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Name: People v. Wilkins
Case #: S190713
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/07/2013

In cases involving a single perpetrator, when the perpetrator leaves the scene of a felony and reaches a place of temporary safety before a killing occurs, the killing and the felony are not part of one continuous transaction for purposes of the felony-murder rule. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder under the felony-murder theory that the killing occurred in the commission of a burglary. Evidence presented at trial connected appellant to the Riverside County burglary of a house under construction, where newly purchased major appliances were stolen. Some sixty miles away from the house, and some time after the…

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Name: People v. Hodges
Case #: A131542
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/31/2013

Case reversed where trial court refused to give requested pinpoint instruction and misled jury regarding elements of robbery. Security officers observed Hodges stealing items from a Safeway store. After Hodges left the store and was sitting in his car, officers approached him and asked him to come back into the store. Hodges pushed the stolen items at the officers, hitting one, Anderson, in the chest with them. Anderson then reached for Hodges' keys, which were in the ignition. Hodges put the car in reverse and backed up, dragging Anderson. Anderson was struck by the door and landed on the ground.…

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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. Colvin
Case #: B227958
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/23/2012

The Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA), provides a defense to charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis when they are carried by a qualified patient operating a legitimate dispensary. The defendant was one of 14 grower members of a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary group with 5,000 members which was in the process of complying with the Medical Marijuana Collective Ordinance in Los Angeles. He grew marijuana and dropped it off at the dispensary for other members to purchase. He was carrying just over a pound of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, and cocaine and was arrested a block…

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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. Morrison
Case #: B225879
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/14/2011

A defendant's testimony on a collateral matter may be the subject of impeachment by a rebuttal witness. The defendant testified that during the time of an attempted robbery he was driving his boss' van, that he worked at a particular address as an auto mechanic, and that he had driven it as his work van for four months. It was not error for the court to allow the prosecution to call the disabled owner of the van to testify that he did not operate any business, he had owned the van for only two months, and he gave the defendant…

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Name: People v. Mace
Case #: F060054
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/19/2011

The obligations of a driver under Vehicle Code sections 20001 and 20003 extend to the owner of the vehicle who is riding in the vehicle with full authority to direct and control the operation of the vehicle and the onus is on him to check on the welfare of others to determine if anyone is injured and if assistance is necessary. Mace's sister was discovered with a dislocated hip and hypothermia in the passenger side of his truck which had sheared off a power pole. He was found sleeping at his niece's home near the accident scene and in possession…

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Name: People v. Ferguson
Case #: G043190
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/28/2011

(1) A defendant is not entitled to an instruction on unconsciousness unless supported by evidence that he was not conscious of acting; (2) evidence from a vehicle's data recorder is admissible if obtained in response to a court order; (3) a court need not consider sentencing a defendant under the provisions of Penal Code section 1170.9 (alternative treatment for a United States military person with problems resulting from service in combat thereafter) unless it places him on probation.
Appellant, a Marine Corps Lance Corporal, was stationed at Camp Pendleton following a tour of duty in Iraq. Although he…

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Name: Garber v. Superior Court
Case #: B212766
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/13/2010

In the context of Penal Code sections 12025 (carrying concealed firearm in a vehicle) and 12031 (carrying loaded firearm in public place), a vehicle that is used as a "place of residence" is not considered a residence when in transit, and therefore, does not fall within the exemption of Penal Code section 12026, permitting a firearm in a residence. Sorensen, an off-duty firefighter drove to a park to play softball with his friends. While waiting for his friends, he entertained himself by "driving around, playing in the dirt" in the parking lot. Witnesses said he drove at about 50 miles…

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Name: People v. Branch
Case #: C060225
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/06/2010

It is not a defense to attempted pimping of a minor under the age of 16 (Pen. Code, secs. 664/266h, subd. (b)(2)) or pandering of a minor under the age of 16 (Pen. Code, sec. 266i, subd. (b)(2))that the defendant had a good faith belief that the minor was 18. The trial court refused an instruction on good faith, reasonable belief that the minor, who was 15 years old, was 18 years of age. Instead, the jury was instructed that in order to convict, it must find that she was under the age of 16 at the time of the…

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