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The People v. Kevin Wayne Dunigan

May 9, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
KEVIN WAYNE DUNIGAN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F01221)

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

P. v. Dunigan

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Kevin Wayne Dunigan killed Gary Veirs after Veirs punched him for swearing at Veirs's girlfriend when she rejected Dunigan's advances. Dunigan killed Veirs by "gutt[ing]" him, i.e., "insert[ing a knife] in [Veirs's] side [and] ripp[ing] him open from one side to another." Based on this evidence, a jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder while personally using a dangerous and deadly weapon.

Sentenced to prison for 26 years to life following a trial in which he represented himself, defendant appeals and raises the following two contentions: (1) the court erred in failing to order a competency hearing; and (2) the People presented insufficient evidence the murder was premeditated and deliberate. Disagreeing, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

One August evening in 1995, Marie Morrissette was leaving her house on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento when a man (later identified as defendant) approached her and said, "'Hey baby, what's up?'" Morrissette "put [her] hand up . . . to let him know not to talk to [her]" and then "kept on walking." Defendant responded in a loud voice, "'Well, fuck you then, bitch.'"

Just then, Morrissette's boyfriend, Veirs, came out of the house and told defendant, "'Don't talk like that to my old lady.'" There was an "instant [fist] fight." Veirs swung at defendant, defendant swung back, and within "seconds" the two were on the ground with Veirs on top. Defendant reached for a knife that was on his left side by his pants. The knife was about a foot long and "seemed . . . really sharp." Defendant pulled it out of its sheath. Morrissette yelled to Veirs, "'Babe, he's got a knife.'" She tried unsuccessfully to kick the knife out of defendant's hand. Veirs tried to "get up off him," but defendant was already stabbing him. Defendant "gutted him" by inserting the knife in his side and "ripp[ing] him open from one side to another."

Morrissette ran inside the house and called 911. Veirs followed her inside and was "bleeding everywhere." An ambulance took Veirs to the hospital. Veirs died from stab wounds to his chest.

Defendant was implicated in Veirs's murder in December 2008 after foreign DNA taken from Veirs's fingernails matched defendant's DNA.

DISCUSSION

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