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The People v. Faron Mello

November 28, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
FARON MELLO, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 11F05301)

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

P. v. Mello

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

After officers found a loaded handgun under his mattress, defendant Faron Mello was convicted of (among other crimes) four counts of child endangerment, one for each of the four children who lived in the house. On appeal, defendant contends the trial court should have stayed the sentences it imposed on three of the four child endangerment counts pursuant to Penal Code*fn1 section 654. The People concede the issue.*fn2 We accept the People's concession and shall modify the judgment to stay the sentences on three of defendant's child endangerment convictions. We shall affirm the judgment as modified.

BACKGROUND

Police found a loaded semi-automatic handgun under the mattress in the master bedroom in a probation search of the apartment where defendant lived with his girlfriend and her three children (and where his toddler son sometimes stayed). The handgun had no trigger lock, and the safety was not engaged. Additional ammunition (bullets and a live shotgun shell) was found in the closet and in a nightstand drawer.

Defendant was charged with four counts of child endangerment (counts one through four), one count for each of the four children who shared the apartment.

He was also charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm as a felon (count five), two counts of unlawfully possessing ammunition as a felon (counts six and seven), and, at trial, the parties stipulated that defendant had a prior felony conviction.

The jury acquitted defendant of one count of unlawfully possessing ammunition (count seven), but convicted him of all the other charges.

At sentencing, the trial court selected count one as the principal offense, and imposed the upper-term of six years. On the other child endangerment counts (two, three, and four) the trial court also imposed the upper term of six years, to run concurrently. On the unlawful gun and ammunition possession counts, the trial court imposed mid-term sentences, to run concurrently.

DISCUSSION

Section 654, subdivision (a), provides: "An act or omission that is punishable in different ways by different provisions of law shall be punished under the provision that provides for the longest potential term of imprisonment, but in no case shall ...


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