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Name: People v. Cabrera
Case #: D047895
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/25/2007
Summary

Where sufficient evidence supported a conviction for rape, there was no error where the court denied appellant’s pretrial motion to dismiss the charge. Appellant was convicted of multiple offenses, including carjacking, arising out of two separate violent assaults against his former girlfriend. On appeal, he argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the rape conviction and therefore the trial court erred in denying his pretrial motion to dismiss it. The appellate court rejected the argument. Because there was sufficient evidence of rape presented at trial, appellant could not show that he was in any material manner prejudiced by the trial court’s earlier ruling on his section 995 motion. The trial court did not err by refusing a “claim of right” defense in a carjacking case. Appellant was also convicted of carjacking the victim’s car. At trial, he attempted to show that he was part owner of the car, and therefore had a “claim of right” defense. The trial court prevented him from offering the defense. The appellate court affirmed, finding no error. Carjacking does not require proof of intent to permanently deprive the victim of a motor vehicle. Therefore it is not subject to a claim of right defense. Evidence Code section 1109 does not violate due process, and therefore it was not error to admit testimony from two of appellant’s former girlfriends concerning prior incidents of domestic violence. Further, the probative value of the testimony far outweighed its potential for prejudice.