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State v. Ladu

Supreme Court of South Dakota

February 24, 2016

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
DOMINIC CONTINO LADU, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs November 30, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE MARK E. SALTER. Judge.

MARTY JACKLEY, Attorney General, CRAIG M. EICHSTADT, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

BEAU J. BLOUIN of Minnehaha County Public, Defender's Office, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

GILBERTSON, Chief Justice. ZINTER, SEVERSON, WILBUR, and KERN, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 506

GILBERTSON, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Dominic Contino Ladu appeals from a judgment of conviction for aggravated assault and intentional damage to property. Ladu maintains the circuit court erred in denying his motion for a judgment of acquittal on the intentional damage charge. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

[¶2] Ladu, Tiffany Kelsey, Wyatt Kelsey, and others celebrated the 4th of July drinking at Tiffany's apartment. Ladu and Tiffany were dating. Wyatt and Tiffany are brother and sister. Wyatt lived with Tiffany in the apartment, although Tiffany was the only person on the lease. Ladu did not live in the apartment with Tiffany and Wyatt.

[¶3] Ladu argued with another party-goer and Tiffany told him to leave. Ladu eventually got into a car and left. The other party-goers also left so Tiffany and Wyatt decided to visit their parents. Before leaving the empty apartment, Tiffany locked the door. Ladu did not have authority to be in the apartment after he was told to leave.

[¶4] While they were away, Tiffany and Wyatt received a phone call alerting them that someone was in their apartment. Tiffany and Wyatt returned and found Ladu inside their apartment. The apartment had been ransacked. Ladu and Wyatt immediately engaged in a physical confrontation. During a struggle to force Ladu out of the door, Ladu pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and cocked it. Wyatt successfully forced him out the front door. Once outside, Ladu punched one of the apartment windows with his gun. The window shattered.[1] Ladu pointed his gun

Page 507

through the broken window and yelled at Tiffany. Tiffany ran outside and called 911. Ladu fled. The police ...


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