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People v. Stone

California Supreme Court
 92 Cal. Rptr.3d 362 (2009)


Facts

After a verbal altercation took place at a carnival between members of the Norteno gang and members of the Sureno gang, Rincon and Stone (defendant), members of the Sureno gang, drove past the group of Nortenos twice in the carnival parking lot. On the third pass, Rincon stopped his truck 10 to 15 feet from the group and held up a gang sign. Stone then rolled down the window, pulled out a gun, and fired it. Stone was charged with attempted murder of one Norteno gang member, Joel F. At trial, a police officer who was standing approximately 60 feet away observed Stone’s arm “come out of the passenger window, and then saw a muzzle flash and heard a gunshot.” The officer further testified that Stone was pointing the gun straight out the window at a group of Nortenos about 4-5 feet away. Joel F. testified that the gun was “pointed up” slightly and extended toward the group when Stone fired. Joel F. additionally testified that he did not believe Stone had pointed the gun at anyone in particular, but noted that when he heard the gunshot he ducked out of fear of being hit. Stone was convicted and he appealed. The court of appeal reversed and held that the trial court had improperly instructed the jury on the intent requirement of attempted murder. The appellate court further found that there was insufficient evidence to sustain Stone’s conviction. The California Supreme Court then granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Chin, 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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