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Name: People v. Solis
Case #: B244487
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/06/2015
Summary

Defendant charged with one strike offense may be convicted of two lesser related, uncharged strike offenses where parties agreed to have trial court instruct on the lesser related offenses. Solis was charged with numerous offenses, including attempted first degree murder. With the express agreement of both the prosecution and the defense, the court also instructed the jury on a number of lesser related, uncharged offenses, including mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon. The jury found Solis not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon, both as lesser offenses. The appellate court originally issued an opinion determining that conviction of two lesser related offenses, each of which was a strike, was unauthorized where only a single strike offense was charged. The California Supreme Court then transferred the case back with directions to vacate the decision and reconsider it in light of People v. Eid (2014) 59 Cal. 4th 650, which held that defendants may properly be convicted of more than one lesser included offense stemming from a single count, so long as the lesser offenses are not included in one another. Upon reconsideration, the Court of Appeal changed its previous analysis. “[I]n the context of lesser related offenses requested by the parties, we see no reason to depart from the wisdom of encouraging juries to convict defendants of the number and type of crimes which accurately reflect their culpability.” Allowing multiple convictions on lesser related offenses in these circumstances serves the jury’s truth-ascertainment function. Additionally, Solis was not entitled to notice of the number of convictions he faced even though the two lesser related offenses were both strike offenses. If Solis is later convicted of another strike offense, he would not face increased punishment as a third strike offender based on the two convictions in this case. (See People v. Vargas (2014) 59 Cal.4th 635.)