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Name: People v. Tice (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 246
Case #: E077504
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/14/2023

A person employed by the county to work within a county jail is an “employee of the local detention facility” within the meaning of the gassing statute (Pen. Code, § 243.9(a)). Defendant was convicted of multiple counts based on incidents that occurred at the county jail while he was awaiting trial, including one count of battery on a detention facility employee by gassing. He appealed, arguing that insufficient evidence supported the gassing count. Held: Affirmed. Section 243.9 prohibits battery by gassing on any peace officer or “employee of the local detention facility.” Defendant argued that because the victim testified that she was employed by the county, and not by the sheriff’s department or a separate entity bearing the detention facility’s name, she was not an “employee of a local detention facility.” When a county employee is assigned to work in a local detention facility operated by the county and is paid by the same county government that pays all other employees at that facility, that person may be fairly classified as an employee of that detention facility. [Editor’s Note: The Court of Appeal also concluded that the testimony of the victim and a witness constituted sufficient evidence that the substance that defendant sprayed on the victim was a bodily fluid within the meaning of section 243.9(b).]

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