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The People v. Thomas Walterman Douglas

August 9, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
THOMAS WALTERMAN DOUGLAS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F06471)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hull , Acting P. J.

P. v. Douglas

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Thomas Walterman Douglas of failure to register as a sexual offender within five days of coming into or changing his residence. (Pen. Code, § 290.018, subd. (b); undesignated statutory references that follow are to the Penal Code.) In a bifurcated proceeding, the jury found that defendant had suffered a prior serious felony strike conviction. (§§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12.) He was sentenced to state prison for four years. Section 2933 does not entitle defendant to additional conduct credit because he is required to register as a sexual offender. (§ 2933, subd. (e)(3).)

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by instructing the jury with a modified version of CALCRIM No. 1170 that, unlike the pattern version, did not identify the specific address that he was required, but failed, to register. He claims the error was prejudicial because it allowed the jury to convict him on the basis of his admitted knowledge of the duty to register a second residence should he acquire one, even though he had not done so or at least believed he had not done so. We shall affirm the judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

Prosecution

A.N. managed a commercial building in downtown Sacramento that housed professional tenants such as law firms and public relations firms. Tenants cannot use the building for residential purposes; nor can they use areas other than the basement for storage. A.N. inquires of prospective tenants as to their intended use of the rented space.

A.N. met defendant when he sought to lease space in the building. Defendant described himself as a musician and said he wanted a space where he could compose music. When A.N. questioned whether drumming or other music would be appropriate in professional office space, defendant explained that his only instrument would be a keyboard that connects to earphones. He assured her that if there was a noise complaint, he would wait until after 5:00 p.m. or use his earphones all of the time.

After viewing three smaller spaces within his stated price range, defendant opted for a larger space outside that range that had a sink and running water. Defendant told A.N. that at an unspecified time, he had "had an apartment" and also "had lived with his sister," who evidently was "in charge of" his "social security checks." He said he had "a very bad relationship" with the sister and "did not want his sister knowing where he was." Defendant mentioned that he had office space in Vacaville that was not meeting his needs and that he "wanted to get out of that area." Defendant did not mention that he was required to register as a sexual offender. Nor did he mention that he intended to use the space as a storage facility. A.N. would not have allowed the space to be used for that purpose.

After defendant moved into the building, A.N. discovered that he had brought much more than a keyboard and a "few" other items. In the hallway outside his unit, defendant had a dining table and chairs, a desk, and a "ton of stuff." A.N. contacted defendant and told him the belongings had to go. As an interim measure, A.N. allowed defendant to place items from the hallway in a vacant office. A.N. later viewed the interior of defendant's unit and discovered "where that stuff [from the vacant office] had actually gone." A.N. began to suspect that defendant was living in his unit.

A.N. received numerous complaints from staff and other tenants about the hours that defendant was in the building. In one instance Dennis N., a building maintenance worker, escorted a window washer to the space defendant was renting. When Dennis N. received no answer to his knock at defendant's door, Dennis N. used his key to unlock it. When the door was about halfway open, Dennis N. heard a voice say "stop, wait a minute." Before Dennis N. could react, he fully opened the door and saw defendant arising from a mattress on the floor across the room. Seeing nothing to indicate that defendant had been doing anything other than ...


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