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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: D049650
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/14/2008

“A defendant’s conduct after a crime, including flight, is a relevant factor in determining his liability as an aider and abettor of the crime.” Here the evidence showed that appellant fled from the scene in the same car with the shooter, took the gun from the shooter while they were in the car, fled with the gun when police tried to stop their car, and and ultimately disposed of the gun.
Evidence of gang affiliation can be relevant in establishing motive and intent to aid and abet, regardless of whether the principal’s intent to commit the alleged crime was gang related or personal.
Although there is a preference for joint trials, the court may order separate trials for defendants if there is a incriminating confession by one defendant which implicates another. (People v. Aranda (1965) 63 Cal.2d 518; Bruton v. United States (1968) 391 U.S. 123.) But, even in this instance, a joint trial may be held if the confession is sanitized. In a footnote, the court observed that whether the Aranda/Bruton rule addressing whether an out-of-court statement by a codefendant which incriminates the defendant applies only to extrajudicial testimonial statements appears to be an unsettled question, but that the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals has interpreted Bruton expansively. (U.S. v. Mussare (3rd Cir. 2005) 405 F.3d 161.) The court in the instant case declined to address the issue.
Evidence of a defendant’s resistance to arrest is admissible as consciousness of guilt even if the consciousness of guilt could relate to uncharged crimes in addition to, or instead of, the charged offense. (People v. Odle (1988) 45 Cal.3d 386, 403.)