Denied September 6, 2018.
Paso County District Court No. 14CR1803 Honorable David S.
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Lisa K. Michaels,
Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for
Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Sarah A.
Kellogg, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for
Defendant, Laron Antonio Donald, appeals his convictions for
violation of bail bond conditions. Donald contends that the
State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had
the requisite state of mind to commit either offense. First,
Donald contends that the prosecution failed to establish
beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew of his court date and
that he, in turn, knowingly failed to appear. Second, he
contends that the prosecution failed to establish beyond a
reasonable doubt that he knew of the bond condition that
prohibited him from leaving the State of Colorado. We
disagree with Donald's first contention but agree with
his second. Accordingly, we affirm in part and vacate in
Donald was arrested and charged with a felony in November
2012. During his court appearance on August 27, 2013, the
judge set bond and announced his January 6, 2014, court date.
Donald subsequently posted bond and was released from jail.
The bond paperwork provided that, as a condition of his
release, Donald was prohibited from leaving the State of
Colorado without court approval.
Donald failed to appear in court on January 6th. He was
arrested in Mississippi five weeks later. The arresting
officer testified that when he approached Donald after
pulling him over, Donald appeared "very nervous"
and was shaking and sweating.
Donald was charged with three counts of violation of bail
bond conditions under section 18-8-212(1), C.R.S. 2017. Count
one was later dismissed. Count two charged that Donald
"knowingly violated a condition of bond by leaving the
State of Colorado." Count three charged that Donald
"knowingly failed to appear for trial or other
proceedings." Donald pleaded not guilty and the matter
proceeded to trial. Following trial, the jury convicted
Donald of counts two and three.
Standard of Review and Legal Principles
We review de novo whether the evidence was sufficient to
sustain a conviction. People v. Brown, 2014 COA
130M, ¶38, 342 P.3d 564.
When analyzing the sufficiency of the evidence, we determine
"whether the relevant evidence, both direct and
circumstantial, when viewed as a whole and in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, is substantial and sufficient
to support a conclusion by a reasonable mind that the
defendant is guilty of the charge beyond a reasonable
doubt." Clark v. People, 232 P.3d 1287, 1291
(Colo. 2010) (citation omitted).
Where reasonable minds could differ, the evidence is
sufficient to support a conviction. People v.
Carlson, 72 P.3d 411, 416 (Colo.App. 2003); see
People v. Perez, 2016 CO 12, ¶31, 367 P.3d 695
("The question is not whether it is possible to disagree
with the inferences, but rather, whether the inferences are
reasonable when the evidence is viewed as a whole in the
light most favorable to the prosecution."). But more
than a modicum of evidence is required to prove an element
beyond a reasonable doubt, and the jury may not speculate,
guess, or rely on conjecture to reach a guilty verdict.
People v. Whitaker, 32 P.3d 511, 519 (Colo.App.
2000), aff'd, 48 P.3d 555 (Colo. 2002).
The crime of violating bail bond conditions requires proof
[a] person who is released on bail bond of whatever kind, and
either before, during, or after release is ...