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People v. Garcia

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

March 24, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
HUGO GARCIA, Defendant and Appellant.

[REVIEW GRANTED BY CAL. SUPREME COURT]

[As modified Mar. 26, 2014.]

[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]]

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, No. SCN291820Daniel B. Goldstein, Judge.

Page 1311

COUNSEL

Nancy J. King, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Kristine A. Gutierrez and Lynne G. McGinnis, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Page 1312

OPINION

BENKE, Acting P. J.

A jury convicted defendant and appellant Hugo Garcia of burglary (Pen. Code, § 459; counts 1 & 4); robbery (Pen. Code, § 211; count 2); kidnapping with intent to commit rape (Pen. Code, § 209, subd. (b)(1); count 3); forcible rape (Pen. Code, § 261, subd. (a)(2); count 5); rape by a foreign object (Pen. Code, § 289, subd. (a); count 6); unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle (Veh. Code, § 10851, subd. (a); count 7); and attempted robbery (Pen. Code, §§ 664 & 211; counts 8 & 9). As to counts 2, 3, 8 and 9, the jury found true Garcia personally used a firearm during the commission of the offenses. (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (b).) As to counts 5 and 6, the jury also found true that Garcia kidnapped the victim with the movement substantially increasing the risk of harm to the victim (Pen. Code, § 667.61, subd. (d)(2)), committed the offenses during the commission of a burglary (Pen. Code, § 667.61, subd. (e)(2)), engaged in the tying or binding of the victim (Pen. Code, § 667.61, subd. (e)(5)) and personally used a firearm (Pen. Code, § 667.61, subd. (e)(3)).[1] The court sentenced Garcia to prison for an aggregate term of 74 years four months to life.

On appeal, Garcia contends (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction on counts 4, 8 and 9; (2) the court had a sua sponte duty to modify the jury instruction on count 6, forcible penetration by foreign object, to exclude a penis from the definition of a foreign or an unknown object; (3) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences on counts 5 and 6 and in not staying under section 654, subdivision (a), his sentence on count 4, burglary with the requisite felonious intent to commit sexual assault; (4) the $10, 000 restitution imposed on him pursuant to section 1202.4, subdivision (b)(1) must be reversed because the facts on which it was based were not submitted to the jury for determination beyond a reasonable doubt; and finally (5) the abstract of judgment must be corrected to reflect accurately the oral pronouncement of judgment.

As we explain, we agree with Garcia's contention his sentence under count 4 should have been stayed. We also agree—as do the People—that his abstract of judgment must be corrected to state accurately the oral pronouncement of judgment and the modification of the judgment as discussed in this opinion. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of conviction.

Page 1313

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND [2]

A. Offenses against M.

Victim M. in May 2011 was working at a store (store) located in Escondido, California providing services for low income families and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or had just had a baby. M. saw a young man later identified as Garcia riding his bicycle slowly in front of, and looking into, the store. After G.C., a fellow employee of M., left for the day, the man entered the store, looked around and then smiled at M. and left. Shortly thereafter, the man reentered the store, went to the counter near where M. was standing and started asking M. what she described were "weird" questions about the store's voucher program. The man held a cell phone in one hand, and his other hand was inside his jacket pocket. M. became concerned by the man's behavior. M. used her cell phone to message G.C. that there was a man inside the store asking "weird" questions and that she was scared. G.C. called back on the store phone, but M. could not speak candidly with G.C. because the man was standing nearby. M. thus hung up the phone.

The man next asked M. about a jar of candies located on the counter. As M. was opening the jar to give the man some candy, he pulled a gun out of his jacket pocket, pointed it at M. and ordered her to hand over the money from the cash register. M. complied and told the man not to hurt her. M. put the money in a bag. While still pointing the gun at M., the man asked M. if she had any money. M. next pulled a few dollars from her pants pocket and also put it into the bag.

The man directed M. to close the front door of the store and followed behind her with the gun pointed at her back as she walked to the door. The man then made M. remove the "open" sign hanging by the door and turn off the store lights.

M. asked the man to leave. Instead, the man pointed the gun at M. as they began walking toward the back of the store. They stopped near some refrigerators, and he asked M. if she had the key to the office door, which was closed and locked. She said no. He then asked M. if the store had a bathroom. M. said yes, but she refused to go down the hallway into the bathroom, which was located behind the office in the very back of the store, out of sight from the main part of the store. M. next got on her knees and

Page 1314

begged the man not to harm her, telling him she had a daughter waiting for her at home. The man in response told M. to remove her clothes. M. again asked the man not to harm her, but he waved the gun back and forth at her, a gesture she understood to mean for her to go to the bathroom and take off her clothes. Scared, M. went into the bathroom and removed her pants and blouse.

