from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Samuel A. Hoagland, District
withholding judgment, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Andrea W.
Reynolds, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
SUBSTITUE OPINION THE COURT'S PRIOR OPINION DATED
OCTOBER 25, 2017, IS HEREBY WITHDRAWN
Dawn Nuse appeals from the district court's order
withholding judgment after a jury found her guilty of battery
against health care workers. Nuse argues the State's
evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. The
district court's order withholding judgment is affirmed.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
2015, Nuse went to the emergency room complaining of
abdominal pain. A doctor examined Nuse and ordered a number
of tests based on her complaints. The doctor also ordered
intravenous fluids which began to be administered to Nuse
early in her hospital stay. Nuse was offered a pain
medication, but refused it. The doctor's examination did
not indicate the need to take emergency action, so the doctor
recommended Nuse be discharged and for her to follow up with
her primary care doctor. Upset, Nuse told the doctor she
thought the doctor did not address Nuse's pain
appropriately and she asked for more testing, which the
doctor said was unnecessary. Nuse began cursing at the
doctor, stood up on the gurney, and the doctor started
backing out of the room. Nuse then pulled out her IV and
flung it at the doctor. While the IV itself did not make
contact with the doctor, IV fluid made contact with the
doctor's glasses and two drops of blood made contact with
the doctor's right cheek. The doctor called for security
and law enforcement.
was charged with battery against health care workers in
violation of Idaho Code §§ 18-903 and 18-915C. At
trial, the jury was instructed that the State had to prove,
among other elements, that Nuse committed a battery on the
doctor "by ripping out her IV and throwing it at him,
striking him in the face with fluids from the IV line."
The district court further instructed the jury that:
"Battery is committed when a person actually
intentionally and unlawfully touches or strikes another
person against the will of the other, " mirroring the
language from I.C. § 18-903(b). The jury returned a
guilty verdict. The district court entered a withheld
judgment and placed Nuse on probation for three years. Nuse
timely appeals to this Court.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review of the sufficiency of the evidence is limited in
scope. A finding of guilt will not be overturned on appeal
where there is substantial evidence upon which a reasonable
trier of fact could have found that the prosecution sustained
its burden of proving the essential elements of a crime
beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Herrera-Brito,
131 Idaho 383, 385, 957 P.2d 1099, 1101 (Ct. App. 1998);
State v. Knutson, 121 Idaho 101, 104, 822 P.2d 998,
1001 (Ct. App. 1991). We will not substitute our view for
that of the trier of fact as to the credibility of the
witnesses, the weight to be given to the testimony, and the
reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence.
Knutson, 121 Idaho at 104, 822 P.2d at 1001;
State v. Decker, 108 Idaho 683, 684, 701 P.2d 303,
304 (Ct. App. 1985). Moreover, we will consider the evidence
in the light most favorable to the prosecution.
Herrera-Brito, 131 Idaho at 385, 957 P.2d at 1101;
Knutson, 121 Idaho at 104, 822 P.2d at 1001.
argues the evidence was insufficient to support the
jury's verdict because no rational juror could have
found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Nuse touched or struck
the doctor. In other words, Nuse contends no juror could find
that either the IV fluid made contact with the doctor's
glasses or that the two drops of blood made contact with the
doctor's right cheek constitute "striking"
within the meaning of I.C. §§ 18-903(b) and 18-915C
because Nuse did not physically touch the doctor.
parties cite to State v. Billings, 137 Idaho 827, 54
P.3d 470 (Ct. App. 2002), for the discussion of the criminal
state of mind required to commit a battery. However,
Billings also provides an example of
"striking" without a physical touch. In
Billings, a defendant, after issuing threats, fired
a shotgun into the ground immediately next to two men.
Id. at 828, 54 P.3d at 471. Pellets from the gun
ricocheted and struck one of the men in the elbow, throat,
and side, causing him to bleed. Id. At no point did
the defendant physically touch either of the men. However,
because the jury found the defendant intended the pellets
from the gun to strike the men and because this Court held
the jury's finding was supported by sufficient evidence,
the defendant's battery conviction was upheld.
Id. at 830-31, 54 ...