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Halaseh v. People.

2020 CO 35. No. 18SC656. Entry of Conviction on Remand—Lesser Included Offenses.

May 11, 2020

Halaseh petitioned for review of the Court of Appeals’ remand order in his underlying appeal, which directed the district court to enter four convictions for class 4 felony theft in place of the single conviction of class 3 felony theft reflected in the charge and jury verdict. The intermediate appellate court reversed the conviction for class 3 felony theft on the grounds that when the statutory authorization for aggregating separate acts of theft was properly applied, there was insufficient evidence to support a single conviction for theft of $20,000 or more. It also found, however, that there was sufficient evidence to support four separate convictions for aggregated thefts with values qualifying as class 4 felonies, and that substituting these four class 4 felony convictions for the vacated class 3 felony conviction was necessary to fulfill what it understood to be its obligation to maximize the effect of the jury’s verdict.

The Supreme Court disapproved the remand order because no theft offense requiring the aggregation of two or more separate instances of theft, whether that aggregation were to be based on commission within a period of six months or on commission as a single course of conduct, was a lesser included offense of the class 3 felony of which Halaseh was actually charged and convicted; no such offense was implicitly found by the jury; and therefore none could be entered in lieu of the reversed conviction without depriving defendant of his right to a jury trial.

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