People v. Warner, No. 87CA1762

Docket NºNo. 87CA1762
Citation790 P.2d 866
Case DateOctober 26, 1989
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

Page 866

790 P.2d 866
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Ernest L. WARNER, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 87CA1762.
Colorado Court of Appeals,
Div. I.
Oct. 26, 1989.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 7, 1989.
Certiorari Granted April 2, 1990.

Duane Woodard, Atty. Gen., Charles B. Howe, Chief Deputy Atty. Gen., Richard H.

Page 867

Forman, Sol. Gen., and Cheryl A. Linden, Asst. Atty. Gen., Denver, for plaintiff-appellee.

David F. Vela, Colorado State Public Defender, and Janet Fullmer Youtz, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, for defendant-appellant.

Opinion by Judge PIERCE.

Defendant, Ernest L. Warner, appeals the judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of theft from the person of another. We reverse.

The record establishes that defendant used a series of short-change transactions to obtain money from a store cashier. Defendant originally approached the cashier to make a purchase while an accomplice stood nearby distracting other customers in the store. Defendant used a ten dollar bill to purchase a dollar's worth of goods. After the cashier handed him his change, defendant asked her to make change for other ten and twenty dollar bills in his possession. Several transactions occurred in which the cashier exchanged smaller denomination bills for bills presented by defendant. Eventually the cashier became confused and refused to make further change. Defendant left the store and the cashier discovered that the register was fifty-two dollars short.

Defendant first contends that the evidence fails to establish that the theft occurred "from the person of another" as proscribed by § 18-4-401(5). We agree.

In construing a statute, effect must be given to the intent of the General Assembly. People v. District Court, 713 P.2d 918 (Colo.1986). Any ambiguous terminology must be analyzed in context and with regard to its intended purpose as manifested by the statutory scheme. People v. Green, 734 P.2d 616 (Colo.1987).

The crime of theft is defined under § 18-4-401(1) and ranges from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 3 felony depending on the value of the thing taken, as set forth in § 18-4-401(2), C.R.S. (1986 Repl.Vol. 8B).

Under § 18-4-401(5), C.R.S. (1986 Repl. Vol. 8B), theft, regardless of value, is a class 5 felony if it involves a taking "from the person of another by means other than the use of force, threat, or intimidation." A taking from the person of another by force, threats, or intimidation is...

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1 practice notes
  • People v. Warner, No. 90SC13
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • December 10, 1990
    ...remanded the case back to the trial court for entry of a class 2 misdemeanor conviction under section 18-4-401(2)(b). People v. Warner, 790 P.2d 866 (Colo.App.1989). We affirm the judgment of the court of On the afternoon of February 23, 1987, the defendant, Ernest Warner (Warner), and anot......
1 cases
  • People v. Warner, No. 90SC13
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • December 10, 1990
    ...remanded the case back to the trial court for entry of a class 2 misdemeanor conviction under section 18-4-401(2)(b). People v. Warner, 790 P.2d 866 (Colo.App.1989). We affirm the judgment of the court of On the afternoon of February 23, 1987, the defendant, Ernest Warner (Warner), and anot......

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