People v. Landry

Decision Date12 December 2016
Docket NumberS100735
Citation211 Cal.Rptr.3d 160,2 Cal.5th 52,385 P.3d 327
CourtCalifornia Supreme Court
Parties The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Daniel Gary LANDRY, Defendant and Appellant.

Donald R. Tickle, San Francisco, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for 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, Adrianne Denault, Karl T. Terp and Michael T. Murphy, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Cantil-Sakauye, C.J.Defendant Daniel Gary Landry was convicted by a jury of first degree murder (Pen. Code,1 § 187, subd. (a) ), two counts of assault by a life prisoner with malice aforethought (§ 4500), and one count of custodial possession of a weapon (§ 4502, subd. (a)). Additionally, the jury found true allegations that defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon in the commission of the offenses (former § 12022, subd. (b)(1)), and that he had suffered two prior strike convictions for first degree residential burglary (§ 459). (§ 1170.12, subds. (a)(d).) Following a penalty trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court denied the automatic application to modify the verdict (§ 190.4, subd. (e)), and sentenced defendant to death. This appeal is automatic. (§ 1239, subd. (b).) For the reasons set forth below, we strike the one-year enhancement imposed on count 3 (assault by a life prisoner) for personal use of a deadly weapon, and otherwise affirm the judgment.

I. FACTS
A. Guilt Phase
1. Prosecution Case
a. Fatal Attack on Daniel Addis (Counts 1 and 2)

In August 1997, defendant and the homicide victim, Daniel Addis, were inmates at the California Institution for Men in Chino and housed in the administrative segregation unit (ASU). That housing unit is reserved for inmates who present safety or management concerns, including inmates awaiting adjudication for violations of prison rules. Defendant, who was serving a sentence of 25 years to life under the "Three Strikes law", was a member of a White supremacist gang called the Nazi Lowriders (NLR), as was his cellmate Gary Green. Defendant and Green were housed on tier 3 of ASU.

Addis, who was not a gang member, had been placed in ASU for assaulting a staff member. He had previously been housed on tier 3, but in July, he had asked to be moved to another tier. He told the guard to whom he made the request that he had stolen tobacco from NLR gang members. Commission of this offense by one who was not a member of the gang would have resulted in retaliation from the gang. Addis was moved off tier 3 and eventually housed in a single cell on tier 1 of ASU.

Although Addis was housed on a tier different from defendant and other NLR members, he exercised in the same yard, one of four that were segregated by race and gang affiliation. The procedure for moving inmates from their cells to the exercise yards involved stringent security protocols. The yard was searched for weapons before any inmate was allowed to enter. In addition, the inmates were subjected to repeated searches before they were allowed into the yard. These included a visual strip search in their cells, passing through a metal detector, a hand search of their person and effects and a final search by a hand-held metal detector before they were admitted to the yard one at a time. As part of the strip search, they were required to squat and cough

to determine if they were trying to smuggle contraband in their rectums. Once allowed into the yard, inmates were required to line up against the fence until all inmates were in the yard. Correctional officers in the guard tower could observe all four exercise yards.

On Sunday, August 3, 1997, all of the White inmates, except Addis, had entered their exercise yard. Defendant's cellmate, Gary Green, who was a "shot caller" and leader of the NLR gang, started yelling at the gate guard, Rosamaria Maldonado, to let Addis out into the yard. Inmates were subject to monthly classification reviews to determine, among other matters, whether they were eligible for the yard. If they were eligible, each decided whether to avail himself of the yard privilege. Addis was eligible to go into the yard and had done so the previous Thursday without incident.

Maldonado went to her superior, Sergeant Arioma Sams, and told him the other inmates were demanding that Addis be brought out into the yard. Sams testified that he checked the yard for unusual activity but did not observe any. Timothy Ginn, another guard on duty that day, testified he told Sams that if Addis went out into the yard he might get "beat up." Sams replied that their hands were tied because Addis had a right to go into the yard if he wanted to. Ginn told Addis "you don't have to go if you don't want to." Addis replied, "Fuck that. I want to go." Laramie McAlmond, another guard, testified that she overheard Ginn's conversation with Addis and confirmed that Addis said he wanted to go out to the yard. She testified that Addis said, "Everything's squashed," which is prison slang for everything is settled and there are no problems.

