People v. Humiston, D017124

Citation20 Cal.App.4th 460,24 Cal.Rptr.2d 515
Decision Date23 November 1993
Docket NumberNo. D017124,D017124
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
PartiesThe PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Anna Jeannette HUMISTON, Defendant and Appellant.

Page 515

24 Cal.Rptr.2d 515
20 Cal.App.4th 460
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
Anna Jeannette HUMISTON, Defendant and Appellant.
No. D017124.
Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1, California.
Nov. 23, 1993.
Certified for Partial Publication. 1
Review Denied March 3, 1994.

Page 517

[20 Cal.App.4th 465] Lynda A. Romero, San Diego, by appointment of the Court of Appeal, for defendant and appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Atty. Gen., George Williamson, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., Gary W. Schons, Asst. Atty. Gen., Robert M. Foster and Douglas P. Danzig, Deputy Attys. Gen., for plaintiff and respondent.

HUFFMAN, Associate Justice.

A jury convicted Anna Jeannette Humiston of conspiracy to commit murder (PEN.CODE, § 1822, subd. (a)(1)) and first degree murder (§ 187, subd. (a)). The court sentenced Humiston to prison for 25 years to life on each count but stayed imposition of sentence on the conspiracy count under section 654 and ordered that she be housed at the California Youth [20 Cal.App.4th 466] Authority (CYA). 3

In the published portion of this opinion, we hold the court properly allowed Humiston to be cross-examined with statements she made to mental health professionals in anticipation of a juvenile court fitness hearing and properly admitted evidence of Humiston's drug use since the age of 13. We further hold that although the court erred in admitting evidence Humiston used the number 187 on a pager to communicate with her coconspirator a year before the crime, such error does not require reversal.

In the unpublished portion of this opinion, we hold substantial evidence supports the verdict, the court properly admitted certain testimony as rebuttal evidence, the court properly restricted evidence of statements Humiston made to a rebuttal witness, commitment to CYA was proper, Humiston's sentence was not cruel and unusual punishment and the reasonable doubt instruction read to the jury is constitutional.


At about 7:30 a.m. on May 17, 1991, the body of Teresa Ann Holloway was found in a drainage ditch on the side of Highway 163 near San Diego's Balboa Park. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force head injuries and strangulation. Holloway's skull was shattered and her jaw was broken. Her injuries included numerous track-like abrasions on her face, arms, hands, legs and feet caused by a threaded device such as a pipe or scissors jack, lacerations on her head, a human bite mark on her back and ligature marks around her neck. The wounds showed Holloway was trying to cover herself as she was being hit. She also had hairs clutched in her fingers. 4 Holloway was 15 or 16 weeks pregnant.

The day before Holloway's body was found, 17-year-old Humiston telephoned her friend Melissa Andre and told her she

Page 518

had killed Holloway because Holloway got Humiston into a lot of trouble. Humiston said Holloway did not die fast enough and had struggled. She said she had straddled and punched Holloway while Humiston's boyfriend, Robert Jurado, choked her. Humiston said she did not think she would get caught. She asked Andre to go with her to see Holloway's body but they never went. In a later [20 Cal.App.4th 467] conversation, Humiston told Andre that Robert would take the blame if they got caught. She also said if she did not get caught this time she would kill someone again.

That same morning, Humiston told her friend Mia Rodrigues that she and Jurado had killed a girl named Terry. She said Denise Shigemura had been driving Humiston's car while Jurado strangled Holloway. When Holloway would not die fast enough from strangulation, Jurado hit her over the head with a jack from the car until she died. Humiston told Rodrigues she saw the jack take off part of Holloway's face and that after the beating they left the body in a ditch. She also said she had held Holloway's arms down to prevent her from scratching Jurado's face. Humiston thought she might have broken Holloway's arm because she heard a "snap" while she was holding her. She said she did this to Holloway because Holloway had been threatening Humiston's family. She said there was no chance she would be caught for this murder. Humiston also told Rodrigues she had beaten Holloway up several months earlier.

On May 17, 1991, the police talked to Humiston and Jurado about Holloway's murder. Humiston said she hardly knew Holloway and had seen her only once or twice. However, the next day, the police arrested Humiston, Jurado and Shigemura after receiving information that Humiston had told Andre about the murder.

The events leading to Holloway's murder began in 1990. Humiston met Jurado in March 1990 when she was 16 years old and Jurado was 18 years old. They soon established a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Through Jurado, Humiston met Shigemura, Holloway and Brian Johnsen. Holloway and Johnsen, both drug users, lived together when Humiston met them but Johnsen made Holloway move out when Holloway became pregnant and refused to stop using drugs. Johnsen took in a roommate, Doug Mynatt. In March 1991, Johnsen introduced Mynatt to Jurado. Mynatt sold Jurado drugs which Jurado then resold.

