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The People v. Phillip Angus Wright

April 30, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
PHILLIP ANGUS WRIGHT, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. CR027494, CR027105)

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

P. v. Wright

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Phillip Angus Wright was found guilty of battery with serious bodily injury, obstructing a peace officer and admitted a prior prison term enhancement. The trial court sentenced defendant to a prison term of five years and eight months, plus a consecutive eight months for a probation violation in an unrelated case.

On appeal, defendant contends his admission of the prior prison term enhancement was invalid, and instructing the jury that a broken nose constituted serious bodily injury violated his rights to due process and a jury trial. We reverse the enhancement, remand for further proceedings on that issue, and otherwise affirm the judgment.

FACTS

On March 13, 2010, defendant was living in Lassen County with his mother Victoria Ridgebear (Victoria) and stepfather Elvis Ridgebear (Elvis). Defendant got into a discussion with his mother and stepfather over a summons for jury duty. The discussion escalated into a heated argument that lasted for 15 to 20 minutes.

The three eventually went into the bedroom, where defendant and Victoria continued the argument. When Elvis asked defendant why he did this when they kept caring for him, defendant "rubbed a fork" and said, "I ought to stick you."

Defendant and Victoria then resumed their argument. As the subject of the argument moved to Elvis, defendant was "jumping around . . . like he wanted to hit somebody." Victoria told Elvis to say something to defendant; when Elvis removed his glasses and began to stand up, defendant hit Elvis with a closed fist, breaking his nose.

Defendant ran into his room and barricaded himself. After police entered the residence, defendant told an officer that he wanted $300 his mother owed him. Officers decided to forcibly enter the room when defendant said he had taken a bottle of pills.

When officers broke into defendant's room, he started throwing objects at them, including a table and a chair. Defendant had to be Tasered two times before officers could subdue him.

Testifying on his own behalf, defendant claimed his mother ordered him to move out even though he recently paid rent. During the ensuing confrontation, Elvis took off his glasses and moved toward defendant after Victoria told Elvis to "do something." Thinking Elvis was ...


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