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The People v. Stanley Daniel Zamora

February 4, 2011


Super. Ct. No. 07F926

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

P. v. Zamora 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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Stanley Daniel Zamora guilty of felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of narcotics paraphernalia.*fn1 The trial court denied defendant's motion for a new trial, suspended imposition of his sentence, and placed him on formal probation for three years with various terms and conditions.

On appeal, defendant contends his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel was violated when trial counsel prejudicially failed to object to evidence that: (1) defendant refused consent to the search of his vehicle; (2) defendant had extramarital affairs; and (3) defendant was found in an area known for crime and drug transactions. We disagree and affirm the judgment.



Prosecution Case

On January 15, 2007, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Redding Police Sergeant Jeff Wallace approached a lone pickup parked in the farthest corner of a dark dirt parking lot down by some brush. Sergeant Wallace said he frequently patrolled these parking lots because they drew criminal activity at night, such as alcohol violations, drugs, and burglaries. As Sergeant Wallace's headlights illuminated the inside of the dark truck, he observed Michelle Heffley scooting rapidly from the driver's side towards the center portion of the seat. Sergeant Wallace got out of his patrol car and heard Heffley say, "Stan, don't" as Sergeant Wallace walked toward the passenger side with the window down. He saw defendant quickly and abruptly leave the truck from the driver's side and followed him to the rear of the truck.

As they encountered each other, defendant nervously and excitedly told Sergeant Wallace, "I didn't know who you were. I didn't know what you were doing. That's why I'm getting out to confront you." Sergeant Wallace, in uniform, identified himself as a police officer and defendant responded, "I'm a law enforcement agent just like you. We do the same thing." After a brief conversation, defendant explained he previously owned a security guard company.

Defendant suddenly reached toward the rear of his waistband, and Sergeant Wallace asked him to keep his hands in front of him. Defendant initially complied but soon reached towards the waistband again. Sergeant Wallace ordered him to keep his hands in front of him and noticed a folding knife clipped to defendant's pants. He asked defendant if he had any other weapons, took the knife from him, and conducted a weapons pat search. Sergeant Wallace found no other weapons.

Officer Kevin Kimple arrived and had Heffley get out of the truck. Sergeant Wallace looked into the truck through the driver's window opening and saw an open alcohol bottle containing some clear liquid. He asked defendant if he could search the truck and, although defendant denied the request, Sergeant Wallace conducted the search based on the open container violation. He found a glass methamphetamine smoking pipe, a residue-stained napkin, and a lighter under the front of the driver's seat. The bulb of the glass pipe had burnt black residue inside of it. Defendant was arrested for possession of the smoking pipe, and a search of his person revealed a brass tin in his inner jacket pocket. Sergeant Wallace opened the container and found a couple of pills and a coin-size Ziplock baggie with methamphetamine in it.

On cross-examination, Sergeant Wallace did not recall whether he drew his gun during the encounter. Sergeant Wallace did not smell any methamphetamine in the truck or alcohol on defendant, and he did not perform a drug abuse recognition exam or a finger inspection for drug burn marks on either defendant or Heffley. He did not take any pictures at the crime scene and he did not preserve the alcohol bottle as evidence.

The drugs were sent to the Department of Justice crime lab for testing. Mike Barnes, senior criminalist at the crime lab, testified he inspected the drugs, ...

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