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Name: People v. Manzo (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 538
Case #: E079991
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/17/2023

Trial court erred by dismissing felony charges against defendant where he failed to show that the five-year delay in prosecuting the case, which led to the loss of dashcam footage evidence, prejudiced him. In February 2017, the Riverside County District Attorney filed a complaint charging Manzo with three felony offenses based on evidence that was discovered during a traffic stop. Five years later, he was arrested and arraigned on the charges after completing his sentence in a different case. He moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that the delay in prosecuting him violated his due process rights. He…

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Name: Chavez Zepeda v. Superior Court (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 65
Case #: A166159
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/13/2023

The phrase “circumstances in aggravation” in Penal Code section 1170(b)(2) refers to the factors listed in California Rules of Court, rule 4.421, and the Legislature has not violated the separation of powers by referring to this rule. Zepeda was charged with felony offenses and his preliminary hearing occurred before Senate Bill No. 567 amended section 1170(b)(2) to provide that the trial court cannot impose a sentence exceeding the middle term unless it finds that a longer sentence is justified by “circumstances in aggravation of the crime” and “the facts underlying those circumstances” have been stipulated to by the defendant or…

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Name: People v. Hunter
Case #: G051942
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/11/2017

Defendant is not entitled to obtain a codefendant's discovery unless it is required to assure a fair trial. Hunter, Paschall, Brown, Avery, and three others committed a jewelry store robbery during which the shopkeeper and a store employee shot and killed Brown and Avery. Hunter and Paschall were convicted of the first degree murder of Brown under the provocative act doctrine. On appeal, defendants challenged the trial court's upholding of a codefendant attorney's claim of work-product privilege of an interview he had with one of the shopkeepers, which may have showed that Brown was solely responsible for his own death.…

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Name: People v. Pennington
Case #: S222227
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/17/2017

A harbor patrol officer is a peace officer only if his or her primary duty is law enforcement in either of two circumstances: (1) when acting on or about the property or (2) when performing necessary duties anywhere in the state. Pennington kicked a harbor patrol officer in the chest after the officer confronted him for trespassing at a marina. He was charged with battery of a peace officer (Pen. Code, §§ 242, 243, subd. (b)), among other related charges. At the request of the prosecution prior to trial, the court ruled that harbor patrol officers are peace officers as…

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Name: People v. Gibson
Case #: B259909
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/26/2015

Trial court's failure to retain exhibits used to prove defendant's strike prior was error, but harmless given nature of conviction. At Gibson's trial for attempted robbery with an alleged strike prior, the trial court admitted a certified prison packet (Pen. Code, § 969b) "by reference" only, and did not retain the exhibit in the court's records. The prior was found true. On appeal, Gibson claimed the evidence was insufficient to prove the strike prior because the trial court failed to retain the exhibit. Held: Affirmed. Gibson was charged as having a 2011 assault (former Pen. Code, § 245, subd.…

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Name: People v. Arriaga
Case #: S199339
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/07/2014

Defendant is not required to obtain a certificate of probable cause (CPC) before appealing a trial court's denial of a Penal Code section 1016.5 motion to vacate a plea. Arriaga pled guilty to possessing a sawed-off shotgun in 1986. Years later federal authorities sought Arriaga's deportation based on this conviction. He filed a motion to vacate the plea based on the court's failure to give the advisements regarding the immigration consequences required by section 1016.5. The trial court denied the motion, finding by a preponderance of the evidence that Arriaga was properly advised. He appealed without seeking a CPC. The…

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Name: Griffin v. Harrington
Case #: 12-57162
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/16/2013

Trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to timely object to the unsworn testimony of the only witness who identified defendant as the shooter in a murder case. Griffin was convicted by jury of the first degree murder of a rival gang member. Prior to the trial, a federal prisoner, Wilberger, identified Griffin as the shooter. He was the only witness who made that identification. He later changed his story. Griffin's attorney was aware of Wilberger's repudiation prior to trial and knew that the jury would most likely hear a recording of Wilberger's original statement. At trial, Wilberger refused…

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Name: People v. Davis
Case #: E056019
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/28/2013

Where testimony of an in-custody informant is introduced at trial, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct that the testimony must be corroborated and prejudice resulting from failure to do so is assessed under the Watson standard. Appellant was convicted of the first degree murder of his mother. At trial, appellant's fellow inmate testified that appellant told him that he killed his mother after enduring years of verbal abuse from her. The court did not instruct the jury that the inmate's testimony must be corroborated by other evidence that connects defendant with the commission of the…

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Name: Breceda et al. v. Superior Court
Case #: B244574
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/25/2013

Exculpatory documents that are available in the district attorney's office must be provided to a grand jury under Penal Code section 939.71 even if the district attorney handling the case has no personal knowledge of the documents. The prosecution obtained a grand jury indictment of petitioners, officials of Irwindale, for embezzlement of city funds. Petitioners had participated in lavish junkets to New York City, which were ultimately paid for by the city. In argument to the grand jury, the prosecution focused on evidence that the petitioners claimed and received a $75 daily allotment for travel expenses they did…

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Name: People v. Arancibia
Case #: B240341
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/27/2013
Subsequent History: Review denied and ordered not published

If a recording in a foreign language is used in a trial, the English translation, not the recording, controls and is the evidence of what was said. At appellant's trial for several counts of child molestation, the prosecution introduced the taped recordings of appellant's interrogations. Appellant was questioned in Spanish and responded in Spanish. Before the tape was played, the jury was provided with written side-by-side, Spanish-to-English translations completed by a state-certified interpreter. The court instructed that the transcript was offered as an aid but that the actual evidence is the tape itself. The court added…

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