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Name: People v. Mays
Case #: C075909
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/06/2017
Summary

Trial court properly awarded restitution to estate of crime victim’s mother for victim’s burial expenses because the mother was also a crime victim and she incurred the expenses before her death. Mays was convicted of voluntary manslaughter (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (a)) in the death of Hatch. At sentencing, the trial court ordered Mays to pay restitution to the estate of Hatch’s mother for the victim’s funeral expenses paid by the mother before her death. Mays challenged the restitution award on appeal. Held: Affirmed. In People v. Runyan (2012) 54 Cal.4th 849, the court held that restitution cannot be ordered for expenses incurred by a victim’s estate after the victim’s death. However, if funeral expenses were incurred by Hatch’s mother, she is also considered a victim of Mays’ crime (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (k)) and is entitled to restitution. The Court of Appeal disagreed with Mays’ argument that there was insufficient evidence to show that Hatch’s mother personally incurred those expenses because: (1) this is not a question of law but of fact, and (2) Mays could have, but did not, challenge the factual basis for the restitution award in the trial court. A defendant wishing to challenge the factual basis for a restitution order must object on that ground in the trial court to preserve the issue for appeal. Mays’ alternative argument that his attorney’s failure to challenge the factual basis for the restitution constituted ineffective assistance of counsel was rejected because he could not establish that Hatch’s mother did not incur the funeral expenses and thus could not show prejudice.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C075909.PDF