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Name: People v. Valli
Case #: C057362
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/05/2010

Under Penal Code section 654 and related authority addressing prohibited multiple prosecution for the same acts or course of conduct, where evidence needed to prove one offense necessarily supplies proof of another offense, the two offenses must be prosecuted together. Appellant was suspected of a November 19, 2005, killing. The next evening, when police attempted to stop a vehicle driven by appellant, he fled, ultimately escaping apprehension. On November 26, 2005, he was again observed and again attempted to evade the police but was unsuccessful. At the subsequent murder trial, the prosecution introduced evidence of the evasion and attempted evasion as consciousness of guilt of the murders. Appellant was acquitted of the charges, but on the same day was arrested and charged with felony evading arrest. The trial court denied appellant’s motion for dismissal of the charges on the grounds they violated Penal Code section 654’s bar against multiple prosecutions, as interpreted by Kellett v. Superior Court (1966) 63 Cal.2d 822, finding the offenses were separate and distinct. Following the test set forth in People v. Hurtado (1977) 67 Cal. App. 3d 633, the court found that the successive prosecution of the murder and evading offenses did not meet the test of Hurtado which prohibited multiple prosecutions where the evidence needed to prove one offense necessarily supplies the proof of the other. As the court reasoned, evidence needed to prove murder (i.e., that appellant was the shooter), did not supply evidence of the evading. Evidence of the evading to show consciousness of guilt as to the murder, was insufficient to supply proof of the murder, as shown by the acquittal. The court also found there was no vindictive prosecution in not proceeding on the evasion charges until appellant was acquitted because an acquittal is a legitimate prosecutorial consideration in charging. (United States v. Esposito (3d Cir. 1992) 968 F.2d 300.)