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The People v. Jackie Lester Shoults

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT (Yolo)


December 21, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JACKIE LESTER SHOULTS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

(Super. Ct. No. CRF102148)

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

P. v. Shoults

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Jackie Lester Shoults pleaded no contest to vehicle theft and admitted a prior conviction. The trial court imposed a stipulated four-year prison term and awarded $5,814.09 in victim restitution.

Defendant contends on appeal that the trial court (1) abused its discretion in ordering restitution for home security items, because those items were unrelated to the crime for which defendant was convicted; (2) abused its discretion in ordering restitution for damage to the car, because the damage occurred after defendant was arrested; (3) abused its discretion in ordering restitution to Pam Swanstrom, because she was not a victim and her losses were unnecessary; and (4) erred in failing to provide a basis for its decision.

We conclude (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution for the home security items, because there was sufficient information indicating that the victims' fear for their safety arose from the crime for which defendant was convicted; (2) substantial evidence supported a determination that the car damage was caused by defendant; (3) Pam Swanstrom was a victim of defendant's crime, and her loss was attributable to the crime; and (4) the trial court based the restitution award on the preliminary hearing, the evidence provided by the victims, and the parties' briefs, providing a sufficient basis for appellate review of the restitution award.

We will affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

Woodland police received a report of a residential burglary at the home of Bruce and Patricia Ryland. The Rylands' 2004 Honda Civic and various electronic items were stolen. On July 15, 2009, a San Francisco police officer stopped defendant for making an illegal left turn. Defendant was driving the stolen Honda Civic.

Defendant pleaded no contest to theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle (Veh. Code, § 10851, subd. (a); count 2) and admitted a prior conviction for vehicle theft in exchange for a stipulated four-year prison term. The remaining counts were dismissed as part of the plea, but the count for receiving stolen property was dismissed with a Harvey*fn1 waiver for restitution. The trial court imposed the stipulated four-year prison term and ordered various fines and fees.

The People sought restitution for the following: repair of the stolen Civic and a lock retrofit ($1,518.72), car rental expenses ($738), car impound fees ($339.75), bridge tolls ($12), an impound yard parking fee ($10), towing from San Francisco to Woodland ($543), towing from the Woodland Police Department to the repair shop ($55), gasoline ($62.03), Bruce Ryland's lost wages ($325.52), Patricia Ryland's lost wages ($493.85), lost wages for Patricia's mother, Pam Swanstrom ($151.82), an Avalonics wireless home security system ($975), rekeying the house ($356.81), and a new deadbolt for the house ($232.59). Thus, the total amount of restitution requested by the People was $5,814.09. The trial court ordered restitution in the amount requested by the People.

DISCUSSION

I

Defendant contends the trial court abused its discretion in ordering restitution for the home security expenses -- the Avalonics wireless home security system, the rekeying of the house, and the new deadbolt -- because those expenses were unrelated to the crime of vehicle theft for which he was convicted. The Attorney General concedes the point, but we disagree.

When a victim incurs economic loss as a result of a crime, the victim is entitled to restitution from the person convicted of that crime. (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (a)(1).)*fn2 However, a victim is not entitled to restitution for an economic loss arising from activity for which the defendant was not convicted. (People v. Percelle (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 164, 180; People v. Rubics (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 452, 460.)

Restitution for economic loss arising from the crime for which defendant was convicted shall be in an amount established by the trial court based on the amount claimed by the victim. (§ 1202.4, subd. (f).) Once the People have made a prima facie showing of economic loss resulting from the crime for which defendant was convicted, the burden shifts to the defendant to demonstrate that the restitution amount is not proper or should be different. (People v. Chappelone (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 1159, 1172 (Chappelone).)

