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Name: People v. Lloyd
Case #: G049197
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/21/2015

Reversal was required where prosecutor repeatedly misstated the reasonable doubt standard during argument, and the trial court overruled defense objections. Lloyd was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, and in a bifurcated proceeding admitted five prison priors. On appeal, he claimed the prosecutor committed misconduct in closing argument by repeatedly misstating the reasonable doubt standard (i.e., stating that finding Lloyd not guilty meant they condone his behavior, and that not guilty means you did not commit a crime). Held: Reversed. The trial court overruled Lloyd’s objections to the prosecutor’s argument. Therefore, it cannot be presumed that the jury followed the court’s admonishment and instructions concerning reasonable doubt. Further, it was a close case which turned on the credibility of the witnesses, and both sides had credibility issues. There was a reasonable likelihood that the result would have been different had the prosecutor not made the statements to the jury.

Remand was required where trial court failed to adequately advise defendant of his Boykin-Tahl rights prior to his admission of prison priors. The trial court erred when it failed to adequately advise Lloyd of his rights prior to accepting his admission of prior prison term enhancements. Lloyd was only advised of his right to a trial, not his right to remain silent or to confront witnesses against him. The last time Lloyd had been advised of his Boykin-Tahl rights was when he was arraigned, nearly 15 months earlier, mandating remand for retrial on the priors.