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People v. Meredith

Supreme Court of California
631 P.2d 46 (1981)


Facts

David Wade and Jacqueline Otis (defendant) went into a club while Frank Earl Scott (defendant) remained outside. Michael Meredith (defendant) arrived outside the club and asked Scott to go into the club to ask Otis to bring Wade outside so that Meredith could rob Wade. Scott went inside the club and asked Otis to bring Wade outside to Meredith’s car. When Wade went out to Meredith’s car, an altercation ensued where shots were fired and Wade fell, after which Meredith fled the scene. Scott took a bag of beer Wade had been carrying and hid it, but later retrieved it and brought it home. After his arrest, Scott shared additional information with his court appointed attorney, James Schenk. Scott told Schenk that he had found Wade’s wallet on the ground after the shooting and put it in the bag of beer. After retrieving the beer, Scott shared the $100 he found in the wallet with Otis and then attempted to destroy the wallet by burning it. He then threw the partially burned wallet in the trash behind his house. Schenk hired Stephen Frick, an investigator, to find the wallet. Frick found the wallet where Scott described disposing of it. Frick gave the wallet to Scott, who turned it over to police after examining it and determining it contained Wade’s credit cards. Scott only told the police that he believed the wallet was Wade’s. Schenk was subpoenaed by the government to testify regarding the wallet at the preliminary hearing. Schenk confirmed, under threat of contempt, that the information leading to discovery of the wallet came from his client. Frick was called by the State at trial to testify that he had found the wallet in the garbage behind Scott’s house. Meredith and Scott were convicted of the first degree murder and first degree robbery of David Wade and appealed their convictions to the California Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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