38 Cal.4th 72, S042698, People v. Jurado

Docket NºS042698
Citation38 Cal.4th 72, __ Cal.Rptr.3d __, 131 P.3d 400
Party NamePeople v. Jurado
Case DateApril 06, 2006
CourtSupreme Court of California

Page 72

38 Cal.4th 72

__ Cal.Rptr.3d __, 131 P.3d 400

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

ROBERT JURADO, JR., Defendant and Appellant.

S042698

Supreme Court of California

April 6, 2006

Court: Superior County: San Diego, Super. Ct. No. CR 124438, Judge: David M. Gill

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COUNSEL

Lynne S. Coffin and Michael T. Hersek, State Public Defenders, under appointments by the Supreme Court, and Mark Hammond, Deputy State Public Defender, for Defendant and Appellant.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W. Schons, Assistant Attorney General, William M. Wood, Larissa Karpovics Hendren and Marvin Mizell, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

KENNARD, J.

Defendant Robert Jurado, Jr., appeals from a judgment of death upon his conviction by jury verdict of one count of murder in the first degree (Pen. Code, § 187),1 with the special circumstance of intentionally killing while lying in wait (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(15)), and one count of conspiracy to commit murder (§§ 182, 187). The jury found that defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon to commit the murder. (§ 12022, subd. (b).) The jury that returned these verdicts as to guilt and special circumstance also returned a penalty verdict of death for the murder. The trial court denied the automatic motion to modify the penalty (§ 190.4, subd. (e)) and sentenced defendant to death.

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This appeal from the judgment of death is automatic. (§ 1239, subd. (b).) We affirm the judgment in its entirety.

I. Facts and Proceedings

On May 17, 1991, a stranded motorist saw the body of Teresa Holloway in a culvert beneath Highway 163 in San Diego County. She had been strangled and beaten to death two days earlier. As the prosecution's evidence at trial established, defendant killed Holloway, with the help of Denise Shigemura and Anna Humiston, to prevent her from disclosing their plan to kill a drug dealer named Doug Mynatt.2

A. Prosecution's Guilt Phase Case-in-Chief

In October 1989, Brian Johnsen met Teresa Holloway; a month later, they began living together and continued living together until late April 1991. Throughout this time, Holloway was using methamphetamine on a regular basis. In December 1989, Holloway met Doug Mynatt at a bar and introduced him to Johnsen.

In July or August of 1990, Brian Johnsen met defendant and bought crystal methamphetamine from him at Mark Schmidt's house. Defendant was sharing an apartment with Denise Shigemura, but his girlfriend was Anna Humiston, a high school student who lived with her parents. Johnsen and Teresa Holloway socialized and shared drugs with defendant, Shigemura, and Humiston. Johnsen later introduced defendant to Mynatt.

In October 1990, Denise Shigemura was arrested and remained in federal custody until April 1991, when she was released to a halfway house. During her time in custody, Shigemura exchanged letters and telephone calls with Teresa Holloway. When Shigemura obtained overnight passes from the halfway house, she stayed at the house where Teresa Holloway lived with Brian Johnsen.

In February 1991, Teresa Holloway argued with defendant, and their relationship became strained. Holloway's relationships with Anna Humiston also became strained, and on one occasion they had a quarrel that almost turned violent. Around the same time, Doug Mynatt moved on a temporary

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basis into the house that Brian Johnsen and Holloway shared. Johnsen had been buying methamphetamine from Mynatt.

In late March 1991, defendant gave Doug Mynatt a .38-caliber handgun in exchange for drugs. When Mynatt learned that defendant had stolen the gun, he insisted that defendant take it back and instead pay money for the drugs. A few weeks later, Mynatt and Johnsen took defendant from his apartment to Johnsen's house. Mynatt made him stay there overnight until defendant agreed to pay Mynatt and to sell methamphetamine for him. Mynatt threatened to kill defendant if he did not agree.

On April 11, 1991, Brian Johnsen was arrested during a drug raid and spent five days in custody. He was arrested because drugs were found under a couch at his house. Some of the drugs belonged to defendant, but defendant did not admit they were his. Johnsen felt that defendant owed him something because of this incident, and defendant agreed to compensate Johnsen with marijuana.

