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People v. Thompson

December 29, 2009

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHELLE RENEE THOMPSON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Daniel B. Goldstein, Judge. Affirmed as modified. (Super. Ct. No. SCN230376).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Huffman, Acting P. J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Michelle Renee Thompson entered a negotiated guilty plea to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 191.5, subd. (a)) and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causing injury (Veh. Code, § 23153, subd. (a)). Thompson also admitted she had a prior serious/violent felony or strike conviction (§ 667, subds. (b)- (i)) and a prior serious felony conviction (§ 667, subd. (a)(1)). In exchange for the guilty plea, the prosecution dropped the remaining charges. The trial court orally pronounced Thompson's sentence as 27 years eight months in prison, but the minute order and the abstract of judgment in the clerk's transcript indicated the sentence is 26 years four months in prison. The plea bargain form stated the maximum punishment Thompson could receive as a result of the plea bargain was 26 years four months in prison.

Thompson appeals, contending (1) the oral pronouncement of sentence was erroneous, and (2) it was error to impose consecutive sentences. The first contention is correct, but not the second contention.

FACTS

In January 2007, Thompson was a part-time caregiver for Roxy Conyers, a 92-year-old woman who resided in Carlsbad. On January 22, Thompson was driving Conyers to the market southbound on Carlsbad Boulevard/Pacific Coast Highway when the car veered off the roadway and almost collided with a parked vehicle. Thompson swerved and turned 180 degrees toward oncoming northbound traffic and collided with a sports utility vehicle (SUV) driven by Jennifer Frost.

Conyers died at the scene as a result of blunt force trauma. Frost, who sustained a lacerated liver, and other injuries, was hospitalized for three days, missed a month's work and was subsequently treated for posttraumatic stress disorder. Thompson also was injured and taken to the hospital.

Toxicology tests showed that Thompson had amphetamine and methamphetamine in her bloodstream. She also tested positive for the presence of opiates and marijuana. A bindle of methamphetamine and a pipe were found in her purse. Thompson had been driving with a suspended driver's license.

DISCUSSION

I.

According to the reporter's transcript, the trial court sentenced Thompson to the upper term of 10 years on the gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated count and doubled it under the Three Strikes law (§ 667, subd. (e)) for 20 years on that count.

On the driving under the influence and causing injury count, the court stated:

"I'll select one-third the mid[dle term], which is 1[year], 4[months]. However, that's also going to be doubled because of Penal Code section 667[(e)] for . . . . 2 years, 8 months."

Later, when the probation officer questioned the sentence on this count, the court twice reiterated it was doubling one third of the middle term of one year four months, and imposing ...


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