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Name: People v. Cabonce
Case #: A117286
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 01/09/2009
Summary

When a defendant presents a defense of insanity, the defense does not apply if addiction or intoxication is the only basis for the mental disease or defect preventing defendant from distinguishing right from wrong; and where intoxication is a partial cause of the defect, the defense applies only if any recent use of alcohol has worn off and defendant is still incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Appellant shot a mother and her child with a pellet gun and when police officers later tried to question him, he stabbed them both, seriously injuring them. Appellant had a history of psychiatric illness, variously diagnosed as suffering from psychosis, personality disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse, and had been receiving SSI, but the benefits were terminated because of his employment income. On the date of the incident, he had been drinking. When questioned by police following the stabbing, appellant appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and a blood test revealed a .11 percent blood alcohol level. The court instructed the jury with CALJIC 4.00 and 4.02 stating that an insanity defense is not available if the sole cause of the defect is intoxication and if the defect is caused in part by intoxication the defense may or may not be established depending on whether defendant proves by a preponderance that it was the defect that caused him to not be able to tell right from wrong. The appellate court upheld the verdict of guilt, finding the instructions to be a correct statement of law.