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To prove the crime of robbery with a deadly weapon, the State must prove that, in the course of committing a robbery, an appellant carried a deadly weapon. § 812.13(2)(a), Fla. Stat. (2011). An act will be deemed "in the course of committing the robbery" if it occurs in an attempt to commit robbery or in flight after the attempt or commission.
Appellant Darryl Ridgeway demanded all the money in the cash register of a gas station. After the clerk refused, the appellant took a step back, reached for his pocket, and jumped over the counter. As the appellant jumped over the counter, the clerk pulled out his personal knife. In an attempt to defend himself, the clerk lunged at the appellant twice. The appellant proceeded toward the exit, but stopped halfway between the door and the counter. Upon stopping, the appellant pulled the knife from his back, turned with the knife in his hand, faced the clerk, and took four steps toward the clerk. The clerk ran out the back door and called the police. The appellant exited the store with the knife in his hand, entered his vehicle, and drove away with the knife. The appellant was charged and convicted of one count of robbery with a deadly weapon. On appeal, the appellant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal because the State failed to prove that he had the requisite intent to commit robbery of the knife and also failed to prove that there was a taking of the knife.
Did the trial court err in denying defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal?
The Court held that the trial court properly denied defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal because substantial, competent evidence supported the verdict finding him guilty of robbery with a deadly weapon under § 812.13(1), (2)(a), Fla. Stat. (2011) as a taking occurred when defendant removed the knife from his back and left the store with the knife; defendant placed the clerk in fear prior to and after taking the knife; defendant testified that he had no intention of returning the knife to the clerk as he feared being stabbed again; and defendant carried the knife, a deadly weapon, after committing a robbery of that knife.