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Eres v. State

April 8, 2010

FULGENCIO ERES, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Michael K. Davis, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Golden, Justice.

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] Appellant Fulgencio Eres appeals his felony conviction for receiving stolen property, asserting claims of instructional error and evidentiary insufficiency. We will affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Eres presents these issues for our review:

I. Did the trial court err in instructing the jury on the appropriate point in time for valuation of the stolen property?

II. Did the State present sufficient evidence to support a felony level value of stolen property?

BACKGROUND FACTS

[¶3] The basic facts in this case are straightforward. On November 23, 2007, Darren Gonzales discovered his home had been broken into and several items had been stolen. Among the items taken were home theater components, various televisions, DVD players, VCRs, headphones, and a Sony PlayStation 2. Gonzales reported the break-in and theft to the Cheyenne Police Department. A few days later, Gonzales received information relating to the stolen items and conveyed it to the investigating officers.

[¶4] Based on the information received, Detective Thomas Hood and Detective James Eddy contacted Eres at his residence on November 29. While there, they discovered several items reportedly stolen from the Gonzales residence. Eres admitted to the detectives that he knew the property in question had been stolen. Eres further stated he bought the stolen property for about $200.00 and planned on selling it for a profit. The detectives seized the stolen property and transported it to the Cheyenne Police Department.

[¶5] The State subsequently charged Eres with one count of receiving stolen property valued in excess of $1,000.00 as proscribed by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-403(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2009),*fn1 a felony. At trial, the only contested issue concerned the fair market value of the stolen property and, thus, the level of Eres' criminal culpability. The district court instructed the jury on the elements of both the charged felony offense and the lesser included misdemeanor offense of receiving stolen property with a value of less than $1,000.00. The jury found the value of the property exceeded $1,000.00 and convicted Eres on the felony offense. The district court sentenced Eres to a term of imprisonment of six to eight years. This appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

Jury Instruction

[¶6] At the instruction conference, Eres objected to the district court's proposed instruction concerning the time period to be used for determining the value of the stolen property under § 6-3-403(a). Eres contended that the appropriate point of valuation should be the date the criminal act of receiving occurred, and he offered an instruction to that effect. The district court rejected Eres' proposed instruction and instructed the jury that "[t]he value of the property alleged to have ...


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