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State v. Fair

Court of Appeals of Idaho

February 4, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
LEE ODELL FAIR, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 6

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Deborah A. Bail, District Judge.

Judgment of conviction, affirmed.

Rebekah A. Cudé, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Daphne J. Huang, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Daphne J. Huang argued.

LANSING, Judge. Chief Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge GRATTON CONCUR.

OPINION

LANSING, Judge

After a jury trial, the district court entered a judgment of conviction sentencing Lee Odell Fair for the aggravated assault of Gerald Blakely. Fair argues that the trial court erred by excluding the testimony of six witnesses who offered evidence that the crime was committed by an alternative perpetrator, Richard Laine. We affirm the judgment of conviction.

I.

BACKGROUND

The State presented evidence that Fair committed aggravated battery by striking Blakely outside Dino's, a bar. Blakely went to Dino's with his girlfriend, Shelly Thompson; a friend, Joel Hoffman; and Hoffman's girlfriend, Laura Suydam. They arrived at approximately 11:30 p.m. The group split up at that time, engaging in different activities. Hoffman spent the night playing pool with three other men, including Fair. Fair and Hoffman were acquaintances who may have attended summer school together. An altercation arose over a twenty-dollar wager on a billiards game; there may have been a physical scuffle, and abusive language was used. Hoffman reported that Fair and another billiards

Page 990

[156 Idaho 432] player told Hoffman " let's go outside." However, the dispute was broken up before it could further escalate. Later that evening, Blakely and Hoffman went outside of the bar into the well-lit parking lot. Thompson and Suydam followed the men outside, but exited the building somewhat later than the men. Outside, the three men previously involved in the billiards altercation, including Fair, indicated that they wanted to fight Hoffman.[1] Blakely was standing ten to fifteen feet away from Hoffman when Fair interlocked his arm with Blakely's arm. In response to being grabbed, Blakely told Fair that he was " a lover, not a fighter." Fair did not respond to Blakely's self-description.

One of the billiards players struck Hoffman in the back of the head. Suydam responded by jumping on the assailant's back. The assailant then struck Suydam and Hoffman grabbed that man and tackled him. Blakely responded to Hoffman being struck by taking a step toward his car and away from the fight, seeking to avoid becoming embroiled in the fight. According to the State's witnesses, Fair then punched Blakely, knocking him to the ground. Thereafter, Fair pushed Hoffman off of the initial assailant. The three billiards players, including Fair, then fled the scene. Blakely, Thompson, Suydam, and ...


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