People v. Myrick, No. 79SA400

Docket NºNo. 79SA400
Citation638 P.2d 34
Case DateNovember 16, 1981
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 34

638 P.2d 34
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Roy Elmer MYRICK, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 79SA400.
Supreme Court of Colorado.
Nov. 16, 1981.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 7, 1981.

Page 35

J. D. MacFarlane, Atty. Gen., Richard F. Hennessey, Deputy Atty. Gen., Mary J. Mullarkey, Sol. Gen., R. Michael Mullins, Asst. Atty. Gen., Litigation Section, Denver, for plaintiff-appellee.

Stephen C. Rench, Denver, for defendant-appellant.

LEE, Justice.

The defendant, Roy Elmer Myrick, appeals from his conviction for theft by receiving, section 18-4-410(4), C.R.S.1973 (1978 Repl. Vol. 8). 1 We affirm his conviction.

During the summer of 1977, Detective Robert Brown of the Arapahoe County Special Crime Attack Team (S.C.A.T.) was assigned to investigate rumors that sales of stolen merchandise were being transacted at the "Swap and Shop" flea market in Arapahoe County.

During this undercover investigation, Detective Brown made contact with the defendant at the Swap and Shop on July 24, 1977. Detective Brown told the defendant that he had six television sets for sale and asked the defendant if he was interested in buying them. Defendant responded that he would be interested, but also stated that he wanted to be careful because the theft by

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receiving statute made receiving stolen goods "just as bad as if you actually went out and stole the items yourself." Arrangements were made to transfer the six television sets the next day. The sale, however, did not take place for reasons not relevant here.

Subsequently, on August 21, 1977, Detective Brown and his partner appeared at the Swap and Shop and offered to sell two television sets to the defendant for $50 each. The defendant inspected the television sets, which were brand new and in original cartons, and offered to pay $80 for the two. Detective Brown accepted the offer, stating that the television sets were "hot" and that he wanted to get rid of them. The sets were not, in fact, stolen goods. The defendant gave Brown $80 to complete the sale. Brown indicated that he could get fifteen to twenty more television sets and defendant stated that he would be willing to buy the additional sets.

Brown and his partner then followed the defendant to the rear of a restaurant in Arapahoe County where the two television sets were put in defendant's panel truck. While at this location, a photograph was secretly taken showing the undercover officers and the defendant. The defendant was then "tailed" to a warehouse in lower downtown Denver, where he unloaded the television sets and took them into the warehouse.

Two days later, on August 23, 1977, a search warrant was issued by an Arapahoe County judge authorizing a search of the warehouse for the television sets. The search warrant provided that the following areas could be searched:

"Warehouse building covering one half block on the west side of Wazee Street extending the entire length of the block between 15th and 16th Streets, Denver, County of Denver, State of Colorado, and the structure across the alley which is attached to the above warehouse by an enclosed catwalk; exclusive of areas not accessible by entry through the second loading dock door South of 16th Street on the East side of the alley."

The search warrant was executed by Arapahoe County S.C.A.T. officers and officers from the Denver Police Department and the two television sets purchased by the defendant on August 21, 1977 were seized at the warehouse.

The defendant was arrested and charged with theft by receiving. Prior to trial, he sought to have the television sets suppressed, claiming that they were obtained in an illegal search. The district court denied this motion. The defendant also challenged the authority of an Arapahoe County judge to issue a search warrant for a structure in Denver County. The trial court held that the issuance of the search warrant was proper and since Denver police officers had been present during the execution of the search warrant, the search and seizure was valid. The defendant also challenged the constitutionality of the theft by receiving statute. The district court found the statute constitutional.

At trial, the Arapahoe County S.C.A.T. officers testified as to the events which led to the arrest of the defendant. The defendant presented several character witnesses. After they had testified, defendant indicated that he wished to testify in his own behalf. At this point, the trial judge, in chambers, advised the defendant that he was not required to testify and that if he did testify he would be subject to "full cross-examination." After a lengthy and thorough explanation of this right, the court recessed for the evening. The next morning the defendant announced that he had decided not to testify. The jury found the defendant guilty of theft by receiving as charged.

