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State of Idaho v. Tarango Deforest Padilla

December 28, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TARANGO DEFOREST PADILLA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Twin Falls County. Hon. G. Richard Bevan, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gutierrez, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 777

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Judgments of conviction for two counts of grand theft and being a persistent violator, affirmed.

Tarango Deforest Padilla appeals from his judgments of conviction entered upon jury verdicts finding him guilty of two counts of grand theft and being a persistent violator. Specifically, he contends the district court erred in denying his motion in limine to exclude certain evidence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

At approximately 2:30 a.m. one morning in August 2009, Officer Matthew Gonzales, who was on routine patrol driving through an alley, saw Padilla and attempted to make contact with him. Padilla fled and was subsequently found nearby lying on the ground under a tree. During a search of Padilla, officers found two financial transaction cards (cards) that did not belong to Padilla and several ceramic spark plug pieces.*fn1 Officers found additional cards, spark plug pieces, and a flashlight upon searching the area where Padilla was pursued and ultimately detained. Police contacted the owners of two of the cards, who both confirmed they left their cards in their respective unlocked vehicles the night before and the cards were missing. Both victims denied knowing Padilla or giving him permission to use the cards.

Padilla was charged with two counts of grand theft, Idaho Code §§ 18-2403(1), 18-2407(1)(b), and with being a persistent violator, I.C. § 19-2514, in separate cases later consolidated for trial. Prior to the presentation of any witness testimony on the first day of trial, Padilla argued on behalf of his motion in limine to prevent the introduction of evidence relating to the spark plug pieces and the flashlight. He argued the evidence was irrelevant to the grand theft charges and was unfairly prejudicial and potentially inflammatory because the State would utilize the evidence to imply he was not only guilty of the charged grand thefts, but also of burglarizing vehicles by using the items to break into the vehicles to obtain the cards. The court denied the motion, allowing the State to elicit testimony regarding the discovery of these items at the time of Padilla's arrest.

The jury found Padilla guilty as charged. He filed a timely notice of appeal in both cases, and they were consolidated for appeal.

II.

ANALYSIS

Padilla contends the district court erred in denying his motion in limine to prevent the State from presenting evidence regarding the spark plug pieces and the flashlight. Specifically, he argues it constituted unfairly prejudicial Idaho Rule of Evidence 404(b) evidence that was not relevant to any permissible issue with regard to his charges of ...


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