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The People v. Thone Phantha

October 24, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
THONE PHANTHA, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. CFR110567)

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

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Convicted of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, as well as a prior strike allegation, defendant Thone Phantha appeals. He contends first that the trial court erroneously denied him a trial regarding the issue of his identity when adjudicating his prior strike, and second that denying him application of the conduct credit provisions of the Realignment Act violated his Constitutional right to equal protection. Disagreeing, we shall affirm.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND*fn1

Defendant was charged with possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon (Pen. Code, §§ 12021, subd. (a)(1), 12316, subd. (b)(1).) It was further alleged that defendant had suffered a 1995 strike conviction for assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon. (Pen. Code, §§ 245, subd. (a)(1), 667, subds. (c) through (e)(1).)

At a bifurcated jury trial, in which defendant stipulated he had been previously convicted of a felony, the jury first found defendant guilty on both possession charges and then found the prior strike allegation to be true. The trial court sentenced defendant to 32 months in state prison.

DISCUSSION

I

The Trial Court's Finding of Identity

Defendant first contends that the trial court erroneously denied him a trial regarding the issue of his identity when adjudicating his prior strike. He contends that he was "never given an opportunity to refute or even to comment on the issue of identity." But the record shows otherwise, as we explain post.

A. The Law

The trial court, rather than the jury, is tasked with identifying a defendant as the same person who has suffered an alleged prior conviction. (Pen. Code, ยง 1025, subd. (c).) Where the identity of a defendant's name is the same--that is, the name of the person currently charged is the same as the name of the person who suffered the prior conviction--the identity of a defendant may be ...


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