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Name: People v. Gonzalez
Case #: D074500
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/26/2019

Defendant held in jail awaiting transfer to prison was "already serving" his sentence within the meaning of the Three Strikes law and trial court did not have discretion to impose a concurrent sentence in a new case. Gonzalez was granted probation in 2016 for a felony conviction. In 2017, he was again placed on probation for a new felony conviction (a strike offense). In 2018, he was found in violation of probation in both cases and was sentenced to prison. Later in 2018, while he was still in the local county jail pending delivery to state prison, he pleaded…

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Name: People v. Torres
Case #: A146958
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/10/2018

Trial court erred in ruling it was required to impose consecutive sentences for five violent felony sex offenses under the Three Strikes law. Torres was convicted of robbery and multiple sex offenses (including five counts of digital penetration (Pen. Code, § 289, subd. (a)(1)(A)) based on his assault of a woman. Prior strike offenses were found true. At sentencing the trial court found the Three Strikes law prohibited it from imposing the life sentences concurrently, so it ordered eight consecutive 25-years-to-life terms. Torres raised a number of issues on appeal, including that the trial court improperly imposed consecutive sentences for…

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Name: People v. Sawyers
Case #: B266897
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/26/2017

Three Strikes sentence reversed where charging document failed to give notice that defendant was subject to a Three Strikes life sentence. Sawyers was convicted of first degree murder, gun use, and other offenses based on an incident where he and fellow gang members shot into a rival gang member's house, killing an elderly man. As to the murder, the trial court sentenced Sawyers to 25-years-to-life, doubled due to a serious felony prior, plus 25-years-to-life for the gun use. On appeal, Sawyers argued the Three Strikes sentence was illegal because the information had failed to allege his prior offense was a…

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Name: People v. Denard
Case #: B253464
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/03/2015

Under the least adjudicated elements test, the evidence of defendant's Florida burglary prior was insufficient to prove it qualified as a California strike prior. Denard was convicted of second degree burglary. In a bifurcated proceeding, the prosecution presented documentary evidence of Denard's Florida burglary, which did not contain any of the facts of the offense. The court found two strike priors true. Denard appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to prove a Florida burglary conviction was a strike. Held: Reversed. In order for a prior conviction from another jurisdiction to qualify as a strike prior in California, it must…

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Name: People v. Saez
Case #: A138786
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/18/2015

After Descamps v. U.S. (2013) 133 S.Ct. 2276, California's approach for determining whether a prior conviction constitutes a strike may violate the Sixth Amendment. A jury found Saez guilty of attempted premeditated murder. Two prior Wisconsin convictions were found to be strikes. On appeal, Saez raised a number of issues, including a Sixth Amendment challenge to the court's strike finding on one of the Wisconsin priors. Held: Strike finding reversed. Saez's Wisconsin conviction for false imprisonment while armed did not constitute a strike based on the fact of conviction alone. Instead, the strike determination turned on whether the conviction documents…

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Name: People v. Rusconi
Case #: D065478
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/28/2015

Defendant's commission of a single act which led to two convictions of vehicular manslaughter (former Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (c)(3)) results in two strike priors because there were two victims. In 1986, Rusconi pled guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter. The convictions grew out of a single drunk driving offense in which Rusconi hit and killed two bicyclists with her car. A subsequent conviction for driving while intoxicated resulted in Rusconi receiving a 25-years-to-life Three Strikes sentence. After she was found ineligible for Proposition 36 resentencing, she appealed, claiming her single act which resulted in two vehicular manslaughter…

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Name: People v. Tittle
Case #: B253135
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/17/2015

Trial court properly imposed prior conviction and prior prison term enhancements to each determinate count of a second strike sentence. Tittle was found guilty of attempted murder and related offenses following a drive-by shooting. Various prior conviction and prior prison term enhancements were found true, including a prior strike. Relevant to this appeal, he was sentenced as a second strike offender on three counts (counts 1, 4, and 5). The sentence for each of these counts was enhanced 5 years for a prior serious felony (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (a)), plus 2 years for two prior prison terms…

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Name: People v. Mason
Case #: D063793
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/15/2014

There was insufficient evidence to support three of defendant's four convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon (former Pen. Code, § 12021, subd. (a)(1)) where there was no evidence that his possession of a single gun was interrupted. Mason used the same gun to commit a series of crimes, including a murder. Among other offenses, a jury convicted him of first degree murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and four counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. Each of the four felon-in-possession counts specified a date of possession, corresponding to…

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Name: People v. Chaides
Case #: E059517
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/17/2014

Trial court erred when it granted demurrer to prior strike allegation because complaint indicated that defendant's offense of unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm constituted a felony violation of Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (a). A complaint filed against Chaides alleged that he had a prior felony conviction under Penal Code section 12025, subdivision (b)(3), and that this prior conviction constituted a strike for purposes of the Three Strikes law. Section 12025, subdivision (b)(3) elevates the offense of carrying a concealed firearm, which would otherwise be a misdemeanor, to a felony when a defendant has also committed a violation of…

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Name: People v. Hojnowski
Case #: A139455
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 08/04/2014

Consecutive terms were required for prison inmate's three battery by gassing offenses even though he was sentenced under the Three Strikes law. Appellant was convicted of three counts of aggravated battery by "gassing" under Penal Code section 4501.1 based on evidence that he spit on three different correctional officers when they were in the process of returning him to his prison cell after a shower. Allegations that appellant had suffered a prior strike and had served a prior prison term were found true. The trial court imposed consecutive terms, for an aggregate sentence of 11 years. On appeal, appellant…

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