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People v. Medrano

California Court of Appeals, Fifth District

December 3, 2019

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Xavier Ysauro MEDRANO et al., Defendants and Appellants.

         [REVIEW GRANTED BY CAL. SUPREME COURT]

         [CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION][*]

          As Modified on Denial of Rehearing 12/23/2019

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         [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 203] APPEALS from a judgment of the Superior Court of Tulare County. Valeriano Saucedo and H. N. Papadakis,[**] Judges.[***]

         COUNSEL

         Janet J. Gray, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Xavier Ysauro Medrano.

         Sylvia W. Beckham, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Trinidad Valdez Martinez.

         Charles M. Bonneau, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Rey Robert Avellanoza.

         Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Michael P. Farrell, Assistant Attorney General, Kathleen A. McKenna, Julie A. Hokans, and Darren K. Indermill, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          OPINION

         PEÑA, J.

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         [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 204] INTRODUCTION

          Defendants Xavier Ysauro Medrano (also known as Xavier Ysidro Medrano), Trinidad Valdez Martinez, and Rey Robert Avellanoza were found guilty after a jury trial of attempted murder, burglary, assault with a firearm, and participation in a criminal street gang. Avellanoza was found guilty of shooting into an inhabited dwelling; Medrano and Martinez were acquitted of this charge. Enhancements alleging premeditation and deliberation, use of firearms, causing great bodily injury, and committing the offenses for a criminal street gang were also found true by the jury. Each defendant received a substantial state prison sentence, including an indeterminate sentence for the attempted first degree murder conviction. The defendants were only partially successful in their appeal of the judgment.

         On February 1, 2017, the California Supreme Court granted Medrano’s and Martinez’s petitions for review pending consideration and disposition of People v. Mateo, S232674. The Supreme Court denied Avellanoza’s petition for review (remittitur issued Feb. 7, 2017). On April 10, 2019, the California Supreme Court returned the case to us with directions to vacate our opinion and reconsider the cause in light of Senate Bill No. 1437 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.) (Senate Bill 1437). In connection with the Supreme Court’s transfer, the remittitur pertaining to Avellanoza was recalled on October 8, 2019. In supplemental briefing, Martinez and Medrano now argue the recent enactment of Senate Bill 1437 requires reversal of their attempted murder convictions because the jury instructions and the prosecutor’s arguments allowed the jury to convict them on the now repudiated theory that attempted murder was a natural and probable consequence of aiding and abetting assault likely to cause bodily harm and because Penal Code section 188 no longer permits imputed malice. (Undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code.) Relatedly, they argue Senate Bill 1437 applies to charges of attempted murder and that relief should be available through direct appeal, rather than limited to the petitioning procedure provided for in newly enacted section 1170.95. Martinez further contends the trial court should be permitted to exercise its newfound discretion to strike or dismiss the firearm enhancements imposed pursuant to sections 12022.5 and 12022.53 (Sen. Bill No. 620 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.) [Senate Bill 620] ), and the five-year prior serious felony enhancement imposed pursuant to section 667 (Sen. Bill No. 1393 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.) [Senate Bill 1393] ).

         [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 205] In the published part of this opinion, we find merit to the new claims pertaining to the natural and probable consequences doctrine as to Medrano

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and Martinez. We conclude Senate Bill 1437 not only abrogated the continuing application of this doctrine to murder charges, we further determine this change in the law applies to attempted murder charges premised on this doctrine. In doing so, we part company with our sister courts in People v. Lopez (2019) 38 Cal.App.5th 1087, review granted November 13, 2019, S258175, and People v. Munoz (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 738 (Munoz ), review granted November 26, 2019, S258234. However, we agree with Lopez and Munoz that the petitioning procedure added in section 1170.95 does not apply to attempted murder. Because the section 1170.95 petitioning procedure does not apply to defendants for their convictions of attempted murder, we review their claim under In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, 48 Cal.Rptr. 172, 408 P.2d 948 and conclude defendants are entitled to relief on direct appeal. Thus, we reverse the judgments of conviction for attempted murder as to Medrano and Martinez.

          In the unpublished part of the opinion, as to all three defendants, we reverse the gang convictions and the gang enhancements. At resentencing, the court shall consider whether to exercise its discretion pursuant to Senate Bills 620 and 1393, if applicable to any defendant. In all other respects, the judgments are affirmed.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[]

          DISCUSSION

         I. Dismissal of Original Information[� � ]

          II. Effect of Senate Bill 1437

          A. Abbreviated ...


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