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Name: People v. Martinez et al.
Case #: B194836
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/16/2008
Subsequent History: rev. granted 3/25/09 (S170016)
Summary

A defendant may be held criminally responsible for the crime he intended to aid and abet and, as an accomplice, for any other crime that is the natural and probable consequence of the target crime. The standard is not whether the aider and abettor actually foresaw the additional crime but whether, judged objectively, it was reasonably foreseeable that the resulting crime would occur. In this case, the appellate court considered whether a shooting or homicide was a natural and probable consequence of the verbal challenge “Where are you from?” issued by one gang member to opposing gang members. Emphasizing that its analysis was based only on the evidence presented in this particular case, the court found that the fellow gang member’s shooting murder of opposing gang members was not a natural and probable consequence of appellants’ misdemeanor acts of disturbing the peace (disrespectful stares and gang-identifying hand signals) and assault. Under a Watson standard (People v. Watson (1956) 46 Cal.2d 818), prejudice was found and appellants’ murder convictions (with the accompanying life sentences) were reversed.