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§ 943.10, Burglary – Sufficiency of Evidence – Fingerprint Evidence

State v. Dennis E. Scott, 2000 WI App 51, 234 Wis. 2d 129, 608 N.W.2d 753
For Scott: Joseph E. Redding

Issue: Whether the evidence was sufficient to support conviction for burglary/theft.

Holding: Evidence that defendant’s fingerprint was found on the “dock station” from which a lap-top was stolen from an office that sold only to other businesses and was not open to the public; and that defendant neither had worked nor had permission to be there sufficed to support the conviction. ¶¶13-16.

¶16                        Here, Scott maintains that the State’s evidence consisted of nothing more than his fingerprint and, he contends, that is not enough.  We need not decide, however, whether fingerprint evidence, standing alone, would be sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss because, as the trial court pointed out, in this case the State’s evidence established much more.  It demonstrated that Scott had no business in the building, either as an employee of Kubin-Nicholson or of a subcontractor hired to clean its offices.  It demonstrated that the Kubin-Nicholson offices were private, permitting no casual entry by Scott or anyone else.  It demonstrated that the burglary and theft were committed outside regular business hours, logically implying that any unauthorized person entering the building at that time was doing so with the intent to steal.  Thus, the State’s evidence directly led to the reasonable inference that Scott committed the burglary.  Based solely on the State’s evidence, the trial court correctly denied Scott’s motion to dismiss.

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