Skip to content
Name: People v. Dallas
Case #: E043786
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/04/2008
Summary

Where defendant lived with the infant victim of child abuse, evidence concerning prior acts of domestic violence and child abuse were admissible under Evidence Code section 1109. Dallas was charged with infliction of injury on a child in violation of Penal Code section 273d, subd. (a), (count 1), and felony child abuse in violation of section 273a, subd.(a), (count 2) for injuries inflicted on his live-in girlfriend’s baby. During the trial, the court admitted under Evidence Code section 1109 evidence that Dallas had committed previous acts of domestic violence against a former girlfriend and previous acts of child abuse against her child. On appeal, Dallas contended that the trial court erred by admitting evidence of prior acts of domestic violence under section 1109 since he was charged with child abuse, not domestic violence. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that domestic violence includes abuse committed against a cohabitant. The baby, though not Dallas’s, resided in his household, and therefore appellant was charged with an offense involving domestic violence within the meaning of Family Code section 6211. Therefore, prior acts of domestic violence were admissible under Evidence Code section 1109, subdivision (a)(1). Dallas also contended that even if the prior acts of child abuse were admissible as to count 1, they were not admissible as to count 2. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the evidence was logically relevant to both counts.