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Name: People v. Soto
Case #: B249197
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 08/08/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 10/15/2014: S220856

Inmate was ineligible for resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Prop. 36) even though punishment for the disqualifying offense was stayed under Penal Code section 654. Soto was convicted in 1998 of possession of a controlled substance (count 1), transportation (count 2), and possession of a firearm (count 3). As to count 2, the jury found true an allegation that Soto was personally armed with a firearm. Soto admitted two prior strike convictions. On count 1, Soto was given a three strikes life sentence. An identical term was imposed on count 2, but it was stayed under…

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Name: People v. Quinones
Case #: C074081
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/11/2014

Petitioner was ineligible for resentencing under Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Prop. 36) where his prior arming enhancement was found true by a jury, but the trial court struck the additional punishment at sentencing. Quinones was convicted in 1996 of drug offenses and possession of a firearm by a felon. An allegation that he was personally armed during the drug offenses and two prior strikes were found true. The court imposed a sentence for the felon-in-possession charge, but struck the arming allegation as unnecessary. Quinones was ultimately sentenced to 75 years to life under the Three Strikes law. In…

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Name: People v. Vargas
Case #: S203744
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/10/2014

Two prior convictions arising out of a single act against a single victim cannot constitute two strikes under the Three Strikes law. Vargas was tried for first degree burglary and other crimes. Two strike priors were alleged, a robbery and a carjacking. These priors were tried in the same proceeding and arose out of the same facts. Vargas moved to dismiss the carjacking prior; the court granted the request as to several counts, but not as to the burglary. She appealed and sought writ relief. The Court of Appeal granted a writ of habeas corpus, finding Vargas' trial counsel had…

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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: B247704
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/01/2014

Trial court erred by imposing 10–year gang enhancements (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)(C)) instead of 15-year minimum parole eligibility term (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(5)) where defendant was sentenced to life under the Three Strikes law. Williams was convicted of three felony offenses, and admitted two prior strike convictions. The jury also found that each offense was committed for the benefit of a street gang. (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)(C).) He was sentenced under the Three Strikes law to a term of 25 years to life on each count plus applicable enhancements for a total of 93…

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Name: People v. Manning
Case #: B249749
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/05/2014

Remand was required where trial court did not explain what information in the record of an inmate’s prior convictions justified denying his request for resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act. Manning was sentenced to 25 years to life under the Three Strikes Law for a commercial burglary with two prior serious felony convictions. Following the enactment of Proposition 36, Manning filed a petition asking the trial court to recall his sentence and resentence him as a second striker pursuant to the Act. The trial court denied his petition on the grounds that Manning had a prior conviction for an…

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Name: People v. Solis
Case #: B244487
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/07/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 6/11/2014: S217702

The jury improperly convicted defendant of two uncharged lesser related offenses based on one charged offense. At 1:00 a.m., Solis climbed through a bedroom window of the home of his former girlfriend and stabbed her about 20 times with a screwdriver, inflicting numerous injuries, including a life-threatening wound to her carotid artery. Among other offenses, he was charged with attempted premeditated murder. At a jury trial, the court instructed on uncharged lesser offenses. The jury acquitted Solis of the attempted murder charge but found appellant guilty of the uncharged lesser related offenses of mayhem (Pen. Code, § 203) and assault…

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Name: In re Martinez
Case #: D063719
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/30/2014

Under Penal Code section 1170.126 (Three Strikes Reform Act), the trial court must consider all felonies that led to any indeterminate life sentence under the Three Strikes law and, if any one of the felonies is disqualifying under the Act, section 1170.126 does not apply. In 2008, Martinez was convicted of, inter alia, spousal abuse (Pen. Code, § 273.5, subd. (a)) and spousal rape (Pen. Code, § 262, subd. (a)(1)). The jury found that Martinez had two prior "strike" convictions and the trial court sentenced Martinez as a third strike offender to two consecutive 25-years-to-life terms. In 2012, Martinez…

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Name: People v. Sasser
Case #: A136655
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/11/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 5/14/2014: S217128

Prior serious felony enhancement must be applied to each term imposed in a two strike sentence. Resentencing after remand. Sasser was convicted of multiple sex offenses against two women. A number of enhancements, including under the One Strike law, were found true. He admitted a prior serious felony conviction. Sasser's first appeal resulted in a reversal of several counts and remand for correction of his sentence. In the published portion of its opinion the Court of Appeal addressed Sasser's challenge to the trial court's imposition of a five year prior serious felony enhancement on each count of the entire determinate…

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Name: People v. Leadbetter
Case #: B247709
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/06/2014

For a foreign prior conviction to qualify as a "strike," the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the conviction contains the requisite elements as that of the California offense. Appellant pled no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted a great bodily injury enhancement. The court found true three prior serious or violent felony convictions (strikes), two from Tennessee and one from Oklahoma. On appeal, appellant contended that there was insufficient evidence for the Tennessee convictions; one being for aggravated assault and one for robbery. Held: remanded as to the aggravated assault conviction for resentencing or…

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Name: People v. Haro
Case #: C071328
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/21/2013

A prior juvenile adjudication dismissed under Welfare and Institutions Code 782 does not qualify as a prior "strike" conviction under the Three Strikes Law. Appellant pled no contest to stalking and admitted a prior juvenile adjudication for robbery alleged as a "strike" after the trial court denied his motion to dismiss the "strike." In the trial court and on appeal, appellant argued that the strike allegation should be dismissed because the delinquency petition underlying his robbery adjudication was dismissed under section 782. Held: Reversed. Section 782 is a general dismissal statute akin to Penal Code section 1385 which, as a…

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