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State of Idaho v. David Leroy Lee

July 5, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DAVID LEROY LEE,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the district court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Deborah A. Bail, district judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: W. Jones, Justice

2012 Opinion No. 109

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

The decision of the district court is vacated.

I. NATURE OF THE CASE

After moving from the address that he reported to the Idaho State Police Sex Offender Registry ("the Registry") pursuant to the sex offender registration requirements of I.C. § 18- 8309, as it existed in 2001,*fn1 and being extradited from Belize, David Leroy Lee was convicted of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of I.C. § 18-8309 on December 10, 2009. Lee asserts that the plain language of I.C. § 18-8309 does not require sex offenders to register or update their address information with either the Registry or the sheriff of the county where the offender is required to register after moving to another country. In the alternative, Lee contends that the State failed to provide evidence establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that he moved from his last known address to a definite new address or actual residence thereby triggering his duty to notify the Registry or the sheriff of the county where he was required to register of a new address or actual residence. Lee also claims that I.C. § 18-8309 is unconstitutionally vague and that his due process rights were violated.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

As a result of Lee's conviction for Lewd Conduct with a Minor under Age 16, Lee was required annually to register as a sex offender ("the registration requirement") and bi-annually to confirm his residence with the Registry ("the bi-annual requirement"). Lee was also required, as a condition of his parole,*fn2 to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle ("ankle bracelet"). In 2001, Lee fulfilled the registration requirement. On March 3, 2001, Lee also fulfilled the bi-annual requirement by confirming his address as 310 ½ North 15th Street, Boise, Idaho.

On or around October 9, 2001, Lee cut off his ankle bracelet and vacated the 310 ½ North 15th Street address. A warrant for his arrest was issued. No change of address was ever filed with the Ada County Sheriff's Office, the Registry, or with any other state sex offender registry. The Registry sent Lee an Annual Sex Offender Registration Notice to his last known address at 310 ½ North 15th Street Boise, Idaho. It eventually came back to the Registry with a handwritten notice stating, "Does Not Live Here," and a computer generated "Return to Sender" sticker stating, "1210 Howard Street, Boise, ID 83706-4518."

Lee was eventually arrested in Belize on May 17, 2009, in connection with an ongoing explosives investigation. Thereafter, Lee was extradited to Idaho in June of 2009. He was later charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender pursuant to I.C. § 18-8309.

At the conclusion of the State's case, Lee made an oral motion for a judgment of acquittal, contending that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction because the State failed to prove that Lee's duty to notify the Registry of his change of address or actual residence was triggered when he allegedly moved to another country. In the alternative, Lee contended that the State failed to prove that he moved from his Boise address to a new address or actual residence by producing a lease, testimony, or other document. The district court reserved ruling on the motion and allowed the case to be submitted to the jury. The jury returned a guilty verdict.

Lee renewed his motion on October 23, 2009. The State asserted that I.C. § 18-8309 applies when a sex offender moves to another country. Furthermore, the State contended that it was not required to prove that Lee moved to a new address in another country. Instead, the State claimed that it was only required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lee moved from his last known address without providing notice to the Registry of any new address or actual residence. The district court denied Lee's motion and entered its Judgment of Conviction on December 10, 2009. Thereafter, Lee filed his Notice of Appeal on December 11, 2009, and Amended Notice of Appeal on January 26, 2010. The district court later filed its Amended Judgment of Conviction on April 27, 2010. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Amended Judgment of Conviction. Thereafter, Lee filed his Petition for Review, which this Court granted on August 29, 2011.

III. ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Whether there is evidence in the record establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Lee failed to register as a sex offender in ...


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