California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division
ORIGINAL PROCEEDINGS in mandate. Los Angeles County Super.
Ct. Nos. NJ29107 & NA105083 John C. Lawson II, Judge.
Petition granted and remanded.
Independent Juvenile Defender Program, Cyn Yamashiro and
Marketa Sims for Petitioner.
appearance for Respondent.
Lacey, District Attorney, Phyllis C. Asayama, June Chung and
Matthew Brown, Deputy District Attorneys, for Real Party in
D.W. was found unfit for juvenile treatment based on the
allegation that, at age 17, he committed second degree murder
in violation of Penal Code section 187, subdivision (a),
under the natural and probable consequences theory of
liability. After the Respondent juvenile court transferred
D.W.'s case to adult court, our Legislature eliminated
liability for murder under the theory of natural and probable
alleges he is entitled to a new transfer hearing because the
People (Real Party in Interest) have not established a prima
facie case that he committed an offense that would now make
him eligible for transfer to adult court. The People contend
(1) they are no longer required to make a prima facie case in
light of the statutory changes enacted by Proposition 57; (2)
the facts presented to the juvenile court establish probable
cause for the unalleged offense of assault with a deadly
weapon under a natural and probable consequences theory; and
(3) the nature of the specific offense alleged in the
petition is irrelevant to the court's analysis of
D.W.'s fitness for juvenile treatment.
agree with D.W. that he is entitled to a new transfer hearing
and remand the case to the juvenile court to vacate its order
transferring his case to adult court.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
January 24, 2017, the People filed a petition in the Juvenile
Court alleging D.W., at age 17, committed the offense of
murder on October 3, 2016, in violation of Penal Code section
187, subdivision (a). The People also filed a motion to
transfer the matter to adult criminal court under Welfare and
Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (a).
hearing on the transfer petition, the People presented
evidence that D.W. was in a car with three adults at a gas
station in Long Beach when an altercation began. The victim
approached the car, after which D.W. and the adult men got
out of the car, confronted the victim, and ultimately chased
and beat him with hands and feet. One of the adults stabbed
the victim, causing his death. When interviewed by police,
D.W. admitted punching the victim multiple times, but denied
knowledge of the stabbing. D.W. also stated the victim
attacked him, and D.W.'s father had taught D.W. to defend
People introduced no evidence that D.W. had the intent to
kill the victim, or that he knew the victim would be stabbed.
Instead, the People repeatedly invoked the natural and
probable consequences doctrine of criminal liability for
homicide. (Under that doctrine, D.W.'s intent to commit
murder was irrelevant. If murder was the natural and probable
consequence of his participation in the assault of the
victim, he could be found liable for murder, regardless of
his intent or culpability. (People v. Chiu (2014) 59
Cal.4th 155, 164.)) The People did not allege D.W. committed
any crime other than murder, and did not allege any
alternative theories for criminal liability other than the
natural and probable consequences doctrine.
juvenile court made three findings: the victim died of stab
wounds inflicted by one of the adults; D.W. was one of the
people who accosted the victim; and D.W. was over 16 years
old at the time of the offense. Based on these facts, the
court found probable cause that D.W. committed an offense
within the meaning of section 707, subdivision (b). The court
then evaluated the five criteria enumerated in section ...