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Lawrence Scott DAME





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: October 18, 2000
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: September 16, 1972
Victims profile: His sister, Donna Mimbach, 29; her husband, Todd Mimbach, 32; and their children, Daniel Mimbach, 22 months; Amber Duval, 9, and John Mimbach, 12
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer / Cutting their throats
Location: Anoka County, Minnesota, USA
Status: Sentenced to five consecutives life sentences in prison in 2002

On October 20, 2000, Police in Minnesota have arrested an ex-convict Lawrence Scott Dame for the murders of his sister, her husband and their three young children.

Dame, had been released the day before the killings from the Anoka County jail where he was being held for allegedly stealing one of the family's cars.

The victims were identified as Donna Mimbach, 29; her husband, Todd Mimbach, 32; and their children, Daniel Mimbach, 22 months; Amber Duval, 9, and John Mimbach, 12. The bodies were found in the family's suburban Minneapolis home after a concerned co-worker of the father's called police because he hadn't shown up to work.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that as a condition of his release, Dame was supposed to report to a hospital for a mental health crisis intervention. Don Ilse, director of field services for Anoka County Community Corrections, told the newspaper that Dame spoke with a mental health professional at the hospital. Family members said they unsuccessfully tried admitting Dame to the hospital. Hannah Dame told the Pioneer Press her son had been acting strangely and recently claimed to hear voices. She quoted her son as saying, "The spirits said your family is going to kill you. Well, I better kill everyone before they kill me."

Police said that Donna Mimbach called Lino Lakes police for help the night before she and her family were killed by her brother. "We did everything legally possible to assist Donna Mimbach on the night of October 18," said Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia addressing the fact that officers could not legally arrest Larry S. Dame from her home unless she evicted him.

According to the police report the morning after Dame beat the Mimbach family with a hammer and stabbed all but his sister with a kitchen knife as they slept.

According to friends Donna loved her brother. Their other brother, Walter Dame, 23, said Larry drank to quiet the voices. The voices told Larry Dame that his family was out to kill him because they were trying to commit him to a mental hospital, his brother said.

Dame had been jailed for a week this month after taking one of the Mimbachs' cars. He was released the day before the killings. Todd and Donna Mimbach picked him up at the jail late that afternoon. After taking his wife home, Todd Mimbach took Dame to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids hoping to have Dame admitted to the hospital. Instead, Dame was sent back to the Mimbach home.

At 9:26 p.m. Donna called 911 for help: "Um, it's regarding, OK my brother got discharged from the um jail today and the consequences were that he was supposed to go to the hospital because he hears voices and he stole my car and all this stuff. My husband brought him to the hospital and the hospital will not take him, and so my husband is bringing him back here because we can't get ahold of his parole officer. Well, I can't have him stay here. He has to go back to jail or something."

The next day, after relatives could not gain access to the house, police were called and the massacre was discovered.


Man confesses to killing sister, her family

By Steve Karnowski - Brainerd Dispatch

October 25, 2000

ANOKA -- A man confessed he used a hammer and kitchen knife to kill his sister, her husband and their three children while they were asleep in their beds, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.

Larry S. Dame, 28, was charged in Anoka County District Court with five counts of second-degree murder and one count of auto theft in the deaths of Donna and Todd Mimbach, of Lino Lakes, and their children, ages 22 months to 12 years old.

"This was a horrific crime, and anytime that you have a crime scene involving children it's difficult," lead investigator Tony Helgesen said. "There was no sign of any struggle by the victims."

They were killed early last Thursday, one day after the ex-convict got out of jail following his arrest a week earlier on suspicion of stealing Donna Mimbach's car and violating parole by drinking.

According to the criminal complaint, Dame told investigators he hit the victims in the head with the hammer "numerous" times and also cut them with a knife. He cleaned up in the laundry room sink, wiped off the blood with a towel, then bagged up the bloody towel, his clothing and the hammer and knife, it said.

Dame then put the bag in Todd Mimbach's station wagon and drove to Rockford, Ill., where he got rid of the bag in a trash bin near a motel, the complaint said.

Investigators told reporters Dame drove back to Minnesota on Saturday after spending at least one night in Rockford. He was arrested in Coon Rapids after a man recognized Dame at a video store from news reports and called police, who arrested him at a nearby parking lot. Authorities in Rockford recovered the bag.

