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A jury found Simmons guilty of four counts of attempted murder, two counts of criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, and one count each of unlawful use of body armor and possession of marijuana.
The trial court sentenced him to thirty-three years for each attempted murder count, two years for each count of criminal recklessness and unlawful use of body armor, and six months for possession of marijuana. The court ordered the attempted murder sentences be served consecutively, while the sentences for the other four counts were to be served concurrent with the attempted murder sentences for an aggregate sentence of years.
Directed Verdicts9 Simmons argues he was entitled to directed verdicts on three of the attempted murder 8 Simmons was charged with six counts and found guilty of four.
On appeal, he challenges only three counts. Guy v. State, N. If the evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction on appeal, then the denial of a motion for a directed verdict could not be error.
The State need only present a prima facie case in order to avoid an adverse directed verdict. Hollowell v. However, as the State notes, Simmons presented evidence after the court denied his motions for directed verdict, so he has waived review of the denial.
See, e. In this situation, we review Simmons claim as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. When reviewing sufficiency of evidence, we do not reweigh evidence or reassess credibility of witnesses; rather, we consider only the evidence favorable to the verdict and reasonable inferences to be drawn from that evidence.
If there is substantial evidence of probative value to support the conclusions of the trier of fact, we will affirm the conviction. In this case, there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions. But Simmons does not appear to be making any such argument as to Officer Clarke.
Instead, Simmons explicitly concedes he could have seen Clarke or at least have been aware of his presence.
Thus, if the evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction on appeal, the denial of a motion for a directed verdict could not be error.
Henley v. Because intent is a mental state, intent to kill may be inferred from the deliberate use of a deadly weapon in a manner likely to cause death or serious injury. Firing a gun in the direction of an individual is substantial evidence from which a jury may infer intent to kill. In Henley, Police stopped Henley s car, and Henley ran away.
Using a police dog, officers tracked Henley to a van. When the dog entered the van, Henley began shooting and killed the dog. Our Supreme Court found there was no evidence Henley knew police officers were present when he fired his weapon. The officer testified that, not knowing Henley was in the van, he gave no commands at all. The officer testified, however that he could not see Henley because it was too dark in the van. The Henley Court found that record simply devoid of any probative evidence that Henley was pointing his firearm at Officer Molinet when he fired the weapon.
We are compelled to conclude that Henley s intent to kill Officer Molinet was not established beyond a reasonable doubt.
That evidence, Simmons says, was that the officers were in hot pursuit of Henley. They were pursuing him with the dog. The dog was tethered to the officer. It seems pretty apparent that Henley was aware officers were present. As noted above, our Supreme Court explicitly found to the contrary: There was no evidence presented that Henley was aware of the police presence when he fired his weapon.
Henley, N. Simmons concedes it is arguable that he was in a position to be aware of the officers deployed in the doorway, Br. Simmons characterizes as the best evidence, id. However, we may not consider the best evidence from Simmons perspective. See Olive v.
The available evidence permitted the jury to infer Simmons was aware of the officers behind the drywall even if he could not see all of them. In Champlain v.
We noted testimony that Champlain fired into a trailer home at close range aware that the victim was inside. The jury could have concluded from that evidence that Champlain knowingly killed the victim. When the thirteen officers first approached the basement where Simmons was hiding, they knocked and announced: Police, warrant, get on the ground and make yourself known.
The police called out search warrant and arrest warrant, and each officer announced which agency he represented. After one officer encountered Simmons in the laundry room, other officers formed a tactical stack against the outside of the laundry room wall.
Simmons conceded when they were in the laundry room, there was [sic] three or four of them that came in. The officers told Simmons several times to come out of the room, but he did not: There was [sic] several voice commands from several officers. Officers Bartlett, Stevenson, and Katt were lined up behind Officer Clarke, who was kneeling at the left side of the laundry room doorway and who could see Simmons.
Officer Bartlett testified he could see Simmons, and Officer Bartlett and Simmons exchanged words for about five minutes. As there was ample evidence from which the jury could infer Simmons knew there were at least four officers behind the wall he shot at, there was sufficient evidence to convict Simmons of four counts of attempted murder.
Jury Instructions The manner of instructing a jury is left to the sound discretion of the trial court. Albores v. We review the trial court s decision only for an abuse of that discretion.
On review of a decision not to give a proposed jury instruction, we consider whether the instruction 1 correctly states the law, 2 is supported by the evidence, and 3 is covered in substance by other instructions that are given. We consider jury instructions as a whole and in reference to each other and do not 9 reverse unless the instructions as a whole mislead the jury as to the law in the case. Even if an instruction is a correct statement of the law and finds support in the evidence, a trial court may in its discretion decline to give it if its substance is covered by other instructions.
Simmons trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining Simmons tendered instruction on the presumption of innocence. The tendered instruction included the statement: Under the law of this state, a person charged with a crime is presumed to be innocent.
That instruction, Simmons asserts, contained the mandatory language concerning the fact that the presumption of innocence continues throughout the trial.
This court has found that upon request of the defendant, the count [sic] must include this language. Simmons relies on Lee v.
