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Name: In re Travis W.
Case #: A097596
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/25/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 6/18/03

The minor and an adult companion were involved in a carjacking. The adult held a gun to the owner of the vehicle and demanded his keys, while the minor and another person forced the owner to his knees. The minor took the keys, but never actually held the gun himself. The juvenile court committed the minor to the California Youth Authority (CYA) based on Welfare and Institutions Code section 707(b)(25) which describes “carjacking while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.” The issue on appeal was whether “armed” as used in that section means that the minor must be personally armed with a weapon when the offense was committed, or whether it applies to the principals to the offense who were not personally wielding the weapon. The appellate court here affirmed the CYA committment. The California Supreme Court has held that robbery while armed for the purposes of Section 707(b)(3) includes situations where the arming is vicarious. There is no reason that rationale should not apply to carjacking.