The man entered the bathroom and, while still pointing the gun at M., demanded that she remove her underwear and bra. She complied. He next made M. turn and face him inside the bathroom. He left the bathroom and returned a short time later with some "hair bands" sold by the store that M. described as bands a little girl might put around her entire head to keep the hair out of her face. The man tried to use the hair bands to tie up M.'s hands but, because he was still holding the gun and kept it near M.'s chest area, she offered to tie up her own hands so he did not "accidently" shoot her. The man left the bathroom again and returned holding more hair bands. The man asked M. to tie up her feet but, because she was shaking, she could not do so and ended up breaking the bands. As she was attempting to tie up her feet, the man again left the bathroom.

When the man returned yet again to the bathroom, his fly was open and his erect penis was exposed. The man made M. turn around and face the mirror in the bathroom so that her back was to him. While still pointing the gun at M., he digitally penetrated, and then put his penis inside, her vagina. The man also touched her breasts and put his hands on the back of M's neck and pushed her head down. When M. began to cry, the man gestured for her to be quiet. After the sexual assault, M. felt "wet" in her vaginal area. She saw the man wipe himself with a paper towel or napkin and throw it away.

The man told M. to stay put. After he left the bathroom, M. struggled to get dressed. The man returned to the bathroom and then left. M. walked out of the bathroom, toward the main part of the store, where she saw the man opening and looking in some drawers. He ordered M. back into the bathroom and eventually closed the bathroom door with her inside. M. sat on the bathroom floor for a short while. When she could no longer hear anyone inside the store, M. came out of the bathroom and found the store empty. She walked outside, heard a car start and saw the man drive off in her white SUV. M. went to a nearby business for help. An employee of the business called police.

B. Offenses against S. & Y.

That same day, about 9:15 p.m., S. and Y. closed an Escondido check-cashing store (check-cashing store) where they were working, left through the

Page 1315

front door and headed towards the back parking lot. S. testified it was a "really slow day" and, thus, they closed the check-cashing store about 15 to 25 minutes earlier than normal.

As they walked to their cars, they saw a white SUV parked nearby and a man later identified as Garcia standing next to the SUV, with his back turned. As they continued walking toward their cars, the man turned around and began walking towards S. and Y. He then told them in broken English to stop and demanded they reopen the check-cashing store. S. and Y. pretended not to hear the man but, as they got closer and he repeated to them, "you got to stop, " they saw the man was holding a gun. The man was waving the gun in the direction of the door of the check-cashing store, telling them to open the door and not be "stupid."

S. and Y. started walking backwards as the man continued to walk towards them, gesturing with the gun and demanding they open the check-cashing store. As S. and Y. got closer to a nearby gas station, the light from the station illuminated the man's face. S. and Y. then turned, ran to the gas station and called police. The man drove off in the white SUV. They gave police a description of the man and his vehicle. As discussed post, they went to the police station a short time later, after the man had been apprehended, and identified Garcia as the man that had pointed the gun at them.

Law enforcement arrested Garcia in Escondido about 9:30 p.m. that same night as he stood in front of the white SUV while it was parked in front of a laundromat, which was located near the check-cashing store. Law enforcement found a.22-caliber revolver in Garcia's front pocket. There were four bullets in the gun's chamber, including one behind the hammer so that the gun would fire if the trigger was pulled.

Police went to the store where M. had been sexually assaulted and found four hair ties in the bathroom in the back of the store, two of which were torn and/or broken. Police also found an open package of hair ties on a shelf located in the main area of the store.

Inside M.'s SUV, police found a sports drink bottle. After his arrest, police found in Garcia's backpack a roll of clear packing tape, a pair of scissors and several bills in different denominations.

Samples taken from inside M.'s vagina showed the presence of sperm. These samples and the samples taken from the sports drink bottle found inside M.'s SUV matched the DNA profile of Garcia.

Page 1316

In his statement to police that was played for the jury, Garcia admitted to the robbery of, and the rape of, M. at the store. Garcia also admitted he stole M.'s SUV. However, he denied the attempted robbery of S. and Y. at the check-cashing store.

DISCUSSION

I

Substantial Evidence Review

A. Counts 1 and 4 and the Burglaries at the Store

Garcia contends there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on count 4 for burglary in connection with his entry into the bathroom with the felonious intent to commit sexual assault. He contends entry into the store itself (count 1) "subsumed entry into the bathroom located in the back of the store (count 4)" and, as such, his conviction on count 4 must be reversed.

