Dayton v. State
In Dayton v. State, 78 P.3d 270 (Alaska App. 2003), the defendant destroyed his victim's computer. The trial court ordered the defendant to pay restitution of $ 2,416 for the computer hardware -- the original cost of the hardware -- even though the victim had testified that the market value of the equipment was lower. The victim explained that because computer technology had advanced since she bought her computer, her system was not worth as much as she had originally paid for it. She estimated that she could have sold her system -- hardware and software combined -- for $ 3,500 before it was destroyed. Ultimately, the trial court awarded a combined restitution of $ 4,066 for the computer hardware and software.
The Court found based on the evidence presented at the hearing that this restitution award was too high and reduced it to the value estimated by the victim -- $ 3,500. The Court did not rule that the trial court was required to depreciate the value of the damaged property or that the State was required to prove the value of the property at the time it was damaged. Rather, the Court held that, based on the evidence provided by the victim, the record did not support the court's restitution order.