An autopsy determined that Todd Mimbach, 32, and the children all died of multiple blunt- and sharp-force head and neck injuries. Donna Mimbach, 29, died of only multiple blunt-force head injuries.

Relatives have said Dame, who was released from prison in February after serving four years for slashing a man's throat, had been hearing voices lately. Todd Mimbach tried unsuccessfully to get him admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation the night before the killings.

According to the transcript of a 911 call released Tuesday, Donna Mimbach called for help after they were turned away at the hospital.

"I can't have him stay here," she said. "He has to go back to jail or something."

Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia said an officer called her back a few minutes later. Pecchia said Donna Mimbach told the officer Dame was hearing voices again, but she also said he was not threatening her or her family members and was not making any suicidal statements.

"We did everything legally possible to assist Donna on the evening of October 18th," Pecchia said.

The officer told her that if she wanted Dame to leave and he didn't, he could arrest Dame for trespassing. "Donna did not want him taken to jail," Pecchia said. They also discussed putting an "emergency hold" on Dame, but it wasn't possible because of the lack of threats or suicidal statements, he said. Eventually, the Mimbachs decided to let Dame spend the night.

While Dame confessed, he didn't say why he killed the victims, Inspector Scott Bechthold of the Anoka County sheriff's office said. Likewise, investigators said they didn't know why he went to Rockford or why he returned.

"He was lucid and he was calm" during interrogation and did not verbally express remorse, Bechthold said. He declined to speculate on whether Dame acted remorseful.

Dame, wearing a green jail jumpsuit, said little during his brief court appearance and looked downward with his hands shackled in front of him as he stood flanked by two deputies and his attorney.

Judge Stephen Askew ordered a psychiatric evaluation at the state security hospital in St. Peter to see if Dame is competent to aid in his defense. Askew also set bail at $3 million and scheduled Dame's next court appearance for Dec. 21.


Victims helped slaying suspect despite others' fears

Jim Adams and Chris Graves - Star Tribune

Saturday, October 21, 2000

Todd Mimbach's coworkers tried to convince him not to pick up his brother-in-law from jail Wednesday.

But Mimbach, 32, said he had no alternative."He said, 'I need to pick him up because nobody else will,'" said Dave Clark, owner of Information Technology Partners, where Mimbach had worked for a decade and had become a senior computer technician.

It would be the last time Larry S. Dame's troubled life intersected with the Mimbach family. Within 12 hours, Mimbach, his wife, Donna Mimbach, 29, and their three children were killed, apparently as they slept in their Lino Lakes house.

"It's the worst scene I've seen in 24 years of law enforcement, because of the violence," said Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia. He declined to discuss why authorities believe Dame would kill his older sister, who often invited him into her home, her husband, in whom he had confided, or their children. But Dame's family suspects mental illness was a factor.

At least 30 officers spent Friday looking for Dame, who has been troubled and in trouble for at least a decade. He was released from prison in February after serving time for first-degree assault in Morrison County. Pecchia said investigators also were working Friday to determine whether Dame had been found to have a mental illness or was taking medication for one.

His family members and neighbors said they had been concerned about his mental stability since he recently started talking about hearing spirits.

"We told probation for the past few weeks that something is terribly wrong with him," said his mother, Hannelore Dame. "He hears spirits."

Larry Dame's brother, Walter, 23, said his brother told him that "all these voices were saying we [his family] were out to kill him," because the family was trying to get him admitted to a mental hospital.  Larry Dame's problems started in his mid-teens, when, after three years, he was expelled from a Christian school that his five siblings attended, said his father, Jeremiah Dame. His son enrolled at Centennial High School.

"I got letters every day saying he skipped school," his father said. He said his son hung out with friends whom he wouldn't talk about and never brought home. Jeremiah Dame said Larry Dame's alcohol problems began while he was a student. He later dropped out. He moved in with friends when he turned 18. Then he ran into trouble with the law.

In May 1991, Dame was living in an Osseo apartment when he and another man took Dame's .22-caliber rifle into the yard and began firing randomly, court papers say. Dame, 18, later admitted in court that he had been drunk and that he fired shots that struck a parked van.

After pleading guilty to a felony property-damage charge in Hennepin County District Court, he was sentenced to three months in the county workhouse and was ordered not to use alcohol or drugs and to get drug treatment during three years of probation.

He didn't get treatment and didn't pay restitution, court papers say. He was arrested and returned to jail for several weeks in 1993 and 1994 on probation violations, and completed his sentence in September 1994, records say.

