final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; John S. Kastrenakes, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Stacey Kime, Assistant Public
Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Heidi L.
Bettendorf, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
Taide Asencio appeals his conviction for shooting into an
occupied vehicle. He raises three issues on appeal, although
only two of them merit discussion. First, whether the trial
court erred by admitting a jail call made by appellant while
he was in jail awaiting trial. Second, whether the trial
court erred by allowing the alternate jurors to enter the
jury room at the end of the trial, but before deliberations.
We affirm on both of these issues. On the third issue of
whether the jury's verdict was inconsistent, we affirm
was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted
murder with a firearm and one count of shooting into an
occupied vehicle. The police investigation revealed he
approached the back of a truck stopped outside a convenience
store, and shot at the occupants seated inside. At trial, the
State sought to admit into evidence the recording of a jail
call made by appellant while in custody. To lay the
foundation for admitting the call, the State called a
detective to testify that she spoke to appellant for
approximately thirty minutes, and was familiar with
appellant's voice because of his distinctive
"southern drawl." However, when asked whose voice
she recognized in the recording, she said the name
"Sanchez, " instead of appellant's
name. The prosecutor then abruptly ended direct
examination of the detective without attempting to admit the
recording into evidence.
in the trial, a records custodian in the telecommunications
department of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was
called to testify on behalf of the State. She confirmed that,
as the custodian of records, she keeps and maintains the
records of jail calls made by inmates at the Palm Beach
County Jail and that those records are kept in the ordinary
course of business. The records custodian testified that the
recordings were recorded and maintained at or near the time
the calls were made, and stored on a secure server only
accessible with a username and password.
then explained to the jury how the jail's call system
works. Once an inmate picks up the telephone, a recording
plays and says the call may be recorded or monitored. The
recording asks the inmate to manually enter his or her
booking number plus PIN number into the phone's keypad.
The system also requires inmates to verify their identity
using a system that employs voice recognition software to
match the inmate's voice with his or her name as recorded
during the booking process. If this three-tiered verification
process is successfully completed and the inmate dials the
phone number for the outgoing call, the parties may start
speaking once the call is accepted.
records custodian also explained that she created a CD
containing over 100 calls made by appellant while he was in
jail, and that the CD was an accurate reflection of those
calls. The State sought to admit one of the jail calls on the
CD into evidence. Defense counsel objected and argued that
the call was not properly authenticated. The trial court
overruled the objection, and admitted the recording into
evidence. It reasoned that the recording of the call was
admissible because of the jail call system's verification
process and the fact that earlier at trial the detective
recognized appellant's voice and identified him as the
speaker in the jail call. Neither the prosecutor nor defense
counsel informed the trial court that the detective
identified the speaker in the recorded jail call as
jail call was played for the jury. In the call, one of the
speakers admitted to the shooting, and stated, "They got
me on camera. . . . I hit him in the head one time and four
in the back. But that mother fucker didn't die."
the jury was charged at the conclusion of trial, the trial
court addressed the alternate jurors, and allowed them to go
back into the jury room to say goodbye to the other jurors:
THE COURT: And so it is now incumbent upon me to identify our
two alternate jurors and to excuse them with my sincere
thanks. You do not know who they are. Our alternate jurors in
this case are [Hernandez] and [McCray]. Those are our two
alternates. Now, Ms. ...