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Name: People v. Coryell
Case #: E030693
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/28/2003

Substantial evidence supported a carjacking conviction where appellant grabbed the owner of the vehicle and threatened him with a knife, the owner and his girlfriend ran, and were a block away from the vehicle at the time it was taken. Appellant’s violence was sufficient to frighten the victims into fleeing the car. Therefore, the appellate court here rejected appellant’s arguments that the victims were not in possession of the car for purposes of the carjacking statute. Nor was there instructional error because the jury was instructed that “immediate presence” included an area within the observation of the victim. The instruction did not mislead the jurors into finding that appellant was guilty simply because the victims could observe him taking the car. There was sufficient evidence that the taking was accomplished by means of force and fear. Further, there was no error because the court did not instruct the jury concerning actual and constructive possession. The jury could not have failed to understand that the victims were the driver/owner and the passenger/occupant of the vehicle, and that appellant’s acts caused them to flee.