People v. Hines, S006640

Decision Date26 June 1997
Docket NumberNo. S006640,S006640
CourtCalifornia Supreme Court
Parties, 16 Cal.4th 825B, 938 P.2d 388, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5038, 97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 8258 The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Gary Dale HINES, Defendant and Appellant

As Modified on Denial of Rehearing Aug. 20, 1997.

Page 608

Martin H. Kresse, San Francisco, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for Defendant and Appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Edmund D. McMurray and Susan J. Orton, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

KENNARD, Justice.

A jury convicted defendant Gary Dale Hines of two counts of murder (Pen.Code, § 187), 1 with these special circumstances: robbery murder (§ 190.2, former subd. (a)(17)(i)), burglary murder (§ 190.2, former subd. (a)(17)(vii)), and multiple murder (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(3)). The jury also convicted him of robbery (§ 211), burglary (§ 459), grand theft of an automobile (§ 487, former subd. 3), and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (§ 12021), and found that he was armed with a firearm in the commission of the robbery, the burglary, and the two murders (§ 12022.5). At the penalty phase, the jury returned a verdict of death. Defendant's appeal to this court is automatic. (§ 1239, subd. (b).) We affirm the judgment in its entirety.

A. Guilt Phase--Prosecution's Case

In 1985, Lawrence "Bud" Roberts, his wife Kathryn, and their daughters, Donna and Michelle, moved from Grand Ronde, in Oregon, to the North Highlands area of Sacramento County, California. In the summer of 1986, when Donna was 15 years old and Michelle was 10, the family moved from North Highlands to a house at 4840 Priscilla Lane in south Sacramento.

At that time, Rebecca Palanuk, a friend of Donna Roberts from Grand Ronde, stayed with the Roberts family for three weeks, and

Page 609

helped them move to their new home. Palanuk had a brief romance with defendant, Gary Dale Hines. Defendant had visited Palanuk once at the Robertses' North Highlands house and saw her three times at the south Sacramento house. When defendant noticed Bud Roberts's pink fiberglass replica of a 1923 Ford Model-T roadster in the garage, he told Palanuk that he was going to "get" the roadster "one way or another." After defendant spent a night in a motel with Palanuk and Donna Roberts, Palanuk told defendant she did not want to see him again. About the same time, defendant's probation officer told him not to see Palanuk.

In September 1986, at the request of a mutual friend, Viola DuCoing and Justin Comer gave defendant and two companions, Jamie Pyle and Mary Ann Poindexter, a ride from Auburn to Sacramento. During the drive, DuCoing, Comer, Pyle, and Poindexter all heard defendant say that the next time he went to court, he would go in a pink roadster. Defendant also told an acquaintance, Terri Wilson, that he was going to "repossess" a "real nice roadster" from "a friend."

Jamie Pyle spent the night of September 14, 1986, at the Sacramento home of Steve Tabor. Also present were defendant and several other people. During the evening, defendant played with a pearl-handled pistol. Early the next morning (September 15), Pyle and two others drove defendant and Randal Houseman to a location in south Sacramento that was unfamiliar to Pyle, and dropped them off. 2

About 10:30 that morning, Donna Roberts called Jiy Williams, a friend who had lived next door to the Roberts family when they lived in Grand Ronde, Oregon. According to Williams, Donna sounded "[k]ind of nervous, scared." Williams heard two and possibly three male voices in the background; near the end of the conversation, he heard one of the voices tell Donna, "Hurry up and get off the phone." Williams asked who was present, and Donna told him. 3

That afternoon, Michelle Roberts came to the home of a neighbor, Steven Mejia, crying, and told him that she thought her mother had been killed. Mejia called the police. At the Roberts home, the police found the bodies of Kathryn and Donna Roberts. Both victims had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Donna had been blindfolded, her mouth gagged with socks, and her hands and feet bound with shoestrings and a telephone cord. The master bedroom had been ransacked. Missing from the home were the pink roadster, the purses of Kathryn and Donna, and several rifles and pistols kept in a gun case. In addition, a videocassette recorder (VCR) had been moved from the living room to the garage.

Nine separate witnesses saw two White males driving Bud Roberts's pink roadster through the streets of Sacramento between noon and 1:30 p.m. on September 15, the day that Donna and Kathryn Roberts were killed. Most of the witnesses testified that the men were in their late teens or early 20's. (Defendant was 20 years old at the time; Houseman was 16.) Four witnesses Jeffrey Doyle, George Perez, Lynette Douke, and James Quirk) identified Randal Houseman as the passenger in the car. Another witness (William Johnson) identified defendant as the driver.

That afternoon, defendant and Houseman drove the roadster to Steve Tabor's home, arriving about 2:00 p.m. A neighbor of Tabor's, Diane Mallett, tentatively identified defendant as the driver of the roadster, and identified Houseman as the only passenger. At Tabor's home, defendant told his friends Terri Wilson and Mary Ann Poindexter that the roadster belonged to him. Around 3:00 p.m., defendant and Houseman drove the roadster to the nearby home of Viola DuCoing, where defendant told Justin Comer that the roadster belonged to him. Defendant

Page 610

and Houseman left 15 minutes later and returned to Tabor's home.

That evening, defendant and Houseman drove the roadster to the home of Terri Wilson. According to Wilson, defendant and Houseman brought shotguns or rifles into the house, which they claimed were theirs. Defendant asked Wilson for sheets and blankets to cover the car.

That same evening, two of Wilson's neighbors, James Carpenter and his daughter Christie, noticed the roadster at Wilson's home. Early the next morning, September 16, 1986, James Carpenter read a newspaper story about the murders and the roadster; after determining that the car was still at the Wilson home, he called the police.

