District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Royal I.
Hansen No. 161909443
Alexandra S. McCallum, Attorney for Appellant
D. Reyes and Lindsey Wheeler, Attorneys for Appellee
KATE APPLEBY authored this Opinion, in which JUDGES JILL M.
POHLMAN and DIANA HAGEN concurred.
Matthew Gordon Eyre appeals his conviction for aggravated
robbery and raises two issues on appeal. First, he argues his
trial counsel (Trial Counsel) was ineffective for failing to
object to a jury instruction that purportedly misstated the
mens rea requirement for accomplice liability. Second, Eyre
argues his motion for a mistrial should have been granted
after the jury viewed the recording of his police interview
during its deliberations. In the alternative, he argues Trial
Counsel was ineffective for failing to ensure the recording
was kept out of the jury room. We affirm.
In August 2016, the victims (Boyfriend and Girlfriend) drove
to downtown Salt Lake City in a Dodge Challenger to purchase
drugs. Eyre, along with two others, Driver and Passenger,
were in a parked Chrysler PT Cruiser. Passenger decided he
wanted to steal the Challenger. Eyre told Passenger it was a
bad idea. Passenger said he "was going to ask
[Boyfriend] for a jump start" for the PT Cruiser. Eyre
claims that "as soon as [Passenger] got out of the
car," he started "spinning [the] whole fuckin'
jump thing." Boyfriend agreed to help jump start the PT
Boyfriend parked the Challenger next to the PT Cruiser.
Girlfriend remained in the car as Boyfriend got out, opened
the hood, and stood between the two vehicles talking to
Passenger. Passenger told Eyre and Driver to look for jumper
cables in the trunk. After rummaging around in the trunk
pretending to look for the cables, Eyre walked up to
Passenger and told him they did not have any. Eyre claims he
did not know what was said afterward between Boyfriend and
According to Boyfriend and Girlfriend, Passenger lifted his
shirt and showed a pistol tucked into his waistband.
Passenger announced, "You know what this is. We are
taking everything. . . . Get your bitch out of the car.
I'm going to pistol whip her." Boyfriend testified
that Eyre displayed a pistol as well, while Girlfriend
testified she did not see Eyre with a pistol or see him leave
the trunk area of the PT Cruiser.
Girlfriend passed a gun to Boyfriend through the passenger
side window of the Challenger. Boyfriend testified that
Passenger drew his gun and pointed it in Boyfriend's
direction so Boyfriend fired his gun at Passenger; Passenger
died later that day. Eyre fled the scene.
Girlfriend and Boyfriend started driving away in the
Challenger, followed by Driver in the PT Cruiser. Driver hit
the Challenger's rear end, causing the PT Cruiser to
flip. Boyfriend and Girlfriend drove away. They parked nearby
and discarded Boyfriend's gun before the police arrived
and arrested Boyfriend. While searching the Challenger the
police found a gun cleaning kit, a scale for measuring drugs,
two bags of marijuana, and thirty-seven bags of suspected
Spice. The police found a pistol magazine in the
PT Cruiser. Other than this evidence, they found "[v]ery
little physical evidence" at the crime scene, which was
"compromised" by various individuals who rushed
there and stole things from the PT Cruiser and Passenger
after the shooting.
The police spoke to a witness who gave a description of Eyre,
and this information led an officer to stop him nearby. The
officer initially let Eyre leave after he denied involvement
with the shooting, but he was later arrested and interviewed.
Police never recovered a gun from him, but the State charged
Eyre with aggravated robbery, a first degree felony, under a
theory of accomplice liability. The case went to trial in
The parties stipulated to a "blanket admission" of
all exhibits including: a map of the area, photos of the
scene, photos of Eyre during his interview with police, a
surveillance video of the area, a video of Eyre's
interview with police (Exhibit 11), and the pistol magazine
recovered from the PT Cruiser. According to Trial Counsel,
the parties agreed that Exhibit 11 could be played at trial
but Trial Counsel was under the impression that the video
would not go back to the jury room during deliberations. All
exhibits went back to the jury room.
During deliberations, the jury asked for a computer so it
could view the video exhibits. A computer was provided and
Trial Counsel assumed the jury wanted to view a different
video, not Exhibit 11. After twenty minutes Trial Counsel
realized the jury might have access to Exhibit 11 and
immediately notified a court employee. The ...