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THE PEOPLE v. MICHAEL JOSEPH GRODIO

November 30, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHAEL JOSEPH GRODIO, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County.(Super.Ct.No. INF059778) James S. Hawkins, Judge. Affirmed.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ramirez P.J.

P.

v.

Grodio

CA4/2

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

OPINION

Defendant, Michael Joseph Grodio, shot David Tarlow (Tarlow), in the back, killing him. At trial, the defense theory was that defendant took large doses of several prescription drugs, which affected his judgment, making the homicide impulsive, not premeditated. The jury convicted him of first degree murder (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 187, subd. (a)), and he was sentenced to a term of 25 years to life for the murder, plus an additional term of 25 years to life for the discharge of a firearm in the commission of the murder. (§ 12022.53, subd. (d).)

On appeal, defendant argues that (1) the admission of his post-arrest statements that were submitted to his psychiatric expert, along with other information, regarding the events leading up to the shooting was reversible error because the statements were unreliable and "may" be involuntary; and (2) the admission of Tarlow's statement of his intent to ask defendant to leave was inadmissible because Tarlow's state of mind was irrelevant. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Prior to June 2007, defendant lived with his brother in the mobile home park where Tarlow, lived. In June 2007, defendant moved in with Tarlow. However, approximately a week or so before September 9, 2007, Tarlow informed his sister that he intended to ask defendant to leave because he felt that defendant had been going through his room.

Loretta M. lived in the mobile home across the street from defendant and Tarlow; she also cleaned for defendant and Tarlow, and occasionally took defendant to the grocery store or the pharmacy. Defendant took several prescription drugs and depended on Loretta to drive approximately 75 percent of the time.

On September 8, 2007, Loretta had spent the night with a neighbor for whom she worked, prepared meals and provided transportation, in another mobile home within the park. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. the next morning (September 9, 2007), Loretta returned to her own mobile home to get some perfume. She pulled up in front of the sidewalk and exited her vehicle. As she did so, she heard defendant call to her by her nickname, "Tater." After the second time he called to her, she looked and saw defendant between the mobile home and the vehicle that was parked in the driveway of the mobile home. Defendant had a handgun in his hands.

As Loretta approached defendant, defendant stated "I shot Dave. I think I killed him." Loretta entered the mobile home behind defendant, finding blood on the floor near the rear entrance. She asked defendant for the gun, but defendant did not give it to her. She asked defendant why he shot Tarlow and defendant explained that Tarlow was "pushing his buttons," meaning that Tarlow was looking for a fight. Although Tarlow had called 911 to report that he had been shot at approximately 8:51 a.m., Loretta obtained her cell phone from her car and called 911 from the mobile home, looking into Tarlow's room while she was still on the phone. She saw Tarlow ...


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