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People v. Smith

Supreme Court of California
124 P.3d 730 (2005)


Karen A. was driving with her boyfriend Renell T. next to her in the front passenger seat and their infant son in a rear-facing child car seat directly behind her. As Karen and Renell parked in front of a friend’s house and Renell got out, a former boyfriend of Karen’s, Smith (defendant), approached the car. Smith had previously threatened Karen. Smith walked up to the car, looked in the window at the baby, and said “Don’t I know you, bitch?” to Karen through her open window. When Renell heard Smith he challenged him, but Smith brandished a handgun. Renell got back into the car and Karen began to drive away. After traveling approximately one car length, Karen saw Smith directly behind her through the rearview mirror, pointing a gun at the car. Smith fired a single bullet, which traveled through the back windshield and then through Karen’s headrest, narrowly missing the baby and Karen. Smith was charged and convicted of attempted murder of both Karen and the baby, among other charges. The court of appeal affirmed the conviction, and Smith appealed, alleging that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for attempted murder of the baby.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Baxter, J.)

Dissent (Werdegar, J.)

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