defendant, Joseph Barton, appeals his conviction, following a
bench trial in the Circuit Court (LeFrancois, J.),
of resisting arrest. See RSA 642:2 (2016). He argues
that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he knew
that: (1) the investigator who sought to arrest him was a law
enforcement official; and (2) he was being arrested. We
prevail on his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence,
the defendant must demonstrate 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. Collyns, 166 N.H. 514, 517 (2014). When the defendant
presents evidence after having challenged the sufficiency of
the evidence at the close of the State's case, we
consider the entirety of the evidence presented. State v.
Hill, 163 N.H. 394, 395-96 (2012). Our review is de
novo. Collyns, 166 N.H. at 517.
to RSA 642:2, a person is guilty of resisting arrest when he
"knowingly or purposely physically interferes with a
person recognized to be a law enforcement official . . .
seeking to effect an arrest or detention of the person . . .
regardless of whether there is a legal basis for the
defendant argues that he did not know that the official who
sought to effect the arrest, an investigator from the
Attorney General's Office, was a law enforcement official
because, at the time of the arrest, the official was wearing
a business suit, and he had been called to resolve a legal
dispute about voting requirements, not to respond to a
criminal complaint. The State asserts that the defendant
failed to preserve this issue for review. We will assume,
without deciding, that the issue is preserved.
support a conviction for resisting arrest, the State must
prove that the defendant subjectively knew that the
individual seeking to effect the arrest was a law enforcement
official. State v. Reid, 134 N.H. 418, 422 (1991).
Circumstantial evidence may be used to establish, through
inference, the defendant's knowledge that the individual
seeking to effect the arrest was a law enforcement official.
Id. at 422-23. To prevail on a sufficiency of the
evidence challenge when the evidence as to one or more
elements of the charged offense is solely circumstantial, the
defendant must establish that the evidence does not exclude
all reasonable conclusions except guilt. State v.
Germain, 165 N.H. 350, 361 (2013), modified in part
on other grounds by State v. King, 168 N.H. 340, 345
(2015). The proper analysis is not whether every possible
conclusion consistent with innocence has been excluded, but,
rather, whether all reasonable conclusions based upon the
evidence have been excluded. Id. "Thus, we
evaluate the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State and determine whether the alternative conclusion is
sufficiently reasonable that a rational juror could not have
found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
State v. Houghton, 168 N.H. 269, 271 (2015).
record shows that the arrest occurred on election day,
November 4, 2014, at the town hall in the Town of Newmarket.
The defendant testified that he arrived that morning in the
town hall basement, where voting was taking place, to engage
in "poll challenging." He described his role as one
in which he "report[ed] any discrepancies" to town
officials whenever it appeared to him that a voter did not
have the "criteria necessary to vote." The
defendant testified that "there was a new law, "
and that he "wanted to make sure that . . . the ballot
clerks were aware of it." During the day, while voting
was underway, the defendant expressed his concern to the town
moderator that "the ballot clerks weren't asking for
photo identification or requiring the necessary affidavit be
. . . filled out." The defendant testified that, at some
stage, he and the town clerk "had a disagreement in an
interpretation of law and how it was applied, " and that
he had asked the clerk to contact the Attorney General's
Office so that he could speak with an attorney to resolve the
investigator who responded to the town clerk's telephone
call to the Attorney General's Office testified that, on
the date of the incident, he was a certified law enforcement
officer employed in the Attorney General's Office. After
the investigator introduced himself to the defendant, the
defendant asked the town clerk if he and the investigator
could use the town council chambers to discuss the voting
laws. The clerk led them upstairs to the council chambers on
the third floor and left.
investigator testified that when he and the defendant sat
down in the council chambers, he again identified himself,
gave the defendant his business card, and put his
investigator's badge from the Attorney General's
Office on the table. The investigator testified that he and
the defendant "had a cordial conversation"
initially, but that the defendant became angry because he did
not agree with the investigator's position regarding the
voting laws. The defendant testified that the investigator
became "agitated because I asked him to . . . review the
statutes." The defendant testified that he told the
investigator that he was "done with the
conversation" . . . "put [his] jacket on and
proceeded to leave the town council chambers, " and that
the investigator told him that "if I went back to poll
challenging . . . he would have me arrested for disorderly
investigator testified that when the defendant questioned his
authority to order him not to return to the voting area, he
told the defendant that he had such authority "as a
police officer." The investigator testified that as the
defendant left the room and started walking toward the
stairs, he followed him, and "told him again that if he
went downstairs, he was going to be arrested." Viewing
the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, we
conclude that a rational fact-finder could have found, beyond
a reasonable doubt, that the defendant knew that the
investigator who sought to arrest him was a law enforcement
official. See Germain, 165 N.H. at 361-62.
defendant also argues that the evidence was insufficient to
find him guilty of resisting arrest because he did not know
that the officer was seeking to effect an arrest or
detention. The phrase "seeking to effect an arrest or
detention" includes "the entire course of events
during which law enforcement officers seek to secure and
maintain physical control of an individual." State
v. Lindsey, 158 N.H. 703, 706 (2009).
investigator testified that, when the defendant ignored his
order not to return to the voting area and continued walking
down the stairs, he "grabbed onto [the defendant's]
jacket." The defendant "immediately turned, tried
to knock [the investigator's] hand away with his hand,
" and said "keep your hands off me." The
investigator then "grabbed [the defendant] with both
hands on his jacket" and pushed him outside through a
stairwell door. The investigator further testified that,
"I told him twice while we were outside, once as we were
standing against the building wrestling toward the ground,
and once on the ground[, ] that he was under arrest."
The investigator testified, "I know when somebody's
fighting back, " and that the defendant "was
clearly fighting back." The investigator testified that,
once the defendant was on the ground, he tucked his hands
under his body to prevent the investigator from being able to
Jordan of the Newmarket Police Department, who was off duty
and not in uniform, tried to help the investigator restrain
the defendant by "grabb[ing] ahold of one of [the
defendant's] arms" and "straddling his
legs." Chief Walsh of the Rye Police Department, who was
also off duty, testified that he heard the investigator tell
the defendant that he was under arrest. Walsh testified that
he arrived after Jordan and tried to get the defendant to
calm down, but that it took several attempts before the
defendant complied. Officer Stevens of the Newmarket Police
Department, who was on duty and in uniform, arrived after
Walsh and was able to handcuff the defendant. Jordan
testified that it took all four officers to subdue the
defendant sufficiently to be able to place the handcuffs on
him. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State, we conclude that a rational fact-finder could have
found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant
understood that he was being arrested. See Germain,
165 N.H. at 361-62.
BASSETT, and HANTZ ...