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Name: People v. Hodgson
Case #: B163795
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 08/20/2003
Subsequent History: None

The evidence was sufficient to convict appellant of murder and robbery as an aider and abettor where he held open the electric gate of an underground parking garage to facilitate the escape of his fellow gang member Salazar, who had shot to death and robbed a woman just after she opened the gate. Defendant was present when the shooter fired the first shot through the car window, and he had to know the victim was seriously injured when her car rolled into the garage and struck a pillar and parked car. Salazar ran to the car and fired another shot through the window, took her purse and exited the garage. When the second shot was fired, appellant was already holding the gate open. Appellant also yelled to Salazar when the gate was about to close. From these facts, a rational jury could find appellant aided and abetted. The evidence was also sufficient to support the special circumstance that the murder was committed in furtherance of a robbery because it showed appellant was a “major participant” in robbery who acted with reckless indifference to human life. There were only two people involved in the crime, and by slowing down the gate, appellant was instrumental in assisting Salazar in escaping with the loot.