Cal.Rptr.3d 273] Trial Court: Monterey County Superior Court,
Case No.: SS161881, Trial Judge: Hon. Andrew G. Liu (Monterey
County Super. Ct. No. SS161881)
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
for Plaintiff/Respondent: The People, XAVIER BECERRA,
Attorney General of California, GERALD A. ENGLER, Chief
Assistant Attorney General, JEFFREY M. LAURENCE, Senior
Assistant Attorney General, ERIC D. SHARE, Supervising Deputy
Attorney General, ALISHA M. CARLILE, Deputy Attorney General
Attorneys for Defendant/Appellant: Ramon Hernandez Bernal,
Jr., Frank J. McCabe, San Francisco
convicted defendant Ramon Bernal, Jr. of 10 offenses,
including residential burglary and assault with a deadly
weapon. Because of his criminal record he was sentenced under
the three strikes law to 85 years to life in prison.
Defendant contends his constitutional rights were violated
when his attorney conceded guilt on certain charges in
closing argument. He further contends there is insufficient
evidence to support two of his convictions, and that his
trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. He also
challenges his sentence. We find no error but will remand for
resentencing so the trial court can exercise its discretion
regarding prior conviction enhancements under Penal Code
section 667, subdivision (a) (mandatory at the time of
sentencing but now discretionary).
Defendant committed home and auto burglaries in Monterey
County throughout 2016. In March of that year he broke into a
house and stole
jewelry, computers, wallets, a camera and other belongings,
including children’s piggy banks. Security cameras captured
him on video ransacking the home.
June, defendant broke into a car parked in a home driveway,
which a neighbor witnessed and reported to 911. When
defendant was arrested later that day, he had in his
possession the items taken from the car, as well as other
stolen property. Defendant was released on bail.
August, a local business owner reported stolen from his car
two briefcases containing computers, cash, and credit cards.
Purchases were made with the credit cards, including one of
over $500 at a nearby grocery store. Security video from the
store showed defendant making that purchase.
October, a man with his fiancée and newborn baby
returned to their car in a supermarket parking lot to find
defendant inside, rifling through the center console. The man
grabbed defendant, told him to empty his pockets, then
blocked his path when he tried to leave. Defendant took out a
folding knife, displayed it and asked, "Do you want to
do this?" Defendant then fled to his car and drove away.
He was arrested [256 Cal.Rptr.3d 274] a week later and again
released on bail. Days later, a woman returned to her car
after shopping and noticed several things missing that had
been inside, including her work identification badge and a
personal check. The badge and check were found in defendant’s
pocket when he was arrested later that day on a warrant from
the August incident. He was again released on bail.
December, defendant broke into two more cars: one in a
shopping center parking lot and another outside a gym. From
the car outside the gym he stole a wedding ring and other
jewelry. Three days before Christmas, police obtained a
warrant to search defendant’s apartment for stolen property.
When the warrant was executed, defendant was there with his
girlfriend and two children--a six-year-old and a
one-month-old. Along with jewelry, multiple driver’s
licenses, and numerous other stolen items, police found two
methamphetamine pipes; one in a bathroom drawer showed signs
of recent use.
District Attorney charged defendant with residential burglary
(Pen. Code, � 459); identity theft (Pen. Code, � 530.5, subd.
(a)); assault with a deadly weapon (Pen. Code, � 245, subd.
(a)(1)); three counts of auto burglary (Pen. Code, � 459);
tampering with a vehicle (Veh. Code, � 10852); two counts of
receiving stolen property (Pen. Code, � 496, subd. (a)); and
child endangerment (Pen. Code, � 273a, subd. (b)). The
information also alleged two prior serious felonies (Pen.
Code, � � 667, subd. (a)(1), 1170.12, subd. ...