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Name: People v. Rosales
Case #: B244436
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 01/13/2014
Summary

Instructing the jury with CALCRIM No. 359 was not error because there was no reasonable likelihood that it confused or mislead the jury, and any error would have been harmless given the identifications of appellant as the perpetrator. Rosales committed three robberies of hotel desk clerks and was arrested at the scene of the third robbery. He was convicted of three counts of first degree robbery, with firearm use allegations and prior juvenile adjudications of serious felonies. On appeal, the appellate court asked the parties to brief the question of whether it was error to instruct the jury on corpus delicti pursuant to CALCRIM No. 359. Appellant argued that the instruction should not have been given, relying on People v. Rivas (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 1410, which held that CALCRIM No. 359 is confusing and should be reconsidered. The appellate court held that there was no instructional error, disagreeing with Rivas. CALCRIM No. 359 correctly states the law. There was no reasonable likelihood the jury was confused and misapplied the instruction. Further, any error would have been harmless. The defendant’s extrajudicial statement was made while he was wrestled to the ground by two hotel guests, and there was overwhelming evidence he committed the robberies, including positive identifications and videos of all three robberies.