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People v. Endsley

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division

June 15, 2016

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
MARC ANTHONY ENDSLEY, Defendant and Appellant

          APPEAL from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, No. FSB07901, Lorenzo R. Balderrama, Judge.

          Reversed with directions.

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          COUNSEL

         Christian C. Buckley, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

         Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Eric A. Swenson and Joy Utomi, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

         Opinion by Slough, J., with Miller, P. J. and Codrington, J., concurring.

          OPINION

          [203 Cal.Rptr.3d 264] SLOUGH, J.

          One of the ways a defendant who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the state hospital may be released from commitment is by applying for restoration of sanity under Penal Code section 1026.2.[1] ( People v. Tilbury (1991) 54 Cal.3d 56, 60 [284 Cal.Rptr. 288');">284 Cal.Rptr. 288, 813 P.2d 1318] ( Tilbury ).) Release under section 1026.2 is a two-step process: conditional release to an outpatient treatment program for a trial period and, if successful, unconditional release into the community. ( Tilbury, supra, at p. 60.) This case involves the first step.

         In May 2015, defendant and appellant Marc Anthony Endsley, who is currently committed to Patton State Hospital (Patton), petitioned for conditional release to an outpatient program pursuant to section 1026.2. The trial court summarily denied his petition without stating its reasons for doing so.

         On appeal, Endsley cites People v. Soiu (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 1191 [131 Cal.Rptr.2d 421] ( Soiu ) and argues section 1026.2 entitles him to a hearing on his petition. The People acknowledge a defendant is entitled to a hearing on a

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petition for conditional release, but contend Endsley's petition was " deficient on its face" pursuant to section 1026.2, subdivision ( l ) because it " failed to include the requisite recommendation by the state hospital director." [2] Endsley responds that section 1026.2, subdivision ( l ) requires the court, not the defendant, to obtain the medical director's recommendation in advance of the hearing. We agree with Endsley. Once a defendant initiates a petition for conditional release, section 1026.2, subdivision ( l ) requires the court to obtain a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of conditional release from the person in charge of the defendant's treatment.

          [203 Cal.Rptr.3d 265] We hold Endsley is entitled to a hearing on his petition for conditional release. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's order denying the petition and direct the court to request a recommendation from Patton's medical director in advance of the hearing.

         I

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In 1995, 24-year-old Endsley shot his father five times with a pistol at point-blank range. A jury convicted him of first degree murder (§ 187, subd. (a)) and found true the allegation that he used a firearm when committing the crime (§ 12022.5, subd. (a)). However, the jury also found him not guilty by reason of insanity, and in May 1997, the superior court committed him to Patton pursuant to section 1026. The court found Endsley's maximum sentence, had he not been acquitted by reason of insanity, would have been 10 years plus life without the possibility of parole.

         Fifteen years later, in February 2012, Endsley petitioned for conditional release from commitment. The trial court ordered Patton to prepare a report in advance of the hearing. After holding a hearing, the court granted the petition and placed Endsley on outpatient status in San Bernardino County's conditional release program (CONREP). On January 7, 2013, the trial court revoked Endsley's outpatient status based on reports that he was not processing his anger issues with his group home staff. Endsley was transferred back to Patton and recommitted.

         Patton's periodic progress reports since recommitment reflect Endsley was making steady progress on his anger ...


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