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The People v. Juba Jamil Cowan

February 28, 2011


(Super. Ct. No. 08F9220)

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

P. v. Cowan



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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Juba Jamil Cowan was convicted by jury of assault with a deadly weapon. (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1).)*fn1 The trial court subsequently found that defendant had previously been convicted of armed robbery, a serious felony (§ 667, subd. (a)) and a strike offense within the meaning of the three strikes law (§§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12), and that he had served two prior prison terms (§ 667.5, subd. (b)). Following an unsuccessful motion to strike defendant's strike conviction pursuant to People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497 (Romero), the trial court sentenced him to an aggregate term of 13 years in state prison (upper term of four years, doubled pursuant to the three strikes law, plus a consecutive five-year term for the prior serious felony conviction).

On appeal, defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, and further asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to strike his prior strike conviction under Romero. We disagree and shall affirm the judgment.


Following the well-established rule of appellate review, we recite the facts in the light most favorable to the judgment, drawing all reasonable inferences in support thereof. (People v. Bogle (1995) 41 Cal.App.4th 770, 775.)

In November 2008, defendant and his girlfriend, Stacie B., were engaged in a heated argument over finances at their house on Leland Avenue in Redding. At some point, defendant decided to abandon the argument and started to get dressed to leave the house. While defendant was getting dressed, Stacie picked up their infant daughter and left the house to take a walk around the neighborhood. They reached the corner of Leland Avenue and Fell Street when it started to rain. Defendant, now dressed and in a green Ford Expedition, pulled up alongside Stacie, rolled down the window, and yelled at her to either take the baby back to the house or "get the 'F' in the vehicle right now." When Stacie declined and tried to continue on her walk, defendant got out of the Expedition and the two yelled at each other on the sidewalk.

The commotion drew the attention of several neighbors, including Janice Pearson, who lived on Fell Street, one house away from the intersection where the argument was taking place. Pearson grabbed her phone and walked to the end of her driveway to investigate. She became worried when she saw that the woman involved in the argument was carrying a baby, and dialed 911.

While Pearson was on the phone with emergency services, defendant returned to the Expedition and noticed Pearson on the phone. Defendant then yelled to Pearson: "You nosy, F-ing bitch neighbor, I'll run your F-ing ass over." Defendant got in the Expedition, which was facing away from Pearson's house, made a sweeping turn in the middle of the intersection, and drove the vehicle at a speed of 10 to 15 miles per hour directly at Pearson. Pearson ran into her house. As she ran, she looked behind her and saw defendant's Expedition drive over the curb in front of her house, across a grassy median separating the curb from the sidewalk, and across the driveway where she had previously been standing.

Stopping in front of Pearson's house, defendant yelled profanities at her, again called her "an F-ing nosy bitch," and told her that "if he wanted to run [her] over, he could drive his vehicle right through [her] house." Still on the phone with emergency services, Pearson informed the operator that defendant had just tried to run her over. She then provided the Expedition's license plate number and reported that defendant was also threatening her. Defendant drove away, only to return a few minutes later to hurl further profanities in her direction. Pearson told him her "only concern was the child," to which defendant responded, "That's my F-ing child, you F-ing bitch." Defendant again departed.

When police arrived in the neighborhood, they immediately came upon defendant's Expedition and followed it to his house. When defendant got out of the vehicle, he said: "I know, I know, I've got to ...

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