1. Guiding Principles

"'On appeal we review the whole record in the light most favorable to the judgment to determine whether it discloses substantial evidence — that is, evidence that is reasonable, credible, and of solid value — from which a reasonable trier of fact could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. [Citations.] The standard of review is the same in cases in which the People rely mainly on circumstantial evidence. [Citation.] "Although it is the duty of the jury to acquit a defendant if it finds that circumstantial evidence is susceptible of two interpretations, one of which suggests guilt and the other innocence [citations], it is the jury, not the appellate court which must be convinced of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. '"If the circumstances reasonably justify the trier of fact's findings, the opinion of the reviewing court that the circumstances might also reasonably be reconciled with a contrary finding does not warrant a reversal of the judgment."' [Citations.]" [Citation.]' [Citations.] The conviction shall stand 'unless it appears "that upon no hypothesis whatever is there sufficient substantial evidence to support [the conviction]."' [Citation.]" (People v. Cravens (2012) 53 Cal.4th 500, 507-508 [136 Cal.Rptr.3d 40, 267 P.3d 1113].)

Section 459 defines the crime of burglary as entry into "any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building... with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony...." (Italics added.)

Page 1317

The precise issue before us, in which a defendant is convicted of multiple burglaries based on crimes committed with the requisite felonious intent in multiple "rooms" in a single commercial building, appears to be one of first impression. In People v. Sparks (2002) 28 Cal.4th 71, 73 [120 Cal.Rptr.2d 508, 47 P.3d 289] (Sparks), our Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion held that an entry into an unsecured bedroom within a single-family residence with the requisite intent (to commit rape) was sufficient to support a burglary conviction under section 459, even if that intent was formed after the defendant initially entered the house with the permission of the owner. The Sparks court concluded that the words "any... room" in section 459 had a plain and ordinary meaning and rejected the argument of the defendant that the word "room" in this statute requires entry into a "'room' that constitutes a 'separate unit' or a 'separately secured' or 'separately occupied' portion of a building or structure." (Sparks, supra, 28 Cal.4th at pp. 76-77, fn. omitted.)

In so doing, the court in Sparks extensively reviewed earlier decisions construing the word "room" in our burglary statute, which discussion is pertinent to the issue before us and which we therefore quote at some length:

"This court directly ruled upon the meaning of the word 'room, ' as used in section 459, for the first time in People v. Young (1884) 65 Cal. 225 [3 P. 813] (Young). In that case, the defendant entered a public railway station and thereafter entered a ticket office (which apparently had walls that were eight to nine feet high but did not reach the ceiling) located within the station. We rejected the theory that section 459 required the defendant to have formed the required intent prior to entering the railway station, so long as he formed that intent prior to entering a room within that structure—the ticket office. Accordingly, we held that the trial court did not err in refusing a requested defense instruction that if the defendant conceived his intent to steal after he entered the railway station building, the jury should find the defendant not guilty. (Young, at p. 226.) We stated: 'One who enters, with burglarious intent, a room of a house enters the house with such intent....' (Ibid.) In this regard, Young reflected the prevailing common law understanding that entry from inside a structure into a room within that structure could constitute a burglary.

"Subsequent to Young, a number of California appellate court decisions have held that entry into various types of rooms can constitute burglary.

"Most of these cases, like Young, concern entry into private rooms within public or commercial buildings. (E.g., People v. Elsey (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 948 [97 Cal.Rptr.2d 269] (Elsey) [entry into separate, locked school classrooms]; People v. Church (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1151 [264 Cal.Rptr. 49]

Page 1318

[entry into separately leased and locked offices in an office building]; People v. Mackabee (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1250 [263 Cal.Rptr. 183] [entry into an enclosed 'office area' set off by 'a waist-high counter about two-and-one-half feet wide' in the lobby of a building otherwise open to the public]; People v. Edwards (1971) 22 Cal.App.3d 598 [99 Cal.Rptr. 516] [entry into women's restroom inside hospital]; People v. Garcia (1963) 214 Cal.App.2d 681 [29 Cal.Rptr. 609] [entry into enclosed storage cage within a liquor store], disapproved on another ground in Mozzetti v. Superior Court (1971) 4 Cal.3d 699, 706 [94 Cal.Rptr. 412, 484 P.2d 84]; People v. Davis (1959) 175 Cal.App.2d 365 [346 P.2d 248] [entry into closed office from 'lubrication room' of a service station]; People v. Gaytan (1940) 38 Cal.App.2d 83 [100 P.2d 496] [entry into storage room of cafe].)

