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Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/19/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 7/27/05: S134243

Appellant pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, and was sentenced as a “two-striker” because of a 1995 prior conviction for driving under the influence causing bodily injury. On appeal, he argued that the prior conviction was not a “strike” because the record of the prior conviction does not show that appellant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. At appellant’s sentencing hearing on the prior conviction, he remained silent as the court described the victim’s massive injuries, including numerous broken bones. A reasonable person in that situation would have disputed the trial court’s description of the victim’s injuries if it had been false. Further, appellant was advised at the time that the conviction could be a strike. If the victim’s injuries were minor so that the conviction would not have been a “strike” a reasonable person would have disputed the court’s characterization of the injuries as massive. The fact that counsel was present did not preclude the application of the adoptive admission exception to the hearsay rule. Therefore, the trial court did not err in impliedly ruling that appellant’s silence at the sentencing hearing was admissible as an adoptive admission of the truth of the description of the victim’s injuries. Further, appellant’s adoptive admission did not violate his right to confrontation under Crawford v. Washington because they were his own admissions.