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Case Conclusion Date: January 11, 2012
Practice Area: Criminal Defense
Outcome: Jury Acquittal on Burglary charge.
Description: Client was charged with Burglary Second Degree. He ventured upon a dilapitaded home which he thought was abandoned. Nobody resided at the home, the structure was in shambles, garbage littered the premises, the grass was unkempt and numerous abandoned vehicles were strewn about. Client's occupation is metal scrapper. He was interested in seeing if the abandoned vehicles were worth salvaging. Neighbors called the police, who arrived and arrested client. Police found evidence that the back door of the home was broken into. They also found evidence of rolled up electrical wiring which they presumed came from inside the house. The State's prosecutor charged client with Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class C felony. At trial, Mr. Ransom successfully admitted the 'lesser included" jury instruction of Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, a gross misdemeanor. This instruction allows juries to select Criminal Trespass if they find the State has not proven Burglary Second degree. More importantly, Mr. Ransom successfully introduced and admitted the "Abandoned Property" statutory defense to Criminal Trespass. He intended to provide the jury with a means of acquitting the defendant of Criminal Trespass. The jury ruled "Not Guilty" of Burglary Second Degree. They found, however, that client was guilty of Criminal Trespass. Client was impressed with the outcome. Mr. Ransom successfully acquitted him on the more serious charge of Burglary Second Degree, a Class C Felony.