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United States v. Garcia-Pagan

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

October 20, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
LUIS A. GARCÍA-PAGÁN, Defendant, Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Juan M. Pérez-Giménez, U.S. District Judge.

James B. Krasnoo, with whom Benjamin L. Falkner, and Krasnoo Klehm LLP, were on brief, for appellant.

Francisco A. Besosa-Martí nez, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and Nelson Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, were on brief, for appellee.

Before Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Barron, Circuit Judges. TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge, concurring.

OPINION

Page 122

BARRON, Circuit Judge.

Following a brutal home invasion in Puerto Rico, Luis A. García-Pagán was convicted, after a jury trial, of carjacking and of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The District Court sentenced García to 420 months' imprisonment. García now challenges his conviction and sentence. We affirm.

I.

The following evidence of the crime was presented at trial. At approximately 1:40 a.m. on February 4, 2013, three men broke into the home of Dr. Noel De León-Roig in Puerto Nuevo, Puerto Rico. All three intruders wore masks and carried firearms. De León awoke to one of the men straddling his head and hitting him in the face. When the lights in the room came on, De León saw his twelve-year-old son with the other two assailants. One was pushing a revolver into the boy's mouth. The other held a gun to the back of the boy's head. At that point, one of the assailants said, " Doctor, lower your eyes. Lower your arms. This is a robbery, you son of a bitch."

Over the next hour and a half, the three assailants terrorized De León and his son. They took tens of thousands of dollars from De León's safe, along with iPods,

Page 123

computers, watches, and a plasma TV. The intruders tied up the doctor and his son, hit them with guns, and threatened to execute them. Around 3:00 a.m., the assailants left in De León's car, and De León called the police.

For a stretch of time during the invasion, the robbers did remove their masks in order to eat pizza and drink soda that they had found in De León's kitchen. And so De León saw their faces. De León later identified García as one of the assailants from a group of nine people in a photo array within one minute of being shown the photographs. De León made that identification very soon after the break-in, at approximately 9:00 a.m. the same day. De León identified García again in the courtroom at trial. De León described García as " the focused one" of the three assailants, and he described one of the other assailants, Ricardo Urbina-Robles, as the leader of the group.

Garcí a argued at trial that he had been misidentified. He introduced the alibi testimony of his wife, his mother, and a friend. Together, these three people testified that García saw a film with his family on the evening of February 3, and then, sometime in the early hours of February 4, returned with his family to the housing complex where García lived. ...


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