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State v. Stankunas

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

October 17, 2008

State of New Hampshire
v.
Raymond Stankunas

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

The defendant, Raymond Stankunas, appeals his convictions on six counts of possession of child pornography. He argues that the State failed to present sufficient evidence that he knowingly possessed the six images that formed the basis for the charges. We affirm.

To prevail on his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the defendant must prove that no rational trier of fact, viewing all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences from it in the light most favorable to the State, could have found guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Evans, 150 N.H. 416, 424 (2003). When the evidence is solely circumstantial, it must exclude all rational conclusions except guilt. Id. Under this standard, however, we still consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and examine each evidentiary item in context, not in isolation. Id.

The evidence presented included that: (1) frequent searches for child pornography were conducted on the office computer by someone using the defendant's codes and passwords and who often used the defendant's name to conduct other searches related to the defendant's business; (2) the searches were conducted on nights and weekends; (3) the defendant's car was often observed in the office parking lot at night or early in the morning, outside of office hours; (4) a blue glow consistent with television or computer use was observable from the office at those times and the office had no television; (5) on one weekend, someone accessed the computer using the defendant's name, searched for information related to RSA chapter 91-A, sent an email to someone with the name of the woman with whom the defendant lived and accessed several child pornography websites; and (6) the defendant told the police that he used the computer to search for information concerning RSA chapter 91-A. The defendant also accused a former commissioner of using his name to access the system, while at the same time acknowledging that he knew of certain facts that ruled out the possibility that the searches were conducted during the former commissioner's term. See State v. Bean, 153 N.H. 380, 387 (2006) (falsehood uttered to avoid suspicion relevant to show consciousness of guilt).

Given the evidence in the record, we affirm. See State v. Cobb, 143 N.H. 638, 658 (1999) (in evaluating sufficiency challenge in circumstantial evidence case, correct analysis is not whether all possible conclusions have been excluded, but rather whether all rational conclusions based upon evidence have been excluded).

Affirmed.

BRODERICK, C.J., and DUGGAN and GALWAY, JJ, ...


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