People v. Salcido

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Citation9 Cal.Rptr. 57,186 Cal.App.2d 684
Decision Date23 November 1960
Docket NumberCr. 1288
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of California, Respondent, v. Robert SALCIDO, Appellant.

Robert Salcido, in pro. per., for appellant.

Stanley Mosk, Atty. Gen., and S. Clark Moore, Deputy Atty. Gen., for respondent.

GRIFFIN, Presiding Justice.

Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction after a jury verdict finding him of three counts of armed robbery, in violation of Penal Code, § 211a. Counts one and three were alleged to have occurred on November 4, 1959, and count two was alleged to have occurred on October 26, 1959. In addition, defendant admitted a prior felony conviction for grand theft, for which he had served a term in a state prison.

The evidence relating to the offense charged as count two discloses that about 11:05 p. m. on October 26, 1959, James Sandoval was employed at Henry's Liquor Store in Fresno. He was waiting on a customer when defendant entered. After the customer left, defendant approached Mr. Sandoval, who was standing next to the cash register, and said, 'Give me the bills. Hurry up.' Mr. Sandoval observed that defendant held a pistol, and opened the cash register. Defendant reached into the register and removed more than $79 in cash. While this was happening, two customers entered the store, but defendant told them to get and they left. Defendant ordered Sandoval to sit down and remain still for five minutes. Then defendant left. Mr. Sandoval later identified the robber in a police lineup at the city jail and again as the person wearing a brown sweater sitting next to the defense attorney at the trial.

The evidence discloses that the offenses charged in counts one and three occurred on November 4, 1959, at about 9:20 a. m., at a drug store at 1445, Fresno Street. The proprietor, Mr. Cenci, had just opened his store when defendant and his partner, Jesus Esquivel, walked in. Defendant asked Mr. Cenci if he had anything for a toothache and Mr. Cenci obtained some medicine and returned to the counter. When Mr. Cenci returned, he observed that defendant had a pistol. At this time a customer, Mr. Schiavone, entered the store. Defendant ordered Mr. Schiavone and Mr. Cenci to enter a washroom in the rear of the store. Mr. Cenci was then ordered by defendant to empty his pockets and throw their contents on the floor. He did so. At defendant's order, Mr. Schiavone handed over his wallet to Esquivel who opened it and discovered that it contained only $2. Defendant then said, 'Let him have it. He can keep it.' The wallet was thrown on the floor and Mr. Schiavone and Mr. Cenci were locked in the washroom. After a short time they forced the door open and discovered that defendant and his partner were gone. Mr. Cenci discovered the $160 in cash and certain narcotics had been taken. Later, at a lineup, Mr. Cenci and Mr. Schiavone identified defendant as one of the persons who robbed them.

Defendant did not testify on his own behalf. Esquivel was called by the prosecution as a witness. He testified that defendant was not the person who was with him when the drug store was robbed. The prosecution claimed surprise and impeached him with the testimony of an investigator from the district attorney's office who testified that two days earlier Esquivel had identified defendant as the person who participated in the robberies at the drug store. Such impeachment was proper. People v. Spinosa, 115 Cal.App.2d 659, 252 P.2d 409.

Upon defendant's request that counsel be appointed to defend him on appeal, both defendant and his trial counsel were asked to inform the court of possible meritorious grounds of appeal. Defendant's trial counsel referred to objections voiced by him to the admission of evidence at the time of trial as constituting meritorious grounds for reversal on appeal. Defendant contended, on the other hand, that two witnesses were withheld because their testimony would have benefited his case. He also stated that Mr. Cenci withheld testimony favorable to the defense. Defendant also contened that his lack of education impaired his ability to communicate with his attorney who erroneously believed defendant to be guilty and mentally defective. This court made an independent examination of the record, and determined that it would not be helpful to defendant or this court to have appeal counsel appointed. People v. Hyde, 51 Cal.2d 152, 331 P.2d 42; People v. March, 170 Cal.App.2d 284, 338 P.2d 495.

There was sufficient evidence of defendant's guilt of the offenses charged. Each of the victims testified that defendant was the person who had robbed him. This testimony was uncontradicted and was sufficient to support the verdict of the jury. People v. Kersey, 154 Cal.App.2d 364, 367, 316 P.2d 52. Each of the witnesses in the court room referred to defendant as being the person who participated in the robberies and this evidence was sufficient to identify defendant as the perpetrator of the crimes charged.

The fact that there was no evidence that the pistol used by defendant during the robberies was actually loaded did not preclude the jury from finding that it was a deadly weapon. The manner in which defendant handled the weapon and his threats during the robberies were such as to support an inference that he was armed with a deadly weapon. See People v. Seawright, 72 Cal.App. 414, 237 P. 796; People v. Newman, 102 Cal.App.2d 302, 306-307, 227 P.2d 470.

The fact that defendant and his partner returned the wallet taken from Mr. Schiavone did not preclude a finding that he had been robbed. Penal Code, § 211, defines robbery as follows:

'Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.'

This requires the taking of personal property which is in the possession of another from his person or immediate possession but it is settled that although some asportation is required, the distance the property is taken may be very small. See People v. Beal, 3 Cal.App.2d 251, 253, 39 P.2d 504; People v. Clark, 70 Cal.App.2d 132, 160 P.2d 553; People v. Quinn, 77 Cal.App.2d 734, 176 P.2d 404; People v. Wellman, 141 Cal.App.2d 101, 104, 296 P.2d 82.

Defendant contends that two witnesses whose testimony would have been favorable to him were not subpoenaed and that their testimony was withheld. Apparently defendant refers to the two customers who entered Henry's Liquor Store...

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10 cases
  • People v. Lindsay, Cr. 4285
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 27, 1964
    ...(People v. Alvidrez, supra, 158 Cal.App.2d p. 301, 322 P.2d 557; People v. Simmons, 28 Cal.2d 699, 723, 172 P.2d 18; People v. Salcido, 186 Cal.App.2d 684, 689, 9 Cal.Rptr. 57.) This exception assumes in its application that fundamental error was committed by the trial court. This is not th......
  • People v. Rostamo, Cr. N
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 10, 1967
    ...are sufficient to support an inference that at the time of the robberies he was armed with a deadly weapon. (People v. Salcido, 186 Cal.App.2d 684, 687, 9 Cal.Rptr. 57; People v. Newman, 102 Cal.App.2d 302, 306, 227 P.2d LaBaron described the revolver with which defendant poked him in the r......
  • People v. Williams, Cr. 1473
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 26, 1961
    ...the prosecution need not call all possible witnesses. People v. McCrasky, 149 Cal.App.2d 630, 634-635, 309 P.2d 115; People v. Salcido, 186 Cal.App.2d 684, 9 Cal.Rptr. 57. One question not raised by defendant relates to the admission of certain evidence concerning rent that he owed. The pro......
  • People v. Juarez, Cr. 11305
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 14, 1966
    ...positive and so was that of her husband. Of course, the evidence of one witness is ample to support the judgment. (People v. Salcido, 186 Cal.App.2d 684, 687, 9 Cal.Rptr. More troublesome is the claim that the evidence of Mr. Aguirre's identification at the police lineup, which appeared to ......
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