County District Court File No. 34-CR-15-1045
Swanson, Attorney General, Edwin W. Stockmeyer, Assistant
Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Shane D. Baker,
Kandiyohi County Attorney, Willmar, Minnesota (for
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, St.
Paul, Minnesota; Cheryl Hood Langel, Brian J. Kluk, Special
Assistant Public Defenders, McCollum, Crowley, Moschet,
Miller & Laak, Ltd., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for
Considered and decided by Stauber, Presiding Judge; Ross,
Judge; and Rodenberg, Judge.
room is a structure suitable for affording shelter for human
beings, and is a "building" within the meaning of
Minn. Stat. §§ 609.581, .582 (2014).
was convicted of theft and first-degree burglary after he
entered a motel room and took a cellular phone and wallet. He
was staying in a different room in the motel that evening,
and argues that he did not enter a "building"
without consent, and that he is therefore not guilty of
first-degree burglary. Because we hold that a motel room
constitutes a structure suitable for providing shelter to
human beings, and is therefore a "building" under
the statutory definition, we affirm.
November 21, 2015, Z.D. and a coworker rented a motel room at
a motel in Willmar, Minnesota. Appellant Lionel Lopez, who
was also staying in the motel, entered Z.D.'s motel room
(which was apparently not locked) while Z.D. was in the
shower and the coworker was not present. Appellant took
Z.D.'s cellular phone and wallet (which contained $42)
and returned to his own motel room.
was charged with theft and first-degree burglary in
connection with this incident. He waived his right to a jury
trial, and the case was tried to the court. The district
court found appellant guilty of both counts, and sentenced
him to serve 61 months in prison for the burglary and 365
days in jail for the theft, to be served concurrently.
Appellant appeals his first-degree burglary conviction,
arguing that he did not enter a building without consent,
because he had consent to enter the motel and Z.D.'s
separate motel room is not a "building."
entry of a motel room without consent constitute entry of a