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We have a case where a defendant burglarized a house that was owned by a deceased person. As of the date of the burglary, the house had not been awarded to any family and no one was living there. We do have someone who was described as a "care taker" of the property but that person is not related to the decedent and we can no longer contact him. In this kind of case, who should be listed in the indictment as the owner of the property?
We have a confession, just trying to decide how to indict it.

Thanks,
Steve L.
Hunt County
 
Posts: 67 | Location: Sulphur Springs, TX | Registered: April 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The San Antonio appeals court says the owner's name is not an element of the offense of theft so maybe that logic works for burglary.

Byrd v. State

... it was a 4-3 so a reversal seems possible.
 
Posts: 688 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Look at Article 21.08
 
Posts: 2127 | Location: McKinney, Texas, USA | Registered: February 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For anyone that later finds this thread in a search:
[...] When the property belongs to the estate of a deceased 
person, the ownership may be alleged to be in the executor, 
administrator or heirs of such deceased person, or in any 
one of such heirs. Where the ownership of the property 
is unknown to the grand jury, it shall be sufficient 
to allege that fact.
 
Posts: 688 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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