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State v. Benoit-Micali

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E

October 24, 2013

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
TERI ANN BENOIT-MICALI, Appellant

Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Mohave County Cause No. S8015CR201200342 The Honorable Steven F. Conn, Judge.

Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General Phoenix By Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief Counsel, Criminal Appeals/Capital Litigation Section Attorneys for Appellee

Ronald S. Gilleo, Mohave County Legal Defender's Office Kingman By Diane S. McCoy, Deputy Legal Defender Attorneys for Appellant Teri Ann Benoit-Micali Bullhead City Appellant

MEMORANDUM DECISION

LAWRENCE F. WINTHROP, Presiding Judge

¶1Teri Ann Benoit-Micali ("Appellant") appeals her conviction and placement on probation for theft in the amount of $4000 or more, a class three felony, in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 13-1802(A) (5) (West 2013).[1] Appellant's counsel has filed a brief in accordance with Smith v. Robbins, 528 U.S. 259 (2000); Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967); and State v. Leon, 104 Ariz. 297, 451 P.2d 878 (1969), stating that he has searched the record on appeal and found no arguable question of law that is not frivolous. Appellant's counsel therefore requests that we review the record for reversible error. See State v. Clark, 196 Ariz. 530, 537, 30, 2 P.3d 89, 96 (App. 1999) . In addition, this court has allowed Appellant to file a supplemental brief in propria persona, and she has done so, raising issues that we address.

¶2 We have appellate jurisdiction pursuant to the Arizona Constitution, Article 6, Section 9, and A.R.S. sections 12-120.21(A)(1), 13-4031, and 13-4033(A). Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY[2]

¶3 On December 28, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on Appellant's home, confiscating numerous pieces of stolen property that belonged to victims S.T. and C.S. On March 15, 2012, a Mohave County grand jury issued an indictment, charging Appellant and David Paul Guarino with one count of theft in the amount of $4000 or more, a class three felony.[3]

¶4Appellant's two-day trial began in April 2013. At trial, the State presented evidence that officers from the Bullhead City Police Department helped S.T. and C.S. recover numerous stolen items from Appellant's home. One notable item was an 800-pound gun safe that had been broken into and recently painted white after it was stolen. Additional distinct and valuable items recovered included several deep-sea fishing rods, a Honda motorcycle, a green "knock-off Honda" gas-powered mini-bike, a green bike, audio equipment, a telescope set used for astrophotography, and several scrimshaw artifacts. The victim provided testimony that the telescope set was valued at over $12, 000 and the scrimshaw artifacts were valued at over $6800. The victims also recovered a distinctive military coin given to C.S. by her father; the coin was unique because it commemorated C.S.'s father's service on a submarine. Some of the items, such as the gun safe and motorcycles, were found in the garage, while other items, such as the scrimshaw and military coin, were found under Appellant's bed. Also found under Appellant's bed was a box of beads labeled with victim S.T.'s shipping address.

¶5Appellant's defense included testimony that, although most of the items did not belong to her, they were provided to her through Guarino's friend and she did not suspect that they were stolen. Appellant described for the jury how some of Guarino's friends would occasionally leave their personal property in the garage, and she would typically clean up after them. She claimed she had no knowledge that this time the items stored in the garage (and later under her bed) were stolen. Appellant also produced receipts for some of the audio equipment to which she claimed ownership. The State, on rebuttal, offered the testimony of a business owner, from whose business Appellant claimed she purchased audio equipment, to refute that Appellant's receipt was original. The business owner stated that his business was not in operation on the date of the receipt, that his business is run out of a storage unit and not a mall as Appellant had maintained during her testimony, and that the letterhead on his receipts looked nothing like that of the receipt produced by Appellant.

¶6The jury found Appellant guilty as charged. The trial court suspended sentencing and placed Appellant on probation for five years. As a condition of probation, the court ordered Appellant to serve 150 days in the Mohave County Jail. The court also set the matter for a restitution hearing on July 11, 2013. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Grand Jury Testimony


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