from the District Court No. 3AN-13-8491 CR, Third Judicial
District, Anchorage, Leslie Dickson, Judge.
T. McGee, Attorney at Law, Anchorage, under contract with the
Public Defender Agency, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender,
Anchorage, for the Appellant.
Lawrence B. Monsma, Assistant District Attorney, Anchorage,
and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau, for the
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Coats,
Senior Judge. [*]
Christine Williams was convicted of two counts of violating
protective orders that prohibited her from contacting,
communicating with, or stalking Kathleen Lansdale (the wife
of Williams's former husband, Robert Lansdale) and the
other members of the Lansdale family. See AS
Williams's convictions was based on her conduct at a
football jamboree in August 2013. Williams's other
conviction was based on her conduct in an Anchorage parking
lot a few months later.
respect to the conviction arising from Williams's conduct
at the football jamboree, Williams argues that she was denied
her right to a unanimous verdict because the prosecutor
openly argued to the jurors that Williams could be convicted
of violating the protective order based on two different
aspects of her behavior at the jamboree, and that the jurors
did not need to reach unanimous agreement as to which aspect
of Williams's behavior formed the basis of their verdict.
with respect to both of Williams's convictions, Williams
argues that the trial judge committed error by allowing the
prosecutor to introduce evidence of three prior occasions
when Williams violated earlier court orders that prohibited
her from contacting the Lansdale family.
reasons explained in this opinion, we conclude that neither
of Williams's claims has merit, and we therefore affirm
State's case against Williams
in 2004, Williams and her former husband, Robert Lansdale,
were embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their son,
Israel. In 2010, Lansdale was granted sole custody of Israel
(with Williams having a right of visitation). Throughout
these years, the superior court issued orders prohibiting the
Lansdale and Williams families from contacting each other.
repeatedly violated the superior court's orders by
approaching or contacting Robert Lansdale and his new wife,
March 2013, Kathleen Lansdale went to court and obtained
another protective order against Williams. This 6-month
protective order prohibited Williams from approaching or
confronting Kathleen, watching or following her, or otherwise
stalking her. In addition, the protective order prohibited
Williams from directly or indirectly communicating with any
member of the Lansdale family - including Israel - except for
communications that were consistent with Williams's right
early August 2013, while this protective order was in effect,
the Lansdale family attended a football jamboree in
Anchorage. Israel was playing in this jamboree, and Robert
and Kathleen were there to support him. Williams, too,
attended this football jamboree, accompanied by her other
to the testimony presented at Williams's trial, Williams
was sitting high in the bleachers of the football stadium,
and both Robert and Kathleen Lansdale observed her taking
photographs of them and Israel. In addition, according to
Robert Lansdale's testimony, Williams called out to
Israel and beckoned him to come over to where she was
sitting. Based on what transpired at this football jamboree,
Williams was convicted of violating the March protective
early November 2013, Kathleen Lansdale went back to court and
obtained another 6-month protective order against Williams.
This second protective order contained the same provisions as
the previous one.
was convicted of violating this November 2013 protective
order as well, based on events that took place on November
26, 2013 (about three weeks after the order was issued).
to the testimony presented at Williams's trial, Robert
Lansdale was sitting in his vehicle in a parking lot, waiting
for his wife Kathleen to get off work. While Robert was
waiting, he thought he saw Williams's current husband
crouched behind a nearby garbage can.
thereafter, when Kathleen joined Robert, she observed
Williams's car parked nearby. Williams was sitting in
this car, and there was a camera propped on the dashboard,
emitting a red light (i.e., it appeared to be
recording). Kathleen also saw Williams's son, Diego,
taking photographs of her and Robert.
facts underlying Williams's claim that she was denied her
right to jury unanimity
indicated in the preceding section of this opinion, the State
presented evidence that Williams's conduct at the
football jamboree violated the protective order in two
different ways: first, because Williams took photographs of
Kathleen Lansdale, and second, because Williams beckoned to
Williams's trial, the jury was instructed that Williams
should be found guilty if the State proved either of these
two things beyond a reasonable doubt - and that the jurors
did not have to unanimously agree on which of these two
things had been proved, so long as all the jurors agreed that
one or the other was proved.
appeal, Williams argues that this was constitutional
error-that Alaska law required the trial judge to instruct
the jury that Williams could not be convicted unless the
jurors reached unanimous agreement as to which of the two
things had been proved.
the factual background of Williams's claim:
Williams's trial, both Robert Lansdale and Kathleen
Lansdale testified about the events at the football jamboree.
his direct examination, Robert explained that Williams was
sitting in the bleachers at the jamboree and that, at one
point, he observed Williams taking photographs of his