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People v. Dooley

October 18, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JEREMY NOEL DOOLEY, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Shasta County, Monica Marlow, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. 09F3070).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION*fn1

A jury found defendant Jeremy Noel Dooley guilty of battery upon a custodial officer. (Pen. Code, § 243.1.)*fn2 A two strikes offender, he was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

Defendant appeals, arguing (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction, (2) the trial court erred in failing to give supplemental instructions to the jury on the definition of the term "custodial officer," and (3) the court erred in failing to instruct on the lesser included offense of battery. We reject each of these contentions and shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On the day of the incident, defendant was in custody as a "civil committee" in Shasta County Jail.*fn3 Civil committees are housed separately from the general inmate population and have a different classification than criminal inmates. Due to defendant's classification, he was confined to the medical ward of the jail. Nevertheless, defendant was required to follow all the same rules as other jail inmates, including the requirement that he wear an identification wristband at all times.

On April 17, 2009, Shasta County Correctional Officer John Westmoreland, who was in charge of the medical ward, noticed that defendant was not wearing his identification wristband. Westmoreland told defendant he needed to wear the wristband. Defendant replied that he was allergic to the wristband's metal clasp. The officer responded that since defendant did not have a doctor's note, he would still have to wear the wristband. Defendant complied with the order and put his wristband on.

Later in the day, when Officer Westmoreland returned defendant to his cell, defendant took off his wristband. When Westmoreland again advised defendant that he needed to wear the wristband, defendant responded that he did not have to follow the rules. Since defendant was already in his cell and would remain there for the rest of the day, Westmoreland let the matter drop.

The next day, Officer Westmoreland noticed that defendant had items of contraband in his cell. Westmoreland ordered defendant out of his cell so he could conduct a search. When defendant reentered his cell after the search, Westmoreland again noticed that he was not wearing his wristband. Westmoreland told defendant several times that he needed to wear his wristband, but defendant ignored him. Westmoreland then asked whether defendant had heard his directions. Defendant said he had, but that he did not have to follow the rules. Westmoreland then decided to take defendant down to the sergeant's office to resolve the wristband issue, so he ordered defendant to turn around and put his hands on the wall, intending to place him in handcuffs.

When defendant refused to comply with the officer's commands, Officer Westmoreland reached for defendant's right hand. Defendant pulled away, shouting, "don't fuckin' touch me. I'm a civilian. I don't have to follow your rules." When Westmoreland reached for defendant's hand a second time, defendant knocked the officer's arm away and slapped him in the face.

A struggle ensued on defendant's bed, after which defendant ran out of his cell and down the hall. Officer Westmoreland gave chase and when he reached defendant in front of the nurse's station, defendant punched him in the chest three or four times. Westmoreland finally gained control over defendant and immobilized him until other officers arrived on the scene.

DISCUSSION

I. Sufficiency of Evidence*fn4

Defendant argues there was insufficient evidence to prove that Officer Westmoreland was a "custodial officer" for purposes of section 243.1 and, thus, his conviction for ...


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