California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
In re B.M., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
B.M., Defendant and Appellant.
Court County of Ventura Super. Ct. No. 2016025026 Brian J.
Ford, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant
Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant
Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Senior Assistant Attorney
General, Susan Sullivan Pithey, Supervising Deputy Attorney
General, Michael J. Wise, Deputy Attorney General, for
Plaintiff and Respondent.
Acting P. J.
common butter knife is designed to cut and spread butter. In
the hand of a person bent on assaulting another, it may be a
useful tool to inflict great bodily injury. Consistent with
an express direction from the California Supreme Court
(People v. McCoy (1944) 25 Cal.2d l77, l88-189) and
time-honored rules on appeal, we conclude that the trial
court's factual finding that the instant butter knife was
a deadly weapon must be affirmed on appeal. To the extent
that In re Brandon T. (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1491
holds to the contrary, we respectfully disagree.
shall explain, an assault with a deadly weapon is complete
when the defendant, with the requisite intent, uses an object
in a manner which is capable of producing great bodily injury
upon the victim. Such an assault is not negated by 1. the
victim's use of a shield or body armor to prevent injury;
or 2. ineptness or poor aim in the use of the object; or 3.
lack of success in inflicting great bodily injury.
appeals from a juvenile court order declaring her a ward of
the court and ordering her to serve 90 days in a juvenile
justice facility. After a contested jurisdictional hearing,
the court sustained a petition charging that appellant
committed a felony assault with a deadly weapon (a knife) in
violation of Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1).
on Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436
(Miranda), appellant contends the juvenile court
erroneously admitted statements she made to the police. She
also contends that the evidence is insufficient to support
the finding that the knife she used was a deadly weapon.
These contentions are without merit and we affirm.
seventeen years old, was angry because she could not get
inside the family home. Her mother had changed the locks to
the house. She entered the house through a window and went
into her sister's (S.M.) bedroom. She tried to pull
S.M.'s hair out, threw a telephone at her, and left the
room. She returned carrying “a
small... knife, like a butter knife.” It was
“[t]he type of knife that you would use to butter a
piece of toast.” The knife was metal and about six
inches long. The blade was about three inches long. “It
wasn't... sharp” and had “small ridges”
along one side.
was lying on her back on a bed when appellant attacked her
with the knife. She covered herself with a blanket for
protection. The knife struck the blanket near her legs a
“few times.” Through the blanket, S.M. felt
pressure from the knife. On a scale of one to ten with one
being the least amount of pressure, the pressure was
“[m]aybe like a five or a six.” Instead of
“pok[ing]” S.M. with the knife, appellant made a
“slicing kind of” motion.
was “yelling” at S.M. who was terrified by the
attack. When appellant left the bedroom, S.M. telephoned the
police. The recording of her frantic call for help to the 911
operator was received by the juvenile court.
response to the telephone call, Officer Ryan Reynosa drove to
S.M.'s residence. On the way there, he was given a
description and the name of the suspect. He saw appellant
outside the residence “and asked her if her name was
[B.M.].” Appellant replied, “Yes.” Officer
Reynosa testified, “I then asked her to walk over
towards me and sit against the bumper by my marked patrol
vehicle so I could talk to her about what had
happened.” Appellant complied with his request.
Reynosa told appellant that he “had gotten a call of a
fight inside the house and [he] asked her what...
happened.” Appellant explained as follows: she arrived
at the residence and had been unable to open the front door
with her key. She believed that S.M. had rekeyed the lock.
Appellant entered the residence through an unlocked window.
She was “very upset.” Appellant “grabbed...
what she described as a butter knife off of the kitchen
counter and went upstairs to confront her sister
[S.M.].” Upon entering her sister's bedroom,
appellant “began yelling at [S.M.]... and... was
holding the butter knife in her right hand and was pointing
it at S.M.” When S.M. told her to get out and
threatened to call the police, appellant made “downward