People v. Alhambra, 031519 CAAPP1, A152999

Docket Nº:A152999
Opinion Judge:JONES, P.J.
Party Name:THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. CECIL ALEGRE ALHAMBRA, Defendant and Appellant.
Judge Panel:WE CONCUR: Simons, J. Needham, J
Case Date:March 15, 2019
Court:California Court of Appeals

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,


CECIL ALEGRE ALHAMBRA, Defendant and Appellant.


California Court of Appeals, First District, Fifth Division

March 15, 2019


Contra Costa County Super. Ct. No. 051508621


In Cecil Alegre Alhambra's prior appeal, we reversed one conviction, concluded the court made “several sentencing errors, ” and remanded for resentencing. (People v. Alhambra (Mar. 14, 2017, A147665) [nonpub. opn.] (Alhambra I).) Alhambra was not present at the June 2, 2017 resentencing hearing.

We conclude Alhambra's absence from the resentencing hearing without a valid waiver constitutes federal constitutional error and that the People have not demonstrated that error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. We order the trial court to conduct a new resentencing hearing at which Alhambra must be present unless he waives the right pursuant to Penal Code section 1193.1


The prosecution charged Alhambra with 37 sexual offenses against two victims, including multiple counts of committing a forcible lewd act on a child (§ 288, subd. (b)(1)), and aggravated sexual assault of a child (§ 269, subd. (a)(1)). In December 2015, the jury convicted Alhambra of 26 counts (counts 6 to 30 and 37). The prosecution recommended a lengthy prison sentence, comprised of aggravated, consecutive terms. Defense counsel urged the court to impose the “lowest possible term, concurrently.” In February 2016, the court sentenced Alhambra to a prison term of 138 years and 8 months, plus 340 years to life. At the sentencing hearing, the court noted the complexity of the sentencing scheme and stated, “I think the big picture is, no matter how these sentences run, I do not intend that Mr. Alhambra will ever walk a free man again.” The court found no mitigating circumstances and several aggravating circumstances, and imposed consecutive sentences.

On appeal, we reversed the conviction on count 27, and concluded the court erred by imposing determinate and indeterminate sentences on the 10 lewd act convictions (counts 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20 and 28 to 30). (Alhambra I,

supra, A147665.) We further determined the court...

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