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Name: People v. Steele
Case #: B134069
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/22/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 12/13/00
Summary

The trial court erred when it refused to allow appellant to cross-examine victim-witness Williams on her prior misdemeanor conviction for providing false information to a police officer during an arrest for prostitution. While appellant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation and cross-examination was violated, it was not prejudicial per Davis v. Alaska (1974) 415 U.S. 308. Here Williams was impeached with her prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter. Furthermore, she admitted a 20 year career as a prostitute. The fact that during that lengthy prostitution career Williams had provided false information to a police officer probably “surprised no one” and would have added little to the attack on Williams’ veracity. It is, therefore, not reasonably probable that a result more favorable to appellant would have been reached if Williams’s single conviction for providing false information to a peace officer had been presented to the jury it is not reasonably probable that a result more favorable to appellant would have been reached if Williams’s single conviction for providing false information to a peace officer had been presented to the jury. Defendant’s prior murder conviction was properly admitted on the issues of premeditation and deliberation in his trial for a second murder. The two killings bore several similarities. Appellant waived his objection to the aggravating factors found by the trial court when he made no objection to them in the trial court. Moreover, because only one factor in aggravation is sufficient to support imposing the upper term, and the trial court’s finding that the victim here was clearly vulnerable is not unreasonable, and imposition of the upper term is justified. In fact, any one of the factors in aggravation relied on here would be sufficient to support the imposition of the upper term. The Court of Appeal here joined the “parade” of other appellate courts which “got even” by refusing to follow the California Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Wilson (1967) 66 Cal.2d 749, and held that the trial court did not err in refusing to instruct, sua sponte, that brandishing a firearm is a lesser included offense of assault with a firearm.