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Law offices of David. K. Uthman.

Articles Posted in New Case Law

People v. Shumake (Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct., Dec. 16, 2019, No. 6093) 2019 WL 8128736

Stop by Specialized Dui Patrol Officer: Admission that driver had marijuana in the car

While on specialized DUI patrol Berkeley Police Officer Megan Jones stopped a Hyundai with no front license plate, a violation of Vehicle Code Section 5200. Officer Jones testified that she stops cars for traffic violations, to see if the driver might be impaired. She testified that Shumake’s driving was normal, and that he immediately and safely pulled to the curb when she activated her lights and siren, and that he was cooperative. Officer Jones testified that she has conducted about 800 DUI investigations, with about 500 involving marijuana.

People v. Medellin (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 20, 2020, No. F076022) 2020 WL 830758

The Court of Appeal reversed Samuel Medellin’s convictions for assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, and their accompanying enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury. The Court found that the prosecutor prejudicially misstated the law during closing arguments. The Court found fault in the CALCRIM instructions defining great bodily injury and reversed the convictions

The incident and the injuries to the vcitims

People v. Mendoza, 2020 WL 562981 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2020)

Conviction for transporting cocaine reversed because of no reasonable suspicion to detain

Facts:  Blanca Luna Mendoza was convicted of transporting for sale more than four kilograms of cocaine based on evidence a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent acquired after a traffic stop on Interstate 15. Mendoza argued that  the agent did not have reasonable suspicion she was engaged in criminal activity when he stopped her and the evidence should be excluded.

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. KEANDRE DION WINDFIELD et al., Defendants and Appellants. (Cal. Ct. App., Dec. 20, 2019, No. E055062) 2019 WL 6974388

Facts: Defendants Harquan Johnson and KeAndre Windfield were each convicted of one count of murder and one count of attempted murder, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm, along with gun discharge and gang enhancement allegations as to the murder and attempted murder counts. The charges arose from the shooting of two members of their own gang, the Ramona Blocc Hustlas, resulting in the death of one of them. Both were sentenced to prison for 90 years to life. They appealed raising various claims. In the original opinion, filed August 19, 2014, we affirmed the convictions for both defendants, but reversed Johnson’s sentence pursuant to People v. Gutierrez (2014) 58 Cal.4th 1354, because, as a juvenile at the time of the crime, his sentence of 90 years to life was the functional equivalent of a term of life without possibility of parole and we directed other modifications of the sentence and abstracts of judgment.

On May 26, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in People v. Franklin (2016) 63 Cal.4th 261 (Franklin), and retransferred this case to our court with directions to reconsider Johnson’s sentence in light of Franklin. We reconsidered Johnson’s sentencing claim in light of Franklin.

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. TYRON JACOB TROUT-LACY, Defendant and Appellant. (Cal. Ct. App., Dec. 13, 2019, No. C1882419) 2019 WL 6816928

Summary: Tyron Jacob Trout-Lacy (defendant) fought with his victim, who was high on methamphetamine and had heart disease. Trout-Lacey punched the victim in the face multiple times and slammed his head against the ground. After first responders were called, they restrained the uncooperative victim in an effort to render medical aid. However, the victim and died.

Issue: whether the trial court abused its discretion in concluding, in the context of a victim restitution order, that defendant’s conduct caused the victim’s death. We find no error and affirm.

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. ADAN RUBIO, Defendant and Appellant. (Cal. Ct. App., Dec. 12, 2019, No. A152455) 2019 WL 6797405

Summary: Police may not break down a door and enter an apartment when the owner refuses to invite them in to investigate after shots were fired in a high crime neighborhood.  The Fourth Amendment requires circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that someone in the apartment stood in need of emergency aid, or that some other exception to the warrant requirement applied. The need to render emergency aid justifies warrantless entry only where officers have “specific and articulable facts” showing that an intrusion into the home was necessary. (People v. Ovieda (2019) 7 Cal.5th 1034, 1043 (Ovieda).) It is not enough that officers seek to rule out “the possibility that someone … might require aid.” (Id. at p. 1047.)

Adan Rubio’s appealed his conviction by plea to possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.1), a plea entered after the trial court denied his motion to suppress the evidence found in his apartment (Pen. Code, § 1538.5).1 The Court of Appeal concluded that the evidence was gathered in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Court reversed his conviction and remanded to allow defendant to withdraw his plea.

People v. Medrano, 2019 WL 6487272 (Cal.App. 5 Dist.), 21 (Cal.App. 5 Dist., 2019)

Natural and probable consequences doctrine and attempted murder

The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that Senate Bill 1437 not only abrogated the natural and probable consequences doctrine to murder charges but attempted murder charges also. The Fifth District departed from decisions made by other Appellate Courts in People v. Lopez (2019) 38 Cal.App.5th 1087, review granted November 13, 2019, S258175, and People v. Munoz (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 738 (Munoz), review granted November 26, 2019, S258234. However, it agreed with  Lopez and Munoz that the petitioning process for re-sentencing added in section 1170.95 does not apply to attempted murder. Instead, the Court reviewed their claim under In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, 48 Cal.Rptr. 172, 408 P.2d 948 and concluded defendants are entitled to relief on direct appeal. The Court reversed the judgments of conviction for attempted murder as to Medrano and Martinez.

People v. Yanez (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 15, 2019, No. A156074) 2019 WL 6043474

While awaiting trial, the court had imposed home detention subject to electronic monitoring as a condition of reducing Yanez’s bail from $480,000 to $100,000. Yanez had spent 555 days on electronic home detention, in a program authorized by Alameda County.

The trial court sentenced Yanez to serve five years and eight months in state prison. The court only granted him custody credits for his 555 days of home confinement (see § 2900.5, subd. (a)), and deemed him ineligible for conduct credits. It rejected Yanez’s argument that denying him eligibility for conduct credits violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection because post-judgment home detainees are eligible for conduct credit under section 4019. Yanez appealed.

Evans v. Shiomoto (Cal. Ct. App., Oct. 21, 2019, No. D073969) 2019 WL 5886970, at *1–7

The DUI stop, arrest and suspension

Evans was pulled over for driving with his off-road-only lights illuminated while on a “highway,” in violation of Vehicle Code section 24411. The officer observed signs of intoxication and Evans consented to a chemical breath test that registered a blood alcohol level above 0.08 percent.

Gardner v. Appellate Division of Superior Court of San Bernardino County (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 12, 2019, No. E066330) 2019 WL 5886241, at *1–4

Right to appointed counsel on appeal in a misdemeanor case

 The California Supreme Court held that, when the People appeal from a suppression order in a misdemeanor case, the defendant, if indigent, has a right to appointed counsel. This case was remanded to determine whether the Public Defender’s appointment for purposes of trial continues for purposes of the appeal, or whether, the appellate division must appoint new counsel. The Court of Appeal held that the trial court is not statutorily authorized to appoint the Public Defender under these circumstances.

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