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Name: People v. Beasley
Case #: B160513
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/30/2003
Subsequent History: Rehg. denied/mod opinion 3/3/03.

In this habeas proceeding, the court found insufficient evidence existed in four incidents that the defendant struck his cohabitant to produce a corporal injury because there was no evidence those incidents caused a “traumatic condition.” Appellant was charged with striking his cohabitant with his fists and various objects on 11 occasions. For two of the counts in question, he struck her on her arms, legs, and back with a rod used to open and close vertical blinds. However, her testimony about these beatings was that it happened over a period of time, for which several of the counts were charged, but that her extensive bruising was “still healing,” and that she “wouldn’t know,” which bruises belonged to which incident, particularly the later ones, even though she could say that he “did the same thing again.” Because the victim couldn’t say whether these later beatings caused any additional bruises, there was insufficient evidence to support them. Also, he beat her on other occasions with a broomstick, a vacuum cleaner attachment, and “socking” her in the head and back. For these he was charged with counts for violating Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1) [assault with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury]. As to the broomstick, the evidence was cursory. It showed only bruising; it did not describe how it was used, the degree of force, its composition, weight, rigidity, nor was it introduced into evidence. This was insufficient to show it was used as a deadly weapon. As to the vacuum cleaner attachment there was a similar lack of evidence to show it was used in such a manner capable of producing, and likely to produce, death or great bodily injury. It hurt and caused bruises, but it was plastic and presumably hollow. Finally, hands and feet may support a conviction for 245, subdivision (a)(1) under the theory of an assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, but mere “socking” and kicking to the head and back are an insufficient description to support this theory.