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Name: People v. Taylor
Case #: D042152
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/28/2004

Taylor appealed from a conviction for spousal abuse, and battery causing serious bodily injury, contending that the five year sentence enhancement imposed for his serious prior felony conviction pursuant to Penal Code section 667, subdivision (a)(1) had to be stricken because his current offenses were not serious felonies. The appellate court agreed, finding that the jury specifically found that Taylor did not commit great bodily injury in the commission of the charged offenses, and there was no other basis for a finding that Taylor’s current offenses were serious felonies, as is required by section 667, subdivision (a)(1). Further, the trial court violated Taylor’s constitutional and statutory rights to jury trial by treating the jury’s finding of serious bodily injury as legally equivalent to a finding of great bodily injury, despite the jury’s express finding that he did not commit great bodily injury. Taylor had a federal constitutional right to a jury determination of the factual predicate for a finding that any of the charged offenses was a serious felony. The court also held that there was sufficient evidence of cohabitation to support the 273.5, subdivision (a) conviction where the victim said that she had been dating Taylor for five months, was pregnant with his child, and that they were living together in his car at the time of the offenses. Taken in totality, these facts were sufficient to establish that the victim and Taylor were living together “in a substantial relationship that was characterized by permanence and sexual or amorous intimacy.”