Addis was released into the yard at 9:30 or 9:45 a.m., about 30 to 45 minutes after defendant and Green had entered the yard. Officer Frank Esqueda, one of the two tower guards on duty, testified that Addis joined the other inmates in exercises, and then walked around and talked to a few inmates. Esqueda observed Green and defendant walking back and forth and talking, but despite the fact that Green had demanded that Addis be brought out, Green initially ignored Addis. Green acknowledged Addis at 11:15 a.m., when the showers typically were turned on. Green and Addis were standing by the showers, and Green shook his hand and told him, "It's all right, Danny. Go ahead and play cards." Addis then walked to a card table and sat down to play pinochle with other inmates. About 10 or 15 minutes later, Green and defendant walked from the showers to the table, talking back and forth. When they arrived at the table, defendant stood to the left of Addis, and Green stood to the left of defendant. One or two minutes later, Esqueda saw defendant make a sudden movement with his left hand to Addis's neck.

Another inmate, Ricky Rogers, who was playing at the same table, also observed defendant approach and stand behind Addis. Rogers testified that defendant and Addis had a friendly conversation about a third inmate. Rogers saw defendant raise his arm "real fast," and then heard a sound like a punch. Addis stood up from the table and put his hand to his neck. When he pulled his hand away, blood was streaming from his neck. He dropped to his knees and then fell over.

From the tower, Officer Esqueda also saw Addis reach for his neck and saw blood flowing from it. Esqueda ordered the inmates in the yard to get down on the ground. Everyone complied except defendant and Green, who continued running across the yard. Defendant and Green complied only after Esqueda fired a "gas launcher" that shot a wooden baton block into the yard. When defendant went on the ground, a weapon popped out of his left hand and landed in front of him. At trial, the weapon was described as a stabbing instrument consisting of a sharpened piece of metal covered by a sheath made from cellophane and cardboard and wrapped with string.

Addis was removed from the yard bleeding profusely, and died en route to the hospital. An autopsy established the cause of death was massive blood loss

caused by the severance of his jugular and subclavian veins. A great deal of force was required to inflict the fatal wound.

After Addis was removed from the yard, correctional officers cleared it of the inmates one at a time. The inmates remained prone until they were removed. Defendant's left hand and the stabbing instrument found near his hand were bloody. Defendant was giggling and laughing as he lay on the ground. Later he was examined and photographed. He had blood on his left hand and boxer shorts, but was uninjured. The stabbing instrument recovered near defendant was consistent with a weapon that would inflict the fatal wound

Addis received.

Ten days after defendant attacked Addis, he threatened to flood the tier where he was housed unless he was moved. The officer to whom he made the statement told him he could not be moved because of the ongoing investigation into Addis's killing. Defendant replied, "I killed him so I confess. The investigation is over."

Defendant wrote two letters, one dated September 9, 1997, and the other September 22, 1997, to Joseph Lowery, another NLR member imprisoned at Corcoran State Prison. Glen Willett, a prison gang expert testified that defendant's use of certain phrases identified him as an NLR gang member and that other references were to the Addis homicide. The letters are described more fully below in connection with defendant's challenge to the letters' admission into evidence. (See post , pp. 34-40.)

b. Attack on Joseph Matthews (Count 3)

On September 18, 1997, Officers Lourenco and Perez were escorting inmate Joseph Matthews from the showers to his cell when defendant called out from his cell, "Joe, want a cigarette." Matthews broke away from the officers and ran toward defendant's cell. Matthews, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, turned his back toward defendant's cell door and put his hands at the porthole opening of the door, reaching for something. Neither officer saw any object being transferred. A moment later, Matthews stepped away and said, "I'm cut." Matthews's back was bleeding from a deep gash 7 to 8 inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide. Within seconds after Matthews stepped away from the cell door, the officers heard the sound of defendant flushing the toilet. It was impossible to retrieve items flushed down the toilet, but Jeffrey Killian, a medical technician on the floor, testified that Matthews's wound

was inflicted with a razor....

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