People v. Morales

In People v. Morales, 298 P. 3d 1000 (Colo. Ct. App. 2012), the defendant argued that the home he was convicted of burglarizing was not a dwelling within the meaning of Colorado's burglary statute because at the time of the burglary it was uninhabited, was being "professionally remodeled" and was "nothing more than a construction site." Id. at 1010. The burglarized home had been inhabited by a family for approximately thirty-five years prior to being purchased for renovation and resale. Id. at 1002. The new owner "planned to replace the roof, windows, and siding, remodel the kitchen and bathrooms, and refinish the hardwood floors." Id. At the time of the burglary, the contractors were in the process of demolishing the interior of the home and refinishing the floors. Id. "They had torn out the kitchen cabinets, moved the kitchen appliances, ripped up the carpeting, demolished a bathroom, taken out a fireplace, and removed ceiling tile, baseboards, trim, and several doors, among other things." Id. Colorado defines "dwelling" as follows: "Dwelling" means a building which is used, intended to be used, or usually used by a person for habitation.