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People v. Johnson

California Court of Appeal
5 Cal. App. 4th 7 (1992)


John Edward Johnson, Jr. (defendant) robbed two men while armed with a gun and then fled in a car. Less than 30 minutes later and while attempting to evade the police, Johnson crashed his car into another car, killing Elaine Williams. Johnson fled on foot from the accident and attempted to escape through a swamp before he was finally apprehended. The gun and the stolen property were recovered from the swamp and his car. Johnson pled guilty to charges related to the robberies and was also convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances based on the two robberies. At trial, Johnson claimed that between the robberies and the deadly accident he had at times believed that he had successfully evaded the police chase, and therefore had reached a place of temporary safety. Johnson appealed the first-degree murder conviction, alleging that the evidence did not support the conviction.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Reardon, J.)

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