Statement of the facts
The 17 year old Antonio B.Cantu was convicted for burglary on residential property. This was because of the allegation that he entered his mother’s home; he took some of her possessions after breaking into the bolt locked door of the bedroom. Noyola Moncada, the mother of Cantu stays with her daughter and boyfriend. The morning that the crime was committed, Sophia, the daughter of Noyola had called the police station in Moses Lake and informed the Miers, the police in charge that, Cantu had left the house after entering the bedroom by breaking and removing the bolt that locked the door. On visiting the site, Miers saw that the doors dead bolt was indeed broken. In addition, Sophia indicated that Cantu went out of the house with some items that included the alarm clock that belongs to him that he had left in his mother’s room. When Moncada came to home, she reported to Miers that Cantu took money and beers that were in the room. According to Moncada testimony, Cantu was not staying in the same house where she lived with her daughter and boyfriend and therefore Cantu was not given the right and permission to take any thing from her room .she also indicated that the money and the beer that was missing was returned by her nephew the same day it disappeared.
Statement of the issue
Did Cantu violate the law that limited his entry into the bedroom of her mother?
The reasoning that supports the holding
Cantu had been charged for each theft that he had committed by taking the property in her mother’s room, residential burglary and having alcohol while he was not and adult but a minor. Cantu was found guilty by the courts for residential burglary while the evidence the three other counts were insufficient. The appeal court found that the evidence provided before it was substantial to support the decision that the juvenile offender was not given the right to access his parent’s home especially in their absence. This is further because the mother had made it certain that he was not allowed in the house unattended.
The defendants argued that Cantu being only seventeen and therefore a juvenile, it was presumed that he had the license and permission to enter his parents’ home. Cantu had testified that he had run into his mother’s room and broke it while playing with is dog. While this may be true, the entry into the locked bedroom constitutes an unlawful entry since it is burglary. In State v. Bergeron, 105 Wash (1985);
Based on Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510, (1979), Cantu argued that since his mother had not totally stopped him from ever stepping in the house again, the limitation is insufficient since the lock on the door meant that he could not enter the bedroom, on the other hand, the state is of the opinion that it is not necessary to prove the express limits especially where a son is concerned and as such only lock at the door was enough to indicate that entry was prohibited.
In Steinbach, the courts found that the juvenile had all the rights to enter and be in her mother’s home. This is because he was not explicitly prohibited from the entry and therefore the entry is not unlawful.
In proving the residential burglary charges, the state had the responsibility of convincing the courts that Cantu entered not only entered his mother’s room illegally but also taken property that he was not permitted. This is because he was not invited or licensed and also was not entitled the privilege of entering the bedroom.
Yes the Antonio B. Cantu was liable for unlawful and residential burglary.
State v. Bergeron, 105 Wash (1985);
Sandstrom v. Montana, 442 U.S. 510, (1979),
STATE v. Antonio B. CANTU, 76198 Washington (2006)