People v. Sanchez, S007780

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Citation47 Cal.Rptr.2d 843,906 P.2d 1129,12 Cal.4th 1
Decision Date14 December 1995
Docket NumberNo. S007780,S007780
Parties, 12 Cal.4th 825B, 906 P.2d 1129, 95 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 9597, 95 Daily Journal D.A.R. 16,651 The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Teddy Brian SANCHEZ, Defendant and Appellant.

Page 843

47 Cal.Rptr.2d 843
12 Cal.4th 1, 12 Cal.4th 825B, 906 P.2d 1129,
95 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 9597,
95 Daily Journal D.A.R. 16,651
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
Teddy Brian SANCHEZ, Defendant and Appellant.
No. S007780.
Supreme Court of California.
Dec. 14, 1995.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing Feb. 21, 1996.

Page 853

[12 Cal.4th 17] [906 P.2d 1139] Nina Rivkind, under appointment by the Supreme Court, Berkeley, for defendant and appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Shirley A. Nelson and Judy

Page 854

Kaida, Deputy Attorneys General, Sacramento, for plaintiff and respondent.

LUCAS, Chief Justice.

After defendant Teddy Brian Sanchez waived his right to a jury trial at the guilt and special circumstances phases, and submitted the case for a court trial on the basis of the preliminary hearing transcripts, the trial court found him guilty of the first degree murders of Juan Bocanegra and Juanita Bocanegra, and Woodrow Wilson Tatman (Pen.Code, § 187; all statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise noted). The court found true the multiple-murder special-circumstance allegation (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(3)) as to the Bocanegra murders only, but found untrue the robbery-murder special-circumstance allegations that had been charged in the Tatman and Bocanegra murders (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(17)(i)). The court also found that defendant used a deadly and dangerous weapon within the meaning of section 12022, subdivision (b) in both Bocanegra murders, and that defendant was guilty of the robbery of Tatman, but not guilty of the robbery of Juan and Juanita Bocanegra (§ 211). At the conclusion of the penalty trial, a jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court denied defendant's motion to modify the verdict and entered judgment. We affirm the judgment in its entirety.


A. Guilt Phase Facts

1. The Bocanegra Murders

On the afternoon of February 3, 1987, the police found the bodies of Juan and Juanita Bocanegra in their home. Juanita was found in her sewing room, and Juan was found in the kitchen. Both had sustained extensive stab wounds and head injuries. A piece of [906 P.2d 1140] fabric was tied loosely around Juanita's neck, and another piece of cloth was found on her right wrist.

[12 Cal.4th 18] Kern County Sheriff's Criminalist Gregory Laskowski analyzed the blood found at the scene and concluded that both victims were killed where their bodies were found. The blood splatter evidence showed that the attack began in the hallway near the bathroom. The fight then moved to the kitchen where large amounts of blood indicated that a struggle took place throughout the room. The evidence indicated a fierce struggle occurred throughout the house. Small amounts of diluted blood in the bathroom suggested that someone cleaned up after the attack.

Laskowski also found evidence of two types of shoe tracks on the floor of the Bocanegra kitchen; one print had a "chevron pattern" and another, partial print, contained a "wavy sole design." A full wavy design shoe track in the bathroom was consistent with the print found in the kitchen. Both victims were found without shoes; Juanita's bloodstained slippers were found in the hallway.

Police found a knife block with four empty spaces in the kitchen. Two knives, without bloodstains, were in the kitchen sink. There were slash marks on the cabinets directly above the knife holder. That same evening, the police recovered a knife and sharpening stone that appeared to have blood on them. No fingerprints were found on these items. But police did find a bloody palm print belonging to defendant's accomplice Robert Reyes on the doorknob inside the Bocanegra front door. Autopsies performed on both Juan and Juanita revealed that they died as a result of massive hemorrhaging due to multiple stab wounds, although the type of instrument that inflicted the wounds could not be conclusively determined.

On February 4, 1987, the Bocanegras' Dodge Colt station wagon was found abandoned. There were extensive bloodstains on both the interior and exterior of the car. Fingerprints belonging to Joey Bocanegra were found on the interior driver's and right rear door windows and on the right rear door handle.

