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Name: People v. Ceja
Case #: B157257
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/07/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 5/14/03
Summary

Appellant was convicted by jury of numerous kidnap and sexual offenses, and a new jury was empaneled for the NGI portion of his trial. After the evidence of insanity had been presented, the prosecutor moved, pursuant to Penal Code section 1118.1 for a dismissal of the special NGI plea. The court granted the motion and dismissed the jury. Appellant was sentenced to 150 years to life plus four consecutive life terms in state prison. On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred during the NGI portion of the trial by directing a verdict in favor of the prosecution. The appellate court here affirmed. There is no constitutional infirmity for a judge to remove the issue of sanity from the jury when the defendant has failed to present evidence sufficient to support the special plea. Here, there was insufficient evidence presented. The evidence was sufficient only of a temporary mental condition, not the “settled insanity” required.