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State v. Weaver

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

January 14, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
JASON J. WEAVER

         Argued November 4, 2015

Page 973

          On the briefs: Verne E. Paradie, Jr., Esq., Paradie, Sherman, Walker & Worden, Lewiston, for appellant Jason Weaver.

         Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, and Kate Tierney, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District No. Two, Portland, for appellee State of Maine.

         At oral argument: Verne E. Paradie, Jr., Esq., for appellee Jason Weaver Kate Tierney, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine.

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

          OPINION

Page 974

          GORMAN, J.

          [¶1] Jason J. Weaver appeals from a judgment of conviction for aggravated assault, 17-A M.R.S. § 208(1)(A) (2014),[1] entered in the Unified Criminal Docket (Cumberland County, Warren, J. ) after a jury trial. Weaver argues that his trial was tainted by obvious error as a result of a statement the prosecutor made during closing argument and the court's self-defense jury instruction. He also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction. We affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

          [¶2] Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the trial record supports the following facts. See State v. Patton, 2012 ME 101, ¶ 2, 50 A.3d 544. Weaver and the victim began dating in September of 2013. In January of 2014, the two began arguing after the victim refused to give Weaver her cellular telephone. In order to get the telephone, Weaver grabbed the victim's wrists, straddled her, and pushed her face into the bed. After some struggling, the victim was able to move enough so that she was facing Weaver. When he put his hands around her neck, she bit him. Weaver then threw the victim off the bed, where her head struck and broke a closet door.

          [¶3] Weaver eventually returned the victim's telephone, but later he took it again and smashed it on the floor. He then punched the victim six times on the left side of her head.

          [¶4] When the victim was able to get to a hospital, she learned that, among other injuries, she had suffered two broken eye sockets and a fractured vertebral body. She had double vision for about six weeks, wore a neck brace for twelve weeks, missed about three and a half months of work, and was still experiencing headaches at the time of trial about seven months after the assault.

          [¶5] On July 24, 2014, the State charged Weaver by information with aggravated assault (Class B), based on an allegation of serious ...


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