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The People v. Theodore Rolando Wooten

March 6, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
THEODORE ROLANDO WOOTEN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Yolo County, Stephen L. Mock, Judge. (Super. Ct. No. 102688)

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

CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION*fn1

OPINION ON TRANSFER

Affirmed.

In People v. Ahmed (2011) 53 Cal.4th 156 (Ahmed), the California Supreme Court explained how to determine whether any of multiple sentence enhancements for a single crime must be stayed. Ahmed thus addressed the question of whether Penal Code section 654*fn2 prohibits imposition of more than one enhancement for the same underlying criminal act. (Ahmed, at p. 162.) In this case, we address a question left unanswered by the Supreme Court in Ahmed -- whether section 654 applies to bar imposition of the same type of sentence enhancement offenses arising out of separate criminal acts.

Defendant Theodore Rolando Wooten seeks to avail himself of section 654 by arguing that the sentence enhancements for great bodily injury (§§ 12022.7, subd. (a), & 12022.8) imposed for his attempted murder (§§ 664, 187) and his forcible oral copulation (§ 288a, subd. (c)(2)) of the same victim must be stayed under section 654 and our high court's guidance in Ahmed, supra, 53 Cal.4th 156. Defendant also requests that the abstract of judgment be amended to more accurately reflect the two consecutive sentences for the two counts of kidnapping for rape.

After we issued our prior published decision in this case, the California Supreme Court granted review and transferred the case to us with directions to make any changes in our prior opinion that we consider appropriate in light of the points made in defendant's petition for review. Pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court, we have reexamined our previous opinion. We continue to conclude that neither section 654 nor Ahmed, supra, 53 Cal.4th 156 applies to stay sentence enhancements attached to offenses arising out of separate criminal acts. We reject defendant's contention he engaged in a single attack on the victim, M.S. Accordingly, defendant does not benefit from authority holding an indivisible course of conduct against one victim cannot serve as the basis for multiple great bodily injury enhancements. (See People v. Reeves (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 14 (Reeves); People v. Moringlane (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 811 (Moringlane); People v. Culton (1979) 92 Cal.App.3d 113 (Culton).) We find no error in the trial court's imposition of separate sentence enhancements for great bodily injury inflicted in the commission of forcible oral copulation and attempted murder. We also conclude the abstract of judgment should be amended to reflect more clearly the sentences imposed by the trial court. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.

BACKGROUND

Trial

Evidence introduced at trial showed that defendant viciously attacked victims M.S. and H.D. on separate occasions.

Attack on M.S.

In the early morning of May 1, 2010, defendant knocked on the doors of several rooms at the Town House Motel in West Sacramento. M.S. saw defendant walking past her window at around 6:30 a.m. Defendant stopped, pounded on her window, and said something.

M.S. opened the door to tell defendant to leave, but defendant forced his way inside. Defendant locked the door, began choking M.S., and told her to undress. M.S. disrobed and defendant forced her into the bathroom, dragging and hitting her on the way. Once inside the bathroom, defendant bent M.S. over and tried to have sex with her. He got angry after failing to penetrate her. Defendant then hit M.S. a couple of times and ordered her to perform oral sex on him, which she did. M.S. "was getting frustrated" and fled from the bathroom.

Defendant caught M.S. and tried to wrestle her back into the bathroom, but she fled again. Defendant caught her in the bedroom and punched her repeatedly. M.S. tried to stab defendant in the back with a pen and a spoon while defendant chewed on M.S.'s ears and right nipple. At one point, M.S. bit down on defendant's finger so hard that two of her bottom front teeth fell out. Defendant positioned himself over M.S. and kicked M.S. in the head at least eight times, causing her head to cut open. M.S., who was bleeding profusely, screamed for help.

Other residents heard screaming and someone called for help. M.S.'s next door neighbor, Bertrand Souvera, went to M.S.'s window, where he saw a black man pinning a white woman on the floor and raising his free hand. Souvera kicked in the front door and asked the man to get off the woman. The man then ran out of the room.

M.S. called 911 and told the operator she had been attacked, was bleeding very badly, and needed an ambulance. An ambulance arrived at 6:45 a.m. The emergency medical technician saw M.S. sitting on her bed naked, and "a lot of blood everywhere." M.S. told emergency personnel that a man beat her after unsuccessfully trying to have sex with her. She later identified defendant as her assailant in a photographic lineup.

M.S. sustained a full thickness scalp laceration extending from her eyebrows to the back of her head. The bleeding from the scalp wound threatened her life. The laceration involved every layer of skin, so that the scalp was separated from the skull and could be lifted off. The laceration also injured the muscles of her eyes and eyebrows, potentially affecting her ability to make facial expressions.

M.S. also sustained multiple lacerations to her ears and face, as well as two broken teeth. Swelling and redness on her neck was consistent with choking, a laceration on her right nipple was consistent with having been bitten, and bruises on her left breast were consistent with blunt force trauma. Her wounds were so extensive they could not be sutured under local anesthetic. M.S. still suffered scarring and nerve damage at the time of the trial.

The crime scene investigator found "a tremendous amount of blood" in the room, concentrated in the southeast corner. DNA testing on blood from a pen in the room found a mixture of M.S.'s and defendant's DNA. M.S.'s blood was on defendant's shoe when he was arrested.

Attack on H.D.

On May 27, 2010, 21-year-old H.D. went to a birthday party in West Sacramento. There was much drinking at the party. She had planned for her boyfriend to pick her up at a nearby Valero service station on Sacramento Avenue.

H.D. left the party at 2:30 a.m. and began walking to the Valero station. On her way to the station, she met defendant, who came from an apartment complex and began talking to her. He seemed friendly, and told H.D. ...


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