On September 30, 1988, Mr. Perez (defendant) parked his car near the house of Victoria Mesa. He surreptitiously entered the house while Mesa was warming her car. Perez beat Mesa and then stabbed her multiple times with a steak knife from Mesa’s kitchen. After the steak knife broke, Perez found another knife in the kitchen, which he used to inflict additional wounds on Mesa. Mesa died as a result of the attack. The only connection between Perez and Mesa was that they had gone to high school together ten years earlier. Perez was found guilty of first degree, premeditated and deliberate murder. Perez appealed, and the court of appeals reduced his conviction to second degree murder. The prosecution challenged the court of appeals’ decision.