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State v. Snider

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Second Division, Department A

October 16, 2013


APPEAL FROM THE SUPERIOR COURT OF PIMA COUNTY Cause No. CR20110022002 Honorable Jane L. Eikleberry, Judge

Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General By Joseph T. Maziarz and Jonathan Bass Tucson Attorneys for Appellee.

Lori J. Lefferts, Pima County Public Defender By Rebecca A. McLean Tucson Attorneys for Appellant.


GARYE L. VÁSQUEZ, Presiding Judge.

¶1 After a jury trial, appellant Daniel Snider was convicted of nine counts of first-degree burglary, ten counts of armed robbery, and one count each of aggravated assault and attempted armed robbery. The trial court sentenced[1] him to a 7.5-year prison term on count two, burglary; fifteen years on count four, burglary; twenty years on count eleven, attempted armed robbery; and, life in prison with the possibility of release after twenty-five years on the eighteen remaining counts pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-706(A), [2] with all sentences to be served concurrently. On appeal, Snider contends there was insufficient evidence to support two of his armed robbery convictions. He also argues the court erred by imposing life sentences under § 13-706(A). For the reasons that follow, we affirm the convictions but remand for resentencing.

Factual Background and Procedural History

¶2 We view the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the convictions and resolve all reasonable inferences against Snider. See State v. Haight-Gyuro, 218 Ariz. 356, ¶ 2, 186 P.3d 33, 34 (App. 2008). This case arises from a series of nine bank robberies that occurred in Pima County from October 18 to December 23, 2010. All of the robberies were committed in a similar manner. Snider walked into the bank wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with a scarf or handkerchief covering his face. He displayed a handgun, handed the teller a grocery bag, and demanded all of the money in the cash drawer. Snider was apprehended shortly after the December 23 robbery and admitted committing the robberies during a police interview.[3]

¶3 Snider was charged in a single indictment with twenty-four counts of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, and first-degree burglary, all dangerous offenses pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-704. The state also alleged pursuant to § 13-706(A) that Snider was "subject to life imprisonment if convicted of three armed robberies and/or aggravated assaults and/or burglaries i[n] the first degree." The jury found Snider guilty of twenty-one of the counts, and the trial court sentenced him as described above. This appeal followed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 12-120.21(A)(1), 13-4031, and 13-4033(A)(1), (4).


Sufficiency of the Evidence

¶4 Snider argues there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions for the armed robberies alleged in count twenty and count twenty-two because neither victim "testified that the robber used or threatened" her with a weapon.[4] The sufficiency of the evidence is a question of law we review de novo. State v. West, 226 Ariz. 559, ¶ 15, 250 P.3d 1188, 1191 (2011). We will reverse only if no substantial evidence supports the convictions. State v. Fimbres, 222 Ariz. 293, ¶ 4, 213 P.3d 1020, 1024 (App. 2009). "Substantial evidence is proof that 'reasonable persons could accept as adequate . . . to support a conclusion of defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.'" State v. Bearup, 221 Ariz. 163, ¶ 16, 211 P.3d 684, 688 (2009), quoting State v. Jones, 125 Ariz. 417, 419, 610 P.2d 51, 53 (1980) (alteration in Bearup). Evidence sufficient to support a conviction can be direct or circumstantial. State v. Pena, 209 Ariz. 503, ¶ 7, 104 P.3d 873, 875 (App. 2005).

¶5 A defendant commits armed robbery "if in the course of taking any property of another from his person or immediate presence and against his will, [the defendant] threatens or uses force against any person with intent either to coerce surrender of property or to prevent resistance to [the defendant] taking or retaining property, " A.R.S. § 13-1902(A), and the defendant is "armed with a deadly weapon or a simulated deadly weapon, " A.R.S. § 13-1904(A)(1).

¶6 The evidence for the armed robbery alleged in count twenty established that on December 17, A.L., an employee at the Canyon Community Bank saw a man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt with a handkerchief over his face enter the bank carrying a handgun. He placed the gun in his waistband, approached a teller, the victim in count twenty, K.M., and demanded money. K.M. testified that Snider had stated "he wouldn't hurt [her] as long as [she] did what he told [her] to do."

¶7 As to count twenty-two, the evidence similarly established that on December 23, Snider entered the Chase Bank shortly before closing, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, and a scarf covering the lower part of his face. C.A. testified that Snider had first approached her teller window and said he wanted all of the money from her cash drawer.[5] As C.A. was preparing to get money from an automated cash dispenser, K.S., the victim in count twenty-two, "walk[ed] around the corner from the back." Both tellers then dispensed the money and handed it to Snider. When asked if Snider had a weapon, C.A. stated: "Yes. . . . [H]e raised his hoodie . . . and took the gun out and showed it to us." K.S. testified she had not seen Snider lift up his shirt because she "was really nervous" and was focused on "grabbing the money[ and] putting it in the bag." A Marana police officer confronted Snider when he walked out of the bank holding a gun. The officer yelled "drop it" as Snider raised the gun, and the officer "fired several rounds at him." Snider "fled [on foot] into the desert area to the north of the bank" and was apprehended a ...

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