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Name: People v. Calhoun
Case #: D042645
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/02/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/16/05: S129896

A street racer whose opponent’s crash killed two people is not subject to an enhancement for fleeing the scene under Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (c). Calhoun and his codefendant Waller were drag racing on a public street when Waller’s car collided with a third vehicle, killing two people. Calhoun left the scene of the accident. He was convicted of two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence on an accomplice liability theory, and the court imposed two enhancements for leaving the scene of a crime after committing a gross vehicular homicide, under section 20001, subdivision (c). The Court of Appeal reversed the imposition of the enhancements, holding that the statute distinguishes between those who commit crimes and those who aid and abet the commission of crimes. The legislative history as well as analogous case law support this interpretation. As to Waller, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in relying on a multiple-victim aggravating circumstance to support the upper term on each of the two counts of vehicular manslaughter, since with respect to the imposition of sentence for a particular offense for which there is only one victim, that crime does not involve multiple victims. After finding that the error was not waived because Waller had no meaningful opportunity to object to the error due to a split of appellate authority on whether the aggravating factor was appropriate in this circumstance, the Court of Appeal held that the record did not show a reasonable probability that the court would have imposed the same sentence absent the improper factor, and remanded for resentencing. Finally, the court found that Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 did not apply to Waller’s sentence, since the two aggravating factors noted by the judge — the multiple victims, and the existence of a second offense for which a consecutive term could have been imposed — were necessarily included in the jury’s verdict.