Police officers placed Wilson's home under surveillance. When an old pickup truck left the residence, police officers tried to detain it, but the driver took off at high speed. The police pursued the truck until it crashed into a fence, and arrested the two occupants: Frank Hiler (Terri Wilson's boyfriend), and Cyndi Wilson (Terri's sister). In the cab of the pickup, police found five rifles that had been stolen from the victims' home, and were wrapped in a quilt from the victims' bed. Also in the truck was a purse belonging to Cyndi Wilson, which contained a .22-caliber bullet and a list of the guns found at the Roberts house.

At 9:30 that morning, Officer Ken Walker arrested defendant at Terri Wilson's home. The officer found defendant sitting in a living room chair. Next to the chair was a tote bag belonging to murder victim Donna Roberts. The bag contained the ignition switch from the Robertses' roadster, a starter pistol and pocket knife belonging to Bud Roberts, some plastic baggies, and a loaded .22-caliber High Standard revolver. Jamie Pyle identified the revolver as the pearl-handled pistol she had seen defendant playing with the night before the murders, and she said that defendant had also been holding it on the morning of his arrest. On a small table in front of the chair where defendant had been sitting were two handwritten notes, each containing a list of the guns stolen from the Roberts home, with a price next to each gun. David Crowe, an examiner of questioned documents for the California Department of Justice, testified that defendant had written one of the notes and that Randal Houseman had written the other.

Houseman was also in Terri Wilson's living room when defendant was arrested. Beneath the couch on which Houseman was sitting was a loaded handgun that belonged to Bud Roberts. Behind Wilson's house, police found the stolen roadster partially covered with blankets and cardboard.

Robert Springer, a supervising identification technician for the Sacramento Police Department, testified that a palm print on a wall of the entry hall of the Roberts home matched defendant's, as did fingerprints on the roadster, on the lists of stolen guns, on the baggies found in Donna Roberts's tote bag, and on the VCR in the Robertses' garage. Springer also found finger and palm prints made by Houseman on the entryway to the Roberts home, the baggies in the tote bag, the roadster, and the gun lists.

Criminalist Robert Garbutt testified that bullets found at the scene of the murders had rifling characteristics similar to test shots fired from the .22-caliber High Standard revolver that was found in Donna Roberts's tote bag, the gun defendant had been playing with the night before the murders. Garbutt could not, however, conclusively identify the revolver as the murder weapon. He also testified that he found tiny spots of blood on the pants and shoes defendant was wearing at the time of his arrest, and blood on the shirt Houseman was wearing when he was arrested.

A pathologist, Dr. Thomas Amott, testified that Donna Roberts had been shot four times: in her right eye, her left thigh, the middle of her back, and a close-range shot behind her right ear. The gag on her mouth had been tied so tightly that it had caused tears of the frenulum, the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Kathryn Roberts, like her daughter Donna, had been shot behind the right ear at close range; she also had been shot in her left wrist and twice in the back. In addition, she suffered these injuries: two head lacerations that were inflicted by a blunt object such as a

Page 611


To continue reading

Request your trial
667 cases
  • People v. Fedalizo
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • March 30, 2016
    ...and resentencing, including resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.126, subdivision (f). (People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal.4th 997, 1038–1039, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 594, 938 P.2d 388; People v. Tubbs (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 578, 588, 178 Cal.Rptr.3d 678; People v. Superior Court (2013) 215 Cal.App......
  • People v. Dykes
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • June 15, 2009
    ...court acted appropriately. The "jury need not unanimously agree on the truth of aggravating factors." (People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal.4th 997, 1066, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 594, 938 P.2d 388.) More specifically, "[j]ury unanimity is not required with respect to unadjudicated criminal conduct." (Peopl......
  • People v. Ramirez
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • January 28, 2021
    ...191, 306 P.3d 1049 ; Hartsch , supra , 49 Cal.4th at p. 513, 110 Cal.Rptr.3d 673, 232 P.3d 663 ; People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal.4th 997, 1068, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 594, 938 P.2d 388 ; People v. Sanchez (1995) 12 Cal.4th 1, 77–78, 47 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 906 P.2d 1129.) Defendant asks us to reconsider ......
  • People v. Delavega
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • January 15, 2021
    ...nor section 1260 gives courts "a general license to modify verdicts in accordance with the evidence"]; People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal.4th 997, 1080, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 594, 938 P.2d 388 [section 1260 does not empower Supreme Court "to overturn a judgment of death simply because [it] disagree[s] ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books California Objections
    • March 29, 2023
    ...21:120, 22:120 Hilliard v. A.H. Robins Company (1983) 148 Cal. App. 3d 374, 196 Cal. Rptr. 117, §§3:110, 10:200 Hines, People v. (1997) 15 Cal. 4th 997, 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d 594, §§9:130, 13:50 Hines, People v. (2020) 58 Cal. App. 5th 583, 272 Cal. Rptr. 3d 619, §4:160 Hinson v. Clairemont Comm......
  • Hearsay
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books California Objections
    • March 29, 2023
    ...if it was not offered for the truth. The words used must explain relevant conduct or facts at issue in the trial. People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal. 4th 997, 1035, 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d 594. Further, the words must accompany the conduct described. People v. Cruz (1968) 264 Cal. App. 2d 350, 359, 70 ......
  • Photographs, recordings and x-rays
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books California Objections
    • March 29, 2023
    ...12. When an audiotape is prejudicial and has little or no probative value, it is error to admit it into evidence. People v. Hines (1997) 15 Cal. 4th 997, 1044, 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d 594; Nally v. Grace Community Church (1988) 47 Cal. 3d 278, 303, 253 Cal. Rptr. 97. Tape recordings are not cumula......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT