46 Cal.4th 1053, S024833A, People v. Farley

Docket NºS024833A
Citation46 Cal.4th 1053, __ Cal.Rptr.3d__, __P.3d__
Party NameTHE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. RICHARD WADE FARLEY, Defendant and Appellant.
Case DateJuly 02, 2009
CourtSupreme Court of California

Page 1053

46 Cal.4th 1053

__ Cal.Rptr.3d__, __P.3d__

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

RICHARD WADE FARLEY, Defendant and Appellant.

S024833A

Supreme Court of California

July 2, 2009

Superior Court, Santa Clara County, Joseph F. Biafore, Jr., Judge, No. 123146

Page 1054

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1055

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1056

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1057

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1058

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1059

COUNSEL

Ezra Hendon, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and David L. Saine for Defendant and Appellant.

Bill Lockyer and Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorneys General, Robert R. Anderson and Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorneys General, Ronald A. Bass and Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorneys General, Ronald S. Matthias, Nanette Winaker and Michael E. Banister, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

GEORGE, C. J.

A jury convicted defendant Richard Wade Farley of the first degree murders of Joseph Silva, Wayne Williams, Glenda Moritz, Ronald Reed, Helen Lamparter, Ronald Doney, and Lawrence Kane (Pen. Code,1 §§ 187, 189), the attempted murders of Greg Scott, Richard Townsley, Randell Hemingway, William Drake, and Karen Mackey (§§ 187, 664), assault with a firearm upon Laura Black (§ 245, subd. (a)(2),), second degree burglary (§§ 459, former § 460, subd. (2), now § 460, subd. (b)), and felony vandalism (former § 594, subd. (b)(1)). The jury found true the special circumstance allegations that six of the murders were committed while defendant was engaged in the commission or attempted commission of a burglary (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(17)(vii), now § 190.2, subd. (a)(17)(G)), and that defendant was convicted of at least one crime of first degree murder and one or more crimes of first or second degree murder. (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(3)). The jury also found true the allegations that all five counts of attempted murder were willful, deliberate, and premeditated (§ 664, subd. (f)), the allegations pertaining to all counts of murder and attempted murder that defendant personally used a firearm (§§ 1203.06, 12022.5, subd. (a)), and the allegations regarding defendant’s personal infliction of great bodily injury on Scott, Townsley (§§ 12022.7, 1203.075), and Black (§ 12022.7). Following the penalty phase of the trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court denied defendant’s motion for a new trial (§ 1181), and the automatic application for modification of the verdict (§ 190.4, subd. (e)). The court entered a judgment of death and also imposed sentence on the noncapital offenses. This appeal is automatic. (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 11; § 1239, subd. (b).) For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment.

Page 1060

I. Factual Background

A. Guilt phase evidence

1. Prosecution evidence

a. Summary

In 1984, while employed at Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory (ESL) in Sunnyvale as a computer technician, defendant became obsessed with coemployee Laura Black. His unwelcome pursuit of Black, and his belligerent and threatening responses to ESL’s attempts to stop his harassment of her, led to his termination from ESL in 1986. He continued stalking and harassing Black, and threatened violence against others. In 1988, Black obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against defendant. During the approximately two-week period between the issuance of the TRO and the date scheduled for a hearing regarding a permanent injunction, defendant purchased a semiautomatic shotgun and large amounts of ammunition, visited shooting ranges to practice, and put his affairs in order. On February 16, 1988, the day before the scheduled court hearing, he went to the ESL facility where he had worked, shot and killed seven people, and wounded four others, including Black. At trial, defendant conceded responsibility for the seven deaths, but claimed the shootings were not premeditated, and that defendant “did not go to ESL to injure people or to destroy anything.”

b. Events prior to February 16, 1988

Laura Black testified concerning defendant’s efforts to establish a personal relationship with her. She recalled that they met in the spring of 1984. Soon thereafter, defendant invited her to socialize with him, but she declined. Defendant continued to extend social invitations to her without success, to call her on the telephone, to leave her gifts, and to attend her aerobics classes and company softball games. Black testified that she changed her residence three times between July 1985 and February 1988, but defendant obtained her new address each time, and surreptitiously obtained a key to one of these residences. Between the fall of 1984 and February 1988, she received approximately 150 to 200 letters from defendant, including two letters he sent to her parents’ home in Virginia where she was visiting in December 1984. She had not provided him with her parents’ address.

Various employees of ESL attempted to stop defendant’s harassment of Black, and defendant reacted either defiantly or by threatening to commit violent acts. Jean Tuffley, who was employed in ESL’s human resources department, testified that she met with defendant in October 1985 regarding

Page 1061

Black’s complaints of harassment. Defendant agreed at the meeting to cease sending letters and gifts to Black, following Black home, and using her computer terminal, but in December 1985 he again wrote to Black, threatening to visit her and her roommate. Tuffley testified that she and defendant’s supervisor, Charles Lindauer, met with defendant in December 1985 and January 1986, and ESL issued defendant a written warning after each meeting.

After the January 1986 meeting with Tuffley and Lindauer, defendant confronted Black at her residence’s parking lot. Black testified that defendant mentioned guns, told her he no longer was going to ask Black what to do and said he was going to tell her what to do. Black further testified that the weekend after this encounter, she received a letter from defendant stating he would not kill her, but referencing “a whole range of options, each getting worse and worse.” The letter warned, “I do own guns and I’m good with them,” and asked her not to “push” him. It indicated that if neither of them yielded, “pretty soon I crack under the pressure and run amok destroying everything in my path until the police catch me and kill me.” It also stated, “You know I’m serious when I show you a letter like this.”

