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The People v. Wayne Eugene Pepper

September 25, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
WAYNE EUGENE PEPPER, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 11F01306)

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

P. v. Pepper

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

On September 13, 2011, a jury convicted defendant Wayne Eugene Pepper of vehicle taking (Veh. Code, § 10851 [count 1]), receiving stolen property (Pen. Code, § 496 [count 2]), and possession of hydrocodone (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350 [count 3]). In connection with count 1, defendant admitted he had suffered four prior convictions for vehicle taking (Pen. Code, § 665.5). He also admitted he had suffered a strike conviction for first degree burglary and had suffered three separate convictions resulting in prison terms (Pen. Code, § 667.5).

On November 18, 2011, the trial court sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of 11 years in prison: four years for count 1, doubled due to the prior strike; concurrently run midterms of two years each for counts 2 and 3; and one additional year for each of the three prior prison terms.

Defendant timely appeals. He contends that the trial court prejudicially erred in admitting evidence of his prior convictions. Disagreeing, we shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Present Offense

Lorene Hines testified that on February 14, 2011, she drove Kevin Keller's car, which she had borrowed, to work. She believed that she dropped the keys on her way back to work when she retrieved something from the car at around 2:00 p.m. When she returned to the parking area at about 5:00 p.m. that evening, the car was gone. She had not given anyone permission to take Keller's car. Keller reported the car stolen on the following day. He testified that no one but Hines had permission to use the car.

When the car was recovered, some of Hines's property that had been inside the car was missing, including a gas credit card and a Flying J rewards card. The last time she saw it, the gas credit card was inside a white envelope inside her log book, on the passenger's seat. The Flying J card was also inside the log book. Keller testified that although the car was undamaged when recovered, it did not appear or smell as if it had been cleaned or otherwise "detailed."

California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Chad Hertzell testified that on February 15, 2011,*fn1 he initiated a traffic stop on a car that had been reported stolen; defendant was the driver. Defendant pulled over almost immediately, and was "very" cooperative. Two female passengers were also in the car; one was later identified as Crystal Gehrke. CHP investigator Joel Corralejo testified that he recovered a Flying J rewards card with Hines's name on it from defendant's front left pants pocket, and an envelope containing a gas credit card from defendant's jacket pocket. The car keys were on the driver's side floorboard of the car, and the car's ignition switch did not appear to have been tampered with.

Defendant told Corralejo that on February 14, 2011, at around 6:00 p.m., he was at a 7-Eleven gas station and saw a friend named "Leif," who asked if defendant wanted an auto detailing job for $80. Defendant agreed, and Leif told him to return the car to the 7-Eleven in two days at around the same time. Defendant said he had known Leif for about eight years, but was unable to provide Leif's last name, address, phone number, or description. He said only that he had Leif's permission to take the car and that Leif said his boss's wife wanted the car detailed. ...


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