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Name: People v. Dominguez
Case #: H022727
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/14/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 3/30/05: S130860; mod. 125 CA4th 699b
Summary

Incomplete jury instructions require reversal of a felony murder conviction. In this case, evidence presented at trial suggested that the victim might have died at the hands of an accomplice who had died before trial. The jury instructions addressed only the possibility that the defendant had been the actual killer, and even when the jury sought guidance on whether the defendant would still be guilty of murder if they believed that the accomplice had been the actual killer, the court failed to provide proper instructions. The court of appeal accordingly reversed the murder conviction, and also reversed a kidnaping charge because the movement established by the evidence did not satisfy the asportation requirement for that charge. Although the evidence showed that the victim was moved down a 12-foot embankment, the movement did result in concealing the victim from public view, but instead resulted in moving her only from one relatively well-concealed place to another. Finally, the court affirmed a rape conviction, rejecting the defendant’s argument that the jury should have been instructed under CALJIC 10.65 regarding a reasonable and bona fide belief that the victim has consented. Here there were no facts that could have led the jury to believe that the defendant believed the victim had consented.