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People v. Valdez

Court of Appeal of California
175 Cal. App. 3d 103 (1985)


Kenneth McKinley, an employee at a gas station in California, was at the cashier’s window of the gas station when Rogelio Valdez (defendant) paid $4 for gas. After Valdez pumped $4 of gasoline, Valdez returned to the window and began to argue with McKinley, stating that Valdez had paid $5, not $4. During the course of the argument, Valdez lifted his jacket, and McKinley saw that there was a gun in Valdez’s belt. McKinley moved away from the window. Valdez pointed the gun at McKinley, and McKinley called the police. While McKinley was on the phone, Valdez fired the gun three times at the bulletproof glass behind which McKinley was sitting. Valdez was unaware that the glass was bulletproof. McKinley then saw Valdez drive away. Valdez was later arrested with a loaded gun in his possession. At trial, Valdez was found guilty of assault with a firearm, which was defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury upon a victim’s person. Valdez appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that Valdez had the present ability to injure McKinley due to the bulletproof glass.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

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