State v. Moreno

CourtCourt of Appeals of New Mexico
PartiesSTATE OF NEW MEXICO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GENIEVA MORENO, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberA-1-CA-40277
Decision Date25 October 2022

STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Plaintiff-Appellee,

GENIEVA MORENO, Defendant-Appellant.

No. A-1-CA-40277

Court of Appeals of New Mexico

October 25, 2022

Corrections to this opinion/decision not affecting the outcome, at the Court's discretion, can occur up to the time of publication with NM Compilation Commission. The Court will ensure that the electronic version of this opinion/decision is updated accordingly in Odyssey.


Hector H. Balderas, Attorney General Santa Fe, NM Leland M. Churan, Assistant Attorney General Albuquerque, NM for Appellee

Bennett J. Baur, Chief Public Defender Kathleen T. Baldridge, Assistant Appellate Defender Santa Fe, NM for Appellant



{¶1} This matter was submitted to the Court on the brief in chief pursuant to the Administrative Order for Appeals in Criminal Cases Involving the Law Offices of the Public Defender, From the Twelfth Judicial District Court in In re Pilot Project for Criminal Appeals, No. 2021-002, effective September 1, 2021. Following


consideration of the brief in chief, the Court assigned this matter to Track 2 for additional briefing. Now having considered the brief in chief, answer brief, and reply brief, we affirm for the following reasons.

{¶2} Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (CDM). [BIC 9] "[A]ppellate courts review sufficiency of the evidence from a highly deferential standpoint." State v. Slade, 2014-NMCA-088, ¶ 13, 331 P.3d 930 (text only). "All evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the state, and we resolve all conflicts and make all permissible inferences in favor of the jury's verdict." Id. (text only). "We examine each essential element of the crimes charged and the evidence at trial to ensure that a rational jury could have found the facts required for each element of the conviction beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). "[A]ppellate courts do not search for inferences supporting a contrary verdict or re-weigh the evidence because this type of analysis would substitute an appellate court's judgment for that of the jury." Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

{¶3} We look to the jury instructions to determine what the jury was required to find in order to convict Defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. See State v. Holt, 2016-NMSC-011, ¶ 20, 368 P.3d 409 ("The jury instructions become the law of the case against which the sufficiency of the evidence is to be measured." (text only)).


The jury instructions for CDM required the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) Defendant shoplifted; (2) this caused or encouraged a minor to commit the offense of shoplifting; (3) the minor was under the age of eighteen; and (4) this happened in New Mexico on or about March 28, 2020. [RP 109] The jury was also instructed on an accomplice liability theory for shoplifting, which provided, (1) "[D]efendant may be found guilty of a crime even though [D]efendant did not do the acts constituting the crime[] if the [S]tate proves to your satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements": (1) "[D]efendant intended that another person commit the crime"; (2) "[a]nother person committed the crime"; and (3) "[D]efendant helped, encouraged, or caused the crime to be committed." [RP 112]

{¶4} The briefs indicate the following material evidence was presented at trial. A loss prevention officer (the officer) testified that he was in the housewares section of Walmart patrolling for shoplifting activity because the store had recently experienced an uptick in shoplifting. [BIC 1] Specifically, the store had...

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