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Name: People v. Eid
Case #: G046129
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/22/2013
Subsequent History: Review gr. 9/18/18: S211702
Summary

Defendant may not be convicted of two uncharged lesser included offenses (LIO) for each charge of kidnap for ransom. Eid was convicted of various offenses for his participation in the smuggling and holding for ransom of Brazilian citizens. The jury acquitted Eid of two counts of kidnaping for ransom, but convicted him as to each count of two LIOs of attempted extortion and misdemeanor false imprisonment. On appeal Eid claimed he could not be convicted of two uncharged LIOs as to each charged offense. Held: Reversed in part. Here, Eid was convicted of two uncharged LIOs “of a greater charge, but neither [LIO] is an [LIO] of the other.” “At most, the [LIOs] are lesser related of each other.” Nonetheless, under Penal Code section 954 the trier of fact is permitted to return only one conviction per count in the accusatory pleading. Since attempted extortion carries a greater penalty than misdemeanor false imprisonment, the convictions for false imprisonment were stricken.

Trial court did not err in admitting officer’s testimony regarding witness’ statements. Eid claimed the trial court erred in allowing a Spanish-speaking police officer to testify about the statements a witness made in Brazilian Portugese as a prior consistent statement. The officer testified he could understand the witness and his recitation of the witness’ statements were consistent with her trial testimony. Any language problems went to the weight of the testimony rather than admissibility, and both parties were subject to cross-examination. The court’s finding that a sufficient foundation had been laid to admit the testimony was not error.

Even though 911 caller told dispatcher several untruths during her request for help, the call was still a spontaneous declaration. Eid claimed the 911 call from witness Silva was inadmissible hearsay because she told the police dispatcher several things that were not true, which showed reflection rather than a spontaneous declaration. However, the untruths did “not evidence such a level of reflection to render Silva’s statements nonspontaneous.” There was no error.