Man’s conviction stands after state appeals court ruling

August 22, 2018

A Rochester man had his first-degree aggravated robbery charge upheld after the Minnesota Appeals Court reaffirmed his conviction Monday.

The decision came in the form of an unpublished opinion. Emanuel Chol Alfred, 25, was convicted of first-degree aggravated robbery following a jury trial in June 2017.

Alfred had appealed his conviction, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the victim, a 23-year-old man, suffered bodily harm because the man did not specifically testify that he experienced pain and provided minimal testimony on his injuries, according to the decision.

Alfred was arrested following a party on the evening and early morning of March 9 and 10, 2017. During the party, Alfred and another man grabbed and assaulted the 23-year-old man after he was robbed of $80 he had gambled while playing beer pong, according to court documents.

During the trial, the 23-year-old man testified that another man threatened him with a rifle and then Alfred restrained him by holding his arms behind his head so that he did not try to fight, according to court documents.

The man testified to being hit a couple of times by “weak punches” but did not testify that he experienced any pain during the robbery.

Another man testified that the robbery began when Alfred choked the 23-year-old man from behind while another man punched him, according to court documents. That man also testified that Alfred placed his knee on the 23-year-old man’s neck near his throat and applied pressure, to the point that the man said he couldn’t breathe.

“Because we defer to the jury’s credibility determinations, the victim’s testimony in which he denied being choked and described the punches as ‘weak,’ is contrary evidence that we may assume the jury disbelieved,” the appeal read.

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