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The People v. Alfredo Rafeal Torres

April 23, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ALFREDO RAFEAL TORRES, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. SF09232)

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

P. v. Torres

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury found defendant Alfredo Rafael Torres not guilty of arson but found him guilty of the lesser included offense of unlawful burning of an inhabited structure along with several other crimes. The jury also found that he unlawfully and intentionally took, damaged, or destroyed property worth over $200,000, within the meaning of Penal Code*fn1 section 12022.6. Defendant contends the section 12022.6 enhancement must be stricken as inconsistent with his conviction on the underlying offense. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On July 11, 2009, Surgit Singh and his wife closed their convenience store around 11:00 p.m. and went upstairs to the apartment in which they lived. Around 3:00 a.m., they were awakened by the sound of breaking glass. Singh went to investigate and saw a fire outside of the kitchen on the back wall of the building. The entire wall was on fire.

Singh ran out of the building and saw a man, later identified as defendant, standing near the fire. Singh asked defendant to call 911. Defendant said he did not have a phone and demanded Singh's car keys. Singh told his wife to run and they both ran away.

The Singhs ran to the nearby fire station but no one was there. As they ran back to the store, they saw a man on a bicycle and asked him to call 911. The man did not have a phone with him but said he would go home and call. As the Singhs got back to the store, they saw a taxi approaching, stopped it, and asked the driver to call 911, which he did. The bicyclist returned and said he had also called 911.

The firefighters arrived approximately 25 minutes after the Singhs discovered the fire. At this point, the structure was 50 percent involved. Singh saw defendant opening the door of the detached garage and try to open Singh's car, which was parked inside. Singh told the firefighter that there was someone in the backyard.

One of the firefighters approached defendant, who then had his head under the open hood of the car. When the firefighter told defendant to leave the garage and go to the front of the store, defendant responded, loudly, "'Fuck you. I will kill you.'" The firefighter said he did not care and repeated that defendant needed to go to the front of the store. To this, defendant replied, "'Fuck you. I did it. I will kill you.'" Defendant then swung a wrench at the firefighter. The firefighter turned and ran off.

When police officers arrived, the firefighters informed them that defendant was in the backyard refusing to leave and had threatened to kill one of the firefighters. As the officers ran to the backyard, they encountered defendant running toward them. The officers told defendant to approach them and defendant unleashed a barrage of obscene language at them and told them he was going to kill them. Defendant continued to swear as the officers apprehended him and placed him in the patrol car. Defendant then spit all over the inside of the car, so the officers removed him to place a spit shield on him. When they put defendant back in the patrol car, he kicked out the window. Defendant appeared to be acting delusional.

The fire was not completely extinguished until 11:00 a.m. The building and its contents were a total loss with an estimated replacement cost of $985,000. The origin of the fire was determined to be inside the deck enclosure of the back wall of the building. The fire did not appear to be accidental and was consistent with ...


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