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Name: In re K.B.
Case #: A140960
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/20/2015
Summary

Trial court properly admitted Instagram photos over defendant’s authentication objection even though no one who was present when they were taken testified to their genuineness. A police officer monitoring Instagram observed a post showing K.B., a 17-year-old, and his friends with guns. K.B. and his friend were on searchable probation. When officers conducted a probation search of K.B.’s residence, someone threw the guns out of a window. The prosecution filed a juvenile wardship petition charging K.B. with two counts of possessing firearms. (Pen. Code, § 29610.) During the contested jurisdictional hearing, the prosecution admitted the Instagram photos over K.B.’s objection that they had not been authenticated. The juvenile court sustained the petition and K.B. appealed. Held: Affirmed. People v. Goldsmith (2014) 59 Cal.4th 258 recently clarified that in authenticating photographic evidence, the evidentiary foundation “may–but need not be–supplied by the photographer or by a person who witnessed the event being record.” It also “may be supplied by other witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, content and location” and “by any other means provided by law . . . including a statutory presumption.” The photos here were properly authenticated under Goldsmith even though there was no testimony from the subjects appearing in the photos or anyone else who was present when the photos were taken. Officers testified that the photos were found on K.B.’s friend’s phone; they were posted on K.B.’s Instagram account, which required a username and password to access; and when K.B. was arrested he was wearing the same clothing, was in the same location, and was with the same individuals shown in the pictures. “All of these factors point to the authenticity and genuineness of the photographs.” There was no evidence that the photos were not accurate reproductions.