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Rae v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

November 21, 2014

MICHAEL L. RAE, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee

Appeal from the Superior Court, First Judicial District, Juneau, Louis J. Menendez, Judge. Trial Court No. 1JU-11-505 CR.

Jane B. Martinez, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Donald Soderstrom, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Michael C. Geraghty, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Hanley, District Court Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 962

MANNHEIMER, Judge.

Michael L. Rae appeals his convictions for first-degree vehicle theft, second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, and third-degree theft. The State's case was based on allegations that Rae stole a truck, then used it to crash into the side of a store and steal a large amount of beer (six 12-packs, a case of twenty-four, and two 5-gallon kegs).

Rae contends that his indictment was tainted by the introduction of inadmissible evidence at the grand jury. He also contends that the State failed to produce sufficient evidence at his trial to establish that he was the perpetrator of these crimes.

For the reasons explained in this opinion, we conclude that neither of Rae's claims has merit, and we therefore affirm his convictions.

Underlying facts

When a defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction, we must view the evidence (and all reasonable inferences to be drawn from it) in the light most favorable to the jury's decision.[1] We therefore present the evidence in Rae's case in that light.

In the early morning hours of April 29, 2011, a break-in and theft occurred at the gift shop of the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau.

Thomas West, a company employee, arrived at work shortly before 4:00 a.m.. When he arrived, West noticed a truck parked nearby with the name of a local market, " Breeze-In", stenciled on its side. After a short while, West saw this truck drive past him slowly. West found this unusual because he did not normally see the Breeze-In truck in that location, nor being driven at that time of day.

A little later, West discovered the bumper of a vehicle on the ...


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