S.S. v. State, Case No. 2D19-2572

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtSMITH, Judge.
Citation318 So.3d 641
Parties S.S., Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date07 May 2021
Docket NumberCase No. 2D19-2572

318 So.3d 641

S.S., Appellant,
STATE of Florida, Appellee.

Case No. 2D19-2572

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.

Opinion filed May 7, 2021.

Howard L. Dimming, II, Public Defender, and Susan M. Shanahan, Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.

Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Katie Salemi Ashby, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.

SMITH, Judge.

Following a bench trial, S.S., a juvenile, was found to have committed one count of criminal mischief. He was adjudicated delinquent, placed in confinement at a residential treatment program, and ordered to complete community service and pay restitution. He appeals his adjudication and disposition, arguing that his motion for judgment of dismissal, presented at the close of the State's case during his adjudicatory hearing, should have been granted because the State failed to meet its burden of establishing a prima facie case that S.S. committed criminal mischief. We agree and therefore reverse S.S.'s adjudication of delinquency and resulting disposition.

On November 26, 2018, S.S. was captured on surveillance video attempting to break into the bicycle ministry operated by Bethesda Ministries (Bethesda), a church-affiliated outreach program. The bicycle ministry is located in a house near Bethesda's church, which is monitored by a video surveillance system twenty-four hours a day. Teataihaea Rogers, the church's outreach program coordinator, upon noticing damage to the outside of the back door, its frame, and doorknob of the bicycle ministry building door, reviewed the church's video surveillance. She observed on the video an individual attempting to break in through the bicycle ministry's door and thereafter contacted law enforcement. Ms. Rogers provided a copy of the video to the responding officer, and from this video the police were able to identify and locate S.S. at a nearby location. S.S. was then detained and questioned by Detective Degagne, who informed him that he had been captured on video attempting to break into the bicycle ministry. S.S.'s fingerprints were later found on the damaged door. Prior to reading S.S. his Miranda 1 rights, the detective suggested that S.S. write a letter of apology to the ministry, with which S.S. complied. S.S. was not read his Miranda rights until midway through Detective Degagne's questioning. At S.S.'s adjudicatory hearing, the State attempted to utilize in its case-in-chief S.S.'s pre-Miranda statements to law enforcement during questioning, his letter of apology, and the surveillance video. The defense moved to suppress all three items of evidence, which the trial court granted.2 Unable to rely on that evidence, the State instead went forward with its case relying solely on the presence of S.S.'s fingerprints

318 So.3d 643

taken from the damaged door. S.S.'s fingerprints were analyzed by the State's fingerprint expert, who was employed with the Tampa Police Department. The expert testified that the fingerprints analyzed from the damaged door matched the fingerprints of S.S. After the close of the State's case, S.S. moved for judgment of dismissal as to both the burglary and criminal mischief charges based on the State's failure to establish the prima facie elements of each charge. While the trial court dismissed the burglary charge, it found the State met its burden with regard to the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Jerry v. State, Case No. 5D20-1447
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 7, 2021
    ...no case that supports such an assertion; to the contrary, other courts have found that simultaneous convictions may serve as a single 318 So.3d 641 predicate offense. See, e.g., Westberry v. State, 906 So. 2d 1141, 1142 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005) ; Johnson v. State, 790 So. 2d 1163 (Fla. 2d DCA 200......

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