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Name: People v. Jo
Case #: C079280
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/03/2017

Trial court erred by instructing the jury, over defense objection, with an inconsistent affirmative defense to child custody deprivation. A jury convicted defendant of child custody deprivation (Pen. Code, § 278.5, subd. (a)). The case arose when defendant, a South Korean citizen, took her minor daughter from Sacramento to Korea and, for years, blocked contact between the father in Sacramento and the daughter. Defendant appealed, raising a number of instructional and other issues. Held: Affirmed. A trial court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on lesser included offenses even over defense objection. But the duty to instruct on a…

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Name: People v. Alvarez
Case #: C076235
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/22/2016

Once police officer's transportation of an arrested person is no longer for legitimate law enforcement objectives, it may transmute into a kidnapping. Alvarez, while on patrol in his official capacity as a West Sacramento police officer, induced five women to provide him sexual favors to avoid being taken to jail. He was convicted of multiple counts of aggravated kidnapping, and oral copulation/rape under threat of authority and by duress. Multiple sentencing enhancements, including kidnapping in the commission of the offenses, were sustained. On appeal, Alvarez raised numerous claims. With respect to the kidnapping counts and enhancements, Alvarez claimed that some…

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Name: People v. Lucero
Case #: D069229
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/18/2016

Trial court properly instructed jury not to consider evidence of defendant's voluntary intoxication in determining the truth of gun use allegations. A jury found Lucero guilty of multiple offenses and found true two gun use allegations (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subds. (c), (d)). On appeal he argued the trial court erred in instructing the jury not to consider evidence of his voluntary intoxication in deciding the gun use enhancements. Held: Affirmed. Section 12022.53, subdivision (c) provides a sentence enhancement for any person who "personally and intentionally discharges a firearm" during specified felonies; subdivision (d) provides an enhancement for any person…

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Name: People v. James
Case #: A139463
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/14/2015

Reversal was required where court refused instruction on unconsciousness as a defense and there was ample evidence that defendant suffered a psychotic episode and was unaware of his actions. James was charged with aggravated mayhem and assault for an attack on a victim. The evidence included testimony that appellant was incoherent, acting very bizarre, and unable to comply with police orders at the time of his arrest. A defense expert testified that James suffered a severe psychotic episode at the time of the incident and that he did not have an awareness of what took place. Although James was a…

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Name: People v. Anderson
Case #: D063648
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/13/2015

A claim-of-right defense does not extend to a defendant who acts forcibly to recover property as an agent of the property's rightful owner. A jury convicted Anderson of residential burglary, robbery, and other offenses based on evidence he forcibly retrieved his cousin's electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card from a third person. On appeal he claimed the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on the defense of claim of right. Held: Affirmed. The claim-of-right defense negates the felonious intent required for robbery when the defendant had a good faith belief he had a claim of right to the…

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Name: People v. London
Case #: E057249
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/30/2014

Although the jury instructions misstated the defense under the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA) related to medical marijuana collectives, defendant was not entitled to instructions on this defense. Police discovered 100 marijuana plants in a grow room in London's home. London, who was a qualified patient and had a medical marijuana card, told officers that he was lawfully cultivating the marijuana for a medical marijuana collective, the Green Galleon collective, and expected to be paid $20,000 once he returned the fully grown plants to the collective. London was found guilty of cultivating marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale (Health…

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Name: People v. Guillen
Case #: G046163
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/07/2014

Inmates who participated in beating death of inmate they believed was a child molester may not overturn convictions based on outrageous government misconduct even where there is evidence correctional guards condoned beating. Chamberlain was arrested for possession of child pornography and housed at Theo Lacy Jail (TLJ) pending trial. The inmates at TLJ were organized into race-based groups called CARs (classification according to race), who engaged in "taxing," a physical form of punishment or discipline, with inmates of a given race generally "taxing" members of the same race. However, child molesters were especially despised and all inmates, regardless of race,…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: B236898
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/13/2014

A defendant who flees the jurisdiction of a court for the purpose of avoiding prosecution waives the right to a speedy trial. In 1976, a complaint alleging murder was filed against appellant and a warrant for his arrest issued. After October 1976, the police made no efforts to find appellant until 2009 when they received a tip from the FBI that appellant was in Texas. He was located and arrested and returned to California. Following two mistrials, he was convicted of first degree murder in 2011 at his third trial. On appeal, appellant contended that the 33-year delay between the…

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Name: People v. Rodarte
Case #: B239963
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/13/2014

The doctrine of imperfect self-defense does not apply to the offense of shooting from a motor vehicle (Pen. Code, § 26100, subd. (c)). At different times, appellant and the victim were both involved with Manzo, who had a child by each man. On December 23, 2008, appellant shot the victim from his car, seriously injuring him. At trial, appellant claimed that he was afraid the victim had a weapon and was going to harm him. Appellant was convicted of attempted murder and shooting from a motor vehicle (former Pen. Code, § 12034, subd. (c), now Pen. Code, § 26100, subd.…

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Name: People v. Carboni
Case #: C066518
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/03/2014
Subsequent History: Revw. den. & ordered unpubl.; AB 2603 eff. 1/1/2015 passed in response

The "prescription defense" is available only for the person for whom the prescription is written. Following a traffic stop, appellant was found in possession of 207 pills in a prescription bottle with a scratched-off label. Appellant did not have a prescription for the pills which were morphine, hydrocodone, and valium. He was charged and convicted of violating former Health and Safety Code sections 11350 (possession of a controlled substance); 11352 (transportation of a controlled substance); and 11377, subdivision (a) (possession of methamphetamine). At trial, the defense presented evidence that appellant had been assisting an ill friend to move. When the…

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