"In other decisions, courts have upheld burglary convictions based upon the defendant's (i) entry into a private room within a multi-unit lodging facility (e.g., People v. O'Keefe (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 517 [271 Cal.Rptr. 769] (O'Keefe) [entry into separate student dormitory rooms]; People v. Fleetwood (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 982 [217 Cal.Rptr. 612] [entry into motel room]), (ii) entry from the garage of a single-family home into a locked kitchen (People v. Thomas (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 899 [1 Cal.Rptr.2d 434] (Thomas)), and (iii) entry, from inside a home, into a rented and locked bedroom within the home (People v. Wilson (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 611 [256 Cal.Rptr. 422]).

"Of all the cases applying section 459, only one, People v. McCormack (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 253 [285 Cal.Rptr. 504] (McCormack), concerns the precise type of entry we face here—entry, by an ostensible guest in the home, from inside the living quarters of a single-family home, into the unsecured bedroom of a member of a family living in the home. Most of the other recent decisions described above—specifically, Elsey, supra, 81 Cal.App.4th 948, Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d 899, and O'Keefe, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d 517—have made a point of distinguishing McCormack and the normal single-family-home setting. We first discuss McCormack, and then the three other cited appellate decisions. [¶]... [¶]

"The defendant in McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, entered a single-family home through an unlocked door, assertedly at the occupant's invitation. The occupant—the brother of the homeowner—observed the defendant in the kitchen and asked him to leave the house, but the defendant refused to do so. Instead, the defendant asked the occupant whether he wanted a beer and requested permission to use the telephone. (Id., at p. 255.) The occupant departed and telephoned the police from a neighbor's residence. When the police arrived, they found the defendant (in a hallway of the home) holding items taken from bedrooms. The defendant was charged with a

Page 1319

single count of burglary. The trial court instructed that the '"intent [to steal the personal property of another] need not be in the mind of the person at the time of the initial entry into the structure, if he [or she] subsequently forms the intent and enters a room within the structure."' (Ibid., bracketed material in original.) Consistent with this instruction, the prosecutor argued to the jury that the defendant committed burglary even if he formed the intent to steal after entering the house, so long as he did so before he entered one of the bedrooms. (Ibid.) The defendant was convicted of burglary and appealed.

"The Court of Appeal in McCormack found the trial court's instruction 'consistent with the literal language of the controlling code section. In its current form this code section states: "Every person who enters any... room... with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary." (§ 459.) We have found no published decisions by a court of this state holding, on facts similar to those present here, that burglary is not committed when the intent to steal is formed after entry to a building but before entering a room therein from which the defendant intends to steal property.' (McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, 255.) Relying upon our decision in Young, supra, 65 Cal. 225, and some of the Court of Appeal decisions cited ante, at pages 80-81, the court held that because 'the plain language of the code includes entry into a room within the definition of burglary, ' the instruction was proper. (McCormack, at p. 256.)

"The court in McCormack also found that the basic policy underlying the burglary statute (see People v. Gauze (1975) 15 Cal.3d 709, 715 [125 Cal.Rptr. 773, 542 P.2d 1365]) supported its view: 'Just as the initial entry into a home carries with it a certain degree of danger [to personal safety], subsequent entries into successive rooms of the home raise the level of risk that the burglar will come into contact with the home's occupants with the resultant threat of violence and harm. Applying the plain language of the statute therefore serves rather than frustrates the policy of the law.' (McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d at p. 257.)[3] [¶]... [¶]

"One year prior to McCormack, the Court of Appeal in O'Keefe, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d 517, addressed whether entries into separate rooms in a college dormitory supported convictions for separate burglary counts. The court answered in the affirmative. It reasoned that merely because 'each of the rooms is within the one building... does not mean they are not separate dwellings within the meaning of section 459, ' and found that 'an individual

Page 1320

student dormitory room is a separate inhabited dwelling within the meaning of section 459.' (Id., at p. 521.)

