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Name: People v. Wyatt
Case #: S161545
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/10/2010

For purposes of child-abuse homicide (Pen. Code, sec. 273ab), the requisite mental state is satisfied if the defendant acts with an awareness of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize great bodily injury would directly, naturally, and probably result from his actions. The defendant need not be subjectively aware that his actions could cause great bodily injury. While appellant play wrestled with his 14-month-old son, he spun him around in the air, bounced him on the bed, performed actual wrestling moves, and accidentally fell on top of him. The child died as a result of…

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Name: People v. Bojorquez
Case #: G040702
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/30/2010

When a county animal shelter is the location of a community work program maintained by the sheriff for a program in lieu of county jail confinement, it qualifies as a detention center which supports a conviction for engaging in sexual activity with a confined person. (Pen. Code, sec. 289.6, subd. (a)(2).) Workers were in the custody of the Orange County Sheriff's Department while participating in a program which provided one day credit toward a jail sentence for a day's work. An animal shelter attendant was convicted for his activities with six female CWP workers. He challenged the convictions on the…

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Name: People v. Milward
Case #: C058326
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/22/2010
Subsequent History: rev. granted 7/14/10 (S182263)

Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1) (assault with a deadly weapon) is not included in Penal Code section 4500 (assault with a deadly weapon by a life prisoner) and a defendant can be convicted of both. Appellant was convicted of both Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1) and section 4500. The appellate court rejected his argument that because the elements of section 245, subdivision (a)(1) are included in section 4500 he could not be convicted of the lesser offense. (People v. Reed (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1224.) However, section 4500 merely providing for assault with a deadly weapon or…

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Name: People v. Trujillo
Case #: E045598
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/09/2010

If a defendant has the requisite mental state for assault, it is not necessary that he have actual knowledge of each specific victim of the assault to sustain a conviction for assault against victims of whom he had no actual knowledge. One evening, appellant and his two friends, Valdez and Ruano, were at appellant's house drinking beer and tequila. Valdez told the other two that he wanted to confront his girlfriend's former boyfriend A. because A. had tried to pick a fight with him. The three agreed to confront and fight A. and drove to A.'s house. Appellant was in…

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Name: People v. Leon
Case #: B211679
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/29/2010

A single gunshot fired into a vehicle with three occupants is insufficient to establish intent to kill all the occupants under a "kill zone" theory. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder, as well as accompanying firearm and gang enhancements, and sentenced to consecutive terms totaling 145 years to life. Evidence presented at trial depicted appellant as a gang member, with the victims being members of a rival gang. While traveling in a vehicle in his gang's territory, appellant came upon a vehicle occupied by the victims and fired a single shot…

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Name: People v. Fierro
Case #: B209030
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/11/2010

The sustained, reasonable fear element of Penal Code section 422 (criminal threats) means a period of time that extends beyond what is momentary, fleeting, or transitory, and can be as short as one minute. Appellant was convicted of criminal threats. According to the evidence presented at trial, appellant and the victims, an adult man and his 14-year-old son, arrived at a gas station at the same time. The victim believed that appellant was blocking his access to a pump and asked him to move. The situation soon deteriorated with profanities uttered and the victim extending his middle finger toward appellant.…

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Name: People v. Dominguez
Case #: B212967
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 01/11/2010

For the purpose of false imprisonment, the amount of force required to violate the personal liberty of an unresisting infant or child is the amount required to take the child a substantial distance for an illegal purpose or with an illegal intent. At trial, the jury heard evidence that four-year-old L. and her cousin, six-year-old J., who lived in the same apartment building, told their mothers that they were going to play with a friend who lived in another apartment in the complex. As they reached the friend's apartment, they encountered appellant who hugged them, asked where their mom was,…

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Name: People v. Lowery
Case #: E047614
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/21/2009
Subsequent History: rev. granted 3/30/10 (S179422)

Penal Code section 140, subdivision (a) is not overbroad nor does it regulate speech protected by the First Amendment. A jury convicted appellant of threatening a witness or victim who assisted law enforcement in a criminal prosecution. (Pen. Code, § 140, subd. (a).) The charges were based on taped phone calls between appellant and his wife in which appellant threatened to kill an elderly man when they were being prosecuted for stealing from him. On appeal, appellant claimed the statute is overbroad and violates the First Amendment because it lacks two elements that other criminal-threat statutes…

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Name: People v. Concha
Case #: S163811
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/12/2009

Under the provocative act murder doctrine, when defendant personally acts willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation in the attempted murder of the victim who then kills defendant's accomplice, and the attempted murder is a proximate cause of the death, defendant is liable for first degree murder of his accomplice. Appellants and their accomplice threatened to kill victim Harris during an attempted robbery. Harris fled but was chased by the men and, realizing that his life was in danger, Harris pulled a pocket knife, turned on them, and stabbed the accomplice, Sanchez, to death. Appellants were convicted of attempted first degree murder…

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Name: People v. Bell
Case #: G041051
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/19/2009

Conviction reversed where kidnap instructions did not tell jury to consider whether movement of victim was substantial or merely incidental to the intended crime. During Bell's trial for kidnaping and other offenses, the court gave the jury CALCRIM No. 1215, the standard instruction for simple kidnapping, but denied Bell's request to include a bracketed portion of the instruction which would have prohibited the jury from convicting if the movement of the victim was merely incidental to his reckless flight from the police. On appeal, Bell argued that the court erred by failing to include the bracketed portion of the instruction.…

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