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Freixa v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

December 18, 2019

Dolores Freixa, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower Tribunal No. 15-21474B, Lourdes Simon, Judge.

          Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and James A. Odell, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Christina L. Dominguez, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before LOGUE, SCALES, and GORDO, JJ.

          LOGUE, J.

         Dolores Freixa challenges her conviction and sentence for grand theft of property with a value of $10, 000 or more but less than $20, 000. Freixa argues that the State failed to provide competent, substantial evidence of the value of the property stolen in the amount necessary to support her conviction. We agree and reverse in part. She also appeals her conviction and sentence for criminal mischief, a first-degree misdemeanor. Based on the State's proper concession that Freixa's criminal mischief conviction was entered in derogation of her right to competent counsel, we reverse that conviction as well.

         Background

         On September 29, 2015, Alexander Aguirre's home was burglarized. Freixa was arrested for the crime and charged with: (1) armed burglary; (2) grand theft of $20, 000 or more, but less than $100, 000; and (3) criminal mischief of $200 or more, but less than $1, 000.

         At trial, Mr. Aguirre testified about the value of the stolen property. After the State rested, Freixa moved for judgment of acquittal on her charge of grand theft, arguing the evidence was insufficient to establish value. That motion was denied. After Freixa rested her case, she again moved for judgment of acquittal on her grand theft count, which was also denied.

         Freixa was convicted of burglary; grand theft of $10, 000 or more, but less than $20, 000; and criminal mischief of $200 or more, but less than $1, 000. She timely appealed her convictions for grand theft and criminal mischief. She did not appeal her conviction for burglary.

         Standard of Review

         This Court reviews the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal de novo. Gonzalez v. State, 275 So.3d 766, 768 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) (citing Pagan v. State, 830 So.2d 792, 803 (Fla. 2002)). This Court will affirm a denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal "[i]f, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the State, a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the ...


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