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Name: People v. D.T.
Case #: E061137
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/10/2015

Evidence was sufficient to sustain juvenile court’s true finding of assault with a deadly weapon where minor used a pocket knife to “poke” a girl during “play.” The minor used to be friends with the female victim and they had played together on occasion. The victim had in the past smacked or pushed the minor in a joking way, but on the day of the incident, she was trying to avoid him. The minor persisted in bothering the victim, pulling on the hood of her sweater as she tried to get away. The minor pulled out a knife, displayed the blade and began “poking” the victim in the back with the knife, but it did not break her skin. The juvenile court found an assault with a deadly weapon allegation true. On appeal the minor claimed there was insufficient evidence that he used a deadly weapon. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1) prohibits an assault on another person with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a gun. A deadly weapon includes an object that is used in such a manner as to be capable of inflicting great bodily injury or death; no actual injury need be shown. The prosecution was not required to prove that the minor intended to use the knife as a deadly weapon. The knife had a sharp blade more than two and on-half inches long. There was expert testimony that it was capable of inflicting severe and even fatal wounds. The absence of any wounds does not support the minor’s claim that he was only “playing” with the victim, and did not intend to use the knife as a deadly weapon.