The trial court may not make an order that is arbitrary or capricious. (Chappelone, supra, 183 Cal.App.4th at p. 1172.) We review the trial court's restitution order for abuse of discretion. (Id. at p. 1173.) Where there is a factual and rational basis for the order, an abuse of discretion will not be found. (People v. Millard (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 7, 26.) In determining whether there is a factual basis for the order, we apply the substantial evidence standard. (Ibid.) But "the standard of proof at a restitution hearing is by a preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. [Citation.] 'If the circumstances reasonably justify the [trial court's] findings,' the judgment may not be overturned when the circumstances might also reasonably support a contrary finding. [Citation.] We do not reweigh or reinterpret the evidence; rather, we determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the inference drawn by the trier of fact. [Citations.]" (People v. Baker (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 463, 469.)

The Rylands submitted a letter that was included in the probation report. The Rylands explained that they purchased the home security items because the crime made them afraid for their safety. They were in Hawaii at the time of the car theft. At the preliminary hearing, the Ryland's house sitter testified that the car was in the driveway when she left for work. She said the front door was locked and the bedroom doors were closed. The car was missing when she returned to the residence a few hours later. The front door was closed, but the bedroom doors were now open. Access to the house could be obtained through the front door or through the dog door. Police found the car key in the ignition when they recovered the stolen car from defendant. Defendant admitted to the police that he had been around the Rylands' house several times and that his brother was the house sitter's boyfriend. Based on this evidence, the trial court could reasonably infer that the car key was taken from the Rylands' residence.

In addition, defendant entered a Harvey waiver on the dismissed count for receiving stolen property. Although that count involved receipt of stolen bonds and checks, the Rylands' checks were found with defendant in the stolen vehicle, further suggesting that defendant had been in the Ryland residence. Thus, the totality of the information available to the trial court established that the crime for which defendant was convicted resulted in the Rylands' being in reasonable fear for their future safety in their home. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution for the home security items.

Nonetheless, defendant argues, and the Attorney General agrees, that because section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3)(J) expressly authorizes restitution for security systems when burglaries are committed while the victims were home, we must read section 1202.4 as prohibiting restitution for security systems where, as here, the victims were not at home at the time of the burglary.*fn3 We decline, however, to interpret the statute in this manner, because the enumerated list in section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3) is not exclusive. As this court said in People v. Keichler (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 1039, 1046 (Keichler), because section 1202.4 "uses the language 'including, but not limited to' these enumerated losses, a trial court may compensate a victim for any economic loss which is proved to be the direct result of the defendant's criminal behavior, even if not specifically enumerated in the statute. [Citation.]" (Keichler, supra, 129 Cal.App.4th at p. 1046 [affirming restitution order for traditional Hmong healing ceremonies and herbal medicines where defendant pleaded no contest to violating civil rights by uttering racial slurs during a fight].)

The restitution order for the home security items was proper.

II

Defendant next contends that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering restitution for damage to the car, arguing that the damage occurred after his arrest.

The Rylands presented a receipt from an automotive repair service. Among other things, the repair service fixed a broken rear window, a damaged engine shield and a broken door lock, replacing all the locks. The repair service also replaced a temporary spare tire on the right front wheel. The total repair cost was $1,518.72, and the trial court included that amount in the restitution order.

Defendant points to the fact that the arresting officer checked the box labeled "apparently drivable" on the police report and indicated there was "no apparent damage" to the car. Thus, defendant argues the damage identified by the repair service must have happened after he was arrested. Citing this court's decision in People v. Jones (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 418 (Jones), defendant claims the car must have been damaged by an independent intervening cause, and thus his crime was not a proximate cause of the damage.

We conclude, however, that substantial evidence supports the trial court's restitution order. As the Court of Appeal explained in People v. Annin (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 591, substantial evidence includes all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence. (Id. at p. 601.) In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we must draw all reasonable inferences in support of the judgment and presume the existence of every fact the trier of fact could reasonably deduce from the evidence. (Ibid.) Thus, although the police report indicated that the car was "apparently" drivable, the record also shows that the car was towed to the San Francisco impound lot. The police report identified no "apparent" damage, but that report was made at 3:07 a.m. and there is no evidence that the police officer did a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle at that time. The damage might not have been noticed by the arresting officer in the early morning, and there is no evidence that the car was damaged after defendant's arrest. The car was undamaged at the Ryland home, but it was damaged when Patricia Ryland went to pick it up in San Francisco. A reasonable trier of fact could have inferred that defendant damaged the car he stole from the Rylands.

