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People v. Hudson

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fifth Division

May 16, 2017

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
RAYSHAUN HUDSON, Defendant and Appellant.

         Superior Court of Solano County, No. VCR223074, Hon. James Moelk, Judge.

          Jonathan Soglin and Kevin King, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

          Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Jeffrey M. Laurence, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Bruce M. Slavin and Allan Yannow, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          SIMONS, J.

         Appellant Rayshaun Hudson stole an automobile from a dealer's service garage by taking it without permission and driving it out the exit. One of the dealer's employees unsuccessfully attempted to pull appellant out of the moving vehicle. Convicted of carjacking, appellant argues the trial court's instruction to the jury on the definition of “force” impermissibly allowed the jury to find that the momentum of the car as appellant exited the showroom satisfied the statutory requirement. Because the momentum of the car was sufficient force to support the conviction, we affirm.

         Procedural Background

         In March 2015, the Solano County District Attorney filed an information charging appellant with carjacking (Pen. Code, § 215, subd. (a))[1] and second degree commercial burglary (§ 459). In May, a jury found appellant guilty on both counts.

         In March 2016, the trial court imposed the high-term of 9 years for carjacking and stayed the sentence for second-degree burglary under section 654. The court suspended the sentence and placed appellant on probation for 3 years.

         Factual Background

         On February 14, 2015, appellant visited a car dealership in Vallejo. The dealership's sales manager suspected appellant had taken the key fob of a dealership car because the key fob appellant returned to a salesperson (apparently after a test drive) did not start the car. Following a confrontation about the key fob, appellant left the dealership. The car was moved to the service garage to be re-keyed. The car was parked facing a wall with the garage exit behind.

         Later that day, appellant returned to the dealership and approached the car in the service garage. He told a salesperson he had lost his cell phone and the salesperson permitted him to search for the phone inside the car. The salesperson asked another dealership employee, Angel Ruiz-Maldonado, to keep an eye on appellant.

         Mr. Ruiz-Maldonado was standing behind the car and he heard the engine start. He slammed his hands on the trunk and said, “Hey. Stop. What are you doing, man?” He moved so he would not get hit by the car reversing and then ran around to the driver's-side door. With the car now moving in reverse, Mr. Ruiz-Maldonado grabbed the door and opened it. He tried to grab appellant, but failed due to the movement of the car. The edge of the car door hit Mr. Ruiz-Maldonado's arm, leaving a small mark.

         Appellant continued in reverse and exited the garage at about 5 to 10 miles per hour. Appellant was subsequently ...


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