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Name: People v. Randle
Case #: A097168
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/30/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 8/27/03: S117370

Appellant testified at his trial for second degree murder that he only shot the victim in order to make him stop beating up his cousin. The cousin was being hit and kicked, and had major head injuries. At trial, appellant unsuccessfully requested an instruction on imperfect defense of another. The appellate court here reversed, holding that the doctrine of unreasonable self-defense includes the unreasonable defense of another, and the requested instruction should have been given. There was strong evidence supporting the theory that appellant fired the gun because he honestly but unreasonably believed it was necessary to save his cousin from imminent peril, and ample evidence that the cousin was undergoing a brutal beating. The trial court did not err when it instructed the jury it could find appellant guilty of felony murder based on the underlying felony of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, pursuant to section 246.3. The merger doctrine articulated in People v. Ireland does not apply where section 246.3 is the predicate felony.