BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
The Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion recently on the appeal of a Charlevoix County woman convicted of assault with intent to commit murder stemming from a 2013 stabbing incident.
Kaylee Rose Booth, 34, of the City of Charlevoix, is currently serving 12 to 15 years in prison.
“We affirm defendant’s conviction but remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings regarding sentencing,” wrote Michigan Court of Appeals justices Joel P. Hoekstra, Patrick M. Meter and Michael J. Kelly in their March 22 opinion.
According to court documents, Booth was found guilty of stabbing a woman in the thigh, arm and chest with a kitchen knife that had a six-inch blade.
The incident occurred outside of an apartment that Booth shared with her boyfriend.
Booth suspected her boyfriend was cheating on her with another woman.
There were multiple eye-witnesses to the stabbing, and Booth admitted that she stabbed the victim multiple times but argued she was suffering from temporary insanity and did not have an intent to kill.
The jury rejected defendant’s insanity defense and convicted her of assault with intent to murder.
Booth made several assertions in her appeal that included ineffective assistance of legal counsel, which the court of appeals found invalid; violation of right to fair trial and due process, which the court of appeals also denied, Booth next argued that expert testimony by a doctor regarding the victim’s stab wound prevented her from getting a fair trial.
“Given the location of the wound, the jury had ample evidence to convict defendant (Booth) of assault with intent to murder regardless of Dr. Wendt’s testimony,” justices wrote.
“The wound was to (victim’s) chest, just below her breast, in a vital region of her body. The jurors had ample reason to determine that stabbing someone in the chest with a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade is evidence of an intent to murder.”
Justices further stated, “Because the verdict would not have differed without Dr. Wendt’s testimony, defendant cannot demonstrate plain error affecting substantial rights.”
In Booth’s appeal, she also argues that the practice of allowing certain juror questions of witnesses should not be allowed but the appeals court denied her claim.
Finally, Booth appeals her sentencing.
“In People v Lockridge … the Court held that, in cases with judicial fact-finding that changed the sentencing guidelines range, that did not involve an upward departure, and that involved a sentence imposed on or before July 29, 2015, a defendant is entitled to a remand to the trial court for further proceedings regarding sentencing,” wrote the justices.
“Here, defendant alleges that judicial fact-finding occurred. We agree.”
According to the justices, the points system referred to as “OV” for offense variable was not properly calculated.
“The OV scoring errors affected the guidelines range and we remand this case for further proceedings,” justices stated.