Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Wickstrom case brief

State v. Wickstrom case brief summary
405 N.W.2d 1 (1987)

Defendant appealed a judgment of the Washington County District Court (Minnesota) upon convictions for first-degree assault, criminal abortion, and fifth-degree assault.

Defendant assaulted his mother and pregnant girlfriend. He kicked his girlfriend in the abdomen with steel-toed boots. The child was dead when delivered by emergency C-section on the day of the beatings.

  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • The court ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the State to amend the indictment to charge criminal abortion. 
  • The court ruled that defendant's conduct came within the criminal abortion statute,Minn. Stat. § 145.412, subd. 1. 
  • The abortion was not performed in a hospital. The court ruled that § 145.412, subd. 1, required only general intent. 
  • The court ruled that the evidence did not support the contention that the hospital's negligence was an intervening cause. 
  • The court concluded that severe aggravating circumstances justified a sentence two-and-one-half times greater than the presumptive sentence. 
  • Aggravating factors included the vulnerability of the pregnant victim, the 20-minute length of the assault, continuation of the assault despite defendant's mother's pleas and the girlfriend's complaint of abdominal cramps, and the presence of the girlfriend's three-year old son during the assault.

The court affirmed the judgment against defendant.

Also see: Abortion legal definition -

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