Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Barney

Court of Appeals of Utah

August 23, 2018

State of Utah, Appellee,
v.
Phillip Virgile Barney, Appellant.

          Seventh District Court, Price Department The Honorable George M. Harmond No. 151700227

          Don M. Torgerson, Attorney for Appellant

          Sean D. Reyes and Jeffrey D. Mann, Attorneys for Appellee

          Judge David N. Mortensen authored this Opinion, in which Judges Ryan M. Harris and Diana Hagen concurred.

          OPINION

          MORTENSEN, Judge.

         ¶1 Phillip Virgile Barney held Victim hostage overnight in a pickup truck on a lonely country road, beating Victim and holding a knife to her throat in the process. During the ordeal, Barney told Victim that he intended to continue to torture her and eventually kill her. Based on this incident, a jury convicted Barney of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and violation of a protective order. Barney claims his convictions should be reversed because the trial court allowed evidence of other acts of abuse that Barney had perpetrated against Victim. We reject Barney's claims and affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Victim walked alone one evening searching for her teenage daughter. Despite an active protective order barring contact, Barney approached Victim in his truck and offered a ride to her daughter's location. Although Victim and Barney had been arguing earlier that day, Victim got into his truck.

         ¶3 As soon as Victim got in, Barney grabbed her hair and slammed her head against the center console, pinning her neck under his forearm. Barney sped away, punching and kneeing Victim in the face while threatening to kill her. He then drove until the truck ran out of gas on a rural country road.

         ¶4 Stranded there, Barney pulled out a large knife and held it to Victim's throat. Barney threatened to torture and kill Victim, saying he would force a stone down her throat to choke her, and that when she was almost dead he would slit her throat and fill her body with rocks. At one point, Barney gave the knife to Victim and told her to kill herself, which she considered doing. Barney eventually fell asleep, but Victim remained in the truck with him until morning.

         ¶5 After sunrise, Barney left to find gas. He found a local rancher, who brought gas to the stranded truck. Victim did not speak with the rancher or flee while Barney was gone. Barney then brought Victim home. Victim did not report this incident (the Kidnapping Incident) to the police until roughly two months later.

         ¶6 The State charged Barney for the Kidnapping Incident. Before trial, the State moved to admit evidence of other acts of abuse that Barney had committed against Victim. Those acts included (1) a prior incident where, because Victim refused to get in his truck, Barney drove his truck at a high speed toward Victim, narrowly missing her (the Vehicular Assault Incident); (2) a prior incident where Barney, upset that Victim was not responding to his attempts to contact her, found Victim babysitting at a friend's house, pushed his way into the home, and pinned her by the neck against a wall with his forearm while she was holding a child (the Strangulation Incident); (3) a prior incident where Barney sent letters to Victim while he was in jail, violating a protective order (the Protective Order Incident); and (4) an incident that occurred after the Kidnapping Incident, but before the Kidnapping Incident was reported, where Barney began speeding with Victim in the truck, grabbing her by the head, and when he refused to stop, Victim tried to jump out of the truck only to have Barney pull her back in (the Moving Vehicle Incident). The trial court initially excluded all of this evidence, but it did not foreclose the admission of the evidence on rebuttal "if [Victim is] challenged or if there's evidence that she should have done something and didn't."

         ¶7 During trial, Barney's defense counsel questioned Victim about why she did not try to escape and why she waited so long to report the Kidnapping Incident to the police. To rebut those concerns, the State again moved to admit the other-acts evidence. The trial court admitted the Vehicular Assault, Strangulation, and Protective Order Incidents for the noncharacter purpose of explaining Victim's state of mind: her fear of Barney. The trial court also allowed evidence of the Moving Vehicle Incident to show Barney's "modus operandi," and Victim's "reaction and her fear."

         ¶8 A jury convicted Barney of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and violation of a protective order. Barney appeals, challenging the trial ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.