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Name: People v. Saavedra (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 444
Case #: G061556
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/20/2023
Subsequent History: Published 10/16/23
Summary

Penal Code section 1172.6 petition properly denied at prima facie stage where the factual basis for defendant’s plea established that he was ineligible for resentencing as a matter of law. In May 2003, defendant entered a guilty plea to three counts of attempted deliberate premeditated murder and a gun use enhancement (§ 12022.53, subd. (c)). The factual basis for the plea included a statement that defendant “willfully, unlawfully and with malice aforethought attempted to murder [three] human beings, by personally discharging a firearm at the vehicle [they] were occupying, within the meaning of . . . Section 12022.53 [subdivision (c)]” (emphasis added). In 2022, the trial court denied defendant’s section 1172.6 resentencing petition at the prima facie stage, finding use of the term “by” in the plea form showed defendant was the actual shooter. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. Under section 1172.6, a defendant convicted of attempted murder is ineligible for resentencing if he, inter alia, actually attempted to kill the victims or acted with malice that was not imputed based solely on participation in a crime. Here, the plea form conclusively showed defendant was the actual shooter: in the factual basis for the plea, defendant admitted that he attempted to murder the victims by means of discharging a firearm into the car in which they were in. This admission went beyond the elements of the charged offenses, distinguishing it from People v. Rivera (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 217. Further, by admitting that, with malice aforethought, he discharged a firearm into the victims’ vehicle in an attempt to murder them, defendant’s admission in his guilty plea supplied the state of mind and criminal consequence missing from a bare true finding on a firearm discharge enhancement, distinguishing it from People v. Offley (2020) 48 Cal.App.5th 588.