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Name: People v. Earley
Case #: E033600
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/31/2004
Subsequent History: 11/10/04 Rev. den.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s motion to reopen evidence, and defendant was not deprived of his constitutional right to testify on his own behalf. The defendant here was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and vandalism. After both sides had rested but before the jury was instructed, the court granted a prosecution motion to reduce the vandalism charge to a misdemeanor. The defendant, against counsel’s advice, then announced that he wanted to testify regarding the marijuana charge. The court denied the request to reopen evidence, and the Court of…

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Name: People v. Lemus
Case #: D042549
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/20/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 12/1/04: S128771

A court may impose an upper-term sentence only where the facts supporting that term have been found true by a jury. The court here found that the argument under Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 was not knowingly or intelligently waived because Blakely was not decided until after the defendant was sentenced, and defense counsel had filed a statement in mitigation and urged the court to impose a lower term. Relying on its own recent precedent, Division One of the Fourth Appellate District reaffirmed that Blakely applies to California’s determinate sentencing scheme, and further held that…

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Name: People v. Sample
Case #: C044445
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/13/2004
Subsequent History: Rehrg den. 9/28/04; Rev. gr. 12/1/04: S128561

Because appellant did not raise an Apprendi objection in the trial court to the imposition of the upper term and the imposition of consecutive terms, and factors used in imposing the upper term and consecutive sentencing were uncontested at trial and supported by overwhelming evidence, he was barred from raising the claim of Apprendi/Blakely error. Further, his contentions fail on the merits. Apprendi and Blakely do not apply to California's consecutive sentencing scheme, and imposition of the upper term here was harmless beyond a reasonable…

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Name: People v. Shaw
Case #: C043228
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/15/2004
Subsequent History: 12/15/04 revw. den.

The imposition of consecutive sentences does not violate the proscription of Apprendi and Blakely where the basis for that sentencing choice is supported by the express findings of the jury verdicts. Here, appellant was convicted of two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault, three counts of discharging a firearm, plus numerous enhancements. The offenses arose from a drive-by shooting of seven people, where appellant was the actual shooter. On appeal, he contended that Blakely precluded the imposition of consecutive unstayed sentences because the trial court determined that the offenses involved different objectives and different victims.…

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Name: People v. Sykes
Case #: B168042
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 07/28/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 10/20/04 pending Black (S126182).

In a case involving charges of stalking, making criminal threats, and other offenses, the court did not err in permitting the victim to testify that she was aware of the defendant’s previous bank robbery conviction. The testimony was relevant to establish the reasonableness of her fearful state of mind, and the jury was properly instructed that it could consider the evidence for only that purpose. The court also declined to remand for resentencing, holding that Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 does not apply to a court’s decision to impose consecutive…

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Name: People v. Mora
Case #: D039073
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/17/2002
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was sentenced to 14 years, four months in prison, including a one year term for dissuading a witness. The Department of Corrections then advised the trial court that a full three year consecutive sentence was provided for that offense. The trial court amended the abstract of judgment ex parte to add an additional two years. Mora contended on appeal that amending the abstract of judgment in his absence was error and the sentence increase violated double jeopardy. The appellate court here remanded for resentencing. Resentencing in Mora’s absence was error. The court, however,…

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