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The People v. Steven Warren Carpenter

August 31, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
STEVEN WARREN CARPENTER, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 09F8319)

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

P. v. Carpenter

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Steven Warren Carpenter guilty of two counts of failing to register as a sex offender: one based on his failure to update his registration annually under Penal Code*fn1 section 290.012 and the other based on his failure to report a change of address under section 290.013. Sentenced to 26 years to life in prison, defendant appeals, contending: (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions; (2) section 290.013 is unconstitutional as applied to him; (3) the trial court erred in instructing the jury on both counts; (4) the trial court deprived him of his right to present a defense by refusing to take judicial notice of Alaska law; and (5) the one-year consecutive term imposed for a prior prison term enhancement must be stricken because there was insufficient evidence that he was not free of prison custody for five years before his present crimes.

On review, we accept the People's concession that there was insufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction of failing to update his registration, and accordingly we will reverse defendant's conviction on that count. Otherwise, however, we reject defendant's arguments and will affirm the remainder of the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Defendant was convicted of sex crimes requiring sex offender registration in October 1984. Defendant had most recently updated his registration in November 2007, several days before his birthday, listing as his address his mother's house in Redding.

On September 20, 2008, a detective from the Redding Police Department interviewed defendant as part of a felony investigation. Defendant confirmed he was still living at the same address. During the interview, the detective advised defendant that the case might be submitted to the prosecutor for prosecution.

On October 2, 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for defendant. The next day, the detective went to defendant's mother's house to attempt to serve the warrant, but defendant was not there. At some point, the detective learned defendant was no longer in California.

Nearly a year later, on September 25, 2009, defendant arrived at his sister's home in Oroville. Two days later, a Butte County deputy sheriff responding to a domestic violence call encountered defendant at that location. Defendant initially gave the deputy some false names and dates of birth. Once the deputy ascertained defendant's actual identity, however, defendant admitted there was a felony warrant out for him in Shasta County. The deputy arrested him. During their encounter, defendant told the deputy that he had "recently been in the state of Alaska, and he was residing and working up there."

In a conversation recorded during a jail visit on October 1, 2009, defendant said that a year earlier he had gone "to Wasilla to see Rita," "went around there and then . . . went over to . . . Fairbanks and . . . was staying at Fairbanks for a while." He said he "just traveled around" and that he "didn't have to register in Alaska [because his] crime was before 1990." He explained he was "just gonna turn [him]self in" and he "came down just to take care of this."

Defendant was charged with one count of failing to update his registration annually under section 290.012 for failing to update his registration within five working days of his birthday in November 2008 and one count of failing to report a change of address under section 290.013 for failing to register a new address or transient location between October 2008 and September 2009. The information also alleged 18 prior convictions under the three strikes law and one prior prison term under section 667.5, subdivision (b).

The jury found defendant guilty of both counts, defendant admitted the enhancement allegations, and the trial court sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison on each count, to be served concurrently, with a one-year consecutive term for the prior prison term enhancement. Defendant timely appealed.

DISCUSSION

I

Sufficiency Of The Evidence

A

Failure To Update Registration

Defendant contends there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for failing to update his registration in 2008 "because the prosecution failed to prove that [he] was residing in the state of California at the relevant time." The People agree.

When a violation of the registration update requirement in section 290.012 is charged, "the prosecution, not [the defendant], ha[s] the burden to prove the fact of [the defendant]'s California residency during the relevant time period beyond a reasonable doubt." (People v. Wallace (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 1088, 1107 [construing former section 290, subdivision (a)(1)(D), the predecessor statute to section 290.012].) The "relevant time period" for purposes of section 290.012 is the period "within five working days of [the registrant's] ...


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