By April 1991, several people, including Mynatt, Johnsen and Shigemura, were angry with Jurado for various reasons. 5 On one occasion, Mynatt and Johnsen forced Jurado to go to Johnsen's house where they confronted [20 Cal.App.4th 468] Jurado with their grievances. Because Jurado owed Mynatt some money for drugs, Mynatt initially threatened to beat him up but then agreed to supply him with more drugs to sell with the understanding the profit would be given to Mynatt. 6

While Johnsen was in jail in May 1991 for reasons unrelated to the present crime, Mynatt began causing problems. 7 Johnsen decided Mynatt had to be killed. On May 14, 1991, Johnsen telephoned Shigemura and discussed his idea. He also told Shigemura he wanted to talk to Jurado about it. Shigemura used a three-way calling feature on the telephone to talk to Jurado at Humiston's house. Humiston answered the telephone and then Jurado took the call which lasted two hours and forty-four minutes. Jurado, Johnsen and Shigemura discussed killing Mynatt. Jurado acknowledged

Page 519

he had already been thinking about killing Mynatt himself. Jurado, Johnsen and Shigemura decided to keep Holloway out of their plan because she asked too many questions and was not a "good liar."

On Wednesday, May 15, 1991, Jurado, Shigemura and Holloway were at Jurado's apartment when Humiston arrived in her car between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Another friend, Mark Schmidt, also arrived and said Johnsen had telephoned Schmidt's apartment earlier and asked him to bring Jurado there so Johnsen could call back and speak to Jurado. They all went to Schmidt's apartment. When they got there, Humiston sat down on the floor and had a worried look on her face. Jurado and Shigemura went into the bedroom.

Johnsen telephoned and spoke to Jurado first. Jurado said he had to "take care of" Mynatt before Johnsen got out of jail. Johnsen agreed to let Jurado take care of Mynatt on his own. Johnsen then spoke to Shigemura. She warned him he had better speak to Holloway because Holloway apparently knew about the plan to kill Mynatt and had been asking a lot of questions.

Holloway then spoke to Johnsen. They talked about the plan to kill Mynatt. Meanwhile, Jurado whispered to Shigemura, saying Holloway was going to tell Mynatt what was being planned. Jurado said he wanted to kill Holloway to prevent her from "snitching." Jurado went into the living room and told Humiston "we're going to have to do Terry, take her out." Jurado made some chopping gestures with his hand and shook Humiston. Humiston looked upset or worried.

[20 Cal.App.4th 469] In Humiston's presence, Jurado asked Schmidt for some "weed-eater wire," saying he needed it because Johnsen had asked him to secure his motorcycle. Schmidt gave Jurado some plastic wire and straps. Jurado wrapped the wire around his neck and said, "That will do." At this point, Holloway was still in the bedroom talking to Johnsen on the telephone.

Shigemura had to be back at the private furlough facility where she was staying by 9 p.m. Humiston and Jurado were going to drive her there. Humiston, Jurado and Shigemura yelled at Holloway to get off the telephone and come with them. Holloway did not want to go, saying she wanted to continue talking on the telephone to Johnsen and there was no reason she had to go. Finally, Schmidt told Holloway she had to leave because he was leaving also and had to lock the apartment.

After Jurado told Shigemura about the plan to kill Holloway, he said something to Humiston. Jurado and Humiston then approached Shigemura, and Jurado said Humiston did not want to drive. Jurado told Shigemura to drive. Standing within an arm's length of Humiston, Shigemura told Jurado he could not "do this, this is a friend." She said she did not want anything to do with killing Holloway. Jurado said he would "do it" after he dropped off Shigemura and would throw Holloway's body off Waring Road. Humiston was present when these statements were made. She handed Shigemura her car keys. Shigemura drove while Humiston sat in the back seat behind Shigemura, Holloway sat in the front passenger seat and Jurado sat behind Holloway.

Shigemura drove down 40th Street onto the freeway. A few minutes later, Jurado wrapped the plastic wire around his hands, leaned forward and began strangling Holloway. Holloway fought back and started to scream. Both Humiston and Shigemura yelled something like, "Rob, what are you doing?" and yelled at him to stop. After about a minute, Jurado pulled Holloway into the back seat with him and Humiston. The car was swerving and Holloway was screaming, "Why are you doing this to me, why are you doing this to my baby?" Shigemura heard Holloway being struck several times with fists. Jurado reached into the back of the car and got a scissors jack. Eventually,...

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