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Name: People v. Raviart
Case #: C034739
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/26/2001
Subsequent History: Rev, denied 1/29/02.

Although the defendant pointed his gun only at officer Keller, one of two pursuing officers, he was properly convicted of assault with a firearm as to both officers chasing him. It is not necessary to actually point the gun directly at another person to commit an assault. It was enough that defendant brought the gun into a position where he could have used it against the second officer (Wagstaff) if the officers had not shot defendant first. Based on the evidence presented, the jury could have found that the defendant drew a loaded gun with the intent…

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Name: People v. Stanistreet
Case #: B143501
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/30/2001
Subsequent History: Appellant’s Rev. denied. Respondent’s Rev. GRANTED. 1/23/02. Depublished.

Penal Code section 148.5 prohibits reporting a crime to a peace officer with knowledge the report is false. However, a citizen’s complaint of misconduct by a peace officer (which may also be a crime) made to the police chief or other governmental workers, is not a report of a criminal offense under the…

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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: Ho21773
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/30/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 1/23/02. Depublished.

Penal Code section 653f, subdivision (c) prohibits the solicitation of another to commit various sex crimes, including oral copulation with a 14-year-old by a person 10 years or more older. However, the solicitee must be asked to violate one of the specified crimes. Thus, defendant did not violate section 653f, subdivision (c), where he offered a 14-year-old girl money for oral sex. She could not commit the crime because a minor victim of a lewd act is not criminally…

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Name: People v. Catlin
Case #: S016718
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/16/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. on 9/26/01; rehg. den. on 9/26/01

Appellant was not denied due process of law because there was a nine-year delay between the murder of his fourth wife and the prosecution. The delay was justified because there was insufficient evidence that appellant had poisoned his wife with paraquat until the similar poisoning of his mother occurred. Further, the justification for the delay far outweighed the weak showing of prejudice caused to appellant. Counsel was not ineffective for failing to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search. Since the search in question was consensual, the motion would have been meritless. Counsel was not ineffective for failing…

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Name: People v. Reeves
Case #: A078462
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/30/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. without chg in jmt and rehg. den. on 8/28/01

Appellant was convicted of several burglaries and sex offenses committed against multiple victims during a nine-month period. Evidence admitted to prove two of the sex offenses included forensic DNA evidence identifying appellant as the perpetrator. On appeal, appellant argued that the DNA evidence should have been excluded under People v. Kelly (1976) 17 Cal.3d 24, because the formula used by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to calculate the statistical significance of DNA matches is not generally accepted in the scientific community because it fails to consider laboratory error rates; that the DOJ's polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis is not…

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Name: German v. Superior Court
Case #: B148154
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 07/30/2001
Subsequent History: None

Petitioner's original conviction for conspiracy to commit second degree murder was reversed on appeal. Following the reversal and prior to retrial, the California Supreme Court decided People v. Cortez (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1223, which effectively abrogated the crime of conspiracy to commit second degree murder, and held that all conspiracies to commit murder must necessarily be first degree. The prosecution sought to prosecute petitioner for conspiracy to commit first degree murder, and petitioner sought a writ of prohibition directing the trial court to dismiss that count. The appellate court here granted the writ. In returning a verdict for the lesser…

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Name: People v. Bolter
Case #: A092605
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/28/2001
Subsequent History: None

The trial court erred when it dismissed a special circumstance pursuant to Penal Code section 190.2, subdivision (a)(10), which alleged that the victim, who was a witness to a crime, was killed in retaliation for testifying. The victim was an inmate who was stabbed to death. He had testified for the prosecution, but did not claim to be a witness to the murder, and denied any involvement or knowledge. The prosecutor argued that although the testimony was "innocuous" the witness-killing special circumstance applied because the victim had testified at the trial. The magistrate dismissed the special…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: H018134
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/15/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 9/26/01

Appellant was convicted of a violation of Penal Code section 262, subdivision (b), spousal rape, for an act which was not reported by the victim until 15 months after it occurred. That statute requires that no prosecution shall be commenced unless the report occurs within one year of the offense unless independent evidence corroborates the victim's allegation. Here, the corroborating evidence consisted of a subsequent assault within the statute of limitations, and a restraining order obtained by the victim as well as evidence of subsequent violations of the restraining order. Appellant's statements to police admitting the act…

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Name: People v. Quintana
Case #: A090166
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/19/2001
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was convicted of a violation of Penal Code section 289, subdivision (j), foreign object penetration of a minor under 14. On appeal, he argued that there was no substantial evidence of vaginal penetration. The appellate court affirmed. The statute requires penetration of the "genital opening." Penetration of the vagina was not required; the labia are a part of the female genitalia and were thus an "opening" through which appellant's finger…

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Name: People v. Cochran
Case #: D034916
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/17/2001
Subsequent History: Modified on denial of Reh. 6/14/01. Rev. granted 9/19/01. Opinion 7/11/02 at 28 Cal. 4th 396.

The court found sufficient evidence of duress to support convictions for aggravated sexual assault of a child (Pen. Code § 269) and forcible lewd acts on a child (Pen. Code, § 288, subd.(b)). A review of the record and the videotape of the molestations indicated that the victim was nine years old, the perpetrator was her father, and she engaged in the conduct only because directed to do so by her father. The court found the record showed a small, vulnerable and isolated child who engaged in sex acts only in response to her father's parental and physical…

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