The Court of Appeal held that the in appellant’s trial, the felony murder and special circumstance jury instructions improperly permitted the jury to find defendant liable under a proximate cause theory rather than as the actual killer, a requirement after the passage of Senate Bill No. 1437. Additionally, the court found that the admission of appellant’s prior robbery charge, which was admitted to show a common plan, was relevant only for identity, and the prior robbery was not sufficiently similar to the robbery at issue in this case for identity purposes. Accordingly, the court reversed appellant’s conviction for first degree murder and the special circumstance finding.
Name: Prior Convictions/Impeach