Barajas v. Appellate Division of Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 2019 WL 4894231 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.) (Cal.App. 2 Dist., 2019)
Arraignment on Misdemeanor charge of carrying a dirk or dagger
Eliseo Barajas was arrested and arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a dirk or dagger. Barajas sought to have the case dismissed for lack of probable cause pursuant to Penal Code section 991.1. Barajas argued that his initial detention was not based on conduct that could give rise to a reasonable suspicion that criminal conduct had occurred. He also argued that the evidence establishing probable cause was illegally obtained and should be excluded from the probable cause determination. And he asked that the misdemeanor complaint be dismissed.
THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff & Respondent, v. MICHAEL DAMION JUDE MEDRANO, Defendant & Appellant, No. E070042, 2019 WL 4894333 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 4, 2019)
Medrano sentenced to life at age 19
Michael Damion Jude Medrano was 19 years old when he committed the crimes of one count of first degree murder (Pen. Code,1 § 187, subd. (a); count 1), two counts of second degree robbery (§ 211; counts 2 & 4), and one count of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury (§ 245, subd. (a)(4); count 3). Medrano was sentenced in December, 2017 to 25 years to life, plus seven years. His sentencing took place one and one-half years after the Supreme Court decided People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261 (Franklin), which held that a juvenile offender who is sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence, must be “given adequate opportunity at sentencing to make a record of mitigating evidence tied to his youth.” (Id. at p. 269.) The Court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether the juvenile offender had been given an adequate opportunity to make such a record. (Id. at pp. 286-287.)
People v. Lee, No. D073740, 2019 WL 4871480, at *3–10 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2019)
Vehicle stop and warrantless search of the vehicle
In 2017 San Diego Police Officers Robles and Cooper stopped a gold-colored Cadillac DeVille with no front license plate and tinted windows in violation of Vehicle Code section 26708. They initiated a traffic stop and Officer Robles asked the driver, defendant Brandon Lee, for his driver’s license. Lee said he did not have his license with him. Robles instructed Lee to step out of the vehicle and performed a pat-down search to confirm he did not have any sort of identification.
People v. Bay, 2019 WL 4564854 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.), 1 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2019)
The Stop and Search
A Napa County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol at 2:00 a.m. on September 9, 2017, when he noticed a Cadillac SUV parked illegally near a popular overlook. The deputy approached and saw three people in the vehicle, including Bay, in the driver’s seat. When asked what they were doing, Bay said “they were just sitting there looking at the view and asked … if they were doing something wrong.” The deputy cited a no-parking sign and asked Bay for identification. Bey had none and provided a false name. Knowing that Bay was on post-release community supervision (PRCS) and subject to a warrantless search, the deputy asked him to get out of the vehicle.
Felony Murder Rule Changed by SB 1437
Senate Bill No. 1437 revised the felony murder rule in California. Under the felony murder rule, someone who aided and abetted an underlying felony was strictly liable for murder if a co-participant killed someone during the commission of the felony (People v. Cavitt (2004) 33Cal 4th, 187, 197.) SB 1437 amended Penal Code section 189, subdivision (e) effective January 1, 2019. Now a participant in an enumerated felony in which a death occurs is liable for murder only if one of the following is proven:
- The person is the actual killer.
People v. Gutierrez-Salazar, 38 Cal. App. 5th 411, 251 Cal. Rptr. 3d 178 (Ct. App. 2019), reh’g denied (Aug. 30, 2019)
Defendant Dionicio Gutierrez-Salazar was by a jury of two murders for homicides committed in 2013 and 2015. As to the 2013 homicide, defendant was convicted of first degree murder on a felony-murder theory.
SB 1427 Amends Felony Murder Rule in California
People v. Hall, No. 2D CRIM. B292330, 2019 WL 4267761 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 10, 2019)
Proposition 64 and reduction of marijuana convictions
Proposition 64, an initiative measure known as “the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” amended section 11360 and added new sections 11361.8 and 11362.1. (Stats. 2017, ch. 27 § 129.) It reduces or eliminates penalties for marijuana offenses.
People v. Force, No. G055482, 2019 WL 4071849 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2019)
Denial of Fair Trial
Appellant Steven Force, a sexually violent predator receiving treatment at a state mental hospital for pedophilia and exhibitionism challenged the trial court’s order denying his petition to be placed in a conditional release program known as CONREP that includes daily monitoring with GPS technology, drug testing, polygraph assessments, weekly treatment, and job and housing assistance. The Court of Appeal ruled that he was denied a fair trial because the prosecutor interfered with his right to testify, and the trial court erroneously refused to admit his release plan into evidence.
People v. Millan Rodriguez, 2019 WL 3852665 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Vacating a conviction because of inability to understand immigration consequences (Penal Code Section 1473.7)
On January 1, 2017, Penal Code section 1473.7 went into effect. It allows a defendant to challenge a conviction based on a guilty plea where prejudicial error affected the defendant’s ability to understand the immigration consequences of the plea.
(People v. Flores (Aug. 12, 2019, No. G055861) ___Cal.App.5th___ [2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 740, at *1].)
Gang Investigation Leads to Detention
A team of Huntington Beach police officers investigating the “Looney Tunes Crew,” also known as the “LTK” street gang, saw the defendant in an area where they knew criminal activity took place. Defendant was walking briskly and was not a suspect in a particular crime nor in the process of committing a crime.