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Name: People v. Medina
Case #: S155823
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/22/2009
Summary

Killing of rival gang member was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of assault in gang fight. A verbal challenge by defendants, who were members of a street gang, resulted in a fight between defendants and the victim. After the fight, one of the defendants shot and killed the victim as he was driving away with his friend. The jury found the shooter guilty of murder and attempted murder of the friend, and the other participants in the fistfight guilty as aiders and abettors. The appellate court reversed the aider and abettor convictions, holding that there was insufficient evidence that the nontarget offenses of murder and attempted murder were a natural and probable consequence of the target offense of simple assault which they aided and abetted. The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s decision. A rational trier of fact could have concluded on the facts of this case that the death of the victim was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the assault. It was reasonably foreseeable that retaliation was likely, as the initial fight was gang-related. J. Moreno, Kennard, and Werdegar dissented.