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Disorderly Conduct – Sufficiency of Evidence

State v. James R. Dobie, 2011AP399-CR, District 3, 8/9/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Dobie: Curt Fisher; case activity

Evidence held sufficient to sustain DC guilty verdict, based on Dobie biting his girlfriend’s (Ronek) arm. Although Ronek testified and denied that Dobie bit her, observations of officers responding to a disturbance call supplied proof of guilt:

¶10      We conclude the evidence presented at trial sufficiently supports Dobie’s disorderly conduct conviction.  First, Vanderheiden overheard Ronek state “‘You fucking’ either ‘bit’ or ‘hit’ me, and it hurt,” and was certain Ronek used the pronoun “you.”  Dobie was the only other individual in the apartment.  When Vanderheiden made contact with Ronek, she observed Ronek had a bite mark on her arm and a bruise developing around her eye. Although Ronek explained Dobie did not cause any injuries, credibility determinations are in the province of the jury.  See State v. Fettig, 172 Wis. 2d 428, 448, 493 N.W.2d 254 (Ct. App. 1992).  The evidence sufficiently supports the jury’s determination Dobie engaged in violent or abusive conduct.

¶11      Second, an anonymous individual reported a female screaming inside the apartment, which caused police to be dispatched.  Ronek corroborated the anonymous individual’s report when she testified that after receiving the bite mark, she was crying, loud, and frantic while inside the apartment.  Consequently, the evidence sufficiently supports the jury’s determination that Dobie’s act of biting Ronek tended to cause or provoke a disturbance.

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