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People v. Venegas

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

September 11, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
DANIEL SAUCEDO VENEGAS, Defendant and Appellant.

[REVIEW GRANTED BY CAL. SUPREME COURT]

[CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]]

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County No. TA120194, Patrick Connolly, Judge.

Page 850

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 851

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Stephen B. Bedrick, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney General, Scott A. Taryle and John Yang, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

MINK, J. [*]

Appellant Daniel Saucedo Venegas was convicted, following a jury trial, of one count of shooting at an inhabited dwelling in violation of Penal Code[1] section 246, one count of shooting from a motor vehicle in violation of former section 12034, subdivision (c), one count of assault on a peace officer in violation of section 245, subdivision (c), and one count of being an accessory after the fact in violation of section 32. The jury found true the allegations that the shootings and assault were committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang within the meaning of section 186.22, subdivision (b)(1)(B) and (4) and that a principal was armed with a handgun in the commission of the shootings within the meaning of section 12022, subdivision (a)(1). The trial court sentenced appellant to a total term of 15 years to life in state prison for the section 246 conviction, pursuant to section 186.22, subdivision (b)(4)(B). The trial court also imposed concurrent terms of seven years for the former section 12034 conviction, five years for the section 245 conviction, and three years for the section 32 conviction.

Appellant appeals from the judgment of conviction, contending the trial court erred in ruling it lacked jurisdiction to dismiss any part of count 1 and further contending the prosecutor committed misconduct in offering only a “package deal” plea bargain offer. Appellant also contends the court erred in refusing to reappoint counsel for co-defendant Michael Estrada[2] and further contends there is insufficient evidence to support the gang allegation. We hold that the trial court did have the authority to strike or dismiss the section 186.22, subdivision (b)(4), allegation in count 1, but affirm the judgment in all other respects. We reverse appellant’s conviction, however, and remand

Page 853

the matter for the trial court to consider appellant’s motion to enter an open plea. If the trial court denies that motion, appellant’s conviction is ordered reinstated.

Facts

On September 27, 2011, about 10:30 a.m., Sylvia Lozano heard approximately three gunshots. Patricia Torres, who lived two houses away from Lozano on Indigo Street in Compton, heard five or six gunshots. Torres looked out her front window and saw a bald male who appeared to be “Latino” in front of Lozano’s gate. He ran away, toward Tamarind. Lozano discovered bullet holes in a wall of her house and called 911.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy John Orozco and his partner Deputy Robles were in the vicinity, heard gunshots, and saw two vehicles travelling on Indigo at a high rate of speed. One vehicle was gold, the other green. Both ran the stop sign at the intersection, narrowly missing a collision with the deputies’ car. Deputy Orozco saw that the driver of the gold car was ...


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