Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Page 3


Man on Home-Detention Who Left House Committed an ‘Escape’—C.A.


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Third District Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the conviction of a man for an “escape” based on leaving his mother’s house—where he was subjected to home-confinement from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.—at 2:36 a.m.

Justice Ronald B. Robie wrote the opinion. It rejects the contention by the defendant, James David Allen, that his departure from his mother’s house was not willful because she kicked him out and locked the doors.

Allen’s claim that he was “evicted,” Robie said, is a “flagrant mischaracterization of the record.” He explained:

“Defendant’s mother testified that she gave him the option to stay if he complied with her rules. Defendant chose to leave rather than clean up after himself. Under these circumstances, the jury was entitled to find that his voluntary departure constituted an escape from his home confinement under the basic meaning of the term ‘escape,’ regardless of the fact that his mother locked the door after he left.”

Robie termed “a red herring” Allen’s insistence that he was not guilty of an escape because his failure to return to his mother’s abode at 8 p.m. was not willful. The jurist explained:

“His failure to return after he unlawfully left is simply irrelevant; the escape was complete when he walked out of his mother’s house.”

The case is People v. Allen, 18 S.O.S. 5981.

The docket in the case reflects leniency by the Third District in granting extensions to Allen’s counsel, Steven S. Lubliner, who was appointed by the court on June 15, 2015. A due-date for his opening brief was contemporaneously set for July 15.

By letter of July 17, 2015, he pointed to the absence of a portion of the record; briefing was suspended; the supplement to the record was filed Aug. 7, and a new due-date of Oct. 8 was set.

Six extensions were granted, and the opening brief was filed last June 6.


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