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State v. Delano

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

March 3, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
ADAM DELANO

Argued November 5, 2014

On the briefs:

Lauren Wille, Esq., DeGrinney Law Offices, Portland, for appellant Adam Delano.

Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, and Tracy J. Gorham, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District Two, Portland, for appellee State of Maine.

At oral argument:

Lauren Wille, Esq., for appellant Adam Delano.

Tracy J. Gorham, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.[*]

OPINION

Page 649

SAUFLEY, C.J.

[¶1] Contending that there were two defects in the trial court's jury instructions, Adam Delano appeals from a judgment of conviction entered by the court ( Moskowitz, J.) after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 208 (2014). Delano argues that the court erred in (A) providing additional jury instructions, after the jury had already begun deliberations, regarding an alternative means of proving aggravated assault as a lesser included offense of the charged crime of elevated aggravated assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 208-B(1)(A) (2014); and (B) refusing to instruct the jury on a self-defense justification, see 17-A M.R.S. § 108 (2014). We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] On September 16, 2012, the victim was residing in a tent at an encampment of homeless people at Thompson's Point in Portland. Sometime between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., he was called out of his tent and attacked, resulting in injuries that left him unconscious. He suffered multiple facial, head, and chest injuries, including a skull fracture, bleeding in the brain, rib fractures, and a collapsed lung. He spent roughly one month in the hospital, some of that time in a coma, as a result of the injuries.

[¶3] Delano was charged by complaint with aggravated assault (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 208(1)(A), for the attack on the victim. He was indicted in December 2012 on one count of elevated aggravated assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 208-B(1)(A).

[¶4] The court held a four-day jury trial in September 2013 at which the victim testified that Delano and another individual had assaulted him. Law enforcement personnel, including police responders and investigators, also testified at trial, as did eyewitnesses to part of the assault, witnesses to whom Delano had made incriminating statements, medical and forensic experts, and the other individual whom the victim had identified as an assailant, who testified that he was not present at the time of the events.

[¶5] Although Delano did not testify, a video recording of a police interview with him was played for the jury. In that video, Delano denied having assaulted, or even having seen, the victim on the night in question. The only injury to ...


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