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Name: People v. Crisp
Case #: F083355
Opinion Date: 03/14/2023
Attorney: Timothy E. Warriner

A jury convicted appellant of, among other offenses, first degree murder with a special circumstance finding that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery. Upon appellant’s motion for a new trial, the trial court struck the special circumstance, finding insufficient evidence that appellant had acted with reckless indifference to human life. Appellant was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 25 years to life. He later filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.6, which the trial court denied at the prima facie stage. The Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that the petition was erroneously denied, as once the special circumstance was stricken, “in the eyes of the law, the original finding[] never existed.” (People v. Barboza (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 955, 965.) The court remanded the matter and ordered the trial court to set an evidentiary hearing. Following the evidentiary hearing, appellant’s murder conviction was vacated and he was resentenced to a determinate term of five years.