III

The trial court awarded $151.82 in restitution to Pam Swanstrom, Patricia Ryland's mother, for lost wages incurred in helping to retrieve the car from San Francisco. Defendant asserts this order was an abuse of discretion because Swanstrom was not a victim of defendant's crime and there is no evidence regarding the role she played in recovering the car.

The definition of victim for purposes of restitution includes "[t]he immediate surviving family of the actual victim" (§ 1202.4, subd. (k)(1)) and "[a]ny person who has sustained economic loss as the result of a crime and who . . . [a]t the time of the crime was the parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child, or grandchild of the victim." (§ 1202.4, subd. (k)(3)(A).)

Defendant argues that restitution is limited to the parent of a minor who is a crime victim, but he cites no authority for this proposition, and we reject it. Patricia Ryland was a victim of defendant's crime, and her mother, Pam Swanstrom, is also a victim entitled to restitution.

Defendant further contends that Ms. Swanstrom's lost wages were "unnecessary," but we disagree. At trial, the People claimed Swanstrom drove to San Francisco with Patricia Ryland "so that she could retrieve the Honda from impound, otherwise, she would have had to drive two cars back." Defendant asserts this argument does not show why Patricia Ryland did not drive the Honda back herself, or why the Honda was towed from San Francisco to Woodland.

However, a reasonable trier of fact could have inferred that Patricia Ryland drove to San Francisco with her mother thinking the Honda could be driven to Woodland and that two drivers would be needed when they obtained the Honda. A reasonable trier of fact could also infer that Ms. Ryland learned the Honda needed to be towed from San Francisco to Woodland when she arrived at the San Francisco impound lot. Although the police report indicated that the car was "apparently" drivable, the car had a temporary tire and could not be safely driven from San Francisco to Woodland. Mindful that we must make every reasonable inference in support of the judgment, we conclude that substantial evidence supports the trial court's restitution order for Ms. Swanstrom's lost wages. (People v. Annin, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 601.)

The Attorney General agrees with our conclusion that Ms. Swanstrom is a victim, but nonetheless agrees with defendant that she is not entitled to restitution for her lost wages. The Attorney General argues that because section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3)(E) provides restitution for "[w]ages or profits lost by the victim . . . due to time spent as a witness or in assisting the police or prosecution," this precludes restitution for lost wages incurred in retrieving the car. As previously noted, however, a trial court may award restitution for an economic loss which is not specifically enumerated in section 1202.4. Because Ms. Swanstrom's lost wages are attributable to defendant's criminal conduct, she is entitled to restitution.

IV

Defendant also contends that the trial court erred because it "failed to provide a factual basis for why it awarded the contested amount of the restitution request" and "failed to explain the rational[e] behind awarding a restitution amount that was not substantially supported by the physical evidence."

"To facilitate appellate review of the trial court's restitution order, the trial court must take care to make a record of the restitution hearing, analyze the evidence presented, and make a clear statement of the calculation method used and how that method justifies the amount ordered." (People v. Giordano (2007) 42 Cal.4th 644, 664.) The Rylands provided extensive documentation of their losses, and the People thoroughly briefed each restitution claim to the trial court. Although the trial court did not hold a restitution hearing, defendant did not object, forfeiting any contention that he was entitled to a hearing. The trial court based the restitution award on the preliminary hearing evidence, the information provided by the victims, and the parties' briefs. That information established how the restitution amount was

calculated, and it was sufficient to provide a basis for appellate review of the restitution award.

DISPOSITION

The judgment is affirmed.

We concur: RAYE , P. J. ROBIE , J.


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