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People v. Brothers

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Seventh Division

April 21, 2015

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
BEATRICE BROTHERS, Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. PA058905-02 Dalila C. Lyons, Judge.

Page 25

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 26

COUNSEL

Eric R. Larson, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney General, Chung L. Mar and Carl N. Henry, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

PERLUSS, P. J.

A jury convicted Beatrice Brothers of voluntary manslaughter, a lesser included offense of murder, and found true the special allegation she had personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon. On appeal Brothers contends the court erred in failing to instruct the jury sua sponte on involuntary manslaughter. She also contends there is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. We affirm.

Page 27

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

1. The Amended Information Following Our Reversal of the Judgment

In December 2011 this court reversed Brothers’s conviction for first degree murder. We held the trial court had prejudicially erred in instructing the jury with former CALCRIM No. 400 because, as written, that instruction reasonably permitted the jury to convict Brothers of first degree premeditated murder based solely on the mental state of her codefendants. (See People v. Brothers (Dec. 12, 2011, B225376) [nonpub. opn.].)

Following issuance of the remittitur in February 2012, Brothers was recharged in an amended information with one count of murder (Pen. Code, § 187, subd. (a))[1] and one count of torture (§ 206). It was specially alleged as to both counts Brothers had personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon (§ 12022, subd. (b)(1)). Brothers pleaded not guilty and denied the special allegation. The torture count was dismissed prior to trial.

2. The Evidence at Trial

In December 2005 Brothers was living in her home with several children ages 14 and under, including her son Sidney, granddaughter Mimi, John B. and his brother Antwan. John and Antwan’s mother, Catherine Hoskins, lived in the converted garage behind the front house with her boyfriend, Bobby Gates. Brothers had known Gates since childhood and had invited him, Hoskins and Hoskins’s children to live with her after discovering they were homeless. Brothers treated John and Antwan as if they were her own grandchildren. Lachelle Robinson, Brothers’s adult daughter and Mimi’s mother, lived across the street.

Early in the morning of December 5, 2005 Brothers learned information that caused her to believe Gates had sexually molested Mimi and John.[2] Brothers immediately summoned Gates to the main house to interrogate him about the alleged sexual abuse. She also asked Sidney to get Robinson from across the street. Within a few minutes of Robinson’s arrival, Brothers’s boyfriend, Sam Persons, also arrived at the ...


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