In mid-February 1986, Tuffley testified, defendant stopped by her office and told her that ESL had no right to control his relationships with other individuals. Tuffley responded that sexual harassment is illegal, and that if defendant did not leave Black alone, his conduct would lead to his termination. Tuffley testified that defendant calmly said, “if we terminated him... he’d have nothing to live for, and that he had guns and he wasn’t afraid to use them, and... it would be over for him and he’d take people with him.” Tuffley asked, “Rich, are you saying that you would kill me?” Defendant said, “Yes, but I would take others too.” Tuffley spoke to her supervisor, John Allen about her meeting with defendant and her fear of what he might do. Thereafter, Tuffley explained, she did not interact with defendant; instead, Allen communicated directly with defendant.

In late February or March 1986, Evor Vattuone, an ESL laboratory manager, met with defendant at defendant’s request. Vattuone testified that defendant was concerned about the possibility that Black would obtain a restraining order. Vattuone told defendant he understood defendant had been bothering Black, and it would be good if defendant stopped. Defendant told Vattuone he had every right to see Black anywhere, and described following Black home, driving by her home, and attending her softball games. Vattuone told defendant this conduct was jeopardizing his job, and that Black was on “the verge of getting a restraining order.” Defendant said he would be very upset if he received a restraining order, and did not know how he would respond. Vattuone testified that he asked defendant what he meant, and

Page 1062

defendant said, “he had guns and he wasn’t afraid to use them.” Vattuone understood that defendant was telling him he was ready to use guns, and he was going to get his own way “no matter what.”

In March or April of 1986, Lloyd Bass, defendant’s supervisor at ESL, told Dennis Elliott, defendant’s former supervisor at ESL, that Bass had a problem with defendant leaving his work area and “chasing some girl.” Elliott testified that Bass asked him to speak to defendant. A few days later, Elliott told defendant he had learned that the human relations department was involved in a situation in which defendant was “ ‘hassling’ a girl over at [ESL building] M-5 during working hours.” Elliott told defendant that “it could cost him his job, it could cost him his clearances.... He needed to be at his duty station and he should just do his job.” Elliott testified that defendant was “really angry” and claimed, “I don’t care. They can’t hurt me. I’m not afraid of them.”

On May 2, 1986, ESL terminated defendant’s employment, effective immediately. Following his termination, defendant continued to write and place telephone calls to Black and to attend Black’s softball games and aerobic classes, and he frequently was seen in or near the ESL parking lot. At the end of the summer or early fall of 1986, defendant began dating Mei Chang, but he continued to harass Black. On July 10, 1987, he wrote to Black, warning her not to obtain a restraining order. His letter stated, “It might not really occur to you how far I’m willing to go to upset you if I decide that’s what I’m forced to do.” In early October 1987, he wrote to Black, “I’ve nothing else to lose now but my life, so don’t try pushing me any further.”

In November...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP
229 practice notes
  • 196 Cal.App.4th 1084, B220763, People v. Johnigan
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • June 23, 2011
    ...a willingness to set aside any preconceived notions and render a verdict based on the evidence presented. (People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1086 [96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361].) Appellant complains that she was forced to use peremptory challenges to excuse biased prospective jur......
  • 21 Cal.App.5th 1026, B282810, People v. Johnson
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • March 28, 2018
    ...(Ornelas v. United States (1996) 517 U.S. 690, 696, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 134 L.Ed.2d 911; see People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1098, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361 [probable cause to search Page 1035 exists when, based upon the totality of the circumstances, there i......
  • 191 Cal.App.4th 780, G040716, People v. Wilkins
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • January 7, 2011
    ...within the Legislature’s domain, and do not authorize this court to limit the plain language of the statute.” (People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1121 [96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361].) "The mental state required is simply the specific intent to commit the underlying felony; ne......
  • 223 Cal.App.4th 44, D061858, People v. Sy
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • January 21, 2014
    ...the Legislature's definition of a crime [citation], nor may they narrow a clear and specific definition." ( People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1119, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361.) IV Restitution Claim A As a condition of probation, the court ordered the Sys to pay victim rest......
  • Free signup to view additional results
229 cases
  • 196 Cal.App.4th 1084, B220763, People v. Johnigan
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • June 23, 2011
    ...a willingness to set aside any preconceived notions and render a verdict based on the evidence presented. (People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1086 [96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361].) Appellant complains that she was forced to use peremptory challenges to excuse biased prospective jur......
  • 21 Cal.App.5th 1026, B282810, People v. Johnson
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • March 28, 2018
    ...(Ornelas v. United States (1996) 517 U.S. 690, 696, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 134 L.Ed.2d 911; see People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1098, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361 [probable cause to search Page 1035 exists when, based upon the totality of the circumstances, there i......
  • 191 Cal.App.4th 780, G040716, People v. Wilkins
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • January 7, 2011
    ...within the Legislature’s domain, and do not authorize this court to limit the plain language of the statute.” (People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1121 [96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361].) "The mental state required is simply the specific intent to commit the underlying felony; ne......
  • 223 Cal.App.4th 44, D061858, People v. Sy
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • January 21, 2014
    ...the Legislature's definition of a crime [citation], nor may they narrow a clear and specific definition." ( People v. Farley (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1053, 1119, 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 210 P.3d 361.) IV Restitution Claim A As a condition of probation, the court ordered the Sys to pay victim rest......
  • Free signup to view additional results