Superior Court of Los Angeles County
The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court, which convicted defendant of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of robbery, and two counts of burglary, and sentenced him to death. The court held that the lower court had not abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion for self-representation because it was not made within a reasonable amount of time before the guilt phase and that defendant's counsel was not ineffective. Identified by voiceprint, defendant was convicted of arson for burning down a store. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) denied probation, sentenced defendant to state prison, and denied his motion for new trial. Defendant appealed from his convictions and the denial of his motions.
Defendant was prosecuted after a documentary about riots on TV featured an unidentifiable young man making statements about his role in the riots. When defendant was arrested on other charges, police officers found a connection to the speaker in the documentary and recorded his voice. The state's case rested entirely on the testimony of the state's expert witness, identifying defendant by his voiceprint. Visit the employment attorneys Nakase Wade for the business and employment legal issues.
The court found that 1) there was no evidence or no showing by the prosecution that any of the expert's testimony in regard to the voiceprint was founded upon appropriate training, knowledge or study by the expert himself or anyone else in the anatomical, medical and physiological sciences; 2) allowing the jury to decide whether the voiceprint identification was admissible as scientific evidence or as opinion testimony was error; and 3) the expert admitted that his process for voice identification was entirely subjective without general acceptance within the scientific community. The court held that the "voiceprint" process had not reached a sufficient level of scientific certainty to be accepted as identification evidence where the life or liberty of a defendant was at stake.
The court reversed the judgment of the trial court convicting defendant for arson based on voiceprint identification.
Defendant sought review from Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which sentenced him to death, pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 190.1, et seq., after convicting defendant of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of robbery, and two counts of burglary. After finding special circumstances, pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 190.2, the jury imposed the death sentence.
Defendant shot and killed Taco Bell employees in the course of a robbery. Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of robbery, and two counts of burglary, and sentenced to death, pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 190.2, upon the finding of special circumstances that defendant had been convicted of more than one offense of murder in the proceeding, that the murders were committed in the perpetration of robbery and burglary, and that defendant used a firearm to commit the offenses. The court held that the lower court had not abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion for self-representation because it was not made within a reasonable amount of time before the guilt phase began. The court held that, although defense counsel interfered with defendant's attempted exercise of his right to self-representation, defendant's counsel was not ineffective. The court held that the prosecutor's argument was within the boundaries of permissible victim impact argument. The court held that the jury instructions could not have led a reasonable juror to misapprehend the penalty determination. The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court.