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Name: People v. King
Case #: G036836
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/20/2007

Penal Code section 654 prohibits multiple punishments for a single act or indivisible course of conduct with multiple punishments being appropriate only if the defendant entertained multiple criminal objectives that were independent and not incidental to each other. (People v. Beamon (1973) 8 Cal.3d 625.) Whether the defendant had one or more objectives is a question of fact and will not be overturned on appeal unless unsupported by substantial evidence. (People v. Sandoval (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 1288.) Appellant and his codefendant entered the victim’s motel room intending to rob him. One of them put the victim in a choke hold and he died. The jury found appellant guilty of murder, robbery, and burglary and the court sentenced him to a life term for the murder and concurrent terms for the burglary and robbery. Because there was no evidence suggesting that appellant had a separate objective to kill the victim or to engage in violence for the sake of violence, the concurrent terms were unauthorized. Judgment was reversed with directions to stay the sentence for the burglary and robbery.