Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Perea v. State

Court of Appeals of Utah

December 20, 2018

Riqo Perea, Appellant,
v.
State of Utah, Appellee.

          Second District Court, Ogden Department The Honorable Ernest W. Jones No. 160903792

          Randall W. Richards, Attorney for Appellant

          Sean D. Reyes and Erin Riley, Attorneys for Appellee

          Judge Gregory K. Orme authored this Opinion, in which Judges Kate Appleby [1] and David N. Mortensen concurred.

          OPINION

          ORME, Judge

         ¶1 Appellant Riqo Perea challenges the district court's order dismissing his petition for postconviction relief that was premised on a claim of factual innocence. We affirm.

         ¶2 Perea, a member of the Ogden Trece gang, was visiting an Ogden home with several friends, including other Trece gang members. He got into a heated argument with members of the rival Norteños gang who were attending a wedding reception at a house across the street. Perea and his friends then got into a vehicle. As the vehicle pulled away, Perea, in the front passenger seat, climbed out the window, reached over the roof, and fired ten shots into the wedding crowd. Two people were killed, and others were injured.

         ¶3 A few days later, Perea confessed to police that he was the only person in the vehicle with a gun and that he fired the shots into the crowd. He also told police that he used a .22 caliber weapon, although the police had not disclosed that .22 was the caliber of gun used in the shooting. At trial, a witness (Witness), who had been standing on the walkway of the house where the wedding was held, testified that it was Perea who fired from the vehicle into the crowd. Passengers in the vehicle also testified that it was Perea who fired the shots. A jury convicted Perea on two counts each of aggravated murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the aggravated murder convictions and three years to life for the attempted murder convictions.

         ¶4 Perea appealed his convictions. The Utah Supreme Court upheld them and noted "the overwhelming evidence of Mr. Perea's guilt." See State v. Perea, 2013 UT 68, ¶ 103, 322 P.3d 624. The Court expressly upheld the admission of Perea's confession into evidence. Id. ¶ 96. Perea later filed a petition for postconviction relief, but the district court summarily dismissed it, determining that the Supreme Court, on direct appeal, had already adjudicated the claims raised in the petition. This court affirmed the district court's dismissal of that postconviction petition. See Perea v. State, 2017 UT App 67, ¶ 7, 397 P.3d 770.

         ¶5 In 2015, Witness provided an affidavit to Perea's counsel, declaring that she did not see who fired the gun from the vehicle and that she never saw Perea with a gun that evening. She also stated that she felt "the police were pressuring [her] to testify in a certain way" at trial. Perea filed this postconviction factual innocence petition based on Witness's affidavit, contending that he was convicted on the strength of perjured testimony.

         ¶6 The State moved for summary judgment, arguing that Perea's "pleaded facts and proffered evidence . . . are insufficient as a matter of law to demonstrate that he is entitled to factual innocence post-conviction relief." Determining that "the evidence presented by [Perea] does not show that he did not engage in the conduct for which he was convicted," the district court granted the motion and dismissed Perea's petition. Perea appeals.

         ¶7 Perea contends that the district court erred in summarily dismissing his factual innocence petition without holding an evidentiary hearing.[2] We review the district court's decision de novo. See Gressman v. State, 2013 UT 63, ¶ 6, 323 P.3d 998.

         ¶8 To establish factual innocence, the Utah Post-Conviction Remedies Act "contemplates a two-stage process," and "[s]ection 78B-9-402 sets forth what a petitioner must do at the first stage to receive an evidentiary hearing on her petition for factual innocence." Brown v. State, 2013 UT 42, ¶ 40, 308 P.3d 486. See Wamsley v. State, 2014 UT App 254, ΒΆ 9, 338 P.3d 266. After a petition is filed, the district court conducts an initial review, determining whether the allegations in the petition are "merely relitigating facts, issues, or evidence presented in previous proceedings or presenting issues that appear frivolous or speculative on their face," and whether "the petition has ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.