The defendant appeals, claiming that the statute under which he was convicted, section 18-4-410(4), C.R.S.1973, is unconstitutional. He also argues that the court erroneously denied his motion to suppress the television sets from evidence. Finally, he claims that the trial court's advice to him concerning his right to testify and the admonition concerning cross-examination to which he would be subjected if he chose to testify were overbroad, thereby impermissibly

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chilling the exercise of his constitutional right to testify.

I.

Defendant challenges the constitutionality of the theft by receiving statute. The defendant claims that the statute here involved, which makes it a felony to receive non-stolen property when one believes it to be stolen, furthers no legitimate governmental purpose. Defendant argues that the sole purpose of this statute is to allow law enforcement personnel to approach unsuspecting, innocent citizens and make them criminals by offering them non-stolen property as stolen property. We find this argument to be without merit.

Trafficking in stolen property directly affects public safety and welfare and is an appropriate subject for legislation in the exercise of the police power. People v. Sequin, Colo., 609 P.2d 622 (1980). Thus, the legislature may legitimately exercise its police power with the purpose of preventing the theft of personal property and curtailing the distribution of stolen property. When...

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32 practice notes
  • People v. Gallegos, No. 80SA252
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 26 Abril 1982
    ...error was, in my view, harmless. Cf. Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 87 S.Ct. 824, 17 L.Ed.2d 705 (1967); People v. Myrick, Colo., 638 P.2d 34 (1981). The facts in this case do not require that the case be remanded to the district court for an evidentiary QUINN, Justice, dissenting: I r......
  • People v. Curtis, Nos. 82SC414
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 23 Abril 1984
    ...Art. II, Page 510 § 25. Brooks v. Tennessee, 406 U.S. 605, 612, 92 S.Ct. 1891, 1895, 32 L.Ed.2d 358 (1972); People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981). While the United States Supreme Court has never had occasion to enunciate explicitly and unequivocally that there is a due process right......
  • Key v. People, No. 92SC802
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 10 Enero 1994
    ...that such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Bartley v. People, 817 P.2d 1029, 1034 (Colo.1991); People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981). By contrast, if there is a reasonable probability from a review of the entire record that the defendant could have been prejudiced, the ......
  • Hoffman v. People, Nos. 87SC453
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 18 Septiembre 1989
    ...of either Hoffman because of the overwhelming evidence that marijuana plants were growing in the Hoffmans' garden. See People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981) (even if trial court committed constitutional error in failing to suppress stolen televisions to show defendant committed thef......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • People v. Gallegos, No. 80SA252
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 26 Abril 1982
    ...error was, in my view, harmless. Cf. Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 87 S.Ct. 824, 17 L.Ed.2d 705 (1967); People v. Myrick, Colo., 638 P.2d 34 (1981). The facts in this case do not require that the case be remanded to the district court for an evidentiary QUINN, Justice, dissenting: I r......
  • People v. Curtis, Nos. 82SC414
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 23 Abril 1984
    ...Art. II, Page 510 § 25. Brooks v. Tennessee, 406 U.S. 605, 612, 92 S.Ct. 1891, 1895, 32 L.Ed.2d 358 (1972); People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981). While the United States Supreme Court has never had occasion to enunciate explicitly and unequivocally that there is a due process right......
  • Key v. People, No. 92SC802
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 10 Enero 1994
    ...that such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Bartley v. People, 817 P.2d 1029, 1034 (Colo.1991); People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981). By contrast, if there is a reasonable probability from a review of the entire record that the defendant could have been prejudiced, the ......
  • Hoffman v. People, Nos. 87SC453
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 18 Septiembre 1989
    ...of either Hoffman because of the overwhelming evidence that marijuana plants were growing in the Hoffmans' garden. See People v. Myrick, 638 P.2d 34, 38 (Colo.1981) (even if trial court committed constitutional error in failing to suppress stolen televisions to show defendant committed thef......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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