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The People v. Todd Allen Cole

July 26, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
TODD ALLEN COLE, JR., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. CRF09469)

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

P. v. Cole

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Todd Allen Cole, Jr., was convicted of voluntary manslaughter (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (a))*fn1 and sentenced to 14 years in state prison. He contends on appeal that the trial court should have held a Marsden*fn2 hearing based on the content of a letter defendant sent to the trial court.

We conclude the trial court did not err, because defendant did not indicate to the trial court that he wanted substitute counsel. We will affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

On July 25, 2009, Scott Malmstrom's body was found in his apartment in Yuba County. Malmstrom died from 17 stab wounds to his neck, chest and chin. Defendant was identified as a possible suspect after his fingerprints were found on a beer can inside Malmstrom's apartment. While in jail, defendant told another inmate that he and his brother stabbed "some child molester" to death.

Defendant was initially charged with second degree murder (§ 187, subd. (a)). It was further alleged that defendant personally used a knife in the commission of his crime (§ 12022, subd. (b)(1)) and served two prior prison terms (§ 667.5, subd. (b)). The matter went to trial, the jury deadlocked, and the trial court declared a mistrial.

The prosecution subsequently amended the information to include a charge of voluntary manslaughter (§ 192, subd. (a)). Defendant entered a negotiated plea of no contest to voluntary manslaughter (§ 192, subd. (a)), admitted using a knife in the commission of his crime (§ 12022, subd. (b)(1)), and admitted serving two prior prison terms (§ 667.5, subd. (b)). In exchange for defendant's plea, the prosecution agreed to a sentencing lid of 14 years in state prison.

On September 13, 2010, defendant wrote a letter to the trial court, stating in part: "I need to subpoena Sgt. Williamson and audio and video of the interview between me and him on Aug. 27[,] 2009, to my next court hearing on the 20th of Sept[.] 2010 at 9:[00] AM.

"On the 19th of Aug[.] 2010 I took a deal in your court room, their [sic] were some papers provided by DA John Va[c]ek, I would like to request copies from you since ...


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