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The People v. James Edward Carroll

May 19, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES EDWARD CARROLL, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F6546)

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

P. v. Carroll 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury convicted defendant James Edward Carroll of first degree residential burglary and assault with a deadly weapon; it also found true that he used a deadly weapon (a knife) in the course of committing the burglary, and that the resident was present at the time of the crime.

At sentencing, the trial court rejected defendant's argument that a 1978 federal conviction for bank robbery was not a "serious" felony under California law (Pen. Code, § 1192.7, subd. (c)(19)),*fn1 and also declined his invitation to exercise its discretion under section 1385 to strike one or both of the recidivist findings. Defendant was sentenced to an aggregate term of 36 years to life, comprised of a 25-year-to-life term for the residential burglary, plus a one-year enhancement for the knife use and five years for each of the two recidivist findings under section 667, subdivision (a); the court stayed a 35-year-to-life sentence on the assault with a deadly weapon conviction under section 654.

On appeal, defendant renews his challenge to the status of his 1978 federal conviction as a serious felony under California law, and contends the court abused its discretion in denying his request to strike any of the recidivist findings because it failed to consider significant mitigating factors, including that his most serious priors occurred when he was much younger, many of his convictions were nonviolent or were drug or alcohol related, and he has serious health problems. We shall affirm.

FACTS

In light of the issues involved in this appeal, we recite briefly the facts underlying defendant's conviction. Defendant began beating on the door of an acquaintance's apartment one afternoon and yelling he was going to kill the man. When the acquaintance refused to open the door, defendant broke the apartment's front window, jumped through it, and started trying to stab the man while the victim put up his hands and tried to defend himself.

Officers followed a blood trail and ultimately located defendant running away from law enforcement officers.

DISCUSSION I.

Federal Bank Robbery as a Strike

To prove the 1978 federal conviction, the prosecution submitted People's exhibit 15, which included two certified documents: the grand jury indictment in the United States District Court for the Central District of California of James Edward Carroll III aka James Edward Stevens in case No. CR 78-559; and the judgment and commitment order signed by the federal trial judge in July 1978. The judgment states that defendant, "upon his plea of guilty and the Court being satisfied there is a factual basis for the plea, has been convicted of the offense of Robbery of Bank, in violation of Title 18, section 2113(a), United States Code, as charged in Count 3 of the Indictment." Count 3 of the indictment alleged that, on or about May 19, 1978, defendant "by force and violence and by intimidation, knowingly took from victim teller [C.L.] $694.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management and possession of Security Pacific National Bank . . ."

The present trial court concluded this was sufficient to find true beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant suffered the federal conviction, and further determined beyond a reasonable doubt that this conviction constituted a prior serious felony ...


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