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Name: People v. Prunty
Case #: C071065
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/26/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 6/26/13: S210234

There was sufficient evidence to support the gang enhancement despite appellant’s claim that he was a member of a small subset of Nortenos. Prunty, an admitted Norteno gang member, fired six shots at a rival gang member, striking and injuring him and another person. A jury found him guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and found true various enhancements including a street gang enhancement under section 186.22. On appeal, Prunty contended that there was insufficient evidence that Nortenos qualify as a criminal street gang for purposes of the gang enhancement. Prunty relied on People v. Williams (2008) 167 Cal App 4th 983, for the proposition that where a large group such as the Nortenos consists of smaller subsets, the larger group cannot be a criminal street gang unless there is evidence of collaborative activities or structure between the subsets. The appellate court rejected the argument. To the extent that Williams can be understood to support this proposition, the court disagreed with the decision because there is nothing in section 186.22 requiring such evidence. From the evidence presented, the jury could reasonably have found that the Nortenos in the Sacramento area constitute a criminal street gang, notwithstanding that there are different subsets of the gang associated with various neighborhoods. Further, there was sufficient evidence that Prunty committed the offense because he perceived himself to be threatened by a rival Sureno gang member.