We noted an instruction that advises the jury that the presumption of innocence prevails until the close of the trial. In fact, Simmons jury was so instructed, at least at the beginning of his trial.
Simmons does not acknowledge in his brief13 that preliminary instruction number fourteen 13 Simmons did not submit a reply brief.
The court again instructed the jury in its final instructions about the presumption of innocence, but the final instructions did not include the specific language that the presumption of innocence continues throughout the trial.
It was not an abuse of discretion to so instruct the jury only in the preliminary instructions and not again in the final instructions, as other final instructions adequately conveyed to the jury the concept that the presumption of innocence continues throughout the trial.
In final instruction number 28, the jury was told You should attempt to fit the evidence to the presumption that the defendant is innocent and the theory that every witness is telling the truth. As it is throughout the trial that the jury receives evidence, the instruction that it should try to fit the evidence to the presumption of Simmons innocence covered, in substance, the instruction that the presumption continues throughout the trial.
There was no abuse of discretion. See Albores, N. Sentence Simmons concedes the trial court could impose consecutive sentences for the four counts of attempted murder, but argues the imposition of consecutive sentences, resulting in an aggregate sentence of years was inappropriate in light of the trial court s statement that the aggravating circumstances only slightly outweighed the mitigators.
Anderson v. An abuse of discretion occurs when the decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the evidence before the court or the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom.
Appellate Rule 7 B empowers us to independently review and revise sentences authorized by statute if, after due consideration, we find the trial court s decision inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.
The nature of offense compares the defendant s actions with the required showing to sustain a conviction under the charged offense, id. An appellant bears the burden of showing both prongs of the inquiry favor revision of the sentence. Simmons does not explicitly address any facts relevant to his character or the nature of his offense.
Instead, he notes the trial court characterized the sentence for each Class A felony count, thirty-three years, as only marginally above the advisory sentences, 14 Tr. At but it then ordered them to run consecutively for an effective sentence of years. Using the exact same set of circumstances to impose sentences close to the advisory for individual counts but then ordering the individual sentences to be served consecutively was, Simmons asserts without citation to authority, a completely.
He finally got his wake-up call when one of the Seven Immortals was murdered — after which he dropped out of gang life, winding up at the City College of New York in Harlem, where he majored in sociology. It was Simmons' first brush with hip hop, and he felt like he'd "just witnessed the invention of the wheel. Inspired by the success of "Rappers' Delight" in , they recorded a single together, "Christmas Rappin. So he pressed vinyl copies of "Christmas Rappin'" himself and gave them to DJs to play in clubs, sparking the interest of retailers who were led to believe that they could buy the record from the Polygram label they couldn't.
When Polygram began receiving calls, their interest was piqued and Blow got his record deal — a masterstroke by Simmons. Simmons never completed college; by now his path was set. Simmons co-produced two songs for them, "It's Like That" and "Sucker MCs" — the latter's sparse, hard-edged sound was unlike anything heard in hip hop before: it was the first time Simmons had reinvented the genre; it wouldn't be the last. Run-DMC's self-titled debut album in became the first rap album to be certified gold.
A year earlier, year-old Simmons had been introduced to an aspiring producer, Rick Rubin, then 20, at the Danceteria nightclub in Manhattan. They were chalk and cheese — Simmons a savvy hustler, Rubin a student punk-rock fan from suburban Long Island. But they immediately clicked and Simmons became an equal partner at Rubin's fledgling label, Def Jam which he had been running from his dorm room at New York University.
The pair had a hit with their first release — "I Need a Beat," by the year-old LL Cool J — enabling Simmons to secure a distribution deal with Columbia: the first deal of its kind for a hip-hop independent with a major label. Highlights included turning frat-boy rap into an unlikely global phenomenon with The Beastie Boys' album Licensed to Ill; landing the first million-dollar endorsement deal for a hip-hop group when Run-DMC's single "My Adidas" came to the attention of the sportswear giant; fusing rock with hip hop on Run-DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk this Way" — the video becoming the first featuring a hip-hop act to be played on heavy rotation at MTV; and turning the world on to black-power politics via the most explosively radical group in hip-hop history, Public Enemy.
Rubin left the label in under circumstances that have never been fully explained. Simmons hinted to Billboard, many years later in , that there had been creative differences, but also suggested that these had not been insurmountable; it has also been widely reported that Rubin lost a power struggle with Lyor Cohen, who would take his place at Def Jam and become the label's president.
Now under the Universal Music Group umbrella, Def Jam continues to be hugely influential although neither of its founders is involved in the label. Mogul: 'Def Jam Comedy' to Phat Farm to Global Grind Even before Simmons had made his fortune from the sale of Def Jam, he was expanding his business interests beyond music — creating a template that other hip-hop moguls would follow.
Simmons recently announced he would be returning to Broadway with a new hip-hop musical, The Scenario. He also formed two other clothing lines, ArgyleCulture "for the millennial male" and Tantris, which makes yoga apparel.
Simmons uses his parent company, Rush Communications, to oversee his vast business portfolio — which also includes the pop-culture website Global Grind, three nonprofits, Celsius "the world's first negative calorie drink" , Def Pictures and Rush Books, which publishes Simmons's business and self-help books, including 's Do You!