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People v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Seventh Division

September 7, 2017

The People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Kristopher Ray Jones, Defendant-Appellant.

         Adams County District Court No. 12CR3553 Honorable Mark D. Warner, Judge

          Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Rebecca A. Adams, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Meghan M. Morris, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          RICHMAN, JUDGE

         ¶ 1 Defendant, Kristopher Ray Jones, appeals his conviction for failure to register as a sex offender under section 18-3-412.5(1)(g), C.R.S. 2016. He contends that the evidence at trial was insufficient to prove that he failed to register "upon changing an address" under subsection (1)(g). He also contends that the prosecution elected, but failed, to prove that he had a duty to register in Adams County during the relevant time period. Because we agree with his first contention, we vacate the judgment of conviction and need not address his second contention.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 Jones was required to register as a sex offender based on a 1994 conviction. In 2011, he registered as a sex offender with the Aurora Police Department (Aurora P.D.) in Colorado.

         ¶ 3 In August 2012, Jones was released from prison onto parole in an unrelated case, and he was given a voucher to stay at a particular motel in Aurora (and in Adams County). On August 12, 2012, Jones updated his sex offender registration with the Aurora P.D., listing the motel's address as his new residence.

         ¶ 4 On August 20, 2012, when the voucher expired, Jones left the motel and did not return. His whereabouts during the months after he left the motel are not clear. What is clear is that he did not report a change of address with the Aurora P.D., and he did not register as a sex offender with any other local law enforcement agency in Adams County or in any other jurisdiction in Colorado until 2013. The People charged him in this case with failure to register as a sex offender between August 26, 2012, and November 28, 2012, covering a three-month period soon after he moved out of the motel (hereinafter, "the relevant time period").

         ¶ 5 There is no evidence that Jones had a fixed residence during any portion of the relevant time period. However, there is some circumstantial evidence of Jones's whereabouts early on during that period. Between August 27, 2012, and September 4, 2012, Jones telephoned an automated check-in system numerous times as a requirement of his parole. He reported that he was calling from a variety of different locations in Adams County and Denver County, mostly from truck stops or pay phones: . On August 27, he reported as calling from a pay phone at 56th

         Avenue and I-25 in Denver. . On August 28, he reported as calling from a truck stop at I-225 and Quebec Street in Commerce City.

. On August 30, he reported as calling from another truck stop at I-225 and Quebec in Commerce City. In another call he reported as calling from a truck stop near I-270 and Quebec in Commerce City.
. On September 1, he reported as calling from a gas station on South Broadway in Denver.
. On September 2, he reported as calling from a pay phone at a 7-11 store at 70th and Greenwood in Thornton. In another call he reported as calling from 64th Avenue and Holly Street in Commerce City.
. On September 3, he reported as calling from a pay phone at 36th Avenue and Federal Boulevard in Westminster.
. On September 4, he reported as calling from Willow Court in Thornton. In another call, he reported as calling from a pay phone near I-270 and Quebec in Commerce City.

         The evidence indicates that Jones did not call into the automated check-in system after September 4, 2012. ¶ 6 Jones also met with his parole officer at least once after he left the motel. The parole officer asked Jones where he was residing or sleeping, but Jones did not say. Because of that, the parole officer categorized Jones as "AWOL, abscond."

         ¶ 7 The prosecution charged Jones with failure to register as a sex offender (second offense), alleging that he "failed to register with the local law enforcement agency in each jurisdiction in which he resided upon changing an address" in violation of section 18-3-412.5(1)(g). (Emphasis added.) The prosecution filed the complaint and information in Adams County, alleging that the offense was "committed, or triable, in the county of Adams."

         ¶ 8 At the close of evidence at the bench trial, Jones moved for a judgment of acquittal. He argued, among other things, that (1) the prosecution presented no evidence of where he resided during the relevant time period, including whether he had resided in Adams County; and (2) ceasing to reside at an address and thereafter lacking a fixed residence does not fall within the meaning of "changing an address" under section 18-3-412.5(1)(g).

         ¶ 9 The trial court denied the motion. It concluded, among other things, that Jones was in Colorado during the relevant time period, and that although it is unclear whether he had a fixed residence or lacked a fixed residence after he moved out of the motel, the phrase "changing an address" under section 18-3-412.5(1)(g) is broad enough to cover ...


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