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State v. Gonzales

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department A

August 22, 2013

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
CARLOS GONZALES, Appellant.

Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CR2010-151248-001 The Honorable Robert E. Miles, Judge

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix By Joseph T. Maziarz, Section Chief Counsel Attorneys for Appellee

Bruce F. Peterson, Legal Advocate Phoenix By Consuelo M. Ohanesian, Deputy Legal Advocate Attorneys for Appellant

MEMORANDUM DECISION

JOHN C.GEMMILL, Judge

¶1 Carlos Gonzales appeals his convictions and sentences for first degree felony murder, theft, kidnapping, and first degree burglary. He argues the trial court erred in denying his motions to sever and post-verdict motion for new trial. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

¶2 "We view the facts in the light most favorable to sustaining the convictions." State v. Musgrove, 223 Ariz. 164, 166, ¶ 2, 221 P.3d 43, 45 (App. 2009).

¶3 Gonzales and Dylan Noack (collectively, "Defendants") were tried jointly as accomplices on charges of first degree felony murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and burglary in the first degree, all dangerous offenses. The charges stemmed from an incident at A.G.'s apartment where L.O., A.G.'s roommate, was selling marijuana to Defendants and their mutual friend, Sylvia. Before the transaction was completed, Noack said, "You guys are getting robbed[, ]" and Defendants shot L.O. multiple times killing him. Gonzales had forced A.G., who was present in the apartment but not involved in the marijuana sale, to the floor at gunpoint and ordered him to face the wall. Defendants fled, taking the marijuana and money they had brought with them to purchase the drugs.

¶4 Gonzales testified at trial and admitted to shooting L.O., but explained he did so out of self-defense after seeing L.O. pull out a gun and begin firing. Gonzales denied restraining or threatening A.G., and he stated there was no plan to commit any crime at the apartment aside from purchasing marijuana. Gonzales further testified that he did not "take any money" or marijuana.

¶5 The jury found Defendants guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, and first degree burglary. The jury returned not-guilty verdicts for the armed robbery charges, but found Defendants guilty of the lesser-included offense of theft. Gonzales subsequently moved for a new trial pursuant to Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 24.1(c) (1) . The court denied the motion.

¶6 For the murder conviction, the trial court sentenced Gonzales to life imprisonment without the possibility of release for twenty-five years. The court imposed presumptive prison terms for the remaining convictions and ordered all sentences run concurrently. Gonzales appealed, [1] and we have jurisdiction pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") sections 12-120.21(A)(1), 13-4031, -4033(A).

DISCUSSION

I. Motion for New Trial


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