"The defendant in O'Keefe, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d 517, attempted to avoid this conclusion by arguing that the student dormitory rooms were analogous to rooms in a single-family home (as to which, the defendant assumed, multiple convictions under § 459 would not be proper). Without endorsing the defendant's assumption, the court in O'Keefe rejected the attempted analogy between dormitory rooms and bedrooms of a single-family home. First, it observed, a student dormitory is 'analogous to a hotel or apartment complex' and not to a single-family home. (O'Keefe, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d at p. 521.) The court noted that '[i]n many apartment and hotel complexes, facilities are shared but separate burglaries of the individual rooms may still occur' (ibid.), and it cited decisions finding the entry into a bedroom of a tenant of a home to be burglary, and the entry into separate rooms in a business complex to constitute separate burglaries. Second, the court in O'Keefe declined to analogize between students living in a dormitory and family residents occupying a single-family home, noting that although the dormitory residents 'may share kitchen and bathroom facilities..., this does not make them one big family.... [E]ach student lives and enjoys separate privacy in each of their individual dormitory rooms. These rooms are their homes while attending school. Unauthorized entry into each dormitory room presents a new and separate danger to each of the occupants. Accordingly, individual dormitory rooms and the students who occupy them are entitled to protection under the meaning of section 459.' (O'Keefe, 222 Cal.App.3d at p. 521.) [¶]... [¶]

"Shortly after McCormack was filed, the Court of Appeal decided Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d 899. In that case the defendant first entered the garage of a single-family residence and then, while still in the garage, forcibly entered locked living quarters of the home—the kitchen. The prosecutor in Thomas argued that the jury could convict the defendant of burglary if he formed an intent to steal in the garage but prior to entry into the kitchen. The defendant asserted that he could not be convicted of burglary under these circumstances, because when a garage is 'an attached, integral part of a house, it must be considered simply one room of several which together constitute the dwelling for purposes of burglary.' (Id., at p. 905.) The court rejected the defense position, observing that section 459 proscribed entry into a 'room' with felonious intent and 'nothing in this language... would exempt [the defendant] from conviction for burglary simply because his entry into the [victims'] house took place from the garage rather than from somewhere outdoors.' (Thomas, 235 Cal.App.3d at p. 905.)

"As in O'Keefe, however, the court in Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d 899, proceeded to distinguish the entry there at issue from other entries of rooms

Page 1321

within single-family homes. The court emphasized that the defendant's 'forcible and unauthorized entry into the living quarters of the [victims'] home [from the garage] was precisely the evil that the burglary statute is designed and intended to prevent. The kitchen was separate from the garage. It was protected and secured by a locked door which [the defendant] forced open with a crowbar. The [victims'] expectation of privacy and security within their living quarters was clearly greater than that in their garage, even if the garage may be considered part of the entire dwelling for burglary purposes. In our opinion, it would defeat the purposes of the burglary statute to hold in this case that [the defendant] could not be found guilty of burglary unless it was shown that he conceived his felonious intent prior to entering the garage....' (Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d at pp. 906-907, italics added.) In the course of its discussion, the court in Thomas also asserted in a footnote: '[W]here a burglar enters several rooms in a single structure, each with felonious intent, and steals something from each, ordinarily he or she cannot be charged with multiple burglaries and punished separately for each room burgled unless each room constituted a separate, individual dwelling place within the meaning of sections 459 and 460.' (Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d at p. 906, fn. 2, italics in original.) [¶]... [¶]

"Most recently, the court in Elsey, supra, 81 Cal.App.4th 948, addressed the defendant's entry into six classrooms, some of them located in the same building, on a single school campus. The court, distinguishing 'entry into multiple rooms of a single-family house [from] the entries into multiple secured classrooms' (id., at p. 960), upheld the resulting six burglary convictions.

"In so concluding, the court in Elsey noted that section 459 provides in relevant part that 'every person who enters a house [or] room...' with the requisite intent is guilty of burglary, and it reasoned that '[s]ince entry into a "house" with the requisite intent constitutes burglary under the plain language of [section 459], it would be redundant to claim that entry into the rooms of the house constitutes additional burglaries. The larger category subsumes the smaller.' (Elsey, supra, 81 Cal.App.4th at p. 959.) The court then addressed the general situation that we face here—formation of the requisite intent by an ostensible or actual guest, after his or her initial entry into the house, but prior to entry of the subject room within the house. The court commented: 'Of course, where the "house" may have been entered without the requisite intent, entry into the broader category does not constitute the burglary, allowing the courts to focus on an entry into a room in the house, with the requisite intent, as the basis for the burglary.' (Ibid., italics added.) [¶]... [¶]

"Defendant asserts that the interpretation of section 459 set out in McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, will produce bizarre results. He

Page 1322

echoes the Court of Appeal majority below, which observed that the defendant in McCormack entered the kitchen in the home without the intent necessary for burglary, and that if the defendant had formed the requisite intent while in the kitchen and yet thereafter did not enter any other room, he would not have been guilty of burglary[4]—but if the defendant had gone into another room and then reentered the kitchen, this time with the requisite intent, he would have been guilty of burglary. The Court of Appeal majority also asserted that allowing a conviction of burglary on the present facts improperly would subject defendants to conviction of multiple counts of burglary for every room in the house entered with the requisite intent.

