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Name: People v. Pittman (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 400
Case #: A161815
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/13/2023

Appellant’s youth was relevant at his Penal Code section 1172.6(d)(3) hearing to determine whether he had the mental state required for aiding and abetting implied malice murder, and trial court could not be presumed to have considered his youth. Appellant was 21 years old when he participated in a spontaneous attack with two minors, one of whom stabbed the victim to death, and he was convicted of second degree murder. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition and his (d)(3) hearing was held before any case had described the significance of youth to felony murder and before any case had…

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Name: People v. Werntz (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 1093
Case #: D079771
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/27/2023

Trial court did not err in denying petitioner’s Penal Code section 1172.6 resentencing petition because substantial evidence supported the court’s finding that petitioner was guilty of second degree murder for failing to protect her child. In 2019, Werntz filed a section 1172.6 resentencing petition for her second degree murder conviction (the victim was her infant daughter). The trial court ultimately denied the petition after a (d)(3) hearing, finding that Werntz was guilty of implied malice murder as a direct aider and abettor for failing to protect her daughter from her partner’s abuse. On appeal, Werntz raised a number of issues,…

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Name: People v. Carr (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 136
Case #: E079368
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/07/2023

A Watson murder, which permits implied malice to be inferred from a defendant’s drunk driving and the surrounding circumstances, is not a theory of imputed malice, and the trial court therefore properly denied defendant’s Penal Code section 1172.6 petition. In 2004, defendant was convicted of second degree murder when one of the children in his car was killed after he drove drunk and hit a pickup truck while running a red light. Defendant was convicted of murder under the theory that he caused death unintentionally but with implied malice while driving drunk. (People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290.) In…

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Name: People v. Didyavong (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 85
Case #: D079712
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/07/2023

Penal Code section 1172.6 does not provide a mechanism to reduce a first degree murder conviction to second degree murder. In 2001, a jury convicted defendant of first degree murder for his role in the a multiple-person, gang-related beating and shooting death. In 2019, defendant petitioned for resentencing under section 1172.6. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the petition, finding that the People proved beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was guilty of second degree murder as an aider and abettor under an implied malice theory. The court did not explicitly reach a conclusion regarding first degree murder.…

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Name: People v. Silva
Case #: F083248
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/18/2023

Trial court did not err in denying Penal Code section 1172.6 petition after finding petitioner was guilty of second degree as an aider and abettor under an implied malice theory of murder liability. In 2014, a jury convicted petitioner of second degree murder with a gang enhancement, and active participation in a street gang. In 2019, Silva petitioned the trial court for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95 (now section 1172.6). After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the petition, finding petitioner guilty of murder as an aider and abettor who acted with implied malice. Silva appealed, arguing…

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