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Name: People v. Felix
Case #: B204858
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 04/16/2009

The specific intent to kill required for attempted murder may be inferred from facts and circumstances surrounding the offense and does not require direct proof. Over a short period of time, appellant twice threatened to kill the victim. He then armed himself with a firearm, went to victim’s house and fired into what he knew to be the master bedroom. After fleeing, he called the house and inquired if he had harmed anyone. This evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict of guilt on the attempted murder charge that required proof of specific intent to kill. The evidence was also sufficient to support the finding of premeditation.
California assault requires no subjective specific intent to injure or batter another person. Appellant was also charged with assault with a firearm on two children who, unbeknownst to appellant, were in the residence at the time of the shooting. The court upheld the guilty verdict on these counts, noting that an intent to do an act which will injure any reasonably foreseeable person is a sufficient intent for an assault charge and no subjective intent to injure a specific victim is required. [In this respect, California is unlike many other jurisdictions.] (People v. Williams (2001) 26 Cal.4th 779.)
A multiple-victim exception to Penal Code section 654 permits separate punishment for each crime of violence against a different victim even though all crimes are part of an indivisible course of conduct with a single principal objective. The concurrent sentence for shooting into an inhabited dwelling imposed in this case was upheld under the multiple victim exception which holds that an assailant’s greater culpability for risking harm to more than one person denies him the benefits of section 654. (People v. McFarland (1989) 47 Cal.3d 798.)