State v. Grecinger

569 N.W.2d 189 (1997)

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State v. Grecinger

Minnesota Supreme Court
569 N.W.2d 189 (1997)

RW

Facts

Barbara Skoglund suffered serious injuries as the result of a savage beating. Skoglund initially told police investigators that her boyfriend, Leonard Allen Grecinger, Sr. (defendant), was the perpetrator. Skoglund soon reunited with Grecinger, recanted her initial account, and blamed the beating on two unknown assailants. Three years later, fearful that Grecinger intended to kill her, Skoglund again changed her story, and pressed charges against Grecinger. Investigators reopened the case, which led the State of Minnesota (plaintiff) to prosecute Grecinger for attempted murder and assault. At trial, Grecinger's attorney used his opening statement to challenge Skoglund's motives and credibility by citing her shifting accounts of the beating and her three-year delay in pressing charges. The prosecution's case-in-chief included the testimony of a psychologist who treated Skoglund after the beating and detected symptoms consistent with battered-spouse syndrome, a form of psychological disorder. Skoglund's friends testified and gave non-psychological explanations for her post-beating behavior. An expert testified and described battered-spouse syndrome, but she expressed no opinion as to whether Skoglund suffered from that syndrome. The jury convicted Grecinger and an appellate court upheld the conviction. Grecinger appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, contending that the trial judge erred in admitting the expert testimony.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tomljanovich, J.)

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