SHAROD M. HARRIS, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Timothy L. Bailey, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Gary Lee Caldwell, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Richard Valuntas,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
challenges his conviction and sentence for grand theft,
claiming that the court erred in denying his motion for
judgment of acquittal. Because the State failed to produce
any legally sufficient evidence of the value of items, we
State charged appellant with burglary and grand theft. At his
trial, the State presented evidence that two iPads, an
iPhone, an Alexa speaker, knick-knacks, a signed baseball, a
camera, and jewelry had been taken from the home of a husband
and wife and were found in the possession of the appellant.
One of the pieces of jewelry was the wife's engagement
ring. The husband testified to the purchase price of most of
the stolen electronics. He did not testify as to their
present condition or provide any information regarding their
fair market value. The wife testified and described some of
the jewelry, including: pearl earrings with a diamond chip,
two gold bracelets, a gold anklet, two necklaces (one with a
brown gemstone and the other with a circle of diamonds), a
pair of diamond earrings, and a pearl ring with a circle of
diamonds. Pictures of some of the jewelry were admitted into
evidence. When asked if she could give a value to some of the
items, she said the ones that had been passed down she would
not know, but the rest of them, like the ones her husband
bought, she could valuate. Over defense objection for lack of
proper foundation, the wife estimated that her engagement
ring had a value of "probably $3000." The earrings
had been purchased by her mother and those cost $900. She
clarified that she was with her mother when the earrings were
purchased. A necklace with a brown pendant was "worth
probably about a hundred."
the close of the State's case and again at the close of
all the evidence, appellant moved for judgment of acquittal
on the grand theft charge, because there was insufficient
proof of the value of the goods taken. The court denied the
motion. The jury acquitted appellant of the burglary charge
but convicted him of grand theft. He was sentenced to five
years in prison. He now appeals the grand theft conviction.
challenges the denial of his motion for judgment of
acquittal. He claims that the evidence was legally
insufficient to prove that the fair market value of the
stolen items was more than $300. Because the testimony of the
victims was insufficient to prove the value of the property,
and the State offered no other evidence, we agree with
812.014(2)(c), Florida Statutes (2017) provides that "if
the property stolen is: 1. Valued at $300 or more, but less
than $5000" it is grand theft of the third degree. The
term "value" has been defined in the theft statute.
The relevant part of section 812.012(10), Florida Statutes
(10) "Value" means value determined according to
any of the following:
(a)1. Value means the market value of the property at the
time and place of the offense or, if such cannot be
satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the
property within a reasonable time after the offense.
Bruce v. State, 276 So.3d 1, 3 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019),
we noted that "'[v]alue' is an essential element
of grand theft that must be proven by the State beyond and to
the exclusion of every reasonable doubt."
proof of value requires a two-prong test. "First, the
court must ascertain whether the person testifying is
competent to testify to the value of property."
Lucky v. State, 25 So.3d 691 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010)
(quoting Mansfield v. State, 954 So.2d 74, 76-77
(Fla. 4th DCA 2007)). Generally, an owner is presumed
competent to testify as to the value of his or her property.
However, "an owner's estimate of the value of stolen
property must be supported by facts that show enough
familiarity with the property to lend credence to the
opinion." Sanchez v. State, 101 So.3d 1283,
1287 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) (citations omitted). "[W]here
'the value of the ...