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Name: People v. Singleton
Case #: B193159
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/04/2007

Pursuant to Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21), burglary is defined as a violent felony if a person other than defendant is present in the residence during the commission of the offense. To be present, the person must have crossed the threshold or otherwise passed within the outer walls of the apartment/residence being burglarized. Applying rules of statutory construction, the court determined that section 667.5, subdivision (c)(1) requires the person to be actually present in the residence and not merely in the vicinity of the residence. Singleton burglarized a third-floor apartment that he had formerly occupied with his roommate Velasquez. Access to the third floor of the apartment building is restricted by a locked gate to the external stairs. While Singleton was inside the apartment burglarizing it, Velasquez was outside the apartment, down the hall, around the corner, but within the locked gate. Under the plain meaning of section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21), Velasquez was not “in” the residence. Therefore, the jury finding as to section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21) was reversed.