FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
appeal from the Circuit Court for Escambia County. W. Joel
Thomas, Public Defender, and Kevin P. Steiger, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Holly N. Simcox and Sharon S.
Traxler, Assistant Attorneys General, Tallahassee, for
Dejohn Carter was convicted of attempted first-degree
premeditated or felony murder, burglary, and grand theft.
Carter appeals only from his conviction for grand theft,
claiming the trial court erred by denying his motion for
judgment of acquittal because the evidence was insufficient
to prove the value element of grand theft. We agree and
reverse the grand theft conviction for the trial court to
enter a judgment for petit theft.
trial, the victim testified that his 42-inch flat screen
television, 32-inch flat screen television, computer tablet,
laptop computer, desktop computer, Xbox 360, surround sound
system, and some pictures were stolen from his residence. The
victim estimated that the laptop, purchased less than three
months prior for "about $640, " was worth
"maybe about three, 400 bucks" and that the tablet
was less than a year old and would have cost "about 250,
$300" if purchased "brand new." The 42-inch
television, desktop computer, and Xbox 360 were more than a
decade old. No testimony established the age of the other
items. Without elaborating, the victim testified that all the
items together were worth "[b]allpark, three, $4000
easy." The State failed to present evidence of the
condition or quality of any of the stolen items.
Court reviews the denial of a motion for judgment of
acquittal de novo "to determine whether competent,
substantial evidence supports the elements of the
crime." Chambers v. State, 200 So.3d 242, 245
(Fla. 1st DCA 2016). "A judgment of acquittal should
only be granted when the jury cannot reasonably view the
evidence in any manner favorable to the opposing party."
Criner v. State, 943 So.2d 224, 225 (Fla. 1st DCA
value of the stolen property is an essential element of grand
theft. S.M.M. v. State, 569 So.2d 1339, 1340 (Fla.
1st DCA 1990). To prove grand theft as charged in the
information, the State was required to establish that the
stolen property was "[v]alued at $300 or more."
§ 812.014(2)(c)1., Fla. Stat. (2015). Value is defined
as "the market value of the property at the time and
place of the offense or, if such cannot be satisfactorily
ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a
reasonable time after the offense." §
812.012(10)(a)1., Fla. Stat. (2015). "The value of
tangible personal property may be proved with evidence of the
original purchase price, together with the percentage or
amount of depreciation since the property's purchase, its
manner of use, and its condition and quality."
Fritts v. State, 58 So.3d 430, 432 (Fla. 1st DCA
"mere guess at, or uninformed estimate of" the
value of stolen property is insufficient, absent other proof,
to establish value beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.
Testimony approximating the value of property, coupled with a
lack of evidence of the property's condition at the time
of the theft, fails to establish the value of the items
taken. Sellers v. State, 838 So.2d 661, 663 (Fla.
1st DCA 2003).
case, the only evidence of the value of the stolen items was
testimony providing ballpark estimates at best. The State
elicited no testimony regarding the condition and quality of
any of the items taken or their depreciation. Without more,
the State failed to meet the value element of grand theft.
Id.; see also D.H. v. State, 864 So.2d 588,
589 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) (rejecting the State's argument
that "the description of the items stolen, by their
sheer number and type, indicates a value over $300").
failing to prove the value of the stolen items beyond a
reasonable doubt, the evidence was insufficient to support a
conviction greater than petit theft. See Chambers,
200 So.3d at 246. We therefore reverse the grand theft
conviction with directions that the trial court enter an
amended judgment for petit theft and that it resentence
Carter accordingly. In all other respects, we affirm the
convictions and sentences.
in part, REVERSED in ...