In July 1995, Dame used a knife to slash a man's throat after arguing with him near Little Falls, Minn. He served four years for first-degree assault before being released in February. Under his probation conditions, he wasn't allowed to use alcohol. He moved back to the Lino Lakes home of his parents and youngest brother, Walter, who said Larry was fine for about a week before he started drinking again. He often hung out about five blocks away at the Mimbach home, neighbors said.

Jeremiah Dame said his son didn't talk to him much, but became close to Todd Mimbach.

"Todd was a very giving person. He tried helping Larry with anything," said Christopher Langhoff, 21. He said he lived next door to Mimbach for seven years and had grown up next door to the Dame family.

Larry Dame got a night job loading trucks early last summer at Sisco Minnesota in Mounds View, his father said. In August, he moved from his parents' home to a cottage unit in the Circle Court apartments in Circle Pines.

He was fired in September, his father said, but initially told his family he was on a leave to get treatment for the voices he heard. "The voices talked to him at his cottage," Langhoff said.  Police responded to a suicide call at Larry Dame's place last month, said Judy Koppy, Circle Court manager.

Walter Dame said his brother's drinking increased after losing his job, and he sometimes downed two liters of vodka a day.  "He said he drank to get rid of the voices," Walter Dame said. "He said, 'They don't come to me when I am drunk.'"

Although Donna and Todd Mimbach often had Larry Dame over and helped him out, they had their own health problems.  Their 22-month-old son Daniel had surgery to correct a congenital heart defect soon after his birth, family members said. Amber Duval, Donna's 9-year-old daughter from a former marriage, had spina bifida and needed surgery to help her walk. Their oldest child, John, 12, was Todd's son from a prior relationship.

But Donna Mimbachs' concern for her brother turned to fear in recent weeks, friends said.

The night unfolds

Larry Dame, 28, had been arrested after taking one of the Mimbachs' cars earlier this month and was held in the Anoka County jail until Wednesday. Donna and Todd Mimbach were called by his probation agent to a meeting Wednesday at the Anoka County Courthouse. Donna Mimbach later told her father that the probation agent asked the couple to take Larry Dame to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids to be admitted, said Jeremiah Dame. Jail records show Larry Dame was released at 4:20 p.m.

Before going to Mercy, the men dropped Donna Mimbach at the family's home in the 500 block of Chippewa Trail, Jeremiah Dame said. Then Todd Mimbach took Larry Dame to the hospital and waited several hours while he underwent a mental health evaluation.

Larry Dame wasn't admitted. His brother-in-law drove him back to the Mimbachs' home, Jeremiah Dame said. He said his son Walter, who returned from the Mimbachs' about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, said his brother seemed OK.

But at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, a man believed to be Larry Dame was seen leaving the house.

As the morning progressed, the phone started ringing at Information Technology Partners in Arden Hills. The callers wondered where Todd Mimbach was. "We called the house and paged him and we weren't able to get ahold of him," Clark said. "I thought he had been kidnapped by his brother-in-law ... I never thought he would be killed."

Chief Pecchia said the second of the five autopsies was being done Friday. No cause of death was released.

Larry Dame's description, 5 feet 6 and 150 pounds, has been released to law enforcement agencies nationwide. He may be driving a gold 1999 Saturn station wagon with Minnesota license plate number DDY-957. Authorities said that Dame should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who sees him or the car should call 911 immediately.


Supreme Court of Minnesota


STATE of Minnesota, Respondent, v. Lawrence Scott DAME, Appellant.

No. C8-02-1597.

October 23, 2003

Heard, considered, and decided by the court en banc.

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Davi E. Axelson, Assistant Public Defender, Minneapolis, MN, for Appellant.Mike Hatch, Attorney General, St. Paul, MN, Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, Robert D. Goodell, Assistant County Attorney, Anoka, MN, for Respondent.


Appellant Lawrence Scott Dame was convicted of five counts of murder in the first degree, in violation of Minn.Stat. § 609.185(a)(1) (2002), in connection with the deaths of his sister, Donna Mimbach, her husband, Todd Mimbach, and their three children, Daniel Mimbach, age 22 months;  Amber Duval, age 9;  and John Mimbach, age 12.   On appeal, Dame argues that (1) the district court erred in admitting crime-scene and autopsy photographs during the mental-illness phase of a bifurcated trial, (2) the district court erred by delaying jury deliberations after closing arguments, (3) it was prosecutorial misconduct for the state to question a witness regarding a matter that had been ruled inadmissible by the district court, and (4) the accumulation of these errors deprived him of a fair trial.   We affirm.

