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Defendant’s Criminal Appeal Fails Because There Were No Evidentiary Improprieties at Trial

In State v. Noyes, Jr., 2015 VT 11 (January 23, 2015), the Vermont Supreme Court upheld a defendant’s criminal convictions, finding no evidentiary improprieties at trial.

Issue: Defendant appeals his jury convictions for disorderly conduct and simple assault.

Holding: Convictions affirmed.

More Detail: 1) It was not improper for the state to elicit evidence regarding Defendant’s alleged affair with his stepdaughter; such evidence was not more prejudicial than probative, because it spoke to the issue of how Defendant’s altercation with his brother began; 2) impeaching a witness with a past written statement was not improper because the state laid a proper foundation for the past statement; 3) it was not improper for the court to allow the prosecutor to ask leading questions because such questions were asked either of hostile witnesses, or were otherwise harmless; 4) the prosecutor’s allegedly improper comments were either questions, or otherwise did not rise to the level of plain error; and 5) Defendant waived his right to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence because, though he moved for judgment of acquittal at the close of the state’s case and was denied, he failed to renew the motion at the close of all evidence or within 10 days of the jury’s verdict.

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