Opinion No. 60
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Lynn G. Norton, District
of conviction for disturbing the peace, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, Interim State Appellate Public Defender; Ben
P. McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Jeffery Sams appeals from the judgment of conviction finding
him guilty of disturbing the peace.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
invited an acquaintance ("T.O.") that he had
previously met online to his home for a couple nights. Sams
testified that during this visit he noticed a box of his
expensive prescription medication was missing. He confronted
T.O., who denied taking the missing pills. Two different
accounts on what transpired thereafter were presented at
testified that Sams had a knife and he told T.O. he was going
to "gut me like a pig." Sams told T.O. to strip
naked, and he complied. Sams then threatened to kill him and
lunged at him with the knife. T.O. tried to get the knife
away from Sams and when he succeeded, Sams started to scream
testified that T.O. stripped naked to show he did not take
anything and then turned violent and began to shake and hit
Sams. Sams then grabbed a knife off a shelf. Sams told T.O.
to leave the house and the two struggled over the knife as
T.O. attacked him. T.O. took control of the knife when Sams
screamed for help and caused injury as he held it to
the altercation, T.O. left the house through the front door
while Sams went into the garage to get a shovel and
subsequently threw T.O.'s clothes out of the house.
Sams' roommate testified that he was in the living room
when Sams returned from the garage and Sams then accused the
roommate of taking the pills. The roommate then locked
himself in his room and called 911. Police arrived and walked
Sams' roommate out of the house and detained and
questioned T.O. Thereafter there was a lengthy standoff
between the police and Sams that lasted approximately five
hours before Sams exited the home and was taken into custody.
Introduction of evidence relating to this standoff is the
basis of this appeal.
State charged Sams with felony aggravated assault, Idaho Code
§§ 18-901(b) and 18-905(a), and felony use of a
deadly weapon in the commission of a crime, I.C. §
19-2520. The jury acquitted Sams on the felony charges but
found him guilty of the lesser-included offense of
misdemeanor disturbing the peace. The district court
sentenced Sams to 180 days in jail with credit for 107 days
served and suspended the balance. The court placed him on
supervised probations for two years. Sams timely appealed.
jury selection, Sams' counsel asked the district court to
prohibit the State from presenting evidence relating to the
standoff that occurred between Sams and the police. The court
initially held the evidence relating to the standoff was
admissible under Idaho Rule of Evidence § 404(b) for the
purpose of showing proof of "identity or the absence of
mistake or accident." Sams countered that if the
evidence was going to be admitted pursuant to I.R.E. §
404(b), he was ...