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The People v. Joseph Anthony Esquivel

August 30, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSEPH ANTHONY ESQUIVEL, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F08328)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

During a fight between defendant Joseph Anthony Esquivel and acquaintance Terry Smith about defendant's mistreatment of defendant's then-girlfriend A., defendant stabbed and beat up Smith. Smith was hospitalized with 39 stitches on his neck, 18 stitches or staples on his face, and 2 or 3 stitches or staples on his head. A jury found defendant guilty of battery causing serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon and force likely to produce great bodily injury. The court found he had one prior strike and one prior serious felony conviction and sentenced him to 14 years in prison for these crimes.

Defendant appeals, contending: (1) the court erred in admitting evidence of his domestic violence against A.; (2) the court omitted necessary instructions on self-defense; (3) these two errors led to "cumulative" prejudice; and (4) the court erred in refusing to hold an evidentiary hearing on defendant's new trial motion. Disagreeing, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In the morning of July 27, 2009, Smith was standing in the parking lot of his sister's apartment complex talking on the phone with a friend. He saw defendant leaving A.'s apartment, and Smith called defendant over to him. Smith wanted to ask defendant a few questions about his relationship with A. A.'s mother had asked Smith to talk with defendant about a "[p]hysical" "incident that had happened between [defendant] and [A.]" A few days earlier, Smith had "seen [defendant] grab [A.] in an aggressive . . . way." On another occasion, Smith had "seen [A.'s] face dripping with blood and two black eyes," although he did not know what had happened to cause these injuries because he was not there.

When defendant came over to Smith, defendant "got a little upset that [Smith] was trying to get involved in his relationship." The two men were "yelling or speaking loudly" about a foot and one-half from each other. "Then [they] got in each other's faces and bumped chests a little bit." Defendant threw the first punch and hit Smith in the face. Smith swung back. Smith "had [defendant] up against [his] sister's car," holding defendant by his shirt. Defendant reached across Smith's neck, and Smith felt a scratching sensation. Smith saw something shiny in defendant's hand. Smith pulled defendant's arm off his neck, and the two started wrestling on the ground. Smith felt a scratching sensation again when he was on the ground. Defendant hit Smith in the face one more time and then ran.

Smith's brother-in-law drove Smith to the hospital. Smith had a "number of . . . open cuts" that required stitches and staples.

DISCUSSION

I

The Court Did Not Err By Admitting ...


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