L.E.D. v. State

Decision Date24 November 2010
Docket NumberNo. 4D09-2164.,4D09-2164.
PartiesL.E.D., a Child, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
48 So.3d 167

L.E.D., a Child, Appellant,
STATE of Florida, Appellee.

No. 4D09-2164.

District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Fourth District.

Nov. 24, 2010.

Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and Patrick B. Burke, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

48 So.3d 168

Bill McCollum, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and James J. Carney, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.


L.E.D., a child, appeals from the finding of guilt for burglary of a dwelling and grand theft. L.E.D. asserts the trial court abused its discretion and reversibly erred in sequestering L.E.D.'s mother from the trial. We reverse.

L.E.D., age ten at the time of the offense, was charged by Petition with (1) burglary of a dwelling and (2) grand theft, along with co-defendants, S.T. (counts 3 and 4) and her brother, M.T. (counts 5 and 6). After L.E.D. was found guilty, the trial court withheld adjudication and placed her on probation with special conditions. L.E.D. and her mother were ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $1000.

At the beginning of the trial, defense counsel invoked the rule of sequestration of witnesses. Although L.E.D.'s mother was going to be a witness in the case, defense counsel argued that the mother, a party to this matter, should not be sequestered from the courtroom. The trial court disagreed and ordered L.E.D.'s mother to be sequestered until she was called as a witness by the defense.

L.E.D. argues that the trial court should not have sequestered her mother throughout the presentation of the state's case. We agree.

Section 90.616, Florida Statutes (2009), provides:

(1) At the request of a party the court shall order, or upon its own motion the court may order, witnesses excluded from a proceeding so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses except as provided in subsection (2)
(2) A witness may not be excluded if the witness is:
(a) A party who is a natural person.
(c) A person whose presence is shown by the party's attorney to be essential to the presentation of the party's cause.
(d) In a criminal case, the victim of the crime, the victim's next of kin, the parent or guardian of a minor child victim, or a lawful representative of such person, unless, upon motion, the court determines such person's presence to be prejudicial.

L.E.D. relies on J.R. v. State, 923 So.2d 1269 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006), in which the First District reversed a delinquency adjudication because the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • R.D.H. v. State , 4D10–241.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 16, 2011
    ...of the speedy trial period. Thus, any error was harmless. We similarly distinguish this case from our recent decision in L.E.D. v. State, 48 So.3d 167 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010), where we reversed because the trial court sequestered the mother throughout the presentation [57 So.3d 256] of the Stat......
1 books & journal articles
  • Miscellaneous
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books The Florida Criminal Cases Notebook. Volume 1-2 Volume 2
    • April 30, 2021
    ...is considered a party to the case, and the court errs in sequestering the mother because she was going to be a witness. L.E.D. v. State, 48 So. 3d 167 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) Where the child scores nine points on the RAI, and DJJ recommended secure detention to protect the victim, the court err......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT