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B.R.W. v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

September 15, 2017

B.R.W., Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Manuel A. Lopez, Judge.

          Howard L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Pamela H. Izakowitz, Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Katherine Coombs Cline, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.

          ROTHSTEIN-YOUAKIM, Judge.

         B.R.W. appeals the disposition order adjudicating him delinquent for burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. See § 810.02(1)(b)(1), (4)(b), Fla. Stat. (2014). He argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a judgment of dismissal because the evidence failed to establish the ownership of the conveyance alleged to have been burglarized. We agree, reverse B.R.W.'s disposition, and remand for dismissal of the delinquency petition.

         Background

         The State charged B.R.W. with unlawfully entering or remaining in "a certain conveyance, to-wit: vehicle, the property of WILLIAM WHETSTONE, with intent to commit an offense therein." The evidence at the disposition hearing, viewed in the light most favorable to the State, established the following:

         In the early morning of April 10, 2015, Johnny Mays was outside of his apartment building when he heard what sounded like a car crash. In the distance, Mays saw someone, later identified as B.R.W., rummaging through the passenger compartment and then the trunk of a vehicle. Mays called the police. Although B.R.W. left the area during the course of Mays's call, officers apprehended him a short time later based on a description and other information that Mays provided.[1]

         An unidentified law enforcement officer went to William Whetstone's residence and told him that police had apprehended someone who had broken into his vehicle.[2] Whetstone subsequently inspected his vehicle and confirmed that someone had, in fact, broken into the passenger compartment and trunk.

         In moving for a judgment of dismissal, B.R.W. argued that the State failed to establish that the vehicle through which Mays had allegedly seen him rummaging was Whetstone's vehicle. Acknowledging only that the State had failed to establish "the make and model" of the vehicle, the trial court denied B.R.W.'s motion.

         The trial court found B.R.W. guilty of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, adjudicated him delinquent, and issued a judicial warning. B.R.W. timely appealed.

         Analysis

         To establish burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, the State must prove, among other things, "the allegation of ownership of the conveyance . . . as alleged in the detention petition or information, since it is a material element of the crime." L.D.S. v. State, 784 So.2d 1227, 1228 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001); see also D.S.S. v. State, 850 So.2d 459, 461 (Fla. 2003) ("Ownership of the building or structure is a material element of the crime of burglary." (citing In re M.E., 370 So.2d 795, 796 (Fla. 1979))). This court reviews de novo the trial court's denial of a motion for a judgment of dismissal and will reverse an adjudication of delinquency if competent, substantial evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the ...


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