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Name: People v. Skiles
Case #: G040808
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/11/2010
Subsequent History: rev. granted 4/28/10 (S180567)
Summary

A felony that is not listed in Penal Code section 1192.7, is still considered a serious felony under that section if defendant inflicted great bodily injury on a person other than an accomplice during the commission of the felony; and the trial court can consider the entire record of the conviction to determine if it qualifies as a “strike.” Appellant was convicted by a jury of first degree burglary, and the court found the alleged prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter in Alabama constituted a serious felony. The evidence submitted in support of the finding was a certified copy of the Alabama grand jury’s true bill reflecting that appellant pled guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a ten-year sentence. A second document containing the factual and legal basis for the manslaughter, stated that appellant caused the death of the victim by failing to yield and running a red light and striking the victim’s vehicle. This document was a copy of the original certified copy and had initials other than the clerk’s next to the clerk’s signature. Appellant’s argument that he had a right to a jury trial on the question of whether the manslaughter conviction was a strike, was rejected, with the appellate court referencing People v. McGee (2006) 38 Cal.4th 682. The court also rejected appellant’s argument that involuntary manslaughter was not a strike because it was not listed in section 1192.7. Under subdivision (c) of the statute, the offense was a strike because the record showed that appellant personally inflicted great bodily injury during its commission. A court may rely on the copy of a certified copy of an official record unless there is a genuine question as to its authenticity. Here, the copy of the document setting forth the factual and legal basis was sufficiently trustworthy.