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State v. Treadway

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

November 4, 2014

STATE OF MAINE
v.
STEPHEN TREADWAY

Submitted on Briefs September 23, 2014.

Page 1027

On the briefs: Jeffrey W. Davidson, Esq., Machias, for appellant Stephen Treadway.

Carletta Bassano, District Attorney, and Ethan Plaut, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District VII, Ellsworth, for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, SILVER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1028

JABAR, J.

[¶1] Stephen Treadway appeals from a judgment of conviction of assault (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. § 207(1)(A) (2013), and domestic violence assault (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. 207-A(1)(B)(1) (2013), entered in the trial court ( R. Murray, J.) after a jury trial. Treadway contends that, although there was sufficient evidence to support the guilty verdicts for the assault charges, the State did not produce evidence sufficient to overcome the " parental-control" justification, and his conviction should therefore be vacated. See 17-A M.R.S. § 106(1) (2013). Because there was sufficient evidence presented at trial for the jury to rationally conclude that the parental-control justification was disproved beyond a reasonable doubt, we affirm Treadway's conviction.

I. FACTS

[¶2] " Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the following evidence was admitted at trial." State v. Cook, 2010 ME 81, ¶ 2, 2 A.3d 313. Stephen Treadway's son, the victim here, lived with his mother, Krystal Murphy, and Treadway had not lived with them for a few years. On September 18, 2013, the victim, then fourteen years old, called Murphy and asked her to come home because he did not want to be alone with Treadway, who was coming there to continue an argument he and the victim had been having regarding the victim's marijuana use. Murphy arrived at her home to find the victim sitting on the porch, and Treadway arrived shortly thereafter.

[¶3] Treadway and the victim engaged in a brief conversation in which Treadway indicated his displeasure with the victim's marijuana use and the victim indicated that he would continue using marijuana. Murphy sat in her vehicle with the radio on in an effort to give Treadway privacy while speaking with his son. Treadway then began to walk away, and Murphy rolled down her window to speak with him about an unrelated matter. Murphy asked the victim, who was still seated on the porch, to go inside the house. He refused to do so.

[¶4] Treadway then approached the victim, telling him to go inside and to listen to his mother. The victim said " no," and remained seated on the porch. At that point, Treadway got behind the victim, grabbed him under both arms, and began dragging him toward the door. The victim resisted, so Treadway straddled the victim with a knee on his torso, pinning his back against the porch floor. Treadway then repeatedly struck the victim on the head with an open hand. The victim raised his hands in defense, eventually grabbing the necklace Treadway was wearing. Treadway told the victim to let go of the necklace and, when the victim refused to do so, punched him in the head multiple times with a closed fist. Treadway then stood up and kicked the victim in the ribcage while he remained lying on the porch floor.

[¶5] An argument ensued between Treadway and Murphy, and the ...


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