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Name: People v. Tittle
Case #: B253135
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/17/2015

Trial court properly imposed prior conviction and prior prison term enhancements to each determinate count of a second strike sentence. Tittle was found guilty of attempted murder and related offenses following a drive-by shooting. Various prior conviction and prior prison term enhancements were found true, including a prior strike. Relevant to this appeal, he was sentenced as a second strike offender on three counts (counts 1, 4, and 5). The sentence for each of these counts was enhanced 5 years for a prior serious felony (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (a)), plus 2 years for two prior prison terms (Pen. Code, § 667.5). On appeal, Tittle argued that the trial court erred by adding the sentence enhancements to the determinate terms imposed for both counts 4 and 5. The argument was based primarily on People v. Tassell (1984) 36 Cal.3d 77, which held that, in the context of multiple determinate sentences imposed pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.1, enhancements based on the characteristics of the current offense (such as firearm use) could be added to the determinate term for each applicable count, but enhancements based on the defendant’s status (such as prior convictions or prior prison terms) could be added only once, to the aggregate sentence. Held: Affirmed on this point. Tittle was sentenced under the Three Strikes law, not section 1170.1. In People v. Williams (2004) 34 Cal.4th 397, the California Supreme Court held that under the Three Strikes law, section 667, subdivision (a) enhancements are to be applied individually to each count of a third strike sentence. Although Williams is not directly on point, its reasoning strongly suggests that the result would be the same for second strike offenders. Tassell is inapplicable. [Editor’s Note: This issue is currently pending in People v. Sasser (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1148, review granted 5/14/2014 (S217128/A136655).]