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A Better Partnership
June 20, 2012

COA Opinion: Cross-Dressing Bank Robber's Conviction Upheld

In People v. Earl, the defendant appealed his bank robbery conviction, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's conviction. The defendant, a habitual offender, allegedly robbed the bank while dressed as a woman. He first argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress a pair of women's reading glasses that were seized during a search of his fianc‚e's car, but the Court of Appeals held that the fact that the defendant was engaged to the car's owner was not enough to assert a proprietary interest in the car or the glasses that were seized. Next, the defendant argued that he was entitled to resentencing because the trial court incorrectly scored his offenses on some of the variables of the sentencing guidelines. However, the Court of Appeals again upheld the trial court by holding that there was sufficient evidence of the defendant's past criminal activity and psychological injury to the robbery victim to warrant the sentencing. Finally, the Court of Appeals upheld the $130 crime victims assessment fee even though the crime was committed before the fee increased from $60 to $130. The Court reasoned that the fee was not restitution or punitive in nature but was instead specifically created as an assessment against convicted defendants for the benefit of crime victims, so it was not a violation of the ex post facto doctrine.

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