Appeals Court affirms Swift County assault case
BENSON -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of Troy Gocha, 41, for two counts of second-degree assault in Swift County in a decision filed Monday.
BENSON - The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of Troy Gocha, 41, for two counts of second-degree assault in Swift County in a decision filed Monday.
Gocha is serving a 36-month sentence at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater for convictions of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon - infliction of substantial bodily harm.
A Swift County jury returned guilty verdicts Jan. 29 to charges that Gocha struck an individual on the head with the wooden handle of a handgun.
The criminal complaint alleged that the victim was going to turn himself in to Swift County authorities on a warrant.
He discovered a container with methamphetamine in the purse of the person driving him to the law enforcement center in Benson.
It led him to threaten that he was “bringing down’’ both the individual and Gocha, according to the court record.
An altercation followed between the victim and another man with Gocha present.
When the victim appeared to be getting the upper hand in the fight, Gocha struck the victim on the head with the gun handle.
The victim fell, and Gocha began stomping on the victim’s head against bricks while the other individual continued to strike him with a club.
The victim suffered a three-inch laceration to his scalp that went “almost all the way down to the skull bone’’ and required 13 to 15 sutures.
Gocha argued that testimony presented during the trial conflicted with the victim’s and that the state failed to prove he had not used an object other than the gun to strike the victim.
“Gocha’s arguments are unpersuasive,’’ the Court of Appeals stated in its decision affirming the convictions.
The Court stated that there was nothing in the record to persuade it to depart from the general rules of deferring to the credibility determinations of the jury.