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Name: People v. Brown
Case #: F058350
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/22/2011

Murder is an offense involving domestic violence within the meaning of Evidence Code section 1109. Appellant and the murder victim had dated for two years. Although she ended the relationship, appellant continued to attempt to contact her. In September 2001, she received a telephone call from appellant and went to his apartment. Approximately a month later, her body was found buried in a cornfield. Appellant was charged with and convicted of her murder. On appeal, he contended that the prosecution's introduction of Evidence Code section 1109 propensity evidence of prior acts of domestic violence against the victim and four of…

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Name: People v. James
Case #: F057974
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/30/2010

A prior act of domestic violence is admissible under Evidence Code section 1109 when proof of the charged crime includes, as an integral part, conduct "involving domestic violence." Appellant was convicted of burglary based upon beating down the door to his ex-girlfriend's house while yelling, "I'm gonna fuck your ass up." At trial, the court admitted evidence of two prior acts of domestic violence as propensity evidence. (Evid. Code, sec. 1109.) Appellant argued this was error because he was charged with burglary, which does not qualify as an offense "involving domestic violence" for purposes of the…

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Name: People v. Ennis
Case #: G041481
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/01/2010

The "inherent improbability" standard for rejecting evidence on appeal applies only when evidence is physically impossible or false on its face without resort to inferences or deductions. A jury found appellant guilty of various sex offenses based on the sexual abuse of his daughter and step-daughter. Appellant argued on appeal the convictions should be reversed because the girls' statements were "inherently improbable and unworthy of belief" since one of the girls recanted at trial and there were inconsistencies in the testimony of the other. The court rejected the claim. Reviewing courts almost never reverse a judgment by applying the inherent…

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Name: People v. Miramontes
Case #: D054976
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/04/2010

Evidence Code section 1108 allows the use of uncharged acts occurring in a foreign country as long as those incidents involve conduct which is comparable to a California sex offense. At appellant's trial for sex offenses committed on three boys who lived in his apartment complex, the prosecution sought to introduce evidence of uncharged sex offenses committed against two children who lived near appellant in Mexico. Over defense objection, this evidence was allowed under Evidence Code sections 1108 (propensity evidence) and 1101, subdivision (b) (intent or common plan). On appeal, appellant argued evidentiary error and claimed the error violated…

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Name: People v. Ogle
Case #: B214086
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/22/2010

"Stalking is an act of domestic violence and admissible to prove propensity to commit the crime of making criminal threats." Appellant went to prison for stalking his ex-wife. When he was released from custody, he called her multiple times threatening to kill her and her family. At appellant's trial for making criminal threats, the prosecutor offered evidence of prior acts of domestic violence against the ex-wife (Pen. Code, secs. 1101, subd. (b), and 1109), including not only assaults, but the acts of stalking for which appellant had previously been incarcerated, and the trial court admitted them. …

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: A123469
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/09/2010

Under Evidence Code section 1109, subdivision (e), evidence of propensity conduct occurring more than ten years prior to the instant offense is presumptively inadmissable and is to be allowed only on a finding of interest of justice by the trial court. Appellant and the victim were long time friends before they became romantically involved and moved in together. After a period of time, the relationship deteriorated and the victim left appellant because of his drug abuse and threats against her. Appellant came to her place of employment, saying he wanted to pick up some of his property. …

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Name: People v. Nguyen
Case #: G040600
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/20/2010

Penal Code section 784.7 permits joining different sex offenses from different counties, not only identical offenses. Appellant argued the trial court should not have allowed a lewd act on a child which occurred in San Bernardino County to be tried with a forcible rape charge from Orange County. Appellant claimed Penal Code section 784.7, allowing joinder of sex crimes from different counties, permits joinder only when the offenses are predicated on the same statute. The court looked to the legislative history of the statute because it found the language of the statute was…

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Name: People v. King
Case #: B210909
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/16/2010

Under Evidence Code section 1101, subdivision (b), a prior sexual offense may be admissible to prove intent as to acts currently charged. While employed as a police officer with a school district, appellant stopped a young woman for a minor traffic offense and, under the pretext of a search for weapons, sexually assaulted her. Appellant was convicted of five counts of sexual assault. At trial, evidence had been presented that appellant had previously acted inappropriately with a female student at a school to which he had been assigned. The evidence was offered for the purpose of establishing…

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Name: People v. Escudero
Case #: C060342
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/30/2010

There was no error in admitting evidence of uncharged assaults on adult women pursuant to Evidence Code section 1108 at a trial on charges of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child under the age of 14. (Pen. Code, sec. 288, subd. (a).) The victim, age seven, was sleeping with her mother and the defendant when she awoke to find he had removed her underwear and was touching her private areas. He placed her hand on his penis, held her down, and told her it was "okay." When she reported it to her mother, the mother made the…

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Name: People v. Hollie
Case #: A121545
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/08/2010

An issue as to the statute of limitations is not forfeited by lack of objection in the trial court, and a time period to initiate prosecution that has been extended subsequent to the commission of an offense will apply if the prior period has not expired at the time of extension. An indictment charged appellant with rape. He demurred and moved for dismissal, claiming that a complaint had not been filed within the permissible six-year time period in effect at the time of the commission of the offense. Following litigation of the issue where the prosecutor argued that the period…

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