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Name: People v. Vazquez
Case #: B213000
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/13/2009

Sufficient evidence to support a gang enhancement existed where appellant intended to promote gang activity by means of the murder. Vazquez was convicted of first degree murder, with a special allegation that the murder was for the benefit of a street gang, pursuant to Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (b). On appeal, he conceded that he committed the murder but contended that the gang enhancement should be reversed because there was insufficient evidence that he committed the murder with the requisite specific intent to promote gang activity. The appellate court rejected the argument finding that substantial evidence established that Vazquez committed the murder, and that the murder benefitted the gang because violent crimes elevate the status of the gang within gang culture, and intimidate neighborhood residents who might otherwise report crimes or testify. A reasonable jury could infer from the evidence that the murder was intended to promote those activities of the gang.