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Name: People v. Ibarra
Case #: D049605
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/17/2007
Summary

The trial court did not err when it admitted a made for TV videotape in appellant’s trial for attempted murder. Appellant was the subject of a videotape recorded by a reality TV show, made as police rescued his estranged girlfriend from him during his attempt to strangle her at her place of employment. At his trial for attempted first degree murder, the prosecution was permitted to show the jury three minutes of the videotape in support of their contention that the girlfriend was severely injured and the subject of an attempted murder. Appellant was convicted of the attempted murder. On appeal, he argued that introduction of the videotape was error. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the probative value (evidence of appellant’s intent) far outweighed the potential that the dramatic nature of the videotape would mislead or inflame the jury. It also corroborated prosecution testimony of the physical condition of the victim. There was sufficient evidence of premeditation and deliberation for attempted first degree murder. Appellant also argued that there was insufficient evidence of premeditation and deliberation. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the evidence that appellant had made prior death threats, the fact that he came to her place of employment in violation of a restraining order when he knew she would be alone, and the girlfriend’s testimony that during the assault appellant told her he had been thinking about killing her and calculating how much time he would spend in prison, was sufficient evidence of his premeditated and deliberate plan. The trial court did not err when it imposed a separate sentencing for corporal injury on a spouse. The appellate court also rejected appellant’s contention that the trial court should have stayed sentencing on the jury’s additional finding that appellant had inflicted corporal injury on a spouse. The record supports the conclusion that appellant had a separate and distinct intention of humiliating and hurting the victim by subjecting her to physical abuse and terror prior to killing her. Therefore the trial court was not required to stay sentencing on the corporal punishment conviction.