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Name: People v. Singh
Case #: C043114
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/22/2004

Appellant contended on appeal that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for methamphetamine while armed with a loaded shotgun, in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11370.1, subd.(a), as there was insufficient evidence that he was aware of the presence of a shotgun hidden under a pillow. The appellate court disagreed, finding that there was substantial evidence to support the finding that appellant knew the gun was there. The shotgun was only partially concealed, and was immediately visible to a police officer entering the room. Appellant was sitting on the same bed on which it was “hidden.” It was a reasonable inference that he knew the gun was there. Appellant also contended that the court erred when it failed to advise the jury that he had to possess the methamphetamine while knowingly armed with a firearm. The appellate court here agreed, but found the error harmless. The jury also found appellant guilty of a violation of Penal Code section 12022 for possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Thus the jury necessarily found that appellant knew of the presence of the same gun, and any error in failing to instruct the jury properly on the 11370.1 count was harmless.