Skip to content
Name: People v. Tillotson
Case #: G035041
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/21/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 10/1707, S155385

The jury was correctly instructed on aiding and abetting with CALJIC 3.01. Appellant was tried on a 24-count information charging her with theft and controlled substance violations. The jury found her guilty on counts 1 through 9, 13, and 20 through 24. She was acquitted on counts 10 through 12 and 14 through 19. The trial court found true the enhancement charged on counts 4, 5, 20, 22, and 24 that she committed the crimes while on bail. She was sentenced to 14 years and four months in prison, with count 1 as the principal…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Morton
Case #: G036413
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/20/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 9/29/07, S154794

Introduction of prior incidents of domestic violence was not error. In appellant's trial for domestic violence offenses against his girlfriend, the prosecution introduced evidence of a prior uncharged incident of domestic violence against another victim pursuant to Evidence Code section 1109, subdivision (a)(1). On appeal, appellant argued that this was a case in which the evidence of prior domestic violence was more prejudicial than probative and should have been excluded. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the similarities between the two incidents made the evidence strongly probative. The passage of time did not necessarily…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Fluker
Case #: B193079
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 05/29/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 8/15/07, S154229

Resentencing was required where the court imposed the upper term solely on facts not admitted or found true by a jury. During appellant's trial for possession of cocaine he was disruptive, and at one point stood up and said he was going to leave. The court ordered him taken into lockup and excluded him from the remainder of his trial. Following conviction, appellant was sentenced to an upper term after the court stated that it chose the upper term because appellant "tried to escape in my courtroom." On appeal, he argued that the imposition of the…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Sayres
Case #: B188303
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 05/15/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 8/22/07, S153862

Cunningham error was harmless where the trial court also relied on two valid aggravating factors when imposing the upper term for forcible sex offenses. Appellant burglarized the victim's residence and forcibly raped her at knife point while her infant daughter slept in another room. He was convicted of several forcible sex offenses. The trial court selected the upper term for rape and the upper term for the knife use allegation. On appeal, appellant contended that in choosing these terms the court violated Cunningham by relying on sentencing factors not found by the jury. The appellate…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Govan
Case #: D049586
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/15/2007
Subsequent History: review granted 7/18/07, S153455

There was sufficient evidence corroborating the codefendant's statements which implicated appellant in the burglaries. Appellant was convicted of four burglaries. He was found in a vehicle with the stolen property, and his codefendant made statements which implicated him. On appeal, he argued that there was insufficient evidence to corroborate the accomplice's statements. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that his presence in the vehicle which was used to commit the burglaries and the presence of the stolen property in pillowcases in the back seat of the car was sufficient corroboration. The trial court did…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Diaz
Case #: B185735
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 04/25/2007

Resentencing was required where judge engaged in additional factfinding in order to find that aggravating factors justified the upper term. Appellant was convicted of multiple sex offenses. The trial court sentenced appellant to upper terms on three sex offense convictions, finding that the four factors in aggravation outweighed the one mitigating factor. It also imposed consecutive terms for two counts because the crimes were committed on separate occasions. While the case was pending on appeal, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Cunningham, and the parties submitted letter briefs on the impact of that…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Guess
Case #: H029808
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/24/2007
Subsequent History: 6/27/07 Cunningham rev. gr/hold: S152877

Absent a qualifying admission by defendant or determination by at jury trial, the trial court may not rely on the fact that a defendant was on parole when the crime was committed to justify imposition of the upper term. Since the records proving the status involve action by the Department of Correction, there is no guarantee of requisite reliability inherent in a recidivism factor. (Almendariz-Torres v. United States (1998) 523 U.S. 224.) The 6th Amendment right to confrontation is a trial right and is not necessarily applicable at the probable cause preliminary hearing. Appellant requested a continuance of the…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Shadden
Case #: F048765
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/24/2007

An analysis of the holdings in Blakely v. Washington (2004) 542 U.S. 296 and Cuningham v. California (2007) __ U.S. __, requires a determination of the maximum available sentence. After appellant, convicted of violation of Penal Code section 247, subdivision (b), admitted two prior serious felony offenses, the court granted his Romero request and sentenced him to the upper term, doubled, for the substantive offense. Because the maximum sentence available in a Three Strike case is 25 years to life, the upper term sentence was valid as it was within the maximum sentence available. Penal Code section 247,…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Reyes
Case #: B185929
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 05/09/2007
Subsequent History: rev. granted 8/15/07, S153455

There was no Cunningham error where appellant's record alone justified the imposition of the upper term. The trial court imposed upper term sentences for three of appellant's convictions, finding that the victims were vulnerable, the violence was extreme, he had two prior prison terms, and was on parole when he committed the crimes. On appeal, appellant argued that the trial court's imposition of the upper terms violated his right to a jury trial and due process. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the upper terms were justified by appellant's record, which included three prior convictions…

View Full Summary
Name: Nunes v. Ramirez-Palmer
Case #: 06-16100
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/27/2007

A petitioner was not entitled to relief where his three strikes sentence was not objectively unreasonable. Affirming the district court's denial of a habeas corpus petition in a petty theft case, the appellate court here held that the state court's ruling upholding the petitioner's Three Strikes sentence against an Eighth Amendment challenge was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law because the state court reasonably applied the principle that a sentence cannot be grossly disproportional to the defendant's circumstances. The court rejected the petitioner's argument that the state court relied on an unreasonable determination of the…

View Full Summary