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Name: People v. Mendoza
Case #: S067104
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/31/2000
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied 9/13/00

Mendoza and his codefendant, Valle, were charged with murder committed during the course of a robbery, in violation of Penal Code section 189. The defendants were also charged with the robbery, and a special circumstance that the murder was committed during the course of a robbery. The separate juries convicted on the murder and robbery, and found the special circumstances to be true. Neither jury's verdict specified the degree of murder, though they had been instructed only on first degree felony-murder. Penal Code section 1157 provides that where a defendant is convicted of a crime which…

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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: D036728
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/24/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 4/17/02.

Evidence of intent to commit larceny was sufficient to support a burglary conviction where appellant entered a home with the intent to take a shower, and then decided to cook some food because he was hungry. Even if appellant’s intent at the time of entry was only to shower (there was no evidence that the shower had been used), showering requires the consumption of property - shampoo, soap, and hot water. An item of property need only have some intrinsic value, however slight, to be a proper subject of larceny. Further, it was not error for…

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Name: People v. Avery
Case #: S092426
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/17/2002
Subsequent History: Rehg. denied 2/20/02.

The intent to permanently deprive another of property, which is required for a conviction for theft, is satisfied by the intent to deprive temporarily but for an unreasonable time so as to deprive the person of a major portion of its value or enjoyment. Therefore, where appellant was convicted in Texas of burglary with intent to commit theft, and the Texas theft statute required only an "intent to deprive," the prior conviction was a "strike" under California…

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Name: People v. Hill
Case #: S077706
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/27/2000
Subsequent History: None

The trial court erred in finding the evidence insufficient to support appellant's separate conviction for kidnaping as to a seven-month old baby where he was also convicted of the same offense against the baby's mother. The California Supreme Court held that the taking of the child need not be for an illegal purpose because the taking of the car, which was the main offense, was for an illegal purpose directed not only at the driver, but at any passenger. The court explicitly did not decide whether force or fear had to be shown because when appellant forced the…

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Name: People v. Miller
Case #: H017020
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/07/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 9/20/00

CALJIC 14.14, theft by false pretenses, was given here and neither defendant objected to it. The claim that an instruction correct in law and responsive to the evidence was too general or incomplete is waived on appeal unless an amplifying or clarifying instruction is so requested. Because no such instruction was sought here, the issues were waived. There was no error in the trial court's admitting evidence of uncharged incidents involving three other elderly men who had been victims of Miller and Harris' scam. Each approach followed a similar pattern, tended to show that appellants…

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Name: Schell v. Witek
Case #: 97-56197
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/11/2000
Subsequent History: None

Where Schell's fingerprint inside a screen-protected window was the only evidence connecting him to the burglary, the evidence was sufficient to support Schell's burglary conviction. Here it was reasonable for the jury to have inferred that Schell left his fingerprint there during the commission of the burglary. Moreover, the evidence in the record was irreconcilable with the assertion that Schell might have innocently touched the inside of the window on some previous occasion. Schell did not knowingly and intelligently waive his motion for the appointment of new counsel under People v. Marsden (1970) 2 Cal.3d 118…

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Name: People v. Jones
Case #: B133543
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/20/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 10/25/00

Although there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that appellant alternately used both a gun and a knife to commit the offense, imposition of a separate sentence for each was prohibited by Penal Code section 1170.1 Section 1170.1 permits the sentence to be enhanced by only the greater enhancement, which was the firearm use. Therefore, the enhancement for the use of a knife should have been stayed. It was not a defense to attempted robbery that the victims of a robbery of K-Mart were employees of the store, and therefore neither owned nor possessed the cash…

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Name: In re Phelps
Case #: E029320
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/30/2001
Subsequent History: None

A conviction for violation the Home Equity Sales Contract Act (Civ. Code, sec. 1695 et seq.), requires that the unfair tactic to acquire the residence be employed against a homeowner who is actually residing in home at the…

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Name: People v. Griffin
Case #: A090561
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/12/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 10/10/01

Appellant entered the victim's (Stephanie's) house in attempt to track down another person, Trey, in order to assault him. In a subsequent burglary prosecution, the jury was instructed under CALJIC 14.50 regarding burglary. On appeal, appellant argued that the trial court had a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury that he must have had the intent to assault Trey within Stephanie's apartment; otherwise the jury could have erroneously inferred the requisite intent element from appellant's alleged intent to find and assault Trey at a place and time separate and distinct from the victim's apartment. The appellate court disagreed. Penal…

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Name: People v. Garrett
Case #: H021589
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/23/2001
Subsequent History: Review denied 1/29/02.

Appellant challenged the sufficiency of evidence that four of his five prior "strikes" were for burglaries of a residence, because he admitted only that he entered a "house," not that any of the houses were currently used for dwelling purposes. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that appellant’s admission of why he entered the houses (in order to steal) provided sufficient evidence from which a rational trier of fact could make an inference of…

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