"Justice Benke, dissenting in the Court of Appeal below, conceded that under McCormack's interpretation of the statute, whether a particular entry into a room constitutes burglary will depend upon 'the location of an actor when the requisite intent is formed, ' but further observed that this consequence 'is not the result of the McCormack rule but of the nature of the crime of burglary itself as defined in section 459.' Moreover, Justice Benke noted that even if the interpretation of the statute set out in McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, may 'allow[] the creative mind to formulate disconcerting hypotheticals about the application of the law of burglary, ' the rule proposed by defendant would do so as well: 'For example, a person may enter a residence without the intent to commit a theft. He walks down a hall off of which there are two indistinguishable bedrooms. The first is the bedroom of a family member, the second the bedroom rented by a family friend. Under the [rule proposed by defendant and the majority below], if the person enters the first with the intent to commit a theft, he commits no burglary [because he has not invaded a separate possessory interest]. If he enters the second [with the intent to commit a theft], he commits a first degree burglary. This distinction makes no sense... and does not serve the policy basis of the crime.' Accordingly, Justice Benke concluded that the rule proposed by defendant 'simply exchanges one set of potential anomalies... for another, ' and she asserted that '[i]f I must choose my anomalies..., then I believe I am duty bound to choose those created by the Legislature.' [¶]... [¶]

"As noted above, California decisions applying section 459 have upheld burglary convictions based upon entry into diverse types of rooms—among them ticket offices, liquor cages, business offices, enclosed counter areas,

Page 1323

school classrooms, hotel rooms, apartments, a kitchen in a single-family home, and, in McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, a bedroom within a single-family home. These decisions—and McCormack in particular—are consistent with common law cases from other jurisdictions, recognizing as burglary the entry (with requisite intent), from within a home, into a bedroom inside the home.[5] Although the burglary statute historically has been the subject of frequent amendments, our Legislature has not revised section 459 to disapprove any of these decisions.[6] Furthermore, although in recent years the legislatures of many of our sister states have enacted statutes that have narrowed and confined the type of room that will qualify as the subject of a burglary..., the California Legislature, when presented with legislation that proposed similar amendments, did not adopt any similar amendment to our burglary statute.[7]

Page 1324

"As the court observed in McCormack, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d 253, treating the entry at issue here as an entry for burglary is consistent with the personal security concerns of the burglary statute, because entry, from inside a home, into a bedroom of the home 'raise[s] the level of risk that the burglar will come into contact with the home's occupants with the resultant threat of violence and harm.' (Id., at p. 257.) Here, the 22-year-old victim, living in her family's home, reasonably could expect significant additional privacy and security when she retreated into her own bedroom. Accordingly, consistent with California decisions construing section 459, reaching back to People v. Young, supra, 65 Cal. 225, and consistent with the common law and the history of section 459, we conclude that the unadorned word 'room' in section 459 reasonably must be given its ordinary meaning. It follows that the trial court did not err in this case by instructing the jury that entry into [the victim's] bedroom with the specific intent to commit rape constitutes a burglary in violation of section 459.[8]" (Sparks, supra, 28 Cal.4th at pp. 79-87, some fns. omitted.)

The Court of Appeal in People v. Richardson (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 570 [11 Cal.Rptr.3d 802] (Richardson) was presented with a factual scenario somewhat similar to the one raised, but not decided, by the Sparks court in footnote 8, ante. In Richardson, two women shared a two-bedroom apartment. Each roommate occupied one of the bedrooms, but neither room had locks on the doors. In addition, one of the roommates stored personal items in the other roommate's closet. When the apartment was empty, the defendant, who was the brother of one of the roommates, entered and stole items from both of the rooms. The defendant was convicted of two counts of burglary. The Court of Appeal reversed.

The Richardson court concluded that under the facts of the case, the two women could not "have had a separate, reasonable expectation of protection against an unauthorized entry" inasmuch as they "rented the apartment together as friends, " "shared space in their rooms" and neither room had a lock on the door, which the court found was similar to the living arrangement of a "single-family household." (Richardson, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at pp. 575-576.) The court noted that there was no evidence in the record as to the defendant's intent, including whether the defendant intended to burglarize both rooms as he entered the apartment or whether he formed the intent to burglarize a second bedroom after he burglarized the first. (Id. at p. 575.) In

Page 1325

addition, the court rejected the contention that because the defendant knew beforehand that the apartment was occupied by two roommates, he could be guilty of multiple burglaries, noting that such knowledge is "'usually fortuitous'" and "'not determinative of whether a burglary has occurred.'" (Ibid.)

