KOSRAE STATE COURT
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Cite as Korae State v. Albert, Kosrae St.(1989)
CRIMINAL CASE N0. 162-88
Before Honorable Harry H. Skilling
Chief Justice Kosrae State Court,
Decided June 30, 1989
For the Plaintiff: Robinhood Noda
Kosrae State 9694-4
For the Defendant: Patrick Olter
Kosrae State 96944
BEFORE CHIEF JUSTICE SKILLING
This is a case where the defendant, Jackson Albert was charged with the offense of malicious mischief under K.C. 13.408. Defendant had entered a plea of not guilty and was tried on April 4, 1989.
Mr. Jackson argued that the government failed to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to warrant conviction.
In response to the defendant's argument, the government asserts that the evidence introduced during trial is overwhelming and more than sufficient to warrant conviction.
Statements of the Case
Late in the evening on July 10, 1988, Tosiwo Tosie was injured and needed immediate medical treatment at Kosrae Hospital. After his family found a person, Enida Ueka, to drive him in his pick up to the hospital, Mr. Tosie was driven to the hospital for medical treatment. Mrs. Ueka and Mr. Tosie were accompanied in the pickup by William Tosie, a minor child, and two other adults, Winfield Mike, and Adison Jonas..
On their way to hospital, the driver observe that head lights, antenna, turn signals and other truck equipment were in good working conditions. After Mr. Tosie arrived at the hospital, he proceeded inside and was given medical treatments.
Thereafter, Mr. Diovel Sigrah, the on-duty hospital security guard, testified that after Mr. Tosie went into the hospital, he observed the defendant, Jackson Albert, leaning against Mr. Tosie's pickup truck.
On this particular night, one witness Mr. Adison Jonas, testified that he saw defendant beside Mr. Tosie's pickup truck and that he saw the defendant break the antenna and the signals. He further testified that the tire at the right front was flat.
Mrs. Ueka, The driver of the vehicle, testifed that after having parked the vehicle outside the hospital, she later noticed that the handle of the signals was broken, the antenna was damaged and that the head lights were damaged.
William Tosie and Winfield z. Mike both testified that they saw defendant standing beside the vehicle. Based upon this testiony, there can be no doubt that all witnesses saw and identified the defendant as the only person standing beside Mr. Tosie's pickup truck the night it was vandalized while parked outside the hospital on July 10, 1988.
The primary issue before this Court to determine is whether or not there was sufficient proof that defendant Jackson was the person that damaged the pickup truck when it was parked at the hospital.
KC 13 .408
The charge of malicious mischief requires the following elements to be established and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Malicious mischief is willfully destroying, damaging, or injuring property belonging to another. Malicious mischief is a category one misdemeanor." KC 13.408.
The information clearly alleged that various items on Mr. Tosie's pickup truck were damaged during the night of July 10, 1988 at the parking lot at Kosrae Hospital.
Evidence and testimony revealed that defendant Jackson Albert was the only person standing next to the pickup truck when it was parked at the Kosrae Hospital.
The fact that the vehicle was damaged on the night of July 10, 1988 while parked at the State Hospital is not disputed. The only remaining issue that needs to be resolved is whether or riot defendant was the person that damaged the property. In analyzing the facts presented in this case, the Court must be satisfied that witnesses who testify have personal knowledge of the matters on which they testify. The law does not favor impressions, conclusions, or beliefs of a witness that are not founded on facts. Testimony should be based on the personal knowledge of a witness and in proper cases, an impression, conclusion or belief based on those facts.
Rule 602 of Federal Rules of Evidence in part provides;
"A witness may not testify to a matter unless evidence is introduce sufficient to support a finding that he has personal knowledge of the matter."
Malicious mischief is very definitely a crime in which (a) willfully damaging property, and (b) of another, are the primary elements. To meet the requirements of section 13.408 of Kosrae Criminal Code, defining this crime, the acts involved must be done willfully and therefore with the intent to destroy, damage, or injure property of another.
Considering the situation that occurred during this particular night and the damage that was done to Mr. Tosie's vehicle this Court is pursuaded that whoever damaged the vehicle did so willfully and with the intent to damage the pickup truck belonging to Mr. Tosie. Given the close proximity of the defendant to Mr. Tosie's truck and the testimony of Adison Jonas and the other witnesses, this Court concludes that the damage to the-truck was done by the defendant. These acts were willful and unlawful and in violation of Section 13.408 of Kosrae Criminal Code.
The evidences submitted in this matter convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the acts which
caused the damage to Mr. Tosie's pickup truck. i therefore concluded that by virtue of defendant's acts, he is guilty of the offense of Malicious Mischief in violation of KC 13.408.
Entered this day of 2nd day of October, 1989.
Chief Clerk of Court Kosrae