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Name: People v. Keichler
Case #: C047014
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/26/2005
Summary

Appellant got into a fight with three victims of Hmong ancestry. He knocked one of the victims unconscious. The restitution order issued at sentencing included hospital and ambulance bills, as well as expenses for a traditional Hmong spirit calling ceremony including the cost of pigs, chickens and other supplies required for the ceremony. At the restitution hearing, the court heard testimony regarding the cultural importance of the ceremony. On appeal, appellant argued that it was an abuse of discretion to award restitution for the Hmong ceremony. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The record established that the healing ceremonies were required due to the injuries inflicted by appellant, and they were the equivalent of western medical expenses. Further, substantial evidence supported the amount awarded.