreed to sobriety tests, after which he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was read the implied consent warning and his Miranda rights and signed the card indicating he had been read these rights. On both sides of the card, Goodroad signed his name as Pat Loftis. After the officer received information the Camaro was stolen, Goodroad was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle.

¶6 The Camaro bore dealer plates from a car dealership in Centerville, South Dakota indicating that a Trevor Wright had purchased the car. A search of the car's trunk revealed title to the car plus another set of dealer plates from the Centerville dealership. Also located inside the vehicle was title to Stoffels' LTD, a hotel receipt for Branch Breedlove of Custer, South Dakota, and a Crossroad Motel receipt from Beresford, South Dakota and Holiday Inn receipt for Trevor Wright. It was later discovered the dealer plates on the Camaro were stolen and that the Centerville dealership never sold the car to Trevor Wright and had never seen Goodroad.

¶7 On March 8, 1996, Goodroad was convicted of driving under the influence, false personation (impersonation) with intent to deceive a law enforcement officer, and receiving stolen property. He was also found to be a habitual offender. Goodroad was sentenced to thirty-seven years in the state penitentiary. Goodroad appeals his conviction and sentence raising the following issues:

1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of an uncharged prior car theft by Goodroad?

2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying Goodroad's motion for substitute counsel?

3. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in not recusing itself from the proceedings?

4. Whether Goodroad's rights were violated when the trial court conducted a hearing outside of Goodroad's presence?

5. Whether Goodroad's right to a fair trial was violated when a witness for the State made reference to Goodroad's refusal to talk with law enforcement after his arrest?

6. Whether the sentence imposed in this case constituted cruel and unusual punishment?

7. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying Goodroad's motion for appointment of experts?

ANALYSIS AND DECISION

¶8 1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of an uncharged prior car theft by Goodroad?

¶9 Evidentiary rulings made by the trial court are presumed correct and are reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. State v. Oster, 495 N.W.2d 305, 309 (S.D.1993). The test is not whether we would have made the same ruling, but whether we believe a judicial mind, in view of the law and the circumstances, could have reasonably reached the same conclusion. State v. Rufener, 392 N.W.2d 424, 426 (S.D.1986). The trial court admitted evidence of the theft

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of the Stoffels' LTD as part of the res gestae 1 and as prior bad acts evidence under the "plan" and "intent" exceptions to SDCL 19-12-5 (Rule 404(b)). Goodroad argues this evidence was not res gestae and did not fall into any of the exceptions under Rule 404(b), i.e., "as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident."

¶10 The res gestae rule is the well-recognized exception to Rule 404(b). State v. Floody, 481 N.W.2d 242, 253 (S.D.1992) (citing Carter v. United States, 549 F.2d 77, 78 (8th Cir.1977)). In Floody, we acknowledged the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' holding that " 'evidence' of uncharged criminal activity is not considered 'other crimes' evidence if it 'arose out of the same transaction or series of transactions as the charged offense[.]' " Floody, 481 N.W.2d at 253 (quoting United States v. Towne, 870 F.2d 880, 886 (2d Cir.1989)), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1101, 109 S.Ct. 2456, 104 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1989) (and citing United States v. Weeks, 716 F.2d 830, 832 (11th Cir.1983); 22 Charles Wright & Kenneth Graham, Federal Practice and Procedure § 5239 (1978); E. Imwinkelreid, Uncharged Misconduct Evidence § 2.10 (1984)).

This court has ... approved the admission of other crimes where such evidence is 'so blended or connected' with the one[s] on trial ... that proof of one incident involves the other[s]; or explains the circumstances; or tends logically to prove any element of the crime charged.

Id. (quoting United States v. Tate, 821 F.2d 1328, 1331 (8th Cir.1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1011, 108 S.Ct. 712, 98 L.Ed.2d 662 (1988)). "[E]vidence when a part of the res gestae was proper if it was related to and tended to prove the crime charged although it also proved or tended to prove the defendant guilty of another crime." State v. Burtts, 81 S.D. 150, 156, 132 N.W.2d 209, 212 (1964) (citing State v. Staley, 54 S.D. 552, 223 N.W. 943 (1929)). (See generally, State v. Itzen, 445 N.W.2d 666 (S.D.1989)) (Sabers, J., dissenting).

¶11 In the present case, the Stoffels sold their LTD to Goodroad on June 20, 1994. This vehicle eventually was discovered in a parking lot in Moorhead, Minnesota. On July 1, 1994, a Moorhead car dealership reported a vehicle missing. The dealership said it did not know the exact date the vehicle was taken but that it was sometime between June 1 and July 1, 1994. This stolen vehicle was the 1988 Chevy Camaro in which Goodroad was found on July 26, 1994 in Mitchell.

¶12 Goodroad argues there was no testimony to suggest the Camaro was stolen with a fraudulent money order as the Stoffels' vehicle had been stolen and the only similarity between these two incidents is that a vehicle was stolen. Goodroad is being less than objective in finding only this single similarity. The record establishes the following similarities Goodroad failed to consider: 1) the LTD was taken June 20 and was later found abandoned in a parking lot in Moorhead, Minnesota, and between June 1 and July 1, the Camaro was stolen from a dealership in Moorhead, linking the events by both time and geographic proximity; 2) both cars were stolen, albeit by different methods; 3) events pertaining to each car involve false identification; 4) among the documents found in the Camaro's trunk were fraudulent Western Union money orders made to the order of both Branch Breedlove (the name Goodroad used with the Stoffels) and Pat Loftis and motel receipts in the names of Breedlove and Trevor Wright; and 4) Goodroad is the common denominator in the criminal activity involving both vehicles.

¶13 Under the law of res gestae set forth in Floody, we affirm the trial court's decision to admit the evidence surrounding the theft of Stoffel's LTD and deem further discussion of this issue under Rule 404(b) moot.

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¶14 2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying Goodroad's motion for substitute counsel?

¶15 We have recently addressed the issue of denial of a motion for substitute counsel and noted that:

Appointment of substitute counsel is warranted...

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56 practice notes
  • State v. Blair, No. 23463.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 16, 2006
    ...under the abuse of discretion standard. State v. McKinney, 2005 SD 73, ¶ 10, 699 N.W.2d 471, 476 (McKinney I) (citing State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 40, 563 N.W.2d 126, 135 (citing State v. Anderson, 1996 SD 46, ¶ 30, 546 N.W.2d 395, 402)). "We give `great deference to sentencing decision......
  • State v. Mattson, No. 23257.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 8, 2005
    ...evidentiary rulings made by a trial court are correct, and review those rulings under an abuse of discretion standard. State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 9, 563 N.W.2d 126, 129 (citing State v. Oster, 495 N.W.2d 305, 309 (S.D.1993)). The test for abuse of discretion "is not whether we would h......
  • State v. Wright, No. 24531.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 24, 2009
    ...at 362-63 (internal citations omitted). "The res gestae rule is [also a] well-recognized exception to Rule 404(b)." State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 10, 563 N.W.2d 126, 130 (citation omitted). The res gestae exception permits the admission of evidence that is "so blended or connected" in th......
  • State v. Page, No. 21864.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • January 4, 2006
    ...as it may be implicit in a right to a fair trial." State v. Hoadley, 2002 SD 109, ¶ 32, 651 N.W.2d 249, 257 (quoting State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 25, 563 N.W.2d 126, 132 (citation omitted)). Pursuant to SDCL 15-12-21, a defendant has the right to file an affidavit seeking a change of ju......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
55 cases
  • State v. Blair, No. 23463.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 16, 2006
    ...under the abuse of discretion standard. State v. McKinney, 2005 SD 73, ¶ 10, 699 N.W.2d 471, 476 (McKinney I) (citing State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 40, 563 N.W.2d 126, 135 (citing State v. Anderson, 1996 SD 46, ¶ 30, 546 N.W.2d 395, 402)). "We give `great deference to sentencing decision......
  • State v. Mattson, No. 23257.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 8, 2005
    ...evidentiary rulings made by a trial court are correct, and review those rulings under an abuse of discretion standard. State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 9, 563 N.W.2d 126, 129 (citing State v. Oster, 495 N.W.2d 305, 309 (S.D.1993)). The test for abuse of discretion "is not whether we would h......
  • State v. Wright, No. 24531.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 24, 2009
    ...at 362-63 (internal citations omitted). "The res gestae rule is [also a] well-recognized exception to Rule 404(b)." State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 10, 563 N.W.2d 126, 130 (citation omitted). The res gestae exception permits the admission of evidence that is "so blended or connected" in th......
  • State v. Page, No. 21864.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • January 4, 2006
    ...as it may be implicit in a right to a fair trial." State v. Hoadley, 2002 SD 109, ¶ 32, 651 N.W.2d 249, 257 (quoting State v. Goodroad, 1997 SD 46, ¶ 25, 563 N.W.2d 126, 132 (citation omitted)). Pursuant to SDCL 15-12-21, a defendant has the right to file an affidavit seeking a change of ju......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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