COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS
December 14, 2017
2017 COA 154. No. 14CA1234. People v. Abu-Nantambu-El.
Juror—Challenge for Cause—Law Enforcement Agency—CRS § 16-10-103—Disqualification—Res Gestae Evidence. Defendant forced his way into an apartment and physically attacked the occupants, one of whom died from the result of stab wounds. A jury convicted defendant of multiple offenses against two victims, including first degree murder (felony murder); second degree murder; first degree burglary (assault/menace); and first degree burglary (armed with explosives/ weapon).
On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his challenge to a juror who was a compensated employee of a law enforcement agency. The Attorney General conceded that the court should have excused the juror, but contended that reversal was not required because the juror did not indicate that she was actually biased. The juror was disqualified under CRS § 16-10-103(1)(k), which sets out categories of jurors deemed to be impliedly biased. This statute does not require a showing of actual bias that would violate due process.
Defendant also argued that the trial court erred in admitting as res gestate evidence about defendant’s emotional state after a friend (one of the victims at issue in this case) left him at a 7-Eleven store three days before the charged offenses. This evidence provided context for the jury and a more complete understanding of events leading up to the charged offenses and was properly admitted.
The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.
2017 COA 155. No. 16CA0419. People in re I.S.
Juvenile—Sex Offender Registration—Exemption—CRS § 16-22-103.
I.S., a juvenile, was originally charged in a delinquency petition with three felony counts of sexual assault on a child. Under a plea deal, the prosecution added a fourth misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact to its petition, to which I.S. pleaded guilty in return for the three felony counts being dismissed. At sentencing, I.S. argued that because the prosecution had added a misdemeanor offense to the first petition instead of fling a second petition, his misdemeanor offense had been charged in the first petition as required by CRS § 16-22-103(5)(a)(III) and he was thus exempt from registering as a sex offender. Because the first petition fled with the court charged I.S. with the three felony counts of sexual assault on a child and not the misdemeanor, the district court ruled that I.S. must register as a sex offender.
On appeal, I.S. contended that the court erred in denying his request for exemption from sex offender registration. Under CRS § 16-22-103(5)(a), a court may exempt a person from registering as a sex offender when five criteria are met, including the requirement that the first petition fled with the court must charge a misdemeanor offense of either unlawful sexual contact or indecent exposure. The “ first petition fled with the court” does not encompass later amendments to that petition. Because the original petition in this case did not charge a misdemeanor offense of either unlawful sexual contact or indecent exposure, I.S. is not eligible for relief under this statute and must register as a sex offender.
The order was affirmed.
2017 COA 156. No. 16CA1379. People in re J.D.
Juvenile Delinquency—Plea Agreement— Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Withdrawal of Plea—Magistrate—Jurisdiction.
J.D. appeared before a magistrate in a delinquency case. He was represented by counsel and signed an “advisement of rights in a juvenile delinquency proceeding” and pleaded guilty to acts that if committed by an adult would have constituted second degree criminal trespass. The magistrate accepted the plea and entered a one-year deferred adjudication. After the prosecution sought restitution and J.D. failed to file an objection within the deadline, the magistrate ordered restitution. Four months later and through new counsel, J.D. moved to withdraw his guilty plea under Crim. P. 32(d) based on ineffective assistance...