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Meeks v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

May 25, 2018

Joshua Antwan Meeks, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Roberto Arias, Judge.

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, Maria Ines Suber, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Heather Flanagan Ross, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          B.L. Thomas, C.J.

         Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence admitted at trial which resulted in his convictions for armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. He does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence of his conviction for aggravated fleeing and eluding, but that evidence is a significant part of the circumstantial evidence that formed the basis of the case at trial on the robbery charges. We hold that the State produced sufficient evidence to sustain the convictions, and thus, the trial court correctly denied Appellant's motion for judgment of acquittal.

         Facts

         At trial, one victim testified that after eating dinner with friends at a restaurant on January 24, 2013, one of her friends wanted to show her a car she had rented, a white Chevrolet Impala, parked outside the restaurant. While the two women stood by the car, a man approached and asked if the car belonged to them. The man then demanded the women's purses and keys; when they refused, the man said he wasn't kidding, and produced a handgun. The victim testified that the man was about 5'10" tall, wearing a long, dark bluish-grey "nicer type hoodie jacket, " baggy blue jeans, and athletic shoes. She testified the gun was a silver snub-nosed gun with a black handle, and that the gun recovered from Appellant's possession and admitted into evidence was very similar to the gun she saw the night of the robbery.

         The victim further testified that the man approached her friend, and attempted to grab her friend's purse. She testified that the man grabbed her friend's purse, who then dropped her keys, and the man grabbed the keys and drove away in the Impala with the purse. She then ran into the restaurant and used the phone to call 911, telling the 911 operator that she and her friend had been robbed at gunpoint by a male wearing a blue "letterman" jacket. The victims did resist the robbery.

         Jerrod Robertson testified that he had known Appellant for two to eight months before the crimes, and he identified Appellant at trial. Robertson testified that Appellant frequently wore a blue letterman jacket with his name on it, on top of a hooded plaid-striped jacket. Robertson testified that on January 25, 2013, he was at his brother's house when Appellant arrived in a white Impala with one other person. Robertson testified that he got in the car to go to the beach with Appellant, and when he asked Appellant where he got the car, Appellant said "Don't worry about it" and "None of your business." Robertson testified that he assumed the car was a rental, because it had a "no smoking" sticker inside of it. Robertson testified that Appellant picked up a man named Julius Williams, who rode in the Impala with Robertson and Appellant.

         Robertson testified that every time he saw Appellant, Appellant had carried a firearm. Robertson described Appellant's firearm as a silver or chrome revolver with a black handle, and testified that Appellant had the gun with him that day.

         Robertson testified that while Appellant was driving to an uncle's house to pick up some money, Appellant ran a red light and struck a station wagon, damaging the front bumper of the Impala. Appellant then stopped at a store and removed the front bumper that was hanging off of the car. When they drove into a residential subdivision, a police car pulled up behind and began following them. When Appellant pulled out of the subdivision, the police car turned on its lights and sirens, and Appellant accelerated to flee the police car, driving through another red light and fleeing from the police car at 90-100 miles per hour.

         Robertson said Appellant pulled into what he presumed was Appellant's mother's neighborhood, and he and Appellant both jumped out of the car. The Impala then rolled into a retention pond.

         Robertson said he jumped out of the car, because he was sure the car was stolen, as the police had no other reason to pursue the car. Robertson testified that he fled behind a house, jumped a fence and was running on a highway when police apprehended him. After looking at a still shot of the restaurant's video footage of the robbery, Robertson identified Appellant as the robber, because the robber was ...


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