March 22, 2016.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE LAWRENCE E.
J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, PATRICIA ARCHER, Assistant
Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for
plaintiff and appellee.
BLOUIN, Minnehaha County Public Defenders Office, Sioux
Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.
Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and ZINTER, SEVERSON, and
WILBUR, Justices, concur.
[¶1] Jeremiah Liaw was convicted by a jury
of second-degree kidnapping and criminal trespass. During the
trial, Liaw requested instructions defining specific intent
and voluntary intoxication. The trial court held that
second-degree kidnapping was a general intent crime, and
refused the instructions. Liaw was convicted of both offenses
and appeals. We reverse and remand.
[¶2] Angela Calin is a resident of Sioux
Falls. On October 24, 2014, she was at her home with friends
Jean Wolff and Nikolai Nidalko, an elderly neighbor. Calin
was inside the home while her friends were outside sitting on
her back porch. Calin heard shouting and looked out the
window to see Liaw standing in her driveway. He was not
speaking English, but was uttering loud angry noises. Nidalko
and Wolff were shouting at Liaw to leave the property, but
Liaw refused and did not respond to their commands. Calin
later testified that she feared Liaw would harm Nidalko, who
was 75 years old and had knee problems. Calin walked outside
and stood between the two men in an attempt to calm Liaw. At
this point, Liaw grabbed her by the hand and would not let
go. Calin, age 57, is much shorter than Liaw. Wolff was able
to give Calin a cordless phone from inside the house and
Calin dialed 911 while Liaw held onto her. Liaw was now
holding her with both his hands--one gripping her arm and his
other around her neck and shoulder. Calin was able to give
her address and name to dispatch before Liaw drug her away
from her house, and the connection on the cordless phone was
[¶3] Although terrified, Calin tried to calm
Liaw down. Calin testified that Liaw would respond to her,
but she did not understand him. After pulling her about a
block, Liaw attempted to shove Calin into oncoming traffic.
She was able to avoid being hit by shifting in the opposite
direction. She observed Liaw cross the street and quickly
walk down the block. She followed Liaw, and saw him enter a
grocery store. After he left the store, she went inside and
again called 911, relaying
more information about what had just happened. Calin told the
dispatcher that Liaw had " scared the hell out of
[¶4] Officer Christopher Jasso was the first
to arrive at Calin's house, where Wolff and Nidalko had
remained. Wolff was frantic with worry about Calin and
described the events to Officer Jasso. A few moments later,
Officer Jasso noticed Liaw standing in a yard a few houses
away. Officer Jasso approached Liaw and observed that his
" balance was off and his speech was slurred."
Officer Jasso helped Liaw sit down on the curb so he could
ask Liaw about Calin. The two had the following exchange:
Officer Jasso: What did you do with the woman buddy?
Officer Jasso: What did you do with the old lady that you
were walking with?
Liaw: What lady?
Officer Jasso: The old lady?
Liaw: Did I walk with old lady (inaudible)?
Officer Jasso: Yeah you were over here.
Liaw: Huh, I'm done (repeated multiple ...