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Name: People v. Verni
Case #: C065429
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/07/2011
Subsequent History: Revw. granted 10/19/11 (S195717)
Summary

A defendant convicted of aggravated mayhem is responsible to the owner of the apartment building where the crime occurred so long as that damage was an “immediate object” of the crime. The defendant entered the bedroom of a woman he was arguing with, doused her with gasoline, and set her on fire. There was $32,246.77 in damage to the apartment building. There was a guilty plea to the aggravated mayhem, with an arson charge dismissed. There was no waiver pursuant to People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754, 758, which would allow consideration of dismissed counts at the time of sentencing. When the restitution to the apartment owner was ordered at the sentencing hearing, there was no objection. The appellate challenge was therefore limited to a claim that the restitution order was an unauthorized sentence. The “immediate object” of a crime is not limited by reference to the elements of the crime. Damage to the building was an immediate object of the crime if there is economic loss as a direct and immediate result of the criminal conduct for which the defendant is convicted. Such an interpretation is consistent with the express language of the constitutional and statutory provisions regarding the victims of crimes. The burning of the apartment was an “immediate object” of the aggravated mayhem.