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Name: People v. Jenan
Case #: F048121
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/20/2006
Summary

An order recusing the entire district attorney’s office was proper where the attorney who witnessed the charged crime would testify at trial. The two defendants were charged with offenses related to their alleged attempts to dissuade an investigator from the Tulare County district attorney’s office from testifying at a prior criminal proceeding. A deputy district attorney was a witness to the events leading to the charges; the communications at issue were also tape recorded. Prior to trial the defendants successfully moved to recuse the entire district attorney’s office, over objection by the Attorney General. The Court of Appeal affirmed the recusal order, holding that the ruling was properly reviewed for an abuse of discretion, and that given the facts of the case the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that nothing could diminish the “likelihood of unfairness” to the defendants if another member of the relatively small district attorney’s office were placed in the position of arguing to a jury that two of his colleagues were credible witnesses.