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The People v. Ty Rone Pitts

October 1, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
TY RONE PITTS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. 09F0234, 10F5731)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In case No. 10F5731, a jury convicted defendant Ty Rone Pitts of first degree murder (Pen. Code, §§ 187, subd. (a), 189)*fn1 and found that he personally used a deadly weapon in the commission of the offense (former § 12022, subd. (b)(1)).

In case No. 09F0234, the trial court found that defendant violated his probation by committing the offense in case No. 10F5731.

Defendant was sentenced to state prison for a determinate term of five years (one year for weapon use plus four years for the probation case) plus a consecutive indeterminate term of 25 years to life. He was awarded 282 days of custody credit and zero days of conduct credit (§ 2933.2, subd. (c).)

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred when it (1) allowed the jury to consider two prior instances of his abuse of the victim--not to impeach defense evidence of his good character--but to show his propensity to commit abusive acts; and (2) failed to award conduct credit in the probation case. We shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Prosecution Case-in-chief

On the evening of August 15, 2010, Shasta County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene of a domestic violence incident. When they arrived, the officers found the victim, 24-year-old Randal Wert, lying outside the house. She had been stabbed multiple times. Emergency medical personnel declared her dead at the scene. A trail of blood led from the back porch of the house to the body. A chair on the porch had some blood stains and a small cut. A bloody knife, 24 inches in length, was found nearby. One of the children at the residence told officers that their dad had killed their mom.

Defendant, the boyfriend of Wert, was located about a half mile from the residence. He was advised of his constitutional rights and agreed to speak with deputies. A digital recording (DVD) of the interview was played for the jury.

Defendant admitted stabbing Wert to death because she had been "needlin[g]," "bitchin[g]," and "bellyachin[g]" at him. He had warned her that, if she did not stop, he would react and stab her. He admitted stabbing her on the porch and, after she fled, in the driveway. He believed the latter wound was fatal. Toward the end of the confrontation, the children came out of the house. Defendant told them to say goodbye to their mother because she was dying.

K.E., the seven-year-old daughter, testified that defendant stabbed Wert in the stomach while she was seated in a chair on the porch. Later, K.E. saw Wert lying down on the driveway. Defendant told K.E. that Wert was dead ...


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