The Florida Supreme Court decided today in Delgado v. State that the kidnapping conviction of Rogelio Delgado should be reversed. Delgado was convicted in Dade County of kidnapping, grand theft auto,burglary, and grand theft and he received a life sentence on the kidnapping charge. In 2006, Delgado and an accomplice stole a car out of a furniture parking lot. The vehicle’s owners had run into the store briefly, leaving the keys in the ignition, the car running, and their 2-year-old child strapped into the back seat.
There was no evidence presented by the State at trial to indicate that Delgado was aware that the child was in the back seat of the car before or during the commission of the theft. Police found the car 20-30 minutes later with the child still strapped in the back seat. The car’s radio was stolen and the car was ransacked. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that in order to sustain a conviction for kidnapping, the prosecution would have to prove that Delgado knew that the child was in the car when he stole the vehicle or at least that he learned of the child’s presence at some point during the commission of the theft. Because no evidence was produced at trial establishing this, the kidnapping conviction was reversed.