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State v. Coats

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 20, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SHAWN JERRI COATS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Richard D. Greenwood, District Judge.

         Judgment of conviction for Count VII, criminal possession of a financial transaction card, affirmed; judgment of conviction for Count V, grand theft, vacated and case remanded.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Jenevieve C. Swinford, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Russell J. Spencer, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          GUTIERREZ, JUDGE.

         Shawn Jerri Coats appeals from his convictions for one count of grand theft and one count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card.[1] Coats makes two arguments on appeal: that there was insufficient evidence that he stole retail goods or services from an owner to support a conviction for grand theft and alternately, that his contested count of grand theft and the count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card arose from the same factual circumstances such that punishment for both violated his right to be free from double jeopardy under the Idaho Constitution. For the reasons provided below, we affirm the judgment of conviction for Count VII, criminal possession of a financial transaction card, and vacate the judgment of conviction for Count V, grand theft.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         One evening, as Coats was visiting at the victim's house, the victim told Coats that the victim was financially strained and unable to pay his bills. Coats offered to help the victim by writing a check and depositing it into the victim's bank account. The two drove to a nearby bank, and the victim deposited the check into his account using his debit card. Coats then told the victim that Coats needed some money, so Coats wrote another check, which the victim deposited into his account, withdrawing over half of the amount and giving it to Coats. The two returned to the victim's home, and Coats asked to borrow the victim's truck. The victim agreed to lend his truck to Coats and went to bed.

         Over the next two days, multiple checks were deposited into the victim's account and Coats, using the victim's debit card, purchased multiple items from a store, including prepaid credit cards. The bank suspected fraudulent activity and shut down the account.

         The State charged Coats with eight offenses: Count I - grand theft (I.C. §§ 18-2403(1), 18-2407(1)(b)(3), 18-2409) for wrongfully taking a financial transaction card from the victim; Count II - grand theft (I.C. §§ 18-2403(1), 18-2407(1)(b)(1), 18-2409) for wrongfully taking over $1, 000 in cash from the victim; Count III - forgery (I.C. §§ 18-3601) for passing a check on an account payable to the victim's account in the amount of $975; Count IV - forgery (I.C. §§ 18-3601) for passing a check on an account payable to the victim's account in the amount of $990; Count V - grand theft (I.C. §§ 18-2403(1), 18-2407(1)(b)(9), 18-2409) for wrongfully taking retail goods or services with an aggregate value over $50, stolen during three or more incidents, in a criminal episode up to three days, from the owner, the victim and/or the store; Count VI - forgery (I.C. §§ 18-3601) for passing a check on an account payable to the victim's account in the amount of $995; Count VII -criminal possession of a financial transaction card (I.C. §§ 18-3125(4), 18-3128) for knowingly obtaining goods and/or property from a store by using a fraudulently obtained financial transaction card; Count VIII - criminal possession of a financial transaction card (I.C. §§ 18-3125(4), 18-3128) for knowingly obtaining goods and/or property from a store by using a fraudulently obtained financial transaction card. The State additionally charged Coats as a persistent violator. Coats pleaded not guilty to all counts and proceeded to a jury trial.

         The jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of grand theft and forgery and on one count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card. The jury additionally returned a guilty verdict on the persistent violator enhancement. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on one count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card. For each count, the district court imposed a unified fifteen-year sentence, with five years determinate. The sentences were to be served concurrently. Coats timely appeals.

         II.

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