California Court of Appeals, Second District, Second Division
from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.
No. BA215317 William C. Ryan, Judge.
Strikes Project, Stanford Law School, Michael S. Romano and
Susan L. Champion for Defendant and Appellant.
Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant
Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Senior Assistant Attorney
General, Steven D. Matthews, Supervising Deputy Attorney
General, Noah P. Hill, Roberta L. Davis and Charles S. Lee,
Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
found appellant Raynould Thomas guilty of battery with
serious bodily injury (Pen. Code,  § 243, subd. (d)),
but found not true an allegation under section 12022.7,
subdivision (a) that in the commission of the offense,
appellant personally inflicted great bodily injury on the
victim. After finding true four prior strike conviction
allegations, the trial court sentenced appellant to an
indeterminate term of 25 years to life under the Three
Strikes law. (§§ 667, subds. (b)-(i), 1170.12,
subds. (a)-(e).) This court affirmed appellant's
conviction and sentence in a nonpublished opinion filed May
22, 2002. (People v. Thomas, B151924.)
appeals an order of the superior court denying his petition
for recall of his sentence pursuant to section 1170.126.
Following an eligibility hearing, the trial court found
beyond a reasonable doubt that during the commission of the
offense, appellant “ ‘intended to cause great
bodily injury to another person,' ” and was
therefore ineligible for resentencing pursuant to section
1170.12, subdivision (c)(2)(C)(iii). Appellant contends the
trial court erred in denying the petition for resentencing on
the basis of an inference, which he asserts was unsupported
by the evidence, that appellant intended to cause great
bodily injury in the commission of his offense. We disagree
March 16, 2001, appellant and a woman spent the night in the
apartment of appellant's friend, Alton Chillious.
Appellant and the woman left together early the next morning
but returned a few hours later asking to use the apartment
again for the day. Chillious objected and told appellant he
did not want them using his apartment that day. Appellant and
Chillious argued, and appellant began raising his voice and
pacing the floor.
Chillious was removing his jacket from a closet, appellant
suddenly punched him hard on the left side of his jaw,
knocking him into the closet door. While Chillious was still
down, appellant punched him again, this time on the right
side of his jaw. Chillious fell backward, slid down the wall,
and “saw stars.” When Chillious touched his jaw,
he felt his tooth had moved and he found a big gash in his
jaw. After punching Chillious, appellant stood over him for a
few minutes, pacing and angry. Before appellant punched him,
Chillious had not challenged appellant to fight, nor did he
strike, punch, kick, push, or otherwise threaten appellant.
After the attack appellant and the woman left Chillious's
jaw was broken in two places. He underwent surgery during
which screws and plates were inserted into the jawbone to
stabilize the jaw. His jaw was wired shut after the surgery
and he received stitches for the gash. Over the next three
and a half weeks Chillious lost 20 pounds, and the attack
left him with permanent nerve damage.
Chillious was released from the hospital, appellant went to
Chillious's apartment and apologized. Chillious was
reluctant to testify in the case because he felt sympathy for
appellant and his daughter. Before trial, Chillious wrote
appellant a letter in which he said, “ ‘I
don't want you to be sent away. But Ray, you can't be
sucker punching people because things aren't going your
way.' ” He also told appellant he planned to lie at
the next court hearing by testifying that appellant punched
him in self-defense after Chillious pushed appellant.
Chillious wrote that he knew appellant did not mean to break
his jaw, and he did not “ ‘want to see
[appellant] in the system for something [he] didn't mean
to do.' ” Finally, Chillious said that he
considered appellant to be a friend, and he hoped appellant
would be out of custody within a couple of months.
by the electorate on November 6, 2012, the Three Strikes
Reform Act of 2012 (Proposition 36 or the Act) “reduced
the punishment to be imposed with respect to some third
strike offenses that are neither serious nor violent, and
provided for discretionary resentencing in some cases in
which third strike sentences were imposed with respect to
felonies that are neither serious nor violent.”
(People v. Johnson (2015) 61 Cal.4th 674, 679
(Johnson).) In addition to the prospective reduction
of sentences for qualifying third strike convictions,
“the Act provides a procedure by which some prisoners
already serving third strike sentences may seek resentencing
in accordance with the new sentencing rules.”
(Id. at p. 682.) The procedure allows an inmate
currently serving a third strike sentence for a nonserious,