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Name: People v. Portillo
Case #: D038761
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/04/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 6/11/03
Summary

Appellant was convicted of a felony-murder for killing a prostitute during in the perpetration of a sex offense. The jury was instructed that the underlying crimes of rape and sodomy continue for felony-murder purposes while the perpetrator attempts to escape or to avoid detection (the “escape rule”). On appeal, he argued that this portion of the instruction was error, because the “escape rule” applies only to theft offenses. The appellate court disagreed, finding no error. The courts have consistently held that a homicide is committed in the perpetration of a felony if the killing and felony are parts of one continuous transaction, and this transaction may include flight after the felony to a place of safety.