Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

The People v. Joe Trejo

September 27, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JOE TREJO, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, Richard R. Romero, Judge. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. NA082886)

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

CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION*fn1

Affirmed and remanded with instructions.

INTRODUCTION

Following a jury trial, defendant and appellant Joe Trejo (defendant) was convicted of two counts of attempted second degree robbery and five counts of second degree robbery. On appeal, he contends that the unsuccessful and sometimes contentious plea bargain negotiations that took place prior to trial resulted in a denial of his due process right to a fair trial. Defendant also contends that the trial court committed prejudicial error when it denied his motion for a mistrial. The Attorney General disagrees with both of defendant's contentions and asserts that additional fees and assessments should have been imposed by the trial court.

In the published portion of this opinion, we hold that the plea bargain negotiations did not deprive defendant of a fair trial. In the unpublished portion of the opinion, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for mistrial and that the trial court is required to impose additional fees and assessments.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Counts 5 and 6--Attempted Robberies of Wilman and Edgar Recinos

On June 3, 2009, at about 12:30 p.m., Wilman Recinos was eating lunch with his cousin Edgar Recinos at a construction site near 1925 Homeworth Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. Two Hispanic men approached the cousins and pointed guns at them. The two men demanded money from the cousins, but the cousins refused the demand. One of the robbers then struck Wilman on the head with a gun. The cousins were in fear for their lives. Wilman ran into the house and the two assailants ran away. Wilman did not "really see [the assailants] that well because it all happened so fast." He was unable to identify defendant in court as one of the robbers.*fn2

On June 3, 2009, at about 12:30 p.m., Raul Rivera was working as a gardener in the vicinity of 1948 Homeworth Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. He noticed two men following a tall, elderly man who was carrying grocery bags in each hand. He identified one of the two men as defendant. Rivera was concerned the two men were going to rob the man with the bags. The two men, who were wearing hooded jackets, then turned around and approached Rivera who grabbed a pickax. Defendant stood in front of Rivera and said "What are you looking at, faggot?" Rivera saw defendant holding a gun. Defendant and his cohort then crossed the street and approached two men who were eating about six houses from his location. Rivera saw defendant point a gun at the men, heard defendant's cohort demand money, and saw the cohort hit one of the victims with a gun. When the two victims stated they did not have any money, defendant and his cohort ran away.

Count 7--Robbery of Arthur Harmon

On June 3, 2009, at about 12:50 p.m., Arthur Harmon was near the intersection of 10th Street and Pacific Avenue in San Pedro. Harmon had just completed some banking and, as he walked from the bank parking lot to the sidewalk, he was approached by two men wearing hooded sweatshirts. The two men "stuck guns in [his] ribcage and told [him], 'Give us your money.'" When Harmon told the men his wallet was in his back pocket, one of them took the wallet from his pocket and then both men "took off running." At the time of the incident, Harmon was recovering from laser eye surgery, but because defendant was only a foot away from him during the robbery, Harmon was able to identify defendant in court as one of the robbers. Harmon's credit card was subsequently used at a restaurant and two gas stations, and someone unsuccessfully attempted to use it at a Target store. Harmon had $100 to $125 in cash in his wallet.

Count 8--Robbery of Gary Bodak

On June 3, 2009, at about 3:45 p.m., Gary Bodak was taking a walk near the vicinity of 228th Street and Cypress Avenue in the City of Torrance. Two dark-skinned men wearing hooded sweatshirts came up behind him and grabbed his wallet. He turned around, held up his closed umbrella, and one of the men took out a gun and pulled the trigger. Bodak heard a plastic clicking sound, but did not hear the gun discharge and was not shot. The men ran away with Bodak's wallet and all of its contents, including his credit cards and cash. Bodak identified the man with the gun as defendant from a subsequent photographic lineup, but was unable to identify defendant in court as one of the robbers.

Count 9--Robbery of Joe Leiva

On June 19, 2009, at approximately 6:45 p.m., Joe Leiva was working on his laptop computer in front of his apartment building located on the 1000 block of West 19th Street in the City of San Pedro. He noticed two men "coming around the corner, and they were running [toward him] pretty fast." Leiva identified one of the two men as defendant from a photographic lineup and in court. Defendant said to Leiva, "Hey, homey, give me your shit." Defendant then pointed a gun at Leiva's abdomen, and Leiva gave him the laptop computer. The entire incident lasted 10 to 15 seconds.

Count 10--Robbery of Richard Jacobelly

On June 22, 2009, at about 1:00 a.m., Richard Jacobelly was walking down 1st Street near Grand Avenue in the City of San Pedro. He was walking from his apartment to a bus stop when a man passed by him. Jacobelly identified the man as defendant from a photographic lineup and in court. After defendant passed Jacobelly, he "came at [Jacobelly]" from behind with a gun and said, "Give me your wallet." As defendant put the gun to Jacobelly's head, Jacobelly turned and saw another man with a gun coming at him from the other direction. Defendant told Jacobelly to lie on the ground, and he complied. At some point during the robbery, Jacobelly heard one of the two robbers cock the hammer of a gun. Jacobelly said, "I have a little girl. Please don't shoot. Please don't shoot me." The ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.