In late April 1991, Brian Johnsen made Teresa Holloway move out of the house they had shared because of her continuing drug use, and he offered to let Doug Mynatt remain in the house on a more permanent basis as his roommate. Holloway approached Thomas Carnahan, who agreed to let her live in his apartment temporarily. He did not give her a key, and he insisted that she either be in the apartment by 11:00 p.m. or telephone him before that time to let him know when she would be arriving.

On May 6, 1991, Brian Johnsen began serving a 14-day jail sentence for driving with a suspended license. Doug Mynatt continued to live in Johnsen's house. Defendant still owed Mynatt money.

On May 13, 1991, during a telephone conversation, Denise Shigemura told Brian Johnsen (who was still in custody) that Doug Mynatt had stolen her purse, which contained $80, a key to the business where she was then working, and the combination to the business's safe. According to Shigemura, Mynatt admitted taking the purse and said he did it because he suspected Shigemura of stealing $450 from him. Shigemura seemed very upset about the incident and was worried about what Mynatt might do with the business key and the safe combination. During this conversation, defendant phoned Shigemura, and a three-way conversation ensued between defendant, Shigemura, and Johnsen, during which they discussed possibly killing Mynatt. They were worried about potential retaliation, however, because Mynatt had claimed to have a friend who was affiliated with the Hell's

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Angels. They agreed to discuss the matter further the next day. They decided not to tell Teresa Holloway about the plan to kill Mynatt because of concern that she would reveal it to the police.

On the same day, Monday May 13th, defendant telephoned David Colson, with whom he had used methamphetamine, and he asked to borrow a shotgun. Defendant said he "needed to do somebody up," which Colson understood to mean that defendant intended to kill someone. Colson told defendant that he did not own a shotgun, although his brother did, and he gave defendant his brother's telephone number. Defendant called Colson's brother and asked to borrow his shotgun, saying he "had a job to do," but the brother refused to lend the shotgun to defendant.

Around the same time, Denise Shigemura asked Steven Baldwin if he could get her a "gat" (a slang term for a gun). Shigemura explained that she had a problem she needed to take care of. Baldwin told her he could not help her with her problem.

On Tuesday, May 14th, Brian Johnsen telephoned his house from the county jail and spoke to Denise Shigemura. They decided to contact defendant so the three of them could discuss what to do about Doug Mynatt. Johnsen telephoned Anna Humiston's house and spoke briefly to defendant about the plan to kill Mynatt. Defendant said he was still deciding whether to go through with it.

Later on the same day, Tuesday May 14th, Holloway was at the apartment complex where defendant lived. Larissa Slusher and Ted Meier managed the complex, and they occupied an apartment next to defendant's. Slusher had known Teresa Holloway as a casual acquaintance for seven or eight months. Holloway asked Meier if she could spend the night in their apartment, because it was after 11:00 p.m., and she had been locked out of the apartment where she had been staying. Meier agreed. The next morning, Holloway left the apartment around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m., taking with her a dress that Slusher had loaned her. Before she left, Holloway said she would return later that day, May 15th, but she never did.

On Wednesday evening, May 15th, Brian Johnsen telephoned Mark Schmidt and asked him to bring defendant and Denise Shigemura to Schmidt's house so he could talk to them. Schmidt ran about two and a half blocks to defendant's apartment, where he found Teresa Holloway and Shigemura with defendant. Anna Humiston arrived in a blue Geo Metro while

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Schmidt was speaking to defendant. Defendant agreed to take Johnsen's call, and he came to Schmidt's apartment in Humiston's car with Humiston, Shigemura, and Holloway.

At 8:17 p.m. that evening, Brian Johnsen telephoned Schmidt's apartment. Schmidt answered and passed the phone to Shigemura, who said she was still unsure about the plan to kill Mynatt. Defendant then got on the phone and told Johnsen that he could not wait and that it (meaning the killing of Mynatt) would probably happen before Johnsen was released from jail. Johnsen said that was fine with him. Teresa Holloway then got on the phone and asked whether there was a plan to kill Mynatt. Johnsen told her not to get involved.

While Teresa Holloway was speaking on the telephone to Brian Johnsen, defendant had a "forceful talk" with Anna Humiston; he seemed angry about something; she seemed both angry and scared. Defendant then asked Schmidt for a chain that defendant could use to tie up Johnsen's motorcycle so Doug Mynatt could not steal it. Schmidt offered defendant an 18-inch length of plastic weed-eater cord. Defendant wrapped the cord around his own neck, with one end in each fist clenched at shoulder height. He said: "It will do." Denise...

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