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Name: People v. Mitchell
Case #: B269373
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/19/2016

Where defendant committed several crimes during a single act, he could not be sentenced for both robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. On one morning in July 2015, Mitchell entered a store on several occasions knocking over merchandise, taunting and threatening the clerk, and then jabbing at the clerk with a pair of scissors before taking some merchandise. He left but was soon arrested. A jury convicted him of assault with a deadly weapon (scissors) (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1)), robbery with use of a weapon (scissors) (Pen. Code, §§ 212.5, 12022, subd. (b)(1)) and other offenses. Mitchell admitted two prior prison term enhancements. The court imposed three years for the robbery plus one year for the weapon use, and a consecutive term for the assault with a deadly weapon. Mitchell appealed. Held: Sentence for assault with a deadly weapon stayed (Pen. Code, § 654). “Section 654 prohibits multiple punishment for a single act that violates different provisions of law.” “It is the singleness of the act and not of the offense that is determinative.” Mitchell’s armed assault with the scissors was merely incidental to and facilitated the robbery. Where a single act is committed, the “single act” test supplants the “intent and objective” test of section 654. Further, in the present case there was no “extreme and gratuitous violence” which went beyond the force necessary to accomplish the robbery. Thus, section 654 bars separate punishment for the assault with a deadly weapon.

The full opinion is on the court’s website here: