e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 37490
Opinion Date : 10/25/2007
e-Journal Date : 11/01/2007
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : People v. Dorsey
Practice Area(s) : Criminal Law, Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Zahra, White, and O’Connell
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Whether the trial court’s aggravated stalking instructions were deficient; MCL 750.411i(1)(e) and (2)(a); People v. Coones; Whether an instruction on “credible threat” was required; Whether the trial court properly instructed the jury on alibi; CJI2d 7.4; People v. Carines; Whether counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the deficient instructions; People v. Toma; People v. Harmon; Whether counsel was ineffective where he did not object to the prosecutor’s “hearsay” questions to the police officer allegedly giving defendant notice of the PPO; MRE 801(c); MRE 801(d)(2); Whether counsel should have requested a directed verdict on the aggravated stalking charge; People v. Knapp

Summary

The trial court properly instructed the jury concerning aggravated stalking and alibi. Thus, trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to the instructions regarding the elements of aggravated stalking. Defendant was charged with several offenses arising from a shooting at his former girlfriend’s home. She identified him as the perpetrator by his voice, and a second victim identified him in a photographic lineup. The former girlfriend testified before the shooting, she received threatening phone calls and text messages from defendant, in violation of a PPO. Defendant presented an alibi defense to the shooting, and claimed he did not receive notice of the PPO. He denied harassing the former girlfriend and denied contacting her after a police officer told him to stop text messaging her. The jury convicted defendant of aggravated stalking, but acquitted him of the other charges arising from the incident. The court concluded the trial court’s instructions as to the basis of the aggravated assault charged were adequate and the trial court’s alibi instruction was not clear error. Although defendant contended defense counsel was ineffective in several ways, he failed to support the contention with specific instances of alleged conduct demonstrating serious mistakes. He also failed to show his counsel’s performance was constitutionally deficient and deprived him of a fair trial Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion