August 1, 2012 in Idaho

Court clears North Idaho man of 3 felony charges

By The Spokesman-Review
 

BOISE - A Kootenai County man has been cleared of three felony charges, after the Idaho Court of Appeals ruled a jury didn’t have sufficient evidence to conclude he had a gun when he angrily confronted friends of his ex-girlfriend in 2010 after vandalizing their home.

David Loren Curry was convicted of burglary, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, with a sentence enhancement added for being a persistent violator; the burglary charge was based on the argument that he entered a garage with the intent of threatening the occupants with a deadly weapon.

The friends said Curry kept his hand in his pocket, and one said he saw him partly remove a black object that appeared to be the barrel of a gun. However, no proof was found that Curry actually had a gun, and he never threatened to shoot or said he was armed.

Judge Sergio Gutierrez, writing for the majority in a 2-1 decision, wrote, “We conclude the evidence was insufficient to support an inference beyond a reasonable doubt that Curry had a deadly weapon.”

In a dissent, Judge John Melanson wrote that it could still be aggravated assault if the victim thought Curry had a gun, even if he didn’t, so he favored upholding the convictions for aggravated assault and burglary.

Curry was separately convicted of malicious injury to property for the vandalism, which he admitted. He was represented in his appeal by the Boise law firm of Nevin, Benjamin, McKay & Bartlett.


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