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Name: People v. Gaxiola
Case #: F085450
Opinion Date: 05/30/2023
Attorney: Brad Kaiserman
Summary

After the trial court summarily denied appellant’s Penal Code section 1172.6 petition, the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that appellant pleaded a prima facie case for relief and his convictions (first degree murder with willfulness, premeditation, and deliberation) did not render him ineligible for relief as a matter of law. The jury was instructed on two theories of attempted murder—express malice attempted murder and natural and probable consequences attempted murder as an aider and abettor. Based on the instructions given, the jury could have found defendant guilty of first degree premeditated attempted murder under either an indirect aiding and abetting natural and probable consequences doctrine theory or an express malice theory. The indirect aiding and abetting natural and probable consequences doctrine theory is no longer valid under Senate Bill 1437 and, based on the record before the trial court, the court was not permitted to make the factual finding necessary to rule out that theory at the prima facie stage.