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Name: People v. Latham
Case #: D058385
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/07/2012

There was sufficient evidence of second degree murder, under the implied malice theory, for parents who had received education about the treatment of their daughter’s diabetic condition and failed to seek treatment over several days when she was in pain, grew too weak to move, and finally went into cardiac arrest. There was no dispute that the parents’ failure to take their daughter to the doctor before she lapsed into a coma and cardiac arrest was a life-endangering act. The only issue was whether there was sufficient evidence to support the requisite mental state for implied malice murder. The father, who sometimes helped his daughter with managing her diabetes was seen checking her blood sugar and attempting to pour a yogurt drink into her a few days before her death. Her mother put a diaper on her when she became too weak to walk or use the restroom. Neighbors and siblings testified to circumstances that demonstrated the daughter’s deteriorating condition and the advice and offers to drive her to the hospital. There was evidence of the parents’ training about management of her diabetes and their emotional state and conduct at the time that demonstrated that they knew their conduct was endangering their daughter’s life and they acted in conscious disregard. (See People v. Chun (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1172, 1181.)