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Name: People v. Kumar
Case #: A150107
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/30/2019

Trial court's failure to define "criminal negligence" in jury instructions was harmless error where the instructions and arguments of counsel correctly informed the jury of the elements of the crime. Defendant Kumar raced a codefendant down a parkway, hitting the victim's car and causing a fatal car accident. Defendant was convicted of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (c)(1)) and sentenced to two years in prison. During trial, the jury was instructed on both the felony offense and the lesser included misdemeanor offense of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence. On appeal, Kumar argued the…

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Name: People v. Flores
Case #: A135252
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 05/13/2013

Conviction for violating Penal Code section 399, subdivision (b) upheld where defendant failed to use ordinary care in securing his aggressive dog, who got loose and inflicted injury. Flores was convicted of violating Penal Code section 399, subdivision (b) (failure to exercise ordinary care of "mischievous" animal who inflicts serious bodily injury) after his dog bit and injured an elderly man. On appeal he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that he acted without ordinary care or that his dog inflicted serious bodily injury. Held: Affirmed. Section 399 requires knowledge of the animal's propensities, which puts its owner on notice…

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Name: People v. Mehserle
Case #: A130654
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/08/2012

There was sufficient evidence to support a police officer's conviction for involuntary manslaughter because he drew and fired his handgun instead of his taser. The defendant, a BART officer, killed Oscar Grant when he pulled out his handgun instead of his taser. On appeal, he contended that there was insufficient evidence of the requisite criminal negligence to sustain his conviction for involuntary manslaughter. The court found that there was sufficient evidence that his conduct of mistakenly drawing and firing his handgun instead of his taser constituted criminal negligence under the second prong of involuntary manslaughter. He committed…

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Name: People v. Latham
Case #: D058385
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/07/2012

There was sufficient evidence of second degree murder, under the implied malice theory, for parents who had received education about the treatment of their daughter's diabetic condition and failed to seek treatment over several days when she was in pain, grew too weak to move, and finally went into cardiac arrest. There was no dispute that the parents' failure to take their daughter to the doctor before she lapsed into a coma and cardiac arrest was a life-endangering act. The only issue was whether there was sufficient evidence to support the requisite mental state for implied malice murder. The father,…

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Name: People v. Thiessen
Case #: C065896
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/25/2012

Within the meaning of Penal Code section 12022.53, subdivision (b), a defendant "uses" a firearm when his use emboldens another to shoot, regardless whether the victim observes defendant's weapon. Appellant was convicted at jury trial of attempted murder and shooting from a vehicle and as to each count the jury found true a personal use of a firearm enhancement. (Pen. Code, sec. 12022.53, subd. (b).) According to the evidence, appellant's co-defendant fired two shots from a vehicle at the victim. Appellant pointed his shotgun at the victim from the same window and pulled the trigger but the shotgun did…

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Name: People v. Brady
Case #: A102620
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/02/2005
Subsequent History: rehng. den. 7/5/05; rvw. den. 9/7/05

Intervening acts by the victim that may have contributed to his death did not absolve the defendant of responsibility for that death where the events were foreseeable. The defendant was convicted of recklessly starting a fire that caused the deaths of two CDF pilots whose planes collided as they were fighting a fire started at defendant's methamphetamine lab. On appeal, the defendant argued that the jury instructions and the exclusion of evidence regarding one pilot's possible culpability in the accident prevented the jury from properly determining whether defendant's acts proximately caused the deaths of the pilots. The…

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Name: People v. Burnett
Case #: H023393
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/22/2003
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 8/19/03

"Incensed that the driver behind him tapped his car with her bumper, defendant [Burnett], snatched her little white dog Leo out of her car and threw him onto a crowded roadway where he was run over by a minivan and killed." The evidence that Leo suffered before he died was sufficient to support a conviction for animal cruelty. It was reasonably foreseeable that the dog would be killed by a passing vehicle on a heavily traveled roadway on a rainy night. There was no support in the record for defendant's claim that he did not testify due…

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