State v. Mascareno-Haidle, S-1-SC-38743

Docket NºS-1-SC-38743
Citation514 P.3d 454
Case DateJune 30, 2022
CourtSupreme Court of New Mexico

514 P.3d 454

STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Petitioner,
v.
Jesse MASCARENO-HAIDLE, Defendant-Respondent.

NO. S-1-SC-38743

Supreme Court of New Mexico.

Filing Date: June 30, 2022


Presiliano Raúl Torrez, District Attorney, James W. Grayson, Deputy District Attorney, Albuquerque, NM, for Petitioner

Bennett J. Baur, Chief Public Defender, Kimberly M. Chavez Cook, Appellate Defender, Noah Walker Gelb, Assistant Appellate Defender, Santa Fe, NM, for Respondent

VIGIL, Justice.

{1} When one of our district court judges is asked to decide whether a person charged with committing a felony will be jailed pending trial, that judge must predict what that person's future behavior will be if released. But "there is no way to absolutely guarantee that any defendant released on pretrial conditions will not commit another offense." State v. Brown , 2014-NMSC-038, ¶ 54, 338 P.3d 1276. To reduce the margins of error, this inexact, consequential task demands that the judge be given as much information as possible prior to making a decision. State ex rel. Torrez v. Whitaker , 2018-NMSC-005, ¶ 103, 410 P.3d 201. This allows for an informed decision to be made that not only protects the dignity and constitutional rights of the accused, but it also protects society. See N.M. Const. art. II, § 13.

{2} Here, the State failed to meet its evidentiary burden to place Defendant, Jesse Mascareno-Haidle, in pretrial detention. The State asks us to clarify the standard it must meet in order for the district court to grant pretrial detention. Specifically, the State challenges the requirement that it must prove that there are no release conditions that will reasonably protect the safety of any other person or the community if Defendant were released. Thus the State requests that it be allowed to present less, not more, information to a judge attempting to predict what a person's future behavior will be. We decline the State's request and adhere to our order issued after oral argument upholding the Court of Appeals’ affirmance of the district court's denial of pretrial detention. Having failed to meet the burden or preserve the issue, the State cannot be heard to complain. We write to explain our reasoning and rationale.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

{3} On January 29, 2021, Detective J. Allred of the Albuquerque Police Department filed a criminal complaint-arrest warrant which chronicled his efforts to investigate a series of residential burglaries in Albuquerque. The affidavit recites the following.

{4} A homeowner reported that on October 3, 2020, at approximately 3:30 a.m., a vehicle was stolen from his home using keys taken from inside the home while he and his family were sleeping. The intruder gained entry through a window facing the backyard,

514 P.3d 457

which was easily accessible from the street behind the home. A latent print impression from the window was obtained, and police determined that it matched a known fingerprint of Defendant. A second homeowner reported her home was burglarized overnight while her family was sleeping inside on November 19, 2020. There was no sign of forced entry. Entry was presumed to be from an unlocked back door, which the departing intruder had left wide open. The home backs directly onto a recreation trail and arroyo, granting easy access to that back door. One of the items stolen was an Xbox with a unique serial number, and investigation disclosed that Defendant sold that Xbox to a pawnshop on December 2, 2020. On the basis of the evidence identifying Defendant in connection with these two incidents, Defendant was charged with one count of residential burglary, one count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and one count of receiving/transferring stolen property (over $250, less than $500).

{5} In January 2020, after investigating five other residential burglaries, Detective Allred concluded he was investigating a serial burglary case with common features: the burglaries occurred during the overnight hours while the occupants were sleeping, and entry was gained through an open window or door in the back of the home which was easily accessible by a main street or open space. Detective Allred began researching databases and dispatch call records of home burglaries that he knew of and that were reported as having occurred in the early morning hours. He discovered over eighty separate burglaries having taken place in Albuquerque in the middle of the night while the occupants were sleeping. In many of the cases, cars were stolen. Some homeowners had videos showing two or three burglars, and in all of them (except one) the burglars wore masks. Detective Allred also investigated six additional cases from Los Lunas which he believed involved the same suspects. The remainder of Detective Allred's affidavit details both his investigation of seven specific burglaries with similar patterns and his investigation of Defendant, who was eighteen at the time, and two of his associates. The investigation also involved automobiles, stolen from burglarized homes, which ended up being parked or abandoned near Defendant's home.

{6} Defendant was arrested on January 29, 2021, the day the criminal complaint-arrest warrant affidavit was filed. On the next day, the State filed a motion for pretrial detention pursuant to Article II, Section 13 of the New Mexico Constitution and Rule 5-409 NMRA. To support its motion, the State presented Detective Allred's criminal complaint-arrest warrant affidavit, the pretrial services public safety assessment (PSA)1 recommending that Defendant be released on his own recognizance, the results of a criminal history search pertaining to Defendant, and the register of actions in the case.

{7} A hearing on the motion for pretrial detention was held on February 3, 2021. The State rested its entire detention case on the foregoing documents. Noticeably lacking was any testimony from Detective Allred and any argument that no conditions of release could protect the community from Defendant if he were released. The district court judge denied detention. The district court judge found "that the magnitude of the allegations are inherently dangerous" but "that the State has failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that no release conditions will reasonably protect the safety of another person or the community." Defendant was ordered to be released subject to conditions,

514 P.3d 458

including: pretrial services supervision and compliance with all of its conditions, not to possess any firearms or dangerous weapons, not to return to the location of any of the alleged crimes, not to consume alcohol, not to buy or sell or consume or possess illegal drugs, to notify the court of any change of address, not to leave Bernalillo County without prior permission of the court, to maintain weekly contact with his attorney, and not to leave his residence between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. without prior permission of the court. The order setting conditions of release was filed on the day of the detention hearing, February 3, 2021.

{8} Two days later, the State filed a second criminal complaint-arrest warrant affidavit signed by Detective Allred. These charges were based on facts that were also alleged in the criminal complaint-arrest warrant affidavit describing Detective Allred's investigation of a residential burglary taking place on December 16, 2020, in which two violins and a Lexus SUV were stolen while the occupants of the home slept. The charges were larceny (over $20,000), conspiracy to commit a second-degree felony, residential burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, two counts of conspiracy to commit a third- or fourth-degree felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

{9} The State filed a second motion for pretrial detention pursuant to Article II, Section 13 of the New Mexico Constitution and Rule 5-409. As with the first motion, the State supported its second motion with Detective Allred's second criminal complaint-arrest warrant affidavit, an updated pretrial services PSA that again recommended Defendant's release on his own recognizance, the results of a criminal history search, and the register of actions in the case. An arrest warrant was issued, and on February 12, 2021, Defendant was arrested at his home—his required location under the existing conditions of his release.

{10} At the hearing on its second motion for detention, which was held before a different district court judge, the State presented testimony of Detective Allred. Detective Allred disclosed that after the initial motion for detention was denied, he and the prosecutor agreed they could move forward with certain charges "right away." They wanted to file new charges, so they could get another chance to obtain an order detaining Defendant pretrial. Their concern, "based on the circumstances surrounding the magnitude of these burglaries," was that Defendant would reoffend if not in custody.

{11} When Defendant was originally arrested on January 29, 2021, he was cooperative and gave Detective Allred a two-hour recorded statement. Based on his notes at the time of the interview, Detective Allred estimated that Defendant admitted to committing around twenty-eight specific burglaries. Defendant specifically admitted committing the burglaries underlying the charges set forth in both of the pending...

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