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Name: People v. Stinson
Case #: C077621
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/16/2018

Trial court did not err by modifying CALCRIM No. 1203 to specify that the intent to commit kidnapping for robbery includes the intent to aid in an escape. Stinson and his codefendant approached a man in a parked car, robbed him at gunpoint, and forced him into the trunk of his car. The defendants then left and, using the victim’s keys, went to his home and robbed the victim’s fiancé at gunpoint. Defendant was convicted of numerous robbery-related offenses, including kidnapping to commit robbery. Stinson challenged the trial court’s modification of CALCRIM No. 1203 (the kidnapping for robbery instruction). In relevant part, the court modified the instruction to provide: “Acting with the intent to commit robbery including the intent to aid in the escape from the intended robbery, the defendant took, held or detained another person by using force or by instilling a reasonable fear.” (See People v. Laursen (1972) 8 Cal.3d 192.) Held: Affirmed. The instruction was a correct statement of the law under Laursen because a kidnapping committed while in the act of escaping from the site of a robbery falls within the meaning of “kidnapping for the purpose of robbery.” Where there is substantial evidence to support the theory that the asportation of the victim was undertaken, at least in part, to effectuate the robber’s escape, it is proper to give an instruction such as the one given by the trial court. In this case, the evidence supported the instruction. The jury could have inferred the asportation of the victim from the driver’s seat to the trunk of his car was done to ensure the victim could not observe the defendants, determine where they fled, or seek help and call the police. [Editor’s Note: In a footnote, the court suggested the CALCRIM committee consider modifying CALCRIM No. 1203 to provide optional language addressing situations where there is substantial evidence supporting a finding that during the course of a robbery, the perpetrators moved the victim to, at least in part, effectuate their escape.]

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: