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People v. Moses
California Courts of Appeal
266 Cal. Rptr. 538 (1990)
Cecilia Murray had a young cow that often wandered off of her property but usually returned. After wandering away one time, the cow remained missing. Approximately two weeks after it had escaped, one of Murray’s neighbors called Murray to inform her that another neighbor, Susan and Thomas Moses (defendants) had acquired a young cow at about the same time as when Murray’s cow had gone missing. Murray went to the Moseses’ house and upon seeing the cow, told the Moseses that it was hers. The Moseses insisted that the cow was theirs. Soon thereafter Murray notified the sheriff, who stopped the defendants as they were attempting to move the cow away from their property in a trailer. The Moseses were both charged with grand theft by larceny and, in the alternative, receiving stolen property. They were acquitted of grand theft by larceny but convicted of receiving stolen property. The Moseses appealed, alleging that the evidence failed to establish that the cow was ever stolen. Upon the appeal, the prosecution attempted to introduce the theory of theft by misappropriation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)
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