People v. Acosta
California Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District
284 Cal. Rptr. 117 (1991)
Police officers Salceda and Francis approached Acosta (defendant) who was sitting in a stolen vehicle parked on the street. After the officers identified themselves, Acosta sped away, leading the officers and others on a reckless 48-mile chase throughout Orange County, California. Acosta ran stop signs and red lights and drove the wrong way on streets. Police helicopters from Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach assisted the ground chase by tracking Acosta’s movements from the air. After some improper maneuvering from the Costa Mesa helicopter and the Newport Beach helicopter, the two collided and fell to the ground killing three occupants in the Costa Mesa helicopter. Acosta was indicted on three counts of second-degree murder of the helicopter occupants. At trial, Menzies Turner, a retired FAA investigator, testified as an expert and concluded that the Costa Mesa helicopter pilot violated several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Additionally, Turner could not explain the erratic movement exhibited by the Costa Mesa helicopter and testified that he had never heard of a midair collision between two police helicopters involved in tracking a ground pursuit. Acosta was convicted on three counts of second-degree murder and he appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that his conduct was the proximate cause of the deaths and insufficient evidence of malice.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wallin, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Crosby, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 708,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 708,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.