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The People v. Elijah Maurice Darden

December 28, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ELIJAH MAURICE DARDEN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. 08F01365 & 08F02133)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Following a jury trial, defendant Elijah Maurice Darden was convicted of second degree robbery (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 211) with an enhancement for personally using a handgun (§ 12022.53, subd. (b)). The trial court sentenced defendant to a 12-year prison term.

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court coerced the jury to render a verdict.

We disagree and shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

I The Offense

Sometime between 11:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on February 19, 2008, Amanda Justus parked her Saturn Ion at her apartment complex in Natomas. As Justus walked from her car, a person, later identified as defendant, approached and said, "Don't say anything," as he showed her a gun. Defendant wore a black pea coat, jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, and a beanie; he showed the gun through the side of his left pocket. He was about three feet from Justus.

Defendant asked Justus for her purse. Justus did not have a purse, but gave defendant her card wallet. He then asked Justus for her keys and cell phone. Justus complied, and defendant told her to go home.

Justus returned to her apartment, where she told her roommate Kenneth Stonebraker what had happened. Justus called 911 as Stonebraker left the apartment to go look for Justus's car.

While outside within a few hundred yards from the apartment complex, Stonebraker met a man he knew as "EJ." He asked EJ if he had seen someone drive by in a car. EJ, whom Stonebraker later identified as defendant, said, "Yeah, was it a blue Saturn?" Stonebraker said it was, and defendant replied, "Yeah. Someone just came racing by here just a second ago." Defendant then told Stonebraker he was going home and offered help finding the car.

Stonebraker later returned to the apartment complex, where he noticed Justus's Saturn was parked in its normal spot. Stonebraker tried to call defendant later that night, but defendant's phone was off. Stonebraker called defendant several times the ...


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