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Name: People v. Concepcion
Case #: E036353
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/26/2006
Subsequent History: 11/15/06 review granted: S146288

Appellant was absent from the courtroom during the first day of his trial due to his escape from the jail. After he was returned to custody, he was not transported to the courtroom, and the court proceeded with testimony by witnesses, which constituted all the evidence on three of the charged counts. The appellate court reversed his conviction, finding that once appellant was apprehended and taken into custody, his absence from the trial was involuntary, regardless of the initial voluntariness of his absence from court. He had a right to be present at trial, and it was error to proceed in his absence. The error was structural and required reversal.