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Name: People v. Ochoa
Case #: E045756
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/20/2009

Gang enhancements based solely on expert testimony were reversed for insufficient evidence. At Ochoa’s trial for robbery and carjacking with gang enhancements, the prosecution put on testimony of a gang expert who opined that the carjacking was done for the benefit of the gang. No other evidence tended to show that the carjacking was gang related. On appeal from his conviction, Ochoa contended that substantial evidence did not support the true findings on the gang enhancements. The appellate court agreed and reversed the gang enhancements. A gang expert’s testimony alone is insufficient to find an offense gang related. While the expert testified that the carjacking could benefit appellant’s gang in a number of ways, he had no specific evidentiary support to make those inferences.