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Name: People v. Cardenas
Case #: E059820
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/05/2015

There was sufficient evidence that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury despite the victim’s lack of memory as to how she received injuries. A jury found Cardenas guilty of multiple burglaries and a robbery. During one of the burglaries, Senger, an 86-year-old occupant of the burglarized home, was injured. The jury found true allegations that Cardenas personally inflicted great bodily injury on a person over 70 years old (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (c)), and that he had burglarized and robbed a person over 65 years old (Pen. Code, § 667.9, subd. (a)). On appeal, Cardenas argued that there was insufficient evidence that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on Senger. Held: Affirmed. For the great bodily injury enhancement to apply, the defendant must be the direct, rather than the proximate, cause of the injuries. The issue of whether a person suffered great bodily injury is for the jury to decide. Although Senger did not remember how she sustained her injuries, circumstantial evidence supported the jury’s great bodily injury finding. Senger went to sleep in fair health with no injuries on her face. When she woke up, she had been severely injured and she saw defendant burglarizing her home. Her injuries were inconsistent with the type of injuries that would be expected from a fall, and were instead consistent with the infliction of blunt force trauma to the face.

Burglary sentence should have been stayed where burglary and robbery counts had the same victim. The sentence for burglary should have been stayed pursuant to Penal Code section 654, because Cardenas had a single criminal intent and objective when he robbed Senger in her home and burglarized her home. The multiple victim exception to section 654 did not apply to the burglary count because there was no finding of great bodily injury or firearm use as to a second occupant of the house, who unlocked the front door as Cardenas fled. The robbery, burglary, and enhancements were based on the same conduct against Senger only.