final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County; Robert E. Belanger, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Leonard S. Feuer of Leonard Feuer, P.A., West Palm Beach, for
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Mitchell A.
Egber, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
Joseph DeJesus ("Appellant") appeals the trial
court's final judgment adjudicating him guilty of grand
theft and burglary. We write solely to address
Appellant's challenge as to whether the trial court
properly denied his motion for judgment of acquittal on both
counts. As discussed below, we
reverse the trial court's denial of Appellant's
motion and vacate the judgment.
State charged Appellant with grand theft and burglary of a
dwelling. According to the State, Appellant burglarized the
victim's home, stealing numerous pieces of property from
her. The jury returned a verdict of guilty on both counts.
The trial court sentenced Appellant on the grand theft charge
to five years in prison and, on the burglary count, to ten
years in prison to be followed by five years' probation.
The two sentences were to run concurrently.
trial, the State's chief evidence was Appellant's
historical cell site data, which was able to track
Appellant's general movements. The State showed that on
the date of the burglary, Appellant drove 103 miles from his
home to within a few miles of the victim's home. A
detective, relying on the cell site data, explained the data
could track Appellant's location to "within seven
miles" of the burglary.
State also admitted another key piece of evidence: a still
image from a surveillance video showing Appellant and another
person walking away from a white Ford Edge towards a dumpster
five days after the burglary.The picture showed Appellant walking a few
feet in front of the other person, who was carrying a white
garbage bag. Law enforcement later determined that the
garbage bag contained items stolen from the victim's
home, as well as a Sports Authority bag which did not belong
to the victim. Appellant's fingerprints were found on the
Sports Authority bag, but not on the stolen items. Moreover,
none of the stolen items were found within the Sports
of Appellant's jail phone calls were also put into
evidence. In the calls, Appellant read the allegations in the
information to his girlfriend and broadly talked about the
lack of evidence against him. Appellant also talked about how
he got a new haircut, and that nobody liked it. The State
later hinted that Appellant got the haircut to avoid
identification as a suspect in the burglary.
the State presented its case in chief, Appellant argued the
evidence was insufficient to convict and moved for a judgment
of acquittal. The trial court denied the motion. Appellant
now appeals the denial.
trial court's ruling on a motion for judgment of
acquittal is reviewed de novo to determine whether the
evidence is legally sufficient to support the jury's
verdict." State v. Konegen, 18 So.3d 697, 698
(Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (quoting State v. Burrows, 940
So.2d 1259, 1261 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006)). "It is well
settled that, when reviewing a judgment of acquittal, the
appellate court must apply the competent, substantial
evidence standard and 'consider the evidence and all
reasonable inferences from the evidence in ...