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State v. Quintana

Court of Appeals of Utah

August 15, 2019

State of Utah, Appellee,
v.
Mario Brian Quintana, Appellant.

          Third District Court, West Jordan Department The Honorable L. Douglas Hogan No. 171400213

          Teresa L. Welch and Owen N. Stewart, Attorneys for Appellant.

          Sean D. Reyes and Jeffrey S. Gray, Attorneys for Appellee.

          Judge Diana Hagen authored this Opinion, in which Judges David N. Mortensen and Ryan M. Harris concurred.

          OPINION

          HAGEN, JUDGE.

         ¶1 Mario Brian Quintana appeals his convictions for one count of aggravated robbery and one count of robbery. Specifically, he argues that the State presented insufficient evidence to prove (1) his identity as the person who robbed a hotel at gunpoint (aggravated robbery count), or (2) his use of force or fear to take a woman's car keys to aid his escape (robbery count). Because a jury could reasonably find that the evidence supported his convictions for both aggravated robbery and robbery, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         ¶2 An individual brandishing a handgun-style BB gun entered the lobby of a hotel in Taylorsville, Utah, pointed the gun at the front desk receptionist, and yelled at her, "Give me your fucking money." The robber was wearing a black mask up to his nose, black and white gloves, white and red shoes, and a zippered hoodie with a Batman costume design and fabric ears on the hood. The receptionist immediately ran out of the building through an employee lunchroom behind the lobby.

         ¶3 The robber jumped over the front desk, entered a back room, and took the receptionist's handbag. Returning to the front desk with the handbag, the robber set the BB gun on the counter and emptied the contents of the cash register drawer onto the floor and into the handbag. He then exited through the front door of the lobby, leaving the gun behind.

         ¶4 From the side of the building, the receptionist observed the robber run out of the hotel in the direction of a nearby coffee shop. Moments later, the receptionist returned to the front desk called 911.

         ¶5 After receiving a dispatch call that someone in a black jacket and black pants had robbed the hotel, law enforcement officers arrived on scene and began to search the area for the robber. As one officer searched the area surrounding the hotel, he was directed to a blond woman walking nearby whom bystanders had observed running across the street with the robber. When asked about the robber's whereabouts, the woman directed law enforcement toward a nearby coffee shop.

         ¶6 When the uniformed officer arrived at the coffee shop, an employee directed him to an alleyway next to the coffee shop. According to the coffee shop employee, near the time of the robbery, customers in the drive-thru line were honking their horns and motioning toward someone running past them toward the alleyway.

         ¶7 In the alleyway, the officer found a man-later identified as Quintana-lying on the ground behind a barricade near a dumpster. The man jumped up as the officer approached. The officer ordered him to stop and get back on the ground, but Quintana refused and ran. The officer pursued him over a retaining wall, past a bank, and into a grocery store parking lot.

         ¶8 In the grocery store parking lot, multiple law enforcement officers observed Quintana run toward two women and a child. As Quintana approached the women and child, multiple uniformed and plainclothes officers continued to pursue Quintana with weapons drawn, ordering him to stop. One of the officers then observed Quintana shouting at the women, grabbing at something in one woman's hands or catching something the woman had tossed to him, and then apparently hiding behind the woman from whom he had taken the item. Concerned that the woman who tossed the item looked "very scared" and that Quintana was trying to take control of the woman's vehicle and ...


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