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Name: People v. Anderson
Case #: B197737
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/26/2012

Hearsay statements were not admissible to establish state-of-mind, as part of adoptive admissions, or to impeach adoptive admissions and the evidence was properly excluded under Evidence Code section 352. A jury convicted appellant of continuous sexual abuse of a child (Pen. Code, § 288.5) and three counts of lewd acts with a child under age 14 (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)). Appellant, a medical doctor, molested the daughter of a colleague who worked for the same laboratory for several years. Appellant asserted the trial court erred in excluding evidence of a letter he wrote to a police chief after…

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Name: People v. Gonzalez
Case #: S189856
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/05/2012

Where defendant escalated a fight by handing her accomplice a loaded gun, sufficient evidence supports her conviction for first degree murder under the provocative act doctrine. When she saw that her boyfriend was losing a fight with the man they had planned to assault, appellant handed him a loaded rifle that she brought to the fight. The intended victim disarmed appellant's boyfriend and shot and killed him. Appellant contended that her conviction of first degree murder of her boyfriend was not supported by sufficient evidence. Affirmed. The evidence supported the conclusion that defendant committed a provocative act that proximately caused…

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Name: People v. Lyu
Case #: B232192
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/28/2012

Sex offenses involving an unconscious person require more than the person being unaware of the attack until it occurs. The court reversed convictions for violations of Penal Code section 289, subdivision (d) (sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious person), and section 288, subdivision (f) (oral copulation of an unconscious person). While the victim was lying face down during a massage, Lyu placed his fingers in her vagina. She pushed his hand away and rolled over on her back. While she was considering what to do to get away, he put his mouth on her vagina. However, these…

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Name: People v. Haraszewski
Case #: D056954
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/30/2012

The instruction for a violation of Penal Code section 311.4, subdivision (c) does not require that the defendant directed the minors as a element of the offense involving the use of minors to engage in posing or modeling for the purpose of preparing any image involving sexual conduct by a minor. The defense objected to the instruction that "[t]here is no requirement that [Haraszewski] direct the child to pose or model." That is a correct statement of the law. The statute prohibits knowingly promoting, employing, using, persuading, inducing, or coercing a minor to pose or model, but it does not…

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Name: People v. Cravens
Case #: S186661
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/30/2012

A defendant's behavior before, during, and after a deadly assault may provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the mental component of implied malice for second degree murder. Appellant was convicted by jury of second degree murder. After a confrontation between the victim and appellant and his friends in a bar, the victim went home. Appellant and his friends followed him there and engaged him in a fight. At the end of the fight victim was unsteady and could not walk straight. Appellant then "sucker punched" victim who fell to the ground and died five days later of blunt-force head injuries. The…

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Name: People v. Clark
Case #: C064590
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/29/2011

Felony child abuse does not require force likely to produce great bodily injury Appellant argued with his wife and 14-year-old son, pushing the boy to the ground and slapping him. Felony child abuse (Pen. Code, sec. 273a, subd. (a)) proscribes four branches of conduct. Here, the prosecutor proceeded on the third branch, asserting that appellant willfully caused injury to his son under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily injury. Relying on cases involving assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, that focus on the force used, appellant contended that there was insufficient evidence to support…

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: C065058
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/30/2011

Defendant's act of luring victim to secluded location of robbery reflects indifference to the victim’s life and supports the robbery-murder special circumstance. Lopez and Brousseau were convicted of special circumstance murder and sentenced to life without parole. Brousseau had lured the victim into an alley with the promise of committing an act of prostitution. Lopez approached the car in which Brousseau sat with the victim and attempted an armed robbery; he ended up shooting and killing the victim. Brousseau asserted insufficient evidence of the robbery-murder special circumstance because she did not act with reckless indifference to human life. However, there…

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Name: People v. Ramos
Case #: B221016
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/28/2011

CALCRIM No. 600 adequately state the mens rea for attempted murder and an explanation regarding express malice is not needed. Appellant was convicted of attempted murder based on firing seven shots at guests leaving a party. He argued on appeal that CALCRIM No. 600 inadequately defines the target crime of murder because, unlike CALJIC No. 8.66, there is no mention of malice aforethought. The court held the instruction is not deficient. CALCRIM No. 600 correctly instructs that attempted murder requires "the defendant intended to kill [a] person." "Intent to unlawfully kill and express malice are, in…

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Name: People v. Smith
Case #: C061805
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/22/2010
Subsequent History: opinion on rehearing

One act of sexual intercourse with a victim can support only one rape conviction. Appellant and another man escorted a drunk woman to a hotel room after she became so drunk that she vomited at a bar and could not stand without assistance. The men left the woman in the room, but surveillance cameras showed appellant returning later and not leaving until the next morning. The woman alleged she was rape, while appellant claimed she initiated sexual relations. A jury convicted appellant of rape of an intoxicated woman, rape of an unconscious woman, and sexual battery. Appellant argued…

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Name: People v. Cornett
Case #: A123957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/06/2010
Subsequent History: rev. granted 3/23/11 (S189733)

The crime of molestation of a child "10 years of age or younger" (Pen. Code, sec. 288.7, subd. (b)) requires that the victim not have passed her tenth birthday. Appellant was convicted of molesting his step-daughter who was 10 years and 11 months old at the time of the molestation. In this case of first impression, the appellate court considered the interpretation of statutory language which refers to a victim of a certain age or younger. In this case, the statute at issue was Penal Code section 288.7, subdivision (b), but the court noted there are 10 Penal Code provisions…

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