State of Minnesota v. Nisius Dealvin McAllister

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: criminal law.

State of Minnesota v. Nisius Dealvin McAllister. MN criminal law

Nisius Dealvin McAllister was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder by a Hennepin County jury based on a homicide that occurred during an aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release. He appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on two grounds. He first argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he intentionally aided another in committing the murder. He also argued that the district court erred in admitting recordings of portions of his interrogation after he had allegedly invoked his right to remain silent.

The high court first held that the evidence was sufficient, since the state needed to show merely that the murder was committed "in pursuance of" a crime he intended to aid.

After reviewing the evidence and finding it sufficient to convict, the court then turned to the admissibility of the statement. The statements were made after the defendant had said, "no, ain't no sense in talking no more man. You may as well cuff me up, book me, whatever. It's just that simple." The lower court had held that this was not an unequivocal invocation of the right to remain silent. The Supreme Court affirmed, noting that while there might have been an invocation of the right, any error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

No. A13-1801 (Minn. April 8, 2015).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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