Considered on Briefs January 11, 2016.
As Corrected April 25, 2016.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE MARK SALTER, Judge.
MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, JOHN M. STROHMAN, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.
KRISTI JONES, Minnehaha County Public Advocates Office, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.
ZINTER, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and SEVERSON, WILBUR, and KERN, Justices, concur.
[¶1] Troy Reinhardt was convicted of simple assault. He appeals the circuit court's refusal to give a definitive ruling, at the close of the State's evidence, on his request for a self-defense jury instruction. Reinhardt also contends that the admission of certified copies of his fingerprint cards from prior arrests in Iowa and Nebraska violated his Sixth Amendment right of confrontation in a subsequent court trial on a habitual criminal information. We affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
[¶2] Reinhardt's assault charge arose out of an incident in which he punched
another person while in the lobby of the Minnehaha County Jail. During a two-day jury trial, the State elicited testimony from the victim, eyewitnesses, and jail personnel. After the State rested its case, the court distributed its proposed jury instructions. The court did not include Reinhardt's requested self-defense instruction. The following morning, the court inquired whether Reinhardt was going to testify. Reinhardt's counsel stated that if the court was still not inclined to give a self-defense instruction, Reinhardt would testify. The court indicated the State's evidence was insufficient to support such an instruction. Reinhardt then took the stand and testified that he was defending himself in the incident. He alleged that he punched the victim in response to being pushed. At the conclusion of all the evidence, the court gave the jury a self-defense instruction. The jury returned a guilty verdict.
[¶3] A court trial was subsequently held on the habitual criminal information. The information alleged that Reinhardt had been convicted of two prior assaults: one on August 12, 2003, in Woodbury County, Iowa; and another on September 12, 2008, in Douglas County, Nebraska. During that trial, over Reinhardt's objection, the State introduced certified fingerprint cards it acquired from Iowa and Nebraska agencies that had fingerprints relating to Reinhardt's convictions in those jurisdictions. Marc Toft, of the Sioux Falls Crime Laboratory, testified that he compared the fingerprints on the fingerprint cards with the fingerprints taken from Reinhardt following the assault in South Dakota. Toft opined that all three sets of fingerprints ...