People v. Enraca, No. S080947.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtCORRIGAN
Citation53 Cal.4th 735,269 P.3d 543,12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 1473,137 Cal.Rptr.3d 117,2012 Daily Journal D.A.R. 1515
PartiesThe PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Sonny ENRACA, Defendant and Appellant.
Decision Date06 February 2012
Docket NumberNo. S080947.

12 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 1473
137 Cal.Rptr.3d 117
2012 Daily Journal D.A.R. 1515
269 P.3d 543
53 Cal.4th 735

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
Sonny ENRACA, Defendant and Appellant.

No. S080947.

Supreme Court of California

Feb. 6, 2012.

137 Cal.Rptr.3d 123] Paul J. Spiegelman, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for Defendant and Appellant.

John T. Philipsborn, San Francisco, for the Republic of the Philippines as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and Kamala D. Harris, Attorneys General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W. Schons, Assistant Attorney General, Holly D. Wilkens and William M. Wood, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.[137 Cal.Rptr.3d 124] CORRIGAN, J.

[53 Cal.4th 740]

[269 P.3d 549

In May 1999, defendant Sonny Enraca was convicted of the first degree murders 1 of Ignacio Hernandez and Dedrick Gobert, with a multiple-murder special-circumstance finding.2 Defendant was also convicted of assault with a deadly weapon 3 on Jenny Hyon, with a great bodily injury finding.4 Firearm use 5 and criminal street gang 6 findings were made as to all three counts. Defendant was sentenced to death.7

This appeal is automatic. We affirm the judgment.

[53 Cal.4th 741] I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
A. Guilt Phase
1. Prosecution Evidence

The victims were shot during a gang fight in November 1994. Associates of both defendant and the victims testified for the prosecution. Defendant's companions identified him as the shooter, but the victims' companions were unable to do so. Defendant admitted to both his friends and the police that he shot the victims.

a. Testimony of the Victims' Companions

Late one evening Maile Gilleres and Jenny Hyon accompanied Ignacio Hernandez and Dedrick Gobert to the site of illegal street races. During one race Hernandez's car was cut off by an “Asian” 8 driver. Both men got out of their cars and fought. At least 10 other Asians surrounded Hernandez, but when the police arrived, everyone drove away.

Gobert, Hernandez, Hyon, and Gilleres drove to a nearby pizza parlor. When they got out of their cars, the same group of Asians approached them and the two groups cursed at one another. One of the Asians, whom Gilleres described as a Filipino,9 pointed a gun at Hyon. He put the weapon away when a slightly older Asian man said something to him. Gilleres told the older man that she would get her group to leave if he and his friends did the same. He nodded in agreement and the two groups parted.

Gobert got into his car and drove up and down the street for several minutes. A different group of 15 to 35 Asians, dressed in red, started chanting, “Blood, blood, blood.” Gilleres assumed they were claiming to be members of the Bloods gang. Gobert parked and approached the group. Making hand signs indicating he was a member of the Crips gang, Gobert said to them, “What's up, cuz?”

[137 Cal.Rptr.3d 125] A gang expert testified that it would be an insult for a member of a Crips gang to

[269 P.3d 550]

address members of a Bloods gang as “cuz” because the term is used to refer to Crips. He further testified they would have lost credibility in the gang culture if they had failed to avenge such an insult. Therefore, an attack [53 Cal.4th 742] on Gobert carried out under these circumstances would be undertaken for the benefit of defendant's Akraho Boyz Crazzys (ABC) gang.

The Asians immediately charged Gobert, threw him to the ground, and beat him. As Hernandez and Gilleres tried to shield him, gunshots rang out. Gilleres saw an Asian man shooting down at Hernandez. Hyon was struck by a bullet. As a result of a neck wound, she was paralyzed from the chest down.

Gilleres did not identify defendant in a pretrial photo lineup. She testified at trial that he was not the person she saw shoot Hernandez. Instead, the shooter appeared to be the person who had pointed a gun at Hyon in the preceding incident. Hyon was unable to identify her assailant. She testified it was possible the shooter was the person who had earlier pointed a gun at her.

b. Testimony of Defendant's Companions

Among the prosecution witnesses were four of defendant's friends: Lester Maliwat, Roger Boring, Eric Garcia, and John Frick. Along with defendant, they were members of the ABC gang, an affiliate of the Bloods. Before driving to the street races that night, they had met at Boring's home, where defendant was living. According to Boring, defendant was “drinking pretty heavily” and “doing speed.” 10 Garcia testified that defendant used speed frequently and offered him some that night. According to Maliwat, defendant had a revolver with him.