During the evening of October 18, 2000, Dame took a hammer from the Mimbachs' garage and severely bludgeoned his sister's family to death and then cut four of the victims' throats.   Dame pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness.   Pursuant to Minn. R.Crim. P. 20.02, the district court properly bifurcated the trial into a guilt phase and a mental-illness phase.   During the jury voir dire, Dame waived his right to a jury trial for the guilt phase of the trial and submitted those issues to the court on stipulated facts.   The court found that the state had proven the elements for each of the five counts of first-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

The mental-illness phase of the trial was conducted before a jury. The test for the mental-illness defense in Minnesota is:

[T]he person shall not be excused from criminal liability except upon proof that at the time of committing the alleged criminal act the person was laboring under such a defect of reason, from one of these causes, as not to know the nature of the act, or that it was wrong.

Minn.Stat. § 611.026 (2002) (this test is commonly referred to as the “M'Naghten Rule”).

Three forensic psychiatrists testified as expert witnesses about Dame's mental status at the time of the crime.   Dame's expert testified that Dame suffered from a mental illness he diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia.   He further testified that although Dame knew the nature of his acts, he did not know that his acts were wrong.   The state's expert, as well as the court-appointed expert, testified that Dame was not suffering from any mental illness but only from an extreme character or personality disorder, characterized as psychopathy.   Each of these two witnesses testified that Dame did know the nature of his acts and that they were wrong and each diagnosed Dame as malingering.1

The jury found Dame guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, rejecting Dame's mental-illness defense.   Dame does not challenge the district court's instructions to the jury on the mental-illness defense, the legal test for mental illness in Minnesota, or the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's verdict.   Instead, he only argues that procedural errors deprived him of a fair trial.


Dame argues that the district court erred in admitting crime-scene and autopsy photographs.   Prior to the stipulation of phase one of the trial, the court carefully reviewed each of 78 crime-scene and autopsy photographs offered by the state.   Some depicted the victims where they were found in the home, some showed the injuries after the victims had been cleaned for purposes of the autopsy, and some were photographs of x-rays.   The court weighed the probative value of each photograph with its potential prejudicial effect and determined that 42 of them would be excluded.

After the commencement of phase two of the trial, the court re-examined the state's offered photographs and again determined admissibility based on their relevancy to the mental-illness defense. Based on this review, the court excluded an additional 12 photographs.   When the state's forensic pathologist used diagrams to assist her testimony on the issue of Todd Mimbach's death, the court sustained Dame's objection to the photographs of Todd Mimbach, ruling that the state could introduce either the diagrams or the photographs, but not both.   Thus, 7 photographs of Todd Mimbach were excluded.   The court ultimately admitted 13 colored photographs and 4 photographs of x-rays.

The photographs selected for admission were presented to the jury as part of the testimony of the state's forensic pathologist.   She testified to the condition of the bodies at the crime scene and during autopsy.   The photographs were used to supplement her testimony and to demonstrate her conclusions about the cause and manner of death.

 Rulings on the admissibility of photographs as evidence are in the broad discretion of the district court and will not be reversed on appeal absent a showing of a clear abuse of discretion.  State v. Stewart, 643 N.W.2d 281, 292 (Minn.2002).   In determining the admissibility of photographs, the district court must consider the relevance of each photograph and must also weigh the probative value of that photograph against its prejudicial effect.   Minn. R. Evid. 401, 403.

Clearly, the photographs would have been admissible in the trial of the guilt phase.   We have held on numerous occasions that photographs of a crime scene and the victims are important in assisting the trier of fact in determining the elements of the alleged crime.2  State v. Lee, 645 N.W.2d 459, 467-68 (Minn.2002);  State v. Sullivan, 502 N.W.2d 200, 202 (Minn.1993);  State v. Jobe, 486 N.W.2d 407, 416-17 (Minn.1992).   Gruesome photographs are part of the reality of gruesome crimes.  Jobe, 486 N.W.2d at 417.   But we have cautioned that graphic photographic evidence should be carefully monitored by the district court to prevent an undue prejudicial effect on the jury.3  Id.

