Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Lawrence J. Corrigan, Judge.
Hastings, C.j., Boslaugh, White, Caporale, Fahrnbruch, and Lanphier, JJ., and Moran, D.j., Retired.
1. Rules of Evidence: Other Acts. Neb. Evid. R. 404(2) (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-404(2) (Reissue 1989)) is an inclusionary rule permitting the use of relevant, specific acts for all purposes except to prove character of a person in order to show that such person acted in conformity with character.
2. Rules of Evidence: Other Acts. Neb. Evid. R. 404(2) (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-404(2) (Reissue 1989)) is subject to the overriding protection of Neb. Evid. R. 403 (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-403 (Reissue 1989)).
3. Rules of Evidence: Other Acts. The purposes set forth in Neb. Evid. R. 404(2) (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 27-404(2) (Reissue 1989)) are illustrative only and not intended to be exhaustive or mutually exclusive.
4. : Trial: Evidence: Stipulations. Refusal of a trial court to accept an offer by a defendant to stipulate to an essential element of the alleged offense ordinarily constitutes no ground for a new trial.
5. Prior Convictions: Evidence: Proof. If evidence of a prior conviction is relevant to establish elements of another crime, and if the probative value of the evidence is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, the State may prove a prior conviction in any permissible manner.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moran
Jesse L. Perrigo appeals his convictions of first degree murder, see Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-303 (Reissue 1989), a Class I felony; use of a firearm to commit a felony, see Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1205 (Reissue 1989), a Class III felony; and possession of a firearm by a felon, see Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1206 (Reissue 1989), a Class IV felony. Perrigo was sentenced to life in prison for conviction of first degree murder, 10 years' imprisonment for conviction of use of a firearm to commit a felony, and 5 years' imprisonment for conviction of possession of a firearm by a felon, all sentences to be served consecutively. The State cross-appeals the district court's refusal to give one of the State's proposed jury instructions.
Around 1 a.m. on November 29, 1991, the morning after Thanksgiving, the body of Jerry Lee Linkenhoker was found in the street by a passing motorist near 144th Street and Military Avenue in Douglas County. Linkenhoker, a cabdriver for Happy Cab, had been last dispatched around 12:21 a.m. to pick up a fare at 72d and Blondo Streets in Omaha at the request of a caller who gave the name "Schaefer." An autopsy of Linkenhoker revealed that he died of multiple .32-caliber gunshot wounds.
Later the night of November 29, the Douglas County sheriff's investigation led deputies to the home of Jesse L. Perrigo. At the deputies' request, and after being apprised of the investigation, Perrigo and his father, in whose basement Perrigo lived, consented to a search of the home.
During the consensual search of the basement, a brown, leather-type briefcase was found. Inside the briefcase was a .32-caliber six-shot Colt revolver and some of Linkenhoker's personal effects. Perrigo was then arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and was read his Miranda rights. In response to the deputies' questions, Perrigo stated that Brian Schaefer had given him the gun and the briefcase earlier that day.
Deputy Pamela Giangrosso testified about her questioning Perrigo at the Douglas County sheriff's road patrol office. After being advised of his Miranda rights, Perrigo told her that Schaefer gave Perrigo the briefcase containing the gun and the cabdriver's effects to hide. Perrigo initially told Giangrosso that he had spent the evening of November 28 by himself at Robert J's Pub, staying there until the bar closed. However, Perrigo later changed his story, telling Giangrosso that he and Schaefer planned to go to a party at 144th and Military and that Schaefer called for a cab to pick them up at the Burger King near 72d and Blondo.
Perrigo told Giangrosso that while Schaefer and he were in the cab, Schaefer told Perrigo they should jump out of the cab and not pay the fare once the cab reached the destination given to the driver. According to Perrigo, once the cab reached the designated point, he jumped from it and ran into a field, hearing gunshots being fired from the area of the cab as he ran. Perrigo said that he ran through the nearby fields to a barn or outbuilding and fell asleep for "a couple of hours." On awakening, he walked home, not returning to the area where he had jumped from the cab. Perrigo told Giangrosso that he did not know where Schaefer went after the shooting or how Schaefer got home.
Giangrosso testified without objection that Perrigo admitted he had stolen a .32-caliber gun and some money from Danny's Bar earlier in the week, in contradiction to what Perrigo had previously told Giangrosso. However, Perrigo denied being in possession of the gun. At that point, the interrogation was interrupted briefly, and Giangrosso was informed outside the interview room that Perrigo had become the suspect in the homicide investigation. Giangrosso then confronted Perrigo with articles of clothing, believed to be bloodstained, found during the search of his home, and with pictures of Linkenhoker at the crime scene and at the morgue prior to autopsy, including a picture showing Linkenhoker's watch pulled down onto his hand. Perrigo insisted that while he had been in Linkenhoker's cab with Schaefer, he was not in the cab when the shooting occurred. The interview then ended, and Perrigo was booked on the charge of criminal homicide and transported to the county's corrections facility.
Shortly after Perrigo was taken to the corrections facility, he insisted on seeing Giangrosso. Giangrosso went to meet with Perrigo, and ...