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Name: People v. Jimenez
Case #: D073313
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/21/2019

Defendant’s motion for new trial was properly denied because a police report used by the prosecution at sentencing, implicating defendant in an unrelated shooting, was not Brady material and there was not a reasonable probability of a different result on retrial. Jimenez led officers on a high-speed chase with two children in the car. At one point, he drove straight toward a marked patrol vehicle, causing the officers to swerve at the last moment to avoid collision. A jury convicted Jimenez of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, two counts of felony child abuse, and evading a peace officer with reckless driving. At sentencing, Jimenez filed a motion to dismiss his prior strike. The trial court invited briefing to address whether Jimenez had severed gang ties apparent from his prior convictions. The prosecution submitted an undisclosed police report authored by a testifying officer in the instant case documenting Jimenez’s involvement in a recent gang-related shooting. Jimenez filed a motion for new trial, arguing this new evidence was “quintessential bias, interest, or other motive evidence.” The court denied the Romero motion and motion for new trial. Jimenez appealed. Held: Affirmed. A criminal defendant has a due process right to pretrial discovery of information favorable to his defense. (Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, 87.) There are three components of a Brady violation: (1) the evidence is favorable to the accused; (2) the evidence was suppressed by the state; and (3) prejudice resulted. Prejudice requires the evidence be material and the reasonable probability of a different result. Here, it was undisputed that the prosecution suppressed evidence. However, the court rejected Jimenez’s argument the testifying officer could be impeached effectively with the report, resulting in a different verdict. Therefore, Jimenez failed to establish a Brady violation because he failed to show the evidence was favorable or material. A new trial should be granted based on newly discovered evidence only if it is reasonably probable that the evidence would render a different result on retrial. For the same reasons the evidence did not constitute a Brady violation, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Jimenez’s motion for new trial.

Penal Code section 654 does not preclude separate punishment for evading a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon. Section 654 precludes multiple punishments for a single act or indivisible course of conduct. Even if a course of conduct is directed to one objective, it may give rise to multiple violations and punishment if it is divisible in time. (People v. Beamon (1973) 8 Cal.3d 625, 639.) Jimenez argued that he harbored the same intent and objective during both the evading and the assault—to evade the officers and prevent apprehension—and the assault was merely a result of reckless driving. Although the court noted Jimenez’s argument was reasonable, it concluded there was substantial evidence to support the trial court’s finding that Jimenez harbored multiple criminal objectives when he nearly crashed into the second patrol vehicle during evasion of the first patrol vehicle. The trial court also could have reasonably found that Jimenez had time to reflect before committing the assault. The evidence supports the trial court’s implied finding that section 654 does not prohibit multiple punishments for the evading and assault charges.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: