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Name: People v. Reyes
Case #: A152557
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/17/2019

The trial court abused its discretion by excluding as unreliable a codefendant's confession that the firearm in question belonged to him, requiring reversal of defendant's conviction. Defendant was a passenger in his cousin Navarro's car when a police officer pulled them over. A search revealed a Glock with an extended magazine inside a backpack at defendant's feet. Before any charges were filed, Navarro told police the Glock was his. Defendant and Navarro were charged with receiving a large-capacity magazine, and defendant was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. In a joint trial, Navarro…

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Name: People v. Ramirez
Case #: B289077
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 04/26/2019

A statement in a hospital record attributed to the victim was not admissible as a dying declaration where there was no evidence the victim believed he was in danger of dying at the time he made the statement. Ramirez was convicted of felony hit-and-run causing death or injury. At his trial, a witness testified that she saw Ramirez's vehicle hit the victim, who was lifted in the air and landed on his back on the asphalt. The victim injured the back of his head and could not remember what happened. Ramirez testified and gave a different account, stating that…

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Name: People v. Anthony
Case #: A139352
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/08/2019

Trial court erred under Miranda by admitting defendant's statements to police that were elicited after police assured him they would not ask questions about a particular crime but did so anyway. Anthony, accompanied by fellow gang members, committed a gang-related killing of a man walking on a Berkeley street. When pursued by police, Anthony led them on a high speed chase that ended in two collisions, killing a driver in another vehicle, as well as a pedestrian. While in custody in Berkeley, Anthony invoked his right to counsel but then, for unknown reasons, initiated contact with Oakland police, who wanted…

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Name: People v. Wilson
Case #: A150500
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/27/2019

Trial court abused its discretion in admitting the testimony of a prosecution expert regarding studies that show only a very small percentage of allegations of child sexual abuse are false. Wilson was convicted of multiple sexual abuse charges involving a minor. At trial, a prosecution expert witness testified about CSAAS and research on false allegations of child sexual abuse, stating that, although the research was limited, false allegations occur "very infrequently or rarely," most often during child custody disputes. He referred to a "classic" Canadian study that found allegations were later determined to be false in about 4% of cases.…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: D071011
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/05/2019

Trial court's failure to instruct the jury on second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter was not error because the evidence did not support these instructions. Johnson and Guthrie committed a "hit" on Canady in a barber shop, allegedly ordered by a drug kingpin named Grant. Johnson was convicted of first degree murder and a personal gun use enhancement was found true. Guthrie was also convicted of first degree murder and a serious felony prior was found true. A strike prior was found true as to each defendant. On appeal, Johnson challenged the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on…

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Name: People v. Hull
Case #: C079134
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/31/2019

Prosecution was not required to grant use immunity to prosecution witness who invoked his right against self-incrimination at trial instead of introducing the witness's preliminary hearing testimony under Evidence Code section 1291. Hull was charged with assaulting Chatman and two other men. Chatman testified at the preliminary hearing but invoked his right against self-incrimination at trial and did not testify. Over Hull's objection, the prosecution's motion to introduce Chatman's preliminary hearing testimony under section 1291 was granted. Hull was convicted of one of three counts and appealed. Held: Affirmed. Section 1291 and the confrontation clause allow the introduction of prior…

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Name: People v. Phea
Case #: C080488
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/28/2018

Trial court did not err by instructing the jury with CALCRIM No. 1191 regarding defendant's prior uncharged sex offenses. Phea was charged with 31 child molestation offenses against three minors and two offenses for furnishing controlled substances to a minor. Two additional witnesses testified about uncharged conduct that occurred many years before when they were under 16 years old. The court instructed the jury that it could consider the uncharged conduct if the prosecution had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Phea committed those uncharged sexual offenses and, based on that conduct, Phea was likely to commit the…

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Name: People v. Gutierrez
Case #: E068135
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/10/2018

Trial court did not err by allowing the prosecution to impeach defendant with evidence of the conduct underlying his prior felony conviction because it substantially augmented the showing of dishonesty. Gutierrez was charged with attempted carjacking. The trial court denied his motion to preclude the introduction of, or to sanitize, his two prior felony convictions (a 2008 robbery and a 2011 felony evading) for impeachment. In connection with the felony evading conviction, Gutierrez was also convicted of misdemeanor auto theft and receiving a stolen vehicle. The trial court's ruling permitted the prosecution to also ask "isn't it true…

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Name: People v. Megown
Case #: D072019
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/24/2018

Trial court did not err in instructing jurors they could consider defendant's prior acts of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend as to crimes charged against the ex-girlfriend's mother. Megown and Michelle were in a dating relationship for 16 years and had a child together. In July 2015, Megown became enraged after Michelle spent the day at Comic Con. He physically abused her, threatened to kill her, and put a gun to her head. She eventually called her mother, Maria, who came and tried to help. When Maria confronted Megown, he threatened to kill both women and pointed a gun at…

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Name: People v. Randolph
Case #: F075085
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/23/2018

Trial court abused its discretion in dismissing a DUI case where it incorrectly determined a police officer's opinion based on horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) testing was inadmissible unless linked to qualified expert testimony. Two officers observed Randolph weaving within his lane and pulled him over. The officers observed Randolph's red, watery eyes, slurred speech, and clumsy movement. During field sobriety tests, Randolph displayed six of the six scientifically validated clues of impairment. He refused chemical testing. At his trial for misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol (Veh. Code, § 23152, subd. (a)), the trial court dismissed the case pursuant…

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