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Name: People v. Platz
Case #: C044660
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/15/2006

Appellant Platz failed to return her nine-year-old daughter to her custodial parent, her father, in violation of a court order. Platz was ordered to have no contact with her daughter. She subsequently kidnapped her at gunpoint. The child ran to Lisa when she saw her and got into her car at her mother’s request. Police found Lisa, her boyfriend, and the daughter at a campground. The daughter was dead, her throat having been cut. A jury found Lisa guilty of first degree murder with special circumstances (the kidnap). Lisa asserted a defense of consent to the kidnap. The trial court refused to instruct that if the jurors found that the child had consented to the kidnap, they could find Lisa not guilty of the kidnap charge. The appellate court affirmed, finding that a consent defense was not available because the child was not capable of knowingly consenting to the taking. Lisa could not avoid a kidnap conviction even if the child acquiesced to the taking because her unlawful intent sufficed as a matter of law. Further, the kidnap was still in process when the child died, so the trial court did not err by instructing the jury that kidnap continues until the victim is freed and has reached a place of safety.