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Hale v. Superior Court (People)

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Third Division

April 2, 2014

JARED RAY HALE, Petitioner,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY, Respondent THE PEOPLE, Real Party in Interest.

Original proceedings; petition for a writ of mandate to challenge an order of the Superior Court of Orange County No. 12CF1778, Dan Barrett McNerney, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

William M. Paparian for Petitioner.

Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney, and Brian F. Fitzpatrick, Deputy District Attorney, for Real Party in Interest.

OPINION

ARONSON, ACTING P. J.

Jared Ray Hale seeks a writ of mandate to overturn the trial court’s denial of his pretrial motion to set aside great bodily injury (GBI) enhancement allegations (Pen. Code, § 12022.7, subd. (a)) in his drunk driving trial. (All further undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code.) The district attorney alleged Hale committed vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence (§ 191.5, subd. (b)) by driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and strike a tree, killing his three passengers. On each of three manslaughter counts, the district attorney also alleged a GBI enhancement for the other two deceased victims, so that Hale faced both vehicular manslaughter charges and a total of six GBI enhancements for the three victims.

Hale contends the enhancements must be stricken under the GBI statute’s plain terms providing “[t]his section shall not apply to murder or manslaughter....” (§ 12022.7, subd. (g).) We agree. We therefore part ways with

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People v. Julian (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1524 [131 Cal.Rptr.3d 561] (Julian). As we explain, the statutory language controls, and we therefore grant the writ petition.

I

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

After drinking alcohol at a Dana Point tavern, Hale lost control of his vehicle at high speed and drove over a median and off the roadway into a palm tree. The impact killed his three passengers, Christopher Arzola, Jeremiah Callahan, and Jason Chleborad. The information charges Hale with three counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. (ยง 191.5, subd. (b).) Each of the three manslaughter counts includes a section 12022.7 GBI penalty enhancement for each of the other two deceased victims. Consequently, Hale faces a total of three manslaughter ...


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