After the races, the ABC gang members congregated in the parking lot of the pizza parlor. Gobert drove up, approached them, and made hand signs indicating he was a member of the Crips gang. He said, “Fuck you, slobs.” 11 According to one witness, he shouted, “I'm not afraid to die.” The ABC's, including defendant, just laughed at Gobert because he appeared to be intoxicated and was outnumbered 10 or 20 to one. Then Gobert stuck his hand into his waistband. Thinking he was reaching for a gun, Boring, Maliwat, and the other ABC's rushed him, knocked him down, and kicked him. According to Detective Schultz, Lester Maliwat told him defendant was involved in the fight. A passerby also told Schultz that “the shooter” was involved in the fight and had “gotten off the ground right prior to the shooting.”

[53 Cal.4th 743] Boring testified that he saw defendant shoot Gobert. When Hernandez tried to shield Gobert with his body, defendant pulled him up and shot him, also. When Jenny Hyon kicked defendant in the back, he turned around and shot her. 12

Maliwat testified that he ran away when he heard someone yell, “He has a gun.” From his car Maliwat saw defendant shoot a man lying on the ground. He could not see whether the victim was Gobert or Hernandez. Maliwat also saw a girl lying on [137 Cal.Rptr.3d 126] the ground. As Maliwat began to drive away, defendant jumped in the car. Maliwat asked him why he shot the girl. Defendant said, “Fuck them. They deserved it.” 13

Eric Garcia saw the fight and heard the shots. Another participant told Garcia that defendant was the shooter. Garcia confronted defendant, demanding to know why he did it. Defendant initially refused to answer, but finally replied, “Maybe they deserved it.” Defendant gave Garcia a revolver but reclaimed it a few days later. Defendant then gave the gun to another ABC member, Mike Betts. Defendant later called Garcia from jail and said he had confessed. He said that

[269 P.3d 551]

he would be a man about it and did not want the other ABC's involved.

c. Defendant's Confession

Following his arrest defendant waived his Miranda rights.14 The interrogation ended when defendant subsequently asked for a lawyer. However, during the booking process, defendant waived his rights again and confessed to the booking officer, Detective Spidle. Defendant now contends his second waiver was not knowing and intelligent. The facts relevant to this claim will be set forth below. ( Post, pt. II.A.)

Defendant told Spidle the following. After the races, Gobert 15 drove up and skidded to a halt in front of the ABC's. After apparently taking something out of his car, Gobert walked up to them. He was “claiming some crip gang” and “talking all sorts of shit.” Because they vastly outnumbered Gobert, the ABC's “just started giggling.” Gilleres told Gobert, “[K]ick back, that's not [53 Cal.4th 744] them.” However, Gobert challenged the gang and lifted up his shirt as if he had a gun. After an ABC gang member shouted, “[H]e's reaching, he's reaching,” someone punched Gobert, and they fell to the ground. When the other ABC's rushed Gobert, his companions Ignacio Hernandez, Jenny Hyon, and Maile Gilleres came to his defense. Defendant told Spidle that he tried to “break it up.”

Hernandez shielded Gobert's body with his own. Defendant grabbed Hernandez by the hair, pulled his head back, and asked him where he was from. When Hernandez hit his hand, defendant shot him with a .38–caliber revolver. Hernandez moved and defendant shot him again. Defendant claimed that before Hernandez hit him he had planned to shoot in the air to break up the fight. Defendant also claimed he was afraid Hernandez was about to shoot him with the gun that, defendant believed, Gobert was carrying. He admitted, however, that he never saw a gun.

After Gobert cursed at him, defendant also shot Gobert. Defendant claimed he was also afraid Gobert was about to grab a gun, although again he had not seen one.

Jenny Hyon pushed defendant, saying, “[F]uck you asshole, what are you doing.” She was about to hit him. Defendant pointed his gun at her and started walking backwards. When Hyon charged him, defendant shot her. He intended to fire in [137 Cal.Rptr.3d 127] the air, “like right by her or ... over her head.”

Defendant jumped into Lester Maliwat's car. As Maliwat drove back to his house, defendant threw the gun out the window.

d. Forensic Evidence

When sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene Hernandez and Gobert were dead. Autopsies revealed they were shot from behind and died from their wounds. Hernandez was shot twice. One bullet entered his back and passed through his heart and lungs. The other entered the back of his head, went through his brain, and lodged underneath the skin of his forehead. Abrasions on Hernandez's forehead suggested he was shot facedown on a hard surface that blocked the bullet's exit. Gobert was shot once, in the back of the head. According to eyewitness Alfred Ward, defendant shot Jenny Hyon “from behind” as well. The bullets recovered from Hernandez and Gobert were .38 caliber.

2. Defense Evidence

The defense called several eyewitnesses. Daryl Arquero, John Frick, and Cedrick Lopez were or had been members of the ABC gang. According to [53 Cal.4th 745] Arquero, Gobert claimed to be a Crip and said, “Fuck you, slobs.”...

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