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. Byron Franklin Arnett

December 9, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
BYRON FRANKLIN ARNETT, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F9378)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

An information charged defendant Byron Franklin Arnett with two counts of lewd or lascivious acts against a child under the age of 14. (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a).)*fn1 A jury found defendant guilty and the court sentenced him to 60 years to life in state prison. Defendant appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and asserting the court erred in admitting evidence of another instance of sexual abuse, prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, cumulative error, and sentencing error. We shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND The Information

An amended information charged defendant with two counts of lewd or lascivious acts against a child under the age of 14. In addition, the information alleged a prior offense (burglary), both as a second strike and a serious felony. The information further alleged there were multiple victims. (§§ 288, subd. (a), 1170.12, 667, subd. (a)(1), 667.61, subd. (b).)

Trial

A jury trial followed. The evidence revealed the following scenario:

In January 2008 defendant visited his brother, R.A., and his family. R.A. and his girlfriend, S.P., had a son, C.A., and three daughters: A.A., aged 10; L.A., aged 6; and J.A., aged 3.

The night in question, all the children slept in one bed, with C.A. at the foot of the bed. A.A. awoke and saw defendant touching her sisters. She saw defendant put his hand down L.A.'s pajama pants and touch her vagina. Defendant attempted to touch J.A., who told him to stop, "or I'm going tell [sic] my dad." L.A. said defendant touched her below the waist, where she goes "potty."

The girls' maternal uncle, R.P., saw the three sisters go into the bathroom at around 2:00 a.m. Concerned, R.P. went upstairs to the bedroom to check on them. They stood by their dresser, crying. When he asked what was wrong, they did not answer.

At about the same time, S.P., the girls' mother, appeared and asked what had happened. R.A. began yelling at S.P. R.P. intervened to verbally defend his sister. As the argument between R.A. and R.P. escalated, they went outside to fight. Police arrived and arrested R.A.

After the arrest, S.P. also asked the girls what was wrong. L.A. told her mother someone touched her "down low." J.A. said something had happened to her and pointed to her vaginal area. S.P. reported the incident the following morning.

The day after the incident, Pamela Hewlett, a social worker with Shasta County Children and Family Services, contacted A.A. and L.A. at school and interviewed them separately. A.A. said defendant came into the bedroom and tried to touch her in her "privates." A.A. pushed away his hand. A.A. saw defendant touch her two sisters, L.A. and J.A.

L.A. told Hewitt that defendant put two fingers under her clothes "inside her potty." L.A. saw defendant's "potty," and defendant's pants and underwear were down at the same time.

Hewitt testified L.A. and A.A. were among the most traumatized victims she had ever interviewed during her tenure as a social worker. Both L.A. and A.A. were visibly shaking, crying, and scared by what had happened.

Four days later, Kristen Fredrick, a child abuse investigator, interviewed the three girls. Fredrick asked some preliminary questions to ascertain whether J.A. understood the difference between the truth and a lie. Because J.A. did not, Fredrick could not interview her.

Fredrick interviewed A.A., who seemed very frightened and nervous. A.A. only shook her head "yes" or "no" when questioned.

In her interview with Fredrick, L.A. was more communicative. L.A. was scared and shy because of her age, but more communicative than A.A. L.A. told Fredrick someone "touched her bad." Using a diagram of a little girl, she pointed to the vagina as the location of the touching. In the videotape of the interview, played for the jury, L.A. said defendant removed his pants and she saw his private part.

In December 2008 police investigator Brian Barner interviewed defendant. A videotape of a portion of the interview was played for the jury. Barner told defendant he wanted to tell him what defendant's nieces were saying and get his side of the story. Defendant responded he had "a pretty good idea" what they were saying.

Defendant told Barner he had not been in the bedroom alone with the children. He only went into the room with the girls' maternal uncle. Defendant described his nieces as good children who obeyed their father. He told Barner it was up to him to decide whether defendant was telling the truth.

Barner told defendant the girls had accused him of touching them. Barner suggested defendant admit his wrongdoing for his nieces' sake. Defendant shook his head and said he was ready to go home.

In December 2009, a year later, Fredrick again interviewed A.A. Fredrick asked A.A. if she saw defendant touch J.A. A.A. said she only saw defendant touch L.A. In the original interview, almost two years prior, A.A. said defendant touched both of her ...


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.