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The People v. Ethan Robert Thompson

May 24, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ETHAN ROBERT THOMPSON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F9123)

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

P. v. Thompson 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Ethan Robert Thompson of one count of criminal threats, and the trial court found, among other enhancements, that he had a prior strike conviction for first degree burglary. (Pen. Code, §§ 422; 667, subd. (a)(1); 1170.12.)*fn1 Defendant was sentenced to seven years eight months in state prison.

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred when it denied his motions for mistrial after victim Ronald B. (Ronald) improperly referred to defendant's parole status and mentioned that witness Katrina H. (Katrina) had been arrested. We find no reversible error and shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On December 6, 2009, Ronald and his 10-year-old son, M.B., were at their residence in Redding. Ronald lived across the street from defendant and his girlfriend, Katrina. Just before 7:00 p.m., Katrina came running into Ronald's home after an altercation with defendant. She was crying hysterically and defendant was chasing her. Ronald stopped defendant at the door and said he was not allowed to come inside. This was a common scenario. At least seven or eight times prior, Ronald provided a "safe zone" for Katrina after physical altercations with defendant.*fn2 Before December 6, 2009, defendant never challenged Ronald's refusals to allow him inside.

On this evening, however, defendant did not back down. While standing less than an inch from Ronald's face, defendant screamed and threatened to kill Ronald and put him "in the ground." Defendant said he would burn the house down, cut him up, and make M.B. an orphan. M.B. listened to these threats from a nearby room, and Katrina crouched crying in the kitchen.

Fearing for his own safety, as well as the safety of M.B. and Katrina, Ronald called the police. Defendant continued to scream, but ultimately left the property.

Around 7:30 p.m., defendant came back and apologized to Katrina while lying on the ground crying. Katrina left with defendant, but Ronald continued to hear defendant screaming later in the night. Ronald was afraid because defendant had threatened to kill him or send someone to kill him and his son. He also explained he knew defendant frequently used methamphetamine and was worried the situation would escalate.

The next morning, Ronald dropped M.B. off at school and returned to find defendant screaming threats and obscenities from his own porch across the street. Chad Mikesell, a neighbor, overheard defendant's outburst. Mikesell described defendant as very agitated, irate, and with "veins bulging." According to Ronald, defendant threatened him by stating, "You're done," "punk bitch," and "cop caller." Ronald told defendant that "there was going to be war," which he explained as meaning he would call defendant's parole officer. He knew defendant had a violent history and a vicious, "big, burly" friend. Afraid for his and his son's life, Ronald called 911 and said he wanted defendant "violated."*fn3

After the incident, Katrina visited defendant in jail. In a recorded conversation, defendant referenced Ronald and told Katrina she needed to "get that dude," "do it like they did me," and "cry your little eyes out." He referenced letters with ...


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