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Name: People v. Hoang
Case #: G036515
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/29/2006

Hoang was convicted of attempted premeditated murder on a natural and probable consequences theory. The jury found that by aiding and abetting an assault with a deadly weapon by a gang member, he was liable for the natural and probable consequences of the assault, which was attempted premeditated murder. On appeal, Hoang argued that the trial court should not have instructed the jury on the natural and probable consequence doctrine because there was insufficient evidence of aiding and abetting. The court found that there was sufficient evidence. However, the question of first impression before the court was under what circumstances, if any, the trial court may instruct the jury regarding a target offense not requested by the prosecution, but for which there is substantial evidence. The court here held that in this case, the court acted within its discretion when it rejected the prosecution’s identification of breach of the peace as a target offense, but also stated its intent to allow the target offense of assault with a deadly weapon, and then heard argument thereon. If the prosecution does not identify the target offenses, the trial court has a duty to inquire into which offenses the prosecution desires. Here the prosecution relied on the target offense of breach of the peace. Because the trial court did not find that attempted murder was a natural and probable consequence of breach of the peace, it had a duty to raise the issue of appropriateness of the target offense.