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State v. Manzanares

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 23, 2013

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Gladys Ondina Manzanares, Appellant.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Kandiyohi County District Court File No. 34-CR-11-548

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Jennifer K. Fischer, Kandiyohi County Attorney, John Kallestad, Assistant County Attorney, Willmar, Minnesota (for respondent)

Cathryn Middlebrook, Interim Chief Appellate Public Defender, Sharon E. Jacks, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Schellhas, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

HUDSON, Judge

Appellant challenges her convictions of aggravated and simple forgery, arguing that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she acted with intent to defraud by using a false name on employment documents; that the district court erred by failing to provide the jury with the correct legal definitions of "intent" and "defraud"; that the district court made various evidentiary errors, which deprived her of a fair trial; and that the warrant of commitment on one aggravated-forgery count must be amended to comport with the sentence pronounced on the record. We affirm appellant's convictions but reverse and remand for correction of the clerical error on the warrant of commitment and consideration of the legality of concurrent sentences.

FACTS

In June 2011, a Willmar police officer responding to a report of domestic abuse spoke to the victim, appellant Gladys Ondina Manzanares. Appellant informed him through an interpreter that she was in the United States illegally and that she was using another name and working at Jennie-O Foods. A Willmar police detective contacted Jennie-O, who furnished police with employment documents in the false name appellant had mentioned.

As a result of this information, the state charged appellant, and the district court held a jury trial on the state's charges of seven counts of aggravated forgery, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.625, subd. 1 (2010), and one count of forgery, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.63, subd. 1(1) (2010). The aggravated-forgery charges were based on appellant's signing a false name to an application for employment, a W-4 form, a verification of Social Security number form, a retirement-savings-plan beneficiary designation form, two retirement-savings-plan enrollment forms, and a two-week notice-of-termination form. The simple forgery charge was based on appellant's using a false state identification card and Social Security card as identification for employment. At trial, a human resources manager at Jennie-O testified that she would not have hired appellant had she known that appellant did not have legal residency status in the United States. Appellant admitted that she signed documents using a false name but stated that she only used them to work, "not to defraud or to hurt anyone."

On the aggravated-forgery counts, the district court instructed the jury that, to convict appellant, it must find that she acted with an "intent to defraud, " defined as "an intent to deceive another person for the purpose of persuading the person to part with property or gaining some material advantage over the person." 10A Minnesota Practice, CRIMJIG 19.02 (2006). On the simple forgery count, the district court instructed the jury that it must find that she "had an intent to injure another, or an intent that another believe the writing to be true and act in accordance with that belief." 10A Minnesota Practice, CRIMJIG 19.06 (2006).

The jury convicted appellant of all eight counts. The district court sentenced appellant on the record to the presumptive sentences on all counts, to be served concurrently. Specifically, on count four, one of the aggravated-forgery counts, the district court pronounced a sentence of 13 months. The warrant of commitment, however, provided that appellant was sentenced to "1 year and 13 months" on count four. This appeal follows.

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