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Brown v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

September 1, 2016

Stephon Brown, Appellant,
v.
United States, Appellee.

          Submitted June 8, 2016

         Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Criminal Division (CF3-21539-14) (Hon. Todd E. Edelman, Trial Judge)

          Sicilia C. Englert was on the brief for appellant.

          Channing D. Phillips, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Christine M. Macey, and Kristina L. Ament, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.

          Before Thompson and Beckwith, Associate Judges, and King, Senior Judge.

         JUDGMENT

         This case was submitted to the court on the transcript of record and the briefs filed, and without presentation of oral argument. On consideration whereof, and for the reasons set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

         ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgment of conviction is affirmed.

          OPINION

          Phyllis D. Thompson Associate Judge.

         On December 15, 2014, while attempting to make a restaurant food delivery, Gregory Dowell was attacked by two men who repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head and elsewhere before taking his iPhone, wallet, and vest. One of the men also rode away on Dowell's bicycle. Dowell reported the incident to the police, who ran a check to identify any individuals whose GPS monitoring devices showed them to have been in the area at the time of the incident. Through that check, the police learned that appellant, Stephon Brown, had been in the area around that time. They went to appellant's house, found Dowell's bicycle in the backyard, and arrested appellant. Five days after the beating, Dowell, who had been experiencing headaches since the attack, went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion.

         On April 21, 2015, after a trial before the Honorable Todd E. Edelman, a jury convicted appellant of robbery and assault with significant bodily injury. Appellant now argues that the evidence was insufficient to establish he was the perpetrator of the robbery and assault. He also argues that the victim's injury was not "significant" because Dowell "was not hospitalized and received no medical treatment[.]" We affirm.

         I.

         This court's review of sufficiency-of-the-evidence claims is de novo. See Nero v. United States, 73 A.3d 153, 157 (D.C. 2013). We "view the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, mindful of the jury's right to determine credibility, weigh the evidence, and draw justifiable inferences of fact." Blair v. United States, 114 A.3d 960, 976 (D.C. 2015) (quoting Robinson v. United States, 506 A.2d 572, 573 (D.C. 1986)). To prevail on a claim that the evidence was insufficient for conviction, an appellant "must establish that the government presented no evidence upon which a reasonable mind could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Carter v. United States, 957 A.2d 9, 14 (D.C. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). "This is a heavy burden." Blair, 114 A.3d at 976 (internal quotation marks omitted). "[T]he government's evidence need not negate every possible inference of innocence to be sufficient." Smith v. United States, 899 A.2d 119, 121, 123-24 (D.C. 2006) (internal quotation marks ...


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