State v. Contreras

167 P.3d 966 (2007)

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State v. Contreras

New Mexico Court of Appeals
167 P.3d 966 (2007)

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Facts

Anthony Contreras (defendant) checked into a hotel while very intoxicated. He was assigned to room 125 and given a plastic key card, which did not indicate the room number. Shortly thereafter, the police responded to the hotel and discovered that Contreras had entered room 121 and thrown a large trash can through the window. A police officer who entered room 121 saw that nothing was damaged or broken and arrested Contreras as he was exiting the bathroom. Contreras’s key card for room 125 was found on the ground near the door to room 121. The State of New Mexico (plaintiff) charged Contreras with breaking and entering, and damage to property. At trial, Contreras presented no evidence and did not testify in his defense. At the close of the evidence, Contreras’s request for a jury instruction on mistake of fact was denied by the trial court. Contreras also requested an instruction on the elements of breaking and entering, namely proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he entered the hotel room without authority or permission by breaking a window and that he did not enter under a mistake of fact. The court denied Contreras’s motion. Instead, the court used the state’s general intent jury instruction. Contreras was convicted, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sutin, C.J.)

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