The Richardson court relied on Thomas for the proposition that when "'a burglar enters several rooms in a single structure, each with felonious intent, and steals something from each, ordinarily he or she cannot be charged with multiple burglaries and punished separately for each room burgled unless each room constituted a separate, individual dwelling place within the meanings of sections 459 and 460.'" (Richardson, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 575, quoting Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d at p. 906, fn. 2.) The court recognized this language from Thomas was discussed in Sparks (see fn. 8, ante) and thus found Sparks "does not stand for the proposition that multiple burglary convictions may be founded on a defendant taking items from several rooms within a single dwelling." (Richardson, at p. 576.)

Recently, this court decided In re M.A. (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 317 [146 Cal.Rptr.3d 818] (M.A.), which addressed an issue similar to the one discussed in Sparks. In M.A., we concluded that a minor who stole guns from a three and one-half by four foot closet located in the foyer of a home could support a true finding of first degree burglary, even if the minor formed the felonious intent after he entered the home. (Id. at p. 321.) We further concluded that a closet was a "room" within the ordinary meaning of this word. (Id. at p. 323; see People v. Mackabee, supra, 214 Cal.App.3d at p. 1257 (Mackabee) [noting a "common definition of a room" is "'a part of the inside of a building, shelter or dwelling usually set off by a partition'"].) We also concluded that the policies behind the burglary laws, namely concerns of "personal security" with the attendant risk of violence and harm to the occupants and the prevention of an intrusion into an area where the occupants "'reasonably could expect significant additional privacy and security, '" supported our decision to treat a closet as a "room" for purposes of section 459. (M.A., supra, 209 Cal.App.4th at p. 322.)

2. Analysis

Regarding count 1, the record shows the prosecutor stated during closing arguments that when Garcia reentered the store, he did so with the intent to commit robbery. The record shows that before Garcia entered the store, he rode his bicycle slowly in front of the store, looking inside. When fellow employee G.C. left for the day, Garcia for the first time entered the store, looked around and then left. A short time later, Garcia reentered the store, started asking M. what she described as "weird" questions and subsequently pulled out a gun from his jacket pocket, pointed it at M. and demanded that

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she hand over the money from the store's cash register. Garcia, while still pointing a gun at M., next demanded that she hand over any money she had on her person. We conclude this evidence provides ample support for Garcia's burglary conviction on count 1, which, in any event, Garcia does not challenge on appeal.

The record shows the prosecutor also argued during closing arguments that once inside the store, Garcia formed the separate intent to commit the sexual assault, which later involved a second burglary when Garcia entered the bathroom located in the back of the store and sexually assaulted M.

We conclude on this record that substantial evidence also supports Garcia's burglary conviction on count 4. First, in light of Sparks, M.A. and Mackabee among other authorities (as discussed in Sparks), we conclude the bathroom Garcia entered to sexually assault M. constitutes a "room" for purposes of section 459 based on the plain and ordinary meaning of the word. Second, we further conclude one of the main policies underlying the burglary statute—to prevent intrusion into an area in which the occupants "'reasonably could expect significant additional privacy and security'" (M.A., supra, 209 Cal.App.4th at p. 322, quoting Sparks, supra, 28 Cal.4th at p. 87)—supports the conclusion that Garcia's entry with the requisite felonious intent into the bathroom in the back of the store constituted a separate burglary.

Indeed, the record shows Garcia forced M. at gunpoint to close the front doors of the store, remove the "open" sign hanging by the doors and turn off the store lights. Next, he motioned with the gun for M. to walk down the hallway, toward the back of the store. When they stopped at the refrigerators, he asked M. if she had a key to the office, which was locked. M. said no. He then asked M. whether there was a bathroom inside the store. M. said yes. This evidence supports the finding that the bathroom provided additional privacy and security from the main part of the store, inasmuch as M. testified the bathroom was not visible from the main part of the store and even Garcia, while standing in the hallway, asked whether the store had a bathroom.

Moreover, the record shows that M. initially refused Garcia's demands—even at gunpoint—that she go to the bathroom in the back of the store because she was afraid of what he would do to her in the bathroom. Although M. was afraid when Garcia initially pulled out the gun and demanded money, the record shows she got on her hands and knees and begged Garcia not to harm her after he demanded at gunpoint that she go inside the bathroom in the back of the store. This evidence provides additional support for the finding that the bathroom provided "'significant additional privacy and security'" (M.A., supra, 209 Cal.App.4th at p. 322,

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quoting Sparks, supra, 28 Cal.4th at p. 87) than did the main part of the store and that Garcia's intrusion into the bathroom constituted a separate burglary inside the store.

