CRIMINAL – PECUNIARY LOSS OF LABOR IN THEFT: BROWN V. COMMONWEALTH (8/10/2007)

BROWN V. COMMONWEALTH
CRIMINAL:  CRIMES (THEFT AND PECUNIARY LOSS OF LABOR)
2006-CA-000545
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL: TAYLOR PRESIDING; DIXON AND MOORE CONCUR
COUNTY: FAYETTE
DATE RENDERED: 8/10/2007

CA affirmed Defendan’t conviction for Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, a violation of KRS 512.020.  Here, Brown was caught breaking into a vehicle by cutting a hole into its convertible top.  Proof at trial revealed the cost of the convertible top to be less than $1,000; however the Commonwealth secured a conviction by demonstrating the labor cost would exceed the threshhold $1000 requirement.  KRS 512.020 clearly requires proof of damage to property in the amount of at least $1,000.00 in order to sustain a conviction upon first-degree criminal mischief.  KRS 512.020 specifically utilizes the term “pecuniary loss.”   Pecuniary loss is generally defined as “[a] loss of money or of something having monetary value.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1152 (7th ed. 1999). CA held that the cost of labor to install the convertible top is “something having monetary value.” Accordingly, the cost of labor represents a proper element of pecuniary loss under KRS 512.020.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.