(Super. Ct. No. 62-68119)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nicholson , Acting P. J.
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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Raymond Richard Whitall of two counts of second degree burglary (Pen. Code, §§ 459/460, subd. (b) -- counts one & five),*fn1 one count of grand theft (§ 484, subd. (a) -- count three), two counts of extortion by force or fear (§ 518 -- counts two & six), and two counts of impersonation of an inspector or investigator of a state department (§ 146a, subd. (b) -- counts four & eight).*fn2 Defendant admitted he had four prior strike convictions (§§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12, subds. (a)-(d)) and had served five prior prison terms (§ 667.5, subd. (b)).
Sentenced to state prison for 54 years to life, defendant appeals, contending the trial court erred when it denied, at the close of the People's case, his motion for acquittal (§ 1118.1) of the extortion conviction charged in count six.*fn3 Alternatively, defendant argues the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction on appeal. Because the test for sufficiency of the evidence on appeal is the same for both the motion for acquittal and to sustain the conviction on appeal (People v. Cuevas (1995) 12 Cal.4th 252, 261), we need only one of the two contentions, and we choose the latter.
Hipolita Mora and Israel Luna own the El Azteca Taqueria restaurant in Roseville. On February 6, 2007, defendant came to the restaurant and told Mora and Luna that he was an inspector with CAL-OSHA and was there to conduct an inspection for hazardous chemicals. Defendant, who had badges that said CAL-OSHA on his jacket and his belt, then purportedly conducted the inspection.
After the inspection, defendant filled out paperwork labeled CAL-OSHA and told Luna that the violations could total $70,000. Defendant said the paperwork could be fixed and the fines reduced for $3,000 in cash; however, for this to be done, Luna would have to pay at least $1,000 in cash that day. Luna paid defendant $1,000 in cash and Luna said that defendant left to get a receipt from his car, but never returned.
A short time later, after seeing reports on TV regarding a phony CAL-OSHA inspector, Luna contacted the police. Luna identified defendant from a photo lineup and at trial as the individual who claimed to be a CAL-OSHA inspector.
On February 10, 2007, Richard and Jane Glaser were at Denny's Cafe, a small Chinese restaurant in Roseville, for dinner.*fn4 The Glasers frequently ate at the restaurant and knew the two people who ran the restaurant, Kenny Kan-Lai and his brother Tommy. As the Glasers were waiting for their order to be taken, Richard could see Kenny in the back with someone. Kenny came out and handed Richard a piece of paper and then took his "business licenses" off the wall and returned ...