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Name: People v. Smith
Case #: S123074
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/29/2005
Summary

Appellant fired a single bullet into a moving vehicle, narrowly missing a mother and a baby. The evidence showed that appellant knew the mother. The baby was seated in a carseat behind her, and both were in his line of fire. The bullet shattered the windshield, and narrowly missed both the mother and the baby. Appellant was convicted of two counts of attempted murder. On appeal, he argued that there was insufficient evidence that he harbored the requisite specific intent to kill the baby. The appellate court upheld the conviction. The California Supreme Court affirmed. An inference of intent to kill drawn from the evidence of a deliberate shooting can support a conviction of attempted murder. The fact that appellant fired only one shot, or that appellant exhibited animosity towards the mother but not the baby just before the shooting, does not as a matter of law compel a different conclusion. Two convictions of attempted murder based on the firing of one shot at two police officers has previously been upheld. Here, appellant was aware that there was a baby in the car, and that the baby was behind the driver. The very act of shooting into the car could support an inference of intent to kill. Based on the facts, the jury could reasonably conclude that appellant intended to kill both the mother and the baby when he fired into the vehicle.