This case presents a unique issue.   Normally, the same jury hears both the guilt phase and the mental-illness phase of a trial, and thus the jury would be exposed to the crime-scene photographs during the guilt phase.   Minn. R.Crim. P. 20.02, subd. 6(2).   But here the jury did not hear the guilt phase and the question presented is whether the photographs are relevant solely to the mental-illness phase.   Only two other jurisdictions have addressed the use of photographs in similar situations.

In Shepherd v. State, 547 N.E.2d 839, 841 (Ind.1989), the defendant conceded at trial that he had murdered the victim.   The only remaining issue was that of the defendant's mental status.  Id. The Indiana Supreme Court, noting that the photographs are relevant “as an aid to understanding the pathologist's findings on the cause of death,” held that crime-scene photographs were properly admitted by the trial court.4  Id. at 841-42.

In People v. Galimanis, 765 P.2d 644, 646 (Colo.Ct.App.1988), the Colorado Court of Appeals held that in a sanity hearing, prior to a hearing on the substantive elements of the crime, graphic photographic and videotape evidence of a decapitation was relevant.   Specifically, the court held that the evidence was probative of the defendant's ability to deliberate.  Id.

 Dame's argument that the photographs contain no relevant information to Dame's mental status is unpersuasive.   Although the photographs are not as probative for determining the mental status of the defendant as they are for determining the elements of first-degree murder, the photographs still retain probative value for the second phase of the trial.5  The district court correctly determined that circumstantial evidence about a person's behavior, activities, and conduct is helpful to the jury in determining Dame's state of mind at the time of the murders.   This court has previously indicated that the jury may view circumstantial evidence that relates to cognition, volition, and capacity to control behavior when determining the defendant's state of mind.  State v. Wilson, 539 N.W.2d 241, 244 (Minn.1995).

Further, the district court correctly determined that the photographs were relevant to the question of whether Dame knew the nature and consequences of his acts.   They show a consistent pattern in the infliction of injuries and illustrated the pathologist's description of the nature and sequence of the injuries.

Dame argues that the district court should have directed the state to use autopsy diagrams, which were less graphic.   The district court did require the state to choose between diagrams and photographs.   But the district court's function is to look to the relevancy and probative value of the evidence, not to choose one form of evidence over another.  Minn. R. Evid. 401, 403.

The district court thoroughly examined each photograph, specifically re-examined each photograph for the mental-illness phase of the trial, and carefully weighed each photograph's probative value against its prejudicial or cumulative effect.   Where the court found repetition or non-relevant depictions in a photograph, the court excluded it.

We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the autopsy and crime-scene photographs to be admitted in the mental-illness phase of the bifurcated trial.


Dame argues that the court erred in delaying the jury instructions and deliberations after closing arguments were completed.   Summation was completed on Friday, May 31, 2002.   Due to a commitment of one of the jurors for the weekend, the judge delayed jury instructions and deliberations until the following Monday, June 3, 2002.

The issue of whether a district court has discretion to delay jury deliberations after closing arguments is one of first impression for this court.   The court of appeals has determined that a district court's decision regarding the scheduling of the submission of a case to the jury should only be overturned if the court has clearly abused its discretion.   See State v. Stahlberg, 373 N.W.2d 843, 844 (Minn.App.1985), rev. denied (Minn. Oct. 24, 1985).   In Stahlberg, the court of appeals held that the district court, concerned with submitting the case to the jury late in the day, did not abuse its discretion when it decided to adjourn at 2:30 p.m. and delayed charging the jury until the following day.  Id.

As a general matter, a district court has considerable discretion in controlling procedural aspects of the trial.  State v. Richards, 495 N.W.2d 187, 197 (Minn.1992);  State v. Burch, 284 Minn. 300, 315, 170 N.W.2d 543, 553 (1969).  “[A] criminal defendant seeking a new trial for an alleged defect in proceedings bears the burden of showing not only that there was a defect but that the defect was prejudicial.”  State v. Crandall, 452 N.W.2d 708, 710 (Minn.App.1990) (citing State v. Sanders, 376 N.W.2d 196, 204 (Minn.1985)).

Dame has provided no evidence of actual prejudice, but argues that prejudice should be presumed.   We have recognized a presumption of prejudice only in those cases where the district court's procedural choices resulted in a high probability of prejudice to the defendant.   For example, in State v. Costello, 646 N.W.2d 204, 215 (Minn.2002), we held that allowing jurors to question witnesses was error and was not subject to a harmless-error analysis because it would be impossible to determine the effects of the error. In Crandall, the district court inadvertently allowed an alternate jury member to remain with the jury for the initial part of deliberations.  452 N.W.2d at 710.   The court of appeals held that this was a clear violation of court procedure and that the contamination of the jury process was a serious error that resulted in a presumption of prejudice.  Id.

