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Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 05/15/2007

There was insufficient evidence that a prior conviction was a “strike” where the trial court relied upon a defendant’s admission made after acceptance of the guilty plea. Appellant was sentenced as a “two striker” following his guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine. On appeal, he contended that his 1995 prior conviction for causing bodily injury while driving under the influence did not constitute a strike because the record did not show that he inflicted great bodily injury on the victim, as the evidence relied upon was inadmissible hearsay evidence. Originally, the appellate court affirmed, concluding that appellant made an adoptive admission which supported the trial court’s determination that the prior qualified as a strike. The Supreme Court granted review and transferred the matter back with directions to vacate the decision and reconsider in light of People v. Trujillo (2006) 40 Cal. 4th 165. Upon reconsideration, the appellate court concluded that the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s finding that the prior conviction was a strike, and reversed that finding. In Trujillo, the Supreme Court held that a defendant’s statements made after the plea has been accepted are not part of the record of the prior conviction. Here, appellant’s alleged adoptive admission was not made until after the trial court had accepted his guilty plea and sentenced him to state prison. Therefore, there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that the prior conviction constituted a strike and reversal was required. Retrial on the strike allegation was not barred.