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Lindemuth v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

May 16, 2018

Ryan Charles Lindemuth, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Monroe County, Lower Tribunal No. 14-53-P, William R. Ptomey, Jr., Judge.

          Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Stephen J. Weinbaum, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jeffrey R. Geldens, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before SALTER, EMAS and FERNANDEZ, JJ.

          FERNANDEZ, J.

         Ryan Charles Lindemuth appeals the trial court's conviction and sentence. We affirm, as the trial court did not err in its use of the definition of the word "entice" in its jury instruction on the charge of interfering with the custody of a minor, pursuant to section 787.03(1), Florida Statute (2014).

         Lindemuth was arrested and charged by Information with one count of interfering with the custody of a minor. The case went to a jury trial.

         At trial, the victim, Joshua Gregis, told the jury what happened on the day of the crime, which occurred when Gregis was fourteen-years-old. On the afternoon in question, Gregis rode the bus home from school in the afternoon and arrived about 2:40 p.m. or 2:50 p.m. He was planning on going to his friend's house to do homework. Gregis informed his mother of his plans and then left on his bicycle.

         As he was riding, Gregis noticed Lindemuth's car and felt worried because he did not know Lindemuth. Gregis had his cell phone in his hand. Lindemuth was in his car, following behind Gregis, when he drove up right next to Gregis and asked to use his phone. Lindemuth spoke to Gregis through the passenger side of the vehicle. Gregis said no.

         Lindemuth continued to follow Gregis, even as Gregis turned onto the street toward his friend's house. Gregis then moved his bicycle into the left-hand lane to allow Lindemuth's car to pass, but Lindemuth came up alongside Gregis and veered the car to get closer to Gregis. The vehicle crossed the yellow line dividing the lanes of the road. Gregis was on the edge of the lane, as far over as he could be without entering someone's front yard. Gregis got off his bicycle and stopped. Lindemuth approached and again asked to use Gregis's phone. Gregis said no. Lindemuth then showed Gregis a bunch of money/cash, told him he could hold the cash while Lindemuth used the phone, and told Gregis he was not going to steal his phone. Gregis again said no, and Lindemuth told him, "You can get in and hold the money." Lindemuth said he was not going to steal Gregis's phone and that he just needed to call a buddy of his. Lindemuth appeared upset and then sped away in his vehicle. Gregis arrived at his friend's house and told his friend's mother what had happened. She said the police should be called.

         Gregis's father, Anthony Gregis, testified at trial that the family gave no one standing authority to take custody of their child during the afternoons after school. He stated that when he arrived home after work, he saw his son getting out of a police car, and Gregis informed him of the incident with Lindemuth. Gregis's mother, Angela Gregis, testified that she gave her son permission to go to his friend's house after school and that he did not have permission to get into Lindemuth's car.

         Lindemuth was thereafter arrested and charged with one count of interfering with the custody of a minor, under section 787.03(1), Florida Statutes (2014). The jury convicted him of that offense, and the trial court sentenced him to five years probation.

         On appeal, Lindemuth contends, in part, that he committed no crime because the statute is inapplicable to the evidence the jury heard, and the jury instruction's definition of "entice" led ...


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