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Name: People v. Caudillo
Case #: H026166
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/07/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 1/12/05: S129212

During appellant’s trial for shooting into a motor vehicle and assault, he challenged for cause a juror who was an attorney in the City Attorney’s office, and who had defended Pitchess motions filed by defense counsel. The juror stated that he would try to be fair and impartial, but that he could not say beyond any doubt that his background would not influence how he would view the evidence. On appeal, appellant challenged the trial court’s denial of his motion to excuse the juror for cause. The appellate court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion. After listening to the juror’s somewhat ambiguous and conflicting answers, the trial court was in the best position to judge his credibility when he stated he could keep an open mind and abide by the oath. Therefore, the appellate court deferred to the trial court’s determination that the juror was not biased. Appellant also challenged the admission of a 911 tape of an anonymous call reporting “men with guns” as a spontaneous declaration under Evidence Code section 1240. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the admission was not an abuse of discretion. The caller made the call immediately after the shooting and could still see the car nearby. Although she had left the scene, she was clearly excited and stressed by the incident. Further, the call was not “testimonial” as contemplated by Crawford v. Washington. The call was made by a witness in order to facilitate police response, not to provide evidence to be used at a later trial.