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The People v. Albert Arthur Dennis

January 6, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ALBERT ARTHUR DENNIS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 08F08211)

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

P. v. Dennis

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Albert Arthur Dennis appeals from his convictions for first degree murder and assault with a firearm. He contends the trial court erred in admitting the 911 call of the victim as she died; there was insufficient evidence to support his ability to pay the jail booking and classification fees; and there is insufficient evidence to support the direct victim restitution award. We shall affirm.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Kelly Strong, Linda Saelee and the victim, Amber Manoa, knew each other through dating and drug deals. Strong had introduced Saelee to Manoa during a drug deal where they exchanged $50 of methamphetamine for Saelee's cell phone. Manoa used the cell phone to call Saelee's drug contacts, informed them Saelee was no longer selling drugs and made sales herself. Strong cautioned her against doing this. Saelee was angry about this and wanted her cell phone back.

Tonisha Elder and her live-in boyfriend, defendant, lived around the corner from Saelee. The trio had been together when they decided to buy drugs from Manoa. Saelee called Manoa and arranged to purchase $50 of methamphetamine from her. They agreed to meet at Saelee's apartment. Defendant told Elder he was going to wait for Manoa, scare her and steal her drugs. He had a gun he was going to use to scare her, but no one was supposed to be killed or injured. Saelee and Elder went to Saelee's apartment and defendant left. At about 1:00 a.m., Elder met defendant and gave him a bottle of gin. Elder last saw defendant walking toward their apartment wearing jeans, a white shirt and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Manoa and Strong met and headed to Saelee's apartment for the drug deal at about 4:00 a.m. Elder and Saelee did not have enough money to buy the $50 of methamphetamine. Manoa appeared uncomfortable with Saelee. She asked Strong if Saelee had ever been "janky," or dishonest about a transaction. Elder then purchased $20 of methamphetamine from Manoa.

Manoa and Strong left the apartment and returned to the car. As they were getting in, Strong saw a male dressed in a long-sleeved hooded sweatshirt, a baseball cap, gloves and a ski mask run up from behind them and fire a gun at them. Strong was shot in the foot and fell into the passenger seat. The shooter fired more shots while standing in the passenger side door jamb. He leaned over Strong, hit him with the gun and demanded, "Where's it at?" "Where's it at?" "Give it up." Strong told the shooter he did not have anything. The shooter appeared focused on Manoa, and ran behind the car to the driver's side, where Manoa was. This gave Strong the chance to get away. He crawled away from the car, climbed a fence and hid. He heard more shots fired, got up and ran farther away. Eventually he stopped at a house and asked them to call an ambulance.

A number of neighbors heard the gunshots as well. Joel Perez looked out his window when he heard the shots. He saw one man holding a gun and shooting at another, who was running away. The shooter was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head, with the sleeves pulled down over his hands. After briefly following the fleeing man, the shooter returned to the car, aimed his gun at the crying woman in the driver's seat, and shot her four or five times.

Freddy Lara heard two men fighting. He saw one man pull out a gun and shoot the other, who was running away. The shooter was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a hood pulled over his head. After briefly pursuing the fleeing man, the shooter returned to the car and ...


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