Third, this evidence and the inferences drawn from it also support the finding of the jury that Garcia formed the separate felonious intent to sexually assault M. in the bathroom after he had entered the store and after he had taken the money from the store cash register and from M.'s person. Indeed, once Garcia took the money he could have simply left the store. Instead, as noted, he made M. close up the store and ordered her into the bathroom in the back of the store where he forced her at gunpoint to remove her clothes and then sexually assaulted her after she was tied up.

Garcia relies on Richardson and Thomas among other authorities in contending "that a defendant can only be convicted of a single burglary if [the defendant] enters a single business or residence with felonious intent and commits several crimes within that structure." We conclude neither case supports Garcia on the facts presented here.

In Richardson, as we noted already, the court there specifically recognized that there was "no evidence in the record as to [the defendant's] intent: whether he intended to burglarize both rooms as he entered the apartment [shared by the two roommates], or whether he formed the intent to burglarize a second bedroom after burglarizing the first." (See Richardson, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 575.) In contrast, there is substantial evidence in the instant case supporting the finding that Garcia formed the felonious intent—for purposes of his entry into the bathroom to commit the sexual assault on M.—after he entered the store with the felonious intent to steal the money at gunpoint. The situation here is thus entirely distinguishable from the facts of Richardson, where the defendant simultaneously stole items from each of the unoccupied rooms of the two roommates that shared an apartment, which the court concluded was akin to a single-family dwelling.

We also conclude Thomas is inapposite here. As noted by the Sparks court, the issue in Thomas was whether a defendant could be guilty of burglary if the defendant formed the intent to steal inside a garage but before he entered a locked kitchen, even if the defendant allegedly did not form that intent when he first entered the garage itself. (See Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d at pp. 903-904.) The issue in Thomas thus did not involve a conviction for multiple counts of burglary, as in the instant case in which a defendant such as Garcia formed the requisite felonious intent to commit a crime (i.e., the sexual assault in the bathroom) after he entered the building with the separate felonious intent to commit theft.

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Garcia, however, relies on the language from Thomas, discussed by Sparks in footnote 8, ante, where the Thomas court in a footnote stated in part: "[W]here a burglar enters several rooms in a single structure, each with felonious intent, and steals something from each, ordinarily he or she cannot be charged with multiple burglaries and punished separately for each room burgled unless each room constituted a separate, individual dwelling place within the meaning of sections 459 and 460. That is not the case here; appellant was not charged with multiple burglaries, and the People do not contend that he could have been." (Thomas, supra, 235 Cal.App.3d at p. 906, fn. 2.)

We conclude this language from Thomas—which was also quoted in Richardson among other cases—is pure dictum, a view we conclude was also shared by our Supreme Court in Sparks. (See Sparks, supra, 28 Cal.4th at pp. 87-88, fn. 21 [citing Thomas and noting it and other cases "have questioned whether multiple convictions might be sustained" when "a defendant, who, with the requisite felonious intent, enters multiple unsecured rooms in a single-family house properly may be convicted of multiple counts of burglary" (italics added)].) In any event, as noted, the issue before us does not involve the simultaneous theft of items from multiple rooms from a structure/single-family dwelling.[9]

Given the substantial factual differences between the instant case, on the one hand, and Richardson and Thomas and similar authorities, as discussed in Sparks, on the other hand, and given the language from Thomas on which Garcia relies is, in any event, dictum and inapplicable under the facts of this case, we affirm his conviction on count 4 and reject his contention that he could only be convicted of a single count of burglary on count 1 because the "room" (i.e., bathroom) he separately entered with the requisite felonious intent to commit the sexual assault of M. also happened to be located inside the store.

B. Counts 8 and 9 and the Attempted Robbery of S. and Y.

II-V[*]

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DISPOSITION

The judgment of conviction is modified to stay under section 654, subdivision (a) the sentence on count 4, burglary with the requisite felonious intent to commit sexual assault. The trial court is directed to prepare an amended abstract of judgment (1) to show this modification and (2) to correct the judgment of conviction as pronounced by the court at sentencing, namely: staying the term for count 3 and its enhancement and imposing the 25-year-to-life term on count 5 to run consecutively to the unstayed terms. The trial court is further directed to forward a certified copy of this amended abstract of judgment to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.

O'Rourke, J., and Irion, J., concurred.


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