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Paul v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

July 22, 2019

Akeen Kadoni Paul, 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. Marianne L. Aho, Judge.

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, and Joanna A. Mauer, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Benjamin L. Hoffman, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Lewis, J.

         In these consolidated appeals, Appellant, Akeen Kadoni Paul, appeals his judgment and sentence for burglary of a dwelling and resisting an officer without violence and the order revoking his probation and the sentence resulting therefrom. Appellant raises four issues on appeal, none of which warrant reversal. We, therefore, affirm.

         Factual Background

         In 2013, Appellant pled guilty to five counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of less than twenty grams of cannabis. The offenses occurred when Appellant was eighteen years old. Appellant was sentenced as a youthful offender to six years' imprisonment, "of which 4 [years were to] be served by imprisonment followed by 2 [years] probation."

         In February 2017, a probation violation report was filed, alleging that Appellant committed the new law violations of burglary of a dwelling and resisting an officer without violence. While the State charged Appellant with these offenses in a separate case, the probation violation evidentiary hearing and the trial on the new law offenses occurred simultaneously. The State filed a notice of intent to classify Appellant as a prison releasee reoffender ("PRR") in the new law violation case, relying on Appellant's 2013 conviction and sentence for armed robbery.

         Thereafter, Appellant filed a motion in limine in which he asked the trial court to prohibit the State from introducing any evidence "relating to or testimony regarding [him] having a gun and drugs on his person and any other reference to [him] regarding a gun and drugs." In opposition to the motion, the prosecutor asserted in part:

Your Honor, one of the State's witnesses, in the police reports and in depositions, did state that one of the suspects - there are three in this case that were observed committing the burglary - made a statement to a witness at the time the burglary was being committed, stating that he needed to run and that he had a stick and he had five seconds to run.
Now, the State is intending to elicit this testimony as a statement of a co-conspirator. . . .
Also . . . in this particular case, the State is not necessarily introducing that statement for the truth of the matter asserted. We are not going - or at this point do not plan on asserting that anyone was actually armed, solely that this statement is evidence that this witness interrupted a burglary in process, that the persons that were there, by the statement, indicated they did not have permission to be there, that they had the intent to commit an offense, and that is relevant to proving the charge of burglary . . . .

         Defense counsel argued in response that the statements were not relevant and were hearsay and that admission of the statements would violate the confrontation clause. The trial court denied Appellant's motion in part, finding "that this anticipated statement is a statement of a co-conspirator, which would not be subjected to the confrontation clause." It further stated, "So I do find that would not be hearsay, it's not being offered for the truth ...


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