We see no basis for presuming prejudice here.   The court's delay of the jury instructions and deliberations did not violate any rule and did not create a high probability of prejudice.   Moreover, the court specifically instructed the jurors, at the conclusion of closing arguments and throughout the trial, that they were not to speak with anyone about the case or to come to conclusions on their own.   The court reminded the jurors not to do any investigating on their own.   We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion when delaying jury instructions and deliberations until the following Monday.


Dame argues that the prosecutor committed misconduct by questioning a witness about a topic that had been ruled irrelevant by the district court.   After much discussion, the court announced that testimony concerning Dame's medical treatment after his arrest was not relevant to the determination of mental illness at the time of the offense.   The court expressed reservations about this ruling, noting that Dame's use or lack of use of mental-health resources could be considered relevant to the issue of feigning a mental illness.   The court stated that it was receptive to an offer of proof that evidence of mental-health treatment was relevant to the mental-illness defense.

During the direct examination of the court-appointed forensic psychiatrist, the state asked whether Dame was taking medication after his arrest.   Dame objected.   The court sustained the objection and the witness was not allowed to answer.   After a recess, Dame moved for a mistrial, claiming that the prosecutor's question was misconduct.   The court denied that motion.

 The state has a duty to see that the defendant receives a fair trial.  State v. Henderson, 620 N.W.2d 688, 701-02 (Minn.2001).   Granting of a new trial based on prosecutorial misconduct rests within the discretion of the district court.  Id. at 702.  “[The supreme court] will not disturb a district court's conclusion that no misconduct occurred unless the misconduct, viewed in light of the entire record, was so inexcusable, serious, and prejudicial that the defendant's right to a fair trial was denied.”  Id. at 702.

 In Henderson, we concluded that the prosecutor did not commit misconduct by asking two questions with the intention of eliciting improper and prejudicial evidence, one of which was answered before objection.  Id. In the present case, the prosecutor asked only one question and the objection to that question was sustained before the witness answered.   The prosecutor did not continue that line of questioning.   Additionally, the court properly instructed the jury that they were not to consider any questions posed by attorneys that the court did not allow to be answered by the witness.

It is also arguable that the question was not clearly prohibited by the court's earlier ruling.   The court discussed this issue with the parties on more than one occasion.   Additionally, our review of the record shows that the subject of Dame's medication after the offense had already been opened by Dame's counsel during the direct examination of Dame's expert witness, who confirmed that Dame was not receiving medication at the various times that he interviewed him in the jail.   We conclude that the state's single question was not misconduct and, in any event, was not prejudicial.   See Henderson, 620 N.W.2d at 702.



1.   Malingering was defined at trial as “feigning or exaggeration of psychiatric symptoms for secondary gain.”

2.   The standard for the admissibility of photographs was set forth in State v. DeZeler, 230 Minn. 39, 46-47, 41 N.W.2d 313, 319 (1950):Photographs are admissible as competent evidence where they accurately portray anything which it is competent for a witness to describe in words, or where they are helpful as an aid to a verbal description * * * provided they are relevant to some material issue;  and they are not rendered inadmissible merely because they vividly bring to jurors the details of a shocking crime or incidentally tend to arouse passion or prejudice.

3.   This caution was expressed in Jobe:While the fact that [the photographs] are horrifying does not make them inadmissible, we want to remind courts and prosecutors of our increasing discomfort with the large numbers of autopsy and crime scene photos being admitted.   Given the possible prejudicial effect on the jury of viewing these gruesome scenes, we ask that courts exercise their discretion to ensure that the jury is adequately informed without being overwhelmed.Jobe, 486 N.W.2d at 417.

4.   The mental-illness defense in Indiana differs somewhat from Minnesota since the option of guilty but mentally ill is available in that jurisdiction.   See Shepherd, 547 N.E.2d at 842.

5.   “[A] trial court need not determine that the photographs and other visual aids are necessary in order to admit them into evidence. The appropriate test regarding the admissibility of photographs and other visual aids is relevance, in other words, whether the photographs and other visual aids are helpful to the jury.”  State v. Walen, 563 N.W.2d 742, 748 (Minn.1997).



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