Ruling: Home doesn’t have to be finished to be burglarized

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico appellate court has ruled that just because a house under construction isn’t finished and lacks key features doesn’t mean it’s not a dwelling under the state’s residential burglary law.

The Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld Albert Dell Shelby’s conviction for residential burglary of a home that had a complete exterior but an incomplete interior.

Shelby argued that the property didn’t provide actual living quarters for its owner who often worked out of state. But the appeals court ruled that the home’s unfinished state didn’t determine its status and that there was sufficient evidence that it provided its owner with habitation “in a regular, yet intermittent, way."