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State v. Himes

State v. Himes, 2015 MT 91 (March 24, 2015) (Shea, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether “security” was adequately defined for the jury; (2) whether the state proved that Himes sold a security; (3) whether the mens rea rule requires a mental state other than ‘willfully’ to sustain a felony conviction; (4) whether the “willfully” jury instruction created a strict liability offense, and renders the 10-year sentence a violation of Himes’ due process rights; (5) whether the fraudulent practices jury instruction was erroneous; and (6) whether Himes was properly sentenced.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; (3) yes; (4) no; (5) yes; and (6) yes.

Affirmed in part and reversed (fraudulent practices conviction)

Facts: Geoffrey Serata met Harris Himes at Himes’ ministry, Big Sky Christian Center.…