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People v. Schaw

April 20, 2010

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
THOMAS SCHAW, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Kent Circuit Court. LC No. 07-013103-FC.

Per curiam.

FOR PUBLICATION

Before: METER, P.J., MURPHY, C.J., and ZAHRA, JJ.

Defendant appeals as of right from his convictions by a jury of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, MCL 750.84; torture, MCL 750.85; and unlawful imprisonment, MCL 750.349b. The trial court sentenced him as a fourth-offense habitual offender, MCL 769.12, to 5 to 10 years' imprisonment for the assault conviction, 225 months' to 30 years' imprisonment for the torture conviction, and 5 to 15 years' imprisonment for the unlawful-imprisonment conviction. We affirm.

Defendant's convictions arose from an altercation he had with his wife Cheryl Schaw at their apartment in Walker, Michigan, on December 2, 2007. Defendant and Cheryl argued, and defendant choked and restrained Cheryl, held a knife to her neck, attempted to drug her, and threatened to kill her.

Defendant first argues that the prosecutor presented insufficient evidence to sustain the torture conviction. We review this issue de novo. People v Lueth, 253 Mich App 670, 680; 660 NW2d 322 (2002). In determining whether the prosecutor presented sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, this Court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecutor and consider whether a rational trier of fact could have determined that all of the elements of the crime were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. People v Johnson, 460 Mich 720, 722-723; 597 NW2d 73 (1999).

MCL 750.85 provides, in relevant part:

(1) A person who, with the intent to cause cruel or extreme physical or mental pain and suffering, inflicts great bodily injury or severe mental pain or suffering upon another person within his or her custody or physical control commits torture and is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) "Cruel" means brutal, inhuman, sadistic, or that which torments.

(b) "Custody or physical control" means the forcible restriction of a person's movements or forcible confinement of the person so as to interfere with that person's liberty, without that person's consent or without lawful authority.

(c) "Great bodily injury" means either of the following:

(i) Serious impairment of a body function as that term is defined in section 58c of the Michigan vehicle code . . . .

(ii) One or more of the following conditions: internal injury, poisoning, serious burns or scalding, severe ...


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