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Name: People v. Superior Court (Decker)
Case #: B176608
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/17/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/23/05: S130489

Where a defendant has engaged another person to commit a murder with the specific intent of causing the death of the intended victim, he is guilty of attempted murder. The defendant in this case purported to hire someone to kill his sister; he provided the second party with a description of his sister, means for gaining access to her home, and a description of her habits. The parties agreed on a method of committing the murder as well as other details. The defendant gave the second party a down payment for the crime. The purported assassin, however, was an undercover detective, and the defendant was arrested. The magistrate refused to hold him to answer on a charge of attempted murder, and the superior court likewise granted a motion to dismiss that charge under Penal Code section 995, holding that the evidence supported only a charge of solicitation of murder. The Court of Appeal granted the People’s petition for writ of mandate, holding that the crime of attempt is committed if the defendant has a specific intent to cause the attempted crime and does an act or acts which, based on the facts as understood by the defendant, would ordinarily result in accomplishment of the crime unless interrupted.