State v. Watson

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State v. Watson

Case Number
A-15-0402
Call Date
April 12, 2016
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-15-0042, State v. Waltrivelish J. Watson (Appellant)

Lancaster County, District Court Judge Paul Merritt, Jr.

Attorney for Appellant: Joe Nigro and Amanda R. Baskin (Lancaster County Public Defender's Office)

Attorney for Appellee: Douglas J. Peterson and George R. Love (Attorney General's Office)

Criminal Action: child enticement

Action Taken by Trial Court: A jury found the appellant guilty of child enticement and he was thereafter sentenced by the district court to two to five years' imprisonment.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: The appellant assigns that the court erred by finding sufficient evidence to support the verdict, by giving a supplemental jury instruction not sourced in law and prejudicial to the appellant and by imposing an excessive sentence.

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-15-0042, State v. Waltrivelish J. Watson (Appellant)

Lancaster County, District Court Judge Paul Merritt, Jr.

Attorney for Appellant: Joe Nigro and Amanda R. Baskin (Lancaster County Public Defender's Office)

Attorney for Appellee: Douglas J. Peterson and George R. Love (Attorney General's Office)

Criminal Action: Child Enticement, Neb. Rev. Stat.' 28-311 (Cum. Supp. 2014).

Action Taken by Trial Court: A jury found the appellant guilty of child enticement and he was thereafter sentenced by the district court to two to five years' imprisonment.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: The appellant assigns that the court erred by finding sufficient evidence to support the verdict, by giving a supplemental jury instruction not sourced in law and prejudicial to the appellant and by imposing an excessive sentence.

Facts: M.S., age 14 at the time of the incident, was walking home in the early evening hours after attending an after school program, when a vehicle pulled up alongside her. M.S. was walking on a sidewalk near Lincoln High School and the LPS Maintenance building. The man driving the vehicle, later identified as the appellant, asked M.S. to get in his vehicle. M.S. said no and crossed the street. The vehicle pulled up again next to her and asked her to come to the car. Again, M.S. refused and told the appellant her mother was expecting her to be home. M.S. became afraid and ran home, where she informed her parents what had happened and the police were contacted. Law enforcement obtained surveillance video from LPS which showed part of the encounter. Appellant was interviewed by police and generally denied asking her to the car.

Arguments on Appeal: The appellant argues that there was no evidence that he attempted to solicit, coax, entice, or lure M.S. into his vehicle. He argues that the surveillance video shows that he stopped next to her, but that there is no evidence of anything further.

The appellant also argues that the supplemental jury instruction requested by the jury after the matter was submitted was error and was prejudicial to him. That instruction was given in response to the jury asking the trial court for a definition of the terms utilized in the statute.

The instruction given to the jury was as follows:

As used in the Instructions previously given to you:

"Entice' means attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage.

"Solicit" means ask for or try to obtain something from someone by earnest or respectful request.

"Coax" means persuade someone gradually or by flattery to do something.

"Lure" means tempt a person to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some sort of reward.

Finally, the appellant argues that the sentence imposed upon him was excessive.

Case Location
Peru
Panel Text
Inbody, Pirtle, and Riedmann, Judges