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Name: People v. Leadbetter
Case #: B247709
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/06/2014

For a foreign prior conviction to qualify as a “strike,” the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the conviction contains the requisite elements as that of the California offense. Appellant pled no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted a great bodily injury enhancement. The court found true three prior serious or violent felony convictions (strikes), two from Tennessee and one from Oklahoma. On appeal, appellant contended that there was insufficient evidence for the Tennessee convictions; one being for aggravated assault and one for robbery. Held: remanded as to the aggravated assault conviction for resentencing or retrial (prosecutor’s election). The prosecutor must prove all elements of an alleged enhancement for a prior strike conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Where the conviction does not prove the offense is a serious felony, otherwise admissible evidence from the entire record of the conviction may be examined to resolve the issue. Here, the record for the robbery conviction included an indictment, a plea form, and a judgment. These record pieces sufficiently showed that appellant was convicted of a serious or violent felony by stating a description of robbery nearly identical to that of a California robbery. The record for the aggravated assault, on the other hand, was insufficient as it did not contain evidence that appellant personally inflicted great bodily injury, as required in California to make the offense a serious or violent felony. Upon remand, retrial of a strike allegation is permissible where an appellate court reverses for insufficient evidence.