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San Joaquin v. Vincent Eric Morris

December 15, 2010


Super. Ct. No. SF109494A

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie J.

P. v. Morris CA3


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury found defendant Vincent Eric Morris guilty of two counts of first degree robbery and one count of first degree burglary, and found true an allegation that a principal was personally armed with a firearm. Defendant then admitted allegations he had a prior strike conviction, a prior serious felony conviction, and had served a prior prison term. The trial court struck the prior prison term allegation and sentenced defendant to prison for a total of 18 years 4 months. Defendant timely filed this appeal.

Appointed appellate counsel filed a brief pursuant to People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 and defendant filed a supplemental brief. We conclude that none of the contentions raised by defendant have merit, and our independent review of the record discloses no error, except a typographical error in the abstract of judgment. We will order the trial court to correct the abstract and otherwise affirm.


Ralph Mason testified that on August 31, 2008, he lived in an apartment with Lisa Keovongxay, where he was robbed by defendant. Previously, Mason had told defendant he was looking for a cell phone, and defendant said he would let Mason know if he came across one. Late on the night of the robbery, defendant came to Mason's apartment with another man, who had a gun. As Mason struggled for the gun, defendant punched him in the temple, knocking him down. The other man grabbed a laptop and two cell phones, and demanded money from Keovongxay, while defendant watched Mason. Mason told the other man where Keovongxay's purse was, and that man took about $200 and the purse. The robbers also took a PSP video game. When the robbers left, Mason went to a neighbor's house to call his brother, rather than the police, because he was afraid, but after defendant knocked on his door several hours later, Mason called the police.

Mason was impeached with two prior felony convictions, possession for sale of methamphetamine and unlawful taking of a vehicle. Mason denied that defendant came to the apartment to buy narcotics. Mason claimed that a man had threatened him to discourage him from testifying and that Mason had reported this to the police. Before trial, the laptop was recovered.

Keovongxay gave a similar account but testified defendant and Mason spoke for several minutes by the door before the second man ran in. At one point the second man's bandanna fell, and she recognized him as "Jo-Jo," her brother's friend. She was impeached with a misdemeanor conviction for loitering with the intent to commit prostitution. She denied there were drugs in the apartment and that defendant came to buy drugs.

Detective Anthony DeSimone testified that Mason told him one of the robbers was the brother of someone named Fred, and by searching through a database he identified a photograph of Fredrick Morris, and this led to a picture of defendant, who Mason identified as the man who had punched him. Detective DeSimone then created a photographic lineup, and Keovongxay picked out defendant's photograph.

Keovongxay gave the detective the name "Jo-Jo" as the second man and identified a photograph of Christopher Dixon. Dixon had already pled guilty to residential robbery and assault with a firearm but refused to testify about the incident. Dixon testified at defendant's trial that he was the only perpetrator and he denied knowing defendant.

Officer Mitch Tiner testified that he and other officers went to a home in Stockton to arrest defendant and found the laptop in defendant's bedroom.

The defense argued the victims were lying to cover up a drug operation, pointing out inconsistent and implausible parts of their stories, and stating, "Only dope dealers open their house at 11:00 p.m." The defense also argued the victims were angry with defendant because "he did nothing to stop" Dixon from robbing them, as was defendant's ...

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