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Name: People v. Carrasco
Case #: B193002
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/06/2008

There was sufficient evidence of attempted arson where appellant entered a sheriff’s station with gasoline and a lighter. Carrasco was arrested in a sheriff’s station wshen he threatened officers and refused to leave. During a scuffle, officers found a lighter in Carrasco’s hand, and a gasoline container in his duffle bag, along with several gasoline soaked strips of cloth. fter the lighter was confiscated, Carrasco stated, “I should have done it.” On appeal, Carrasco challenged the sufficiency of evidence to support his conviction for attempted arson, arguing that the evidence showed only preparation. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Given the facts, there was sufficient evidence by which a rational jury could have found that Carrasco committed a direct unequivocal act towards an attempt to burn.
The trial court properly refused to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of Penal Code section 148, subdivision (a). Carrasco was also convicted on two counts of resisting an executive officer in violation of section 69. He contended that the trial court should have instructed the jury on the lesser included offense of section 148, subdivision (a). The appellate court rejected the argument. Although section 148, subdivision (a) may be a lesser included offense of section 69 in a proper case, there was no substantial evidence supporting the lesser offense here. If appellant resisted the officers at all, he did so forcefully, thereby ensuring no reasonable jury could have concluded he violated section 148, subdivision (a) (1) but not section 69.
The trial court properly denied access to juror information. Following the verdict, the court polled the jury, and one juror expressed some hesitation. After a colloquy between the court and the juror, the court was satisfied that the juror’s hestitation had to do with the fact that she discovered the offense was a felony, not that she had been pressured into voting guilty. It therefore denied Carrasco’s petition for access to juror information, which sought contact information for the juror in order to discuss her deliberative process. The appellate court affirmed the denial of the petition. Since the trial court had questioned the juror about whether she had been convinced of Carrasco’s guilt, there was no need for any post-verdict questioning, and therfore no need for juror information. (J. Flier dissented, finding that the request for juror information should have been granted.) Remand was required for resentencing where the trial court misunderstood its discretion to run the sentences concurrently. Carrasco was convicted on counts 2 and 3 of resisting Deputies Macias and McGuffin in violation of section 69, and in count 4 of attempted arson. Appellant argued that all three counts were subject to section 654 because they were all part of the same act that occurred within a matter of minutes. The trial court denied the motion because it did not see the counts as one transaction and because it believed it was required to run Counts 2 and 3 consecutive because it was a second strike case. The appellate court reversed and remanded for resentencing. The trial judge did have the discretion to sentence appellant concurrently on counts 2 and 3 without deciding whether they occurred on the same occasion, and therefore remand was required for the court to exercise its discretion in deciding whether to impose consecutive or concurrent sentences.