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Name: People v. Chavez
Case #: D069533
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/28/2018

Single person photo identification of defendant by stabbing victim was not unduly suggestive. Chavez and others became embroiled in a physical altercation with another group of men at a restaurant while watching the World Cup soccer match. Chavez stabbed a man, who lived. One of Chavez's group, Gonzalez, shot and killed another man. A jury convicted Chavez of second degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon. One issue on appeal challenged a pretrial identification procedure. Held: Affirmed. To determine whether admission of identification evidence violates a defendant's due process right, the reviewing court considers whether the identification procedure was…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: D065101
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/22/2016

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to bifurcate trial of a gang enhancement (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)) from underlying robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges. Garcia, Mendoza, and Guzman were charged jointly with multiple offenses arising from a series of robberies in Escondido and a gang enhancement was also alleged. Prior to trial, Mendoza and Guzman moved to bifurcate trial of the gang enhancement. The trial court denied the motion. The jury convicted the defendants and found the gang enhancement true. They appealed. Held: Affirmed. In order to prevail on a motion to…

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Name: U.S. v. Carr
Case #: 12-50082
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/04/2014

District court's error in imposing sentence in excess of statutory minimum based on a fact that was not supported by any jury finding was harmless. Defendants were convicted in federal court of robbing a Vons Federal Credit Union in Santa Fe Springs, California. The jury found that both defendants used and carried a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which subjected the defendants to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in addition to the punishment imposed for the substantive offense. The mandatory minimum increases to 10 years if the gun…

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Name: Jointer v. Superior Court of Orange County
Case #: G047824
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/28/2013

Trial court abused its discretion in denying a Penal Code section 1405 motion for postconviction DNA testing because, assuming the test came back favorable for the defendant, there is a reasonable probability of a more favorable verdict. Appellant was convicted of second degree robbery with a firearm enhancement after evidence linked him to the robbery of a grocery store supervisor. As a result of prior strike convictions, he was sentenced to 34 years to life in state prison. A critical item of evidence offered by the prosecution was a water bottle bearing appellant's fingerprints that the perpetrator drank from. A…

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Name: People v. Mohamed
Case #: D058046
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/05/2011

Curbside identifications that were not 100 percent certain were not so inherently improbable that there was insufficient evidence of identification. Three men robbed a woman outside a café. Defendant was found four blocks from the scene a short time later and detained because he met the general description. At a curbside show-up, the victim stated she was 80 percent certain that he was the robber but that she could not be more certain because the robber had his face covered. A witness who confronted the robbers was completely sure in identifying the defendant at a separate curbside show-up, but another…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: C055139
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/30/2010

De novo review of a pre-trial identification procedure using the traditional group showing and following other photo identification procedures was not so unduly suggestive as to give rise to a very substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification. To determine if an identification violates a defendant's right of due process the court considers whether the procedure was unduly suggestive and unnecessary, and, if so, whether it was nevertheless reliable under the circumstances. Johnson was charged with murder during a robbery, second degree robberies and attempted robberies. Johnson was thinner than others in the live lineup of five Black men of similar age,…

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Name: People v. Mena
Case #: D052091
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/19/2009
Subsequent History: rev. granted 8/26/09, S173973

When a defendant fails to challenge the denial of a line-up motion with a peremptory writ, the issue is waived for direct appeal purposes. Appellant was convicted by jury trial of two counts of assault with gang enhancements and one count of carrying a concealed dagger. At the preliminary hearing, he joined his codefendant in a motion to compel a live physical line-up attended by one of the two victims, but the trial court denied the motion, finding that there was no reasonable likelihood that a misidentification would be addressed by a line-up. Appellant did not pursue the denial with…

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Name: People v. Roa
Case #: B201676
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/09/2009

The sufficiency of an out-of-court identification to support a conviction is determined under the substantial evidence test and consideration can be given to: (1) the prior familiarity of the witness with defendant; (2) the opportunity of the witness to observe the perpetrator during crime; (3) whether the witness has motive to falsely implicate defendant; (4) and the details of the out-of-court identification. Following a carjacking, the victim and his wife identified appellant as the suspect who was outside a van and pointed a gun at the victim. A second person was inside the vehicle and drove it away. The identification…

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Name: People v. Carlos
Case #: B178957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/19/2006

A photographic lineup that displayed the defendant's photo directly above his name and identification was unnecessarily suggestive. The defendant was convicted of two counts of robbery. Prior to trial, officers had prepared a six-pack photo array to show to witnesses. Defendant’s photo was in the number 5 position in the six-pack, directly above his printed name and identification number. One victim was not able to identify anyone in the photo array, and two other witnesses identified the defendant. The six-pack was not given to defense counsel prior to trial. After viewing the array during…

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Name: People v. Shabazz
Case #: B160417
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 12/21/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 3/16/05: S131048

Admission of a witness's identification of appellant from a photo array lineup was not error because the lineup was not unduly suggestive. Appellant argued that the photo array was unduly suggestive because his photo showed a much darker complexion than the other included photos. The court rejected this argument because the witness had been advised that lighting conditions meant that the photos might not accurately depict the subjects' complexions. Further, the photo array as a whole included individuals who resembled appellant in other ways, and any error would have been harmless in any case. Next, the court held that a…

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