There was no error under People v. Prunty where the record provided substantial evidence of collaboration, association, and direct contact among the subsets of the East Side Bolen gang. A jury convicted Resendez of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury with a gang enhancement and assault with a deadly weapon. There was evidence that Resendez was a member of the Locos subset of the East Side Bolen gang, which was composed of five smaller subsets. An expert testified about predicate offenses committed by members of the Rascals subset. Resendez, representing himself at trial, called two individuals as character witnesses. One was a member of the Rascals subset and the other was a member of the Midgetcharros subset. On appeal, Resendez relied on People v. Prunty (2015) 62 Cal.4th 59 to argue that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence of predicate offenses to establish the existence of a criminal street gang. Held: Affirmed. When a prosecutor shows the defendant committed a felony to benefit a given gang, but establishes the necessary predicate offenses were committed by members of the gang’s subsets, the prosecutor “must prove a connection between the gang and the subsets.” (People v. Prunty, supra, 62 Cal.4th at 67-68.) In contrast to the lack of evidence showing collaboration among the gang’s subsets in Prunty, there was ample evidence in this case showing contacts among the various subsets and that members of the subsets all self-identified with the East Side Bolen gang. There was evidence that the gang claimed a well-defined territory, had only 20 active members out of custody, and that it was common for members of the Locos and Rascals subsets to hang out. Additionally, testimony from Resendez’s two character witnesses provided direct evidence of a long-term relationship of trust, collaboration, and loyalty between the members of the different subsets.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B269608.PDF