Two items of evidence linked defendant to the crimes. The missing Bocanegra television set was found in the same room at the Bakersfield Inn where defendant stayed at

Page 855

the time of the murders, and defendant sold the Bocanegras' vacuum cleaner to Maria Rodriguez, a clerk employed by the Inn. The remaining evidence used to convict defendant was based primarily on the circumstances of the crime, and incriminating statements made by defendant to Police Investigator Bob Stratton, jailhouse informant Rufus Hernandez, and newspaper reporter Michael Trihey.
12 Cal.4th 19

2. The Tatman Murder

Woodrow Wilson Tatman was a frail, undernourished, 72-year-old man who often drank alcohol and was confined to a wheelchair. He rented a room at the Bakersfield Inn, and spent his days drinking alcohol and watching television. Rose McGrew was employed by the Inn as a maid and she also lived on the premises. She helped care for Tatman and had last been in his room on February 1, 1987. Maria Charboneau also worked and lived at the inn, and she took care of Tatman's Social Security checks, and managed his finances. In the first week of February, Tatman received two Social Security checks. On February 2, Charboneau gave Tatman between $80 and $100. That was the last time she saw him alive.

On the afternoon of February 4, 1987, McGrew noticed that Tatman's drapes were still drawn and that he had not yet picked up his mail, which included his Social Security check. McGrew entered the room and found Tatman's body, lying on the floor near his bed. He was covered with a bedspread. Tatman's television, radio and electric skillet were missing from the room.

The autopsy report indicated that Tatman was killed by "massive blunt force injury to the left chest" which collapsed his left lung and caused substantial hemorrhaging. The blow to the chest was consistent with a heel stomp or with the application of an instrument approximately two inches by three inches in size.

[906 P.2d 1141] Tatman also sustained several superficial stab wounds to the chest and lower abdomen, as well as a head injury. It appeared that the superficial injuries had been inflicted intra or post mortem, and none contributed to death. It could not be determined what instrument caused the lower abdominal injuries, although it appeared that the chest wounds were inflicted by a screwdriver. Dr. John Holloway, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, could not determine whether the wounds were caused by one or more individuals.

a. Statements Made to Jailhouse Informant Hernandez

Rufus Hernandez was incarcerated with defendant for two months during 1987. He had been charged with receiving stolen property and second degree burglary. Defendant spoke to Hernandez about the Bocanegra murders and Hernandez entered into a plea bargain whereby he received six months in county jail and three years' probation in exchange for his testimony.

[12 Cal.4th 20] Hernandez testified that defendant told him he went with Joey Bocanegra to the Bocanegra house. Hernandez's testimony was inconsistent as to whether defendant said they went with the plan of robbing the Bocanegras or only with the plan of borrowing money from Juan Bocanegra. Defendant waited outside for Joey, but entered the house when he heard Joey and Juan arguing in the hallway. Defendant claimed he tried unsuccessfully to stop the fight by hitting Juan with a curved metal bar. He thereafter threw the bar in the front yard. Defendant did not say whether Joey had stabbed Juan before or after defendant hit him.

Juanita, who heard the commotion from another room, came out of the bedroom yelling. Defendant slipped in a puddle of blood as he jumped over Juan to reach Juanita. He thereafter grabbed Juanita and told Joey that he should "shut up" his mother. Joey then stabbed his mother repeatedly and pushed her into the sewing room, where she was found. Defendant did not tell Hernandez that he did anything other than hold Juanita; instead defendant claimed that he saw Joey stab both victims with a kitchen knife. Defendant ended his story with the comment that after the murders he threw the bar into the front yard, and that the knife

Page 856

was thrown into a canal. Defendant noted that Joey took the television, a tool box, and his parents' hatchback automobile. Hernandez thereafter reported defendant's statements to police investigator Stratton.

b. Statements Made to Police Investigator Stratton

On February 19, 1987, Stratton met with defendant in the Kern County jail. Defendant had contacted the police through his attorney because he wished to offer statements about the Bocanegra crimes. Before commencing the interview, defendant waived his right to counsel after receiving the admonitions required by Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694. Thereafter, he told Stratton that about 10:00 a.m., on the day of the Bocanegra murders, he met Joey Bocanegra on the street and spoke to him for a few minutes before Joey walked home. Defendant then walked by the Bocanegra house and observed Joey leaving the home. At that point, the interview with Stratton ended.

One week later, Stratton again spoke to defendant. At this point, defendant asked Stratton a series of hypothetical questions, including: "What if I was present in the house; what if Joey hit his dad after his dad had refused to give him some money; and what if Joey's dad hit him back and what if Joey got real mad and grabbed a knife and started stabbing his dad; what if Joey's mother didn't know what was happening because she was in another room?"

12 Cal.4th 21


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