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Name: People v. Campbell
Case #: B267280
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/08/2017

Defendant’s post-Mirandized silence was properly admitted during trial to rebut defendant’s claim that he fully cooperated with police. Campbell drove his car into multiple people on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. At his trial for murder and related offenses, Campbell said it was an accident and claimed he fully cooperated with police. To rebut the claim that Campbell fully cooperated with police, the prosecutor admitted evidence of his post-Mirandized silence. The defense moved for a mistrial, which the trial court denied. The jury convicted Campbell. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. Generally, impeaching a defendant’s exculpatory testimony with his post-Mirandized silence violates due process. (Doyle v. Ohio (1976) 426 U.S. 610, 614, 619.) However, when a defendant creates the impression at trial that he fully cooperated with police and answered any questions they asked, the prosecutor may fairly comment on his post-Mirandized silence without violating due process. (People v. Delgado (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 839, 853.) Campbell attempted to create such an impression in this case: he claimed full cooperation with police and suggested that police did not give him a fair chance to explain his side of the story. As a result, the use of Campbell’s post-Mirandized silence was a fair response to defense evidence and argument. The trial court properly denied the mistrial motion.

Defendant was properly convicted of multiple counts of leaving the scene of an accident (Veh. Code, § 20001, subd. (a)) even though he did not stop his car between collisions. Campbell argued that the evidence supported only one count of leaving the scene of an accident because he did not stop between collisions. The Court of Appeal disagreed. Multiple convictions are allowed when the defendant commits the actus reus of an offense more than once. (Wilkoff v. Superior Court (1985) 38 Cal.3d 345, 349.) The actus reus of leaving the scene of an accident is fleeing from the scene of an injury accident. (People v. Martinez (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1093.) Unlike in cases involving a single accident with multiple victims, here there was evidence that Campbell caused 10 collisions while driving, turning, and aiming at separate groups of people on the boardwalk. After each collision, he could have stopped and rendered aid but did not. As a result, the jury properly convicted Campbell of 10 counts of leaving the scene of the accident. The trial court’s decision to stay Campbell’s sentence on 9 of the 10 counts under Penal Code section 654 does not undermine his multiple convictions.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: