People v. Wall, S044693

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Citation224 Cal.Rptr.3d 861,404 P.3d 1209,3 Cal.5th 1048
Docket NumberS044693
Decision Date13 November 2017
Parties The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Randall Clark WALL, Defendant and Appellant.

3 Cal.5th 1048
404 P.3d 1209
224 Cal.Rptr.3d 861

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
Randall Clark WALL, Defendant and Appellant.


Supreme Court of California

Filed November 13, 2017

Michael J. Hersek, State Public Defender, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and Andrea G. Asaro, Deputy State Public Defender, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris and Xavier Becerra, Attorneys General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Robin Urbanski and Teresa Torreblanca, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Andrea G. Asaro, Deputy State Public Defender, 1111 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 267-3300

Teresa Torreblanca, Deputy Attorney General, 600 West Broadway, Suite 1800, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 645-2279

Liu, J.

3 Cal.5th 1051

Defendant Randall Clark Wall pleaded guilty to the first degree murders of Katherine and John Oren. ( Pen. Code, § 187 ; all undesignated

3 Cal.5th 1052

statutory references are to this code.) Wall also pleaded guilty to four special circumstances: that he committed multiple murders, and that the murders were committed while lying in wait, in the commission of a robbery, and in the commission of a first degree burglary. (§ 190.2, subds. (a)(3), (a)(15), (a)(17)(A), (a)(17)(G).) In addition, he pleaded guilty to robbery (§§ 211; 212.5, subd. (a)), conspiracy to commit robbery (§ 182, subd. (a)(1)), burglary (§§ 459, 460), and conspiracy to commit burglary (§ 182, subd. (a)(1)). A jury found true dangerous and deadly weapon allegations with respect to the robbery, burglary, and one of the murders. (§ 12022, subd. (b).) At the penalty phase, the jury returned a verdict of death. This appeal is automatic. ( Cal. Const., art. VI, § 11 ; § 1239, subd. (b).) We affirm the judgment.


A. Evidence of Guilt

Wall was tried jointly with his codefendant John Richard Rosenquist before dual juries. Before the guilt phase began, Wall pleaded guilty to first degree murder, burglary, robbery, and conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery, but denied use of a dangerous and deadly weapon. The prosecution presented the following evidence

224 Cal.Rptr.3d 866

during the guilt phase of Wall and Rosenquist's joint trial. The defense did not present guilt phase evidence.

1. Wall meets the Orens

Wall met Katherine Oren, John Oren, and the Orens' great-grandson J.D. in 1990. Wall

404 P.3d 1213

was introduced to the family through the Orens' granddaughter Tammy, whom he had met that spring. After staying at Wall's parents' home, Tammy and Wall spent at least two weeks in a tent in the Orens' backyard in San Diego. During this time, Wall and Katherine argued frequently, and according to Tammy, Katherine accused Wall of stealing from her. Tammy described the situation as "a bad mixture," and Katherine eventually insisted that Wall and Tammy leave the Orens' property and had John drop them off at a nearby freeway entrance.

2. J.D. is sexually assaulted and the Orens are murdered

On the night of March 1, 1992, Wall and Rosenquist entered the Oren residence. Ten-year-old J.D. heard noises coming from John's bedroom after he had gone to bed. The parties stipulated that Rosenquist later entered J.D.'s room. Rosenquist took off his clothes, forcibly removed J.D.'s clothes, and covered J.D.'s face with a pillow. According to the stipulation, Rosenquist then inserted his finger into J.D.'s anus, used his own hands and J.D.'s legs to

3 Cal.5th 1053

masturbate, and ejaculated on J.D. Some time thereafter, Rosenquist and Wall left the house and J.D. went back to sleep.

The following morning, J.D. found John lying motionless on the floor and was unable to open the door to Katherine's room. J.D. ran across the street to ask his neighbors for help. The neighbors called the police, and an officer, Troy Owens, arrived at the Orens' house. He found John lying on the floor and determined that he had no vital signs. With the help of two firefighters, Owens pushed Katherine's door open and found her body.

The detective investigating the crime scene found several metal bars, including one near John's body. There were blood stains splattered on the walls, headboard, and ceiling of John's bedroom, as well as bloody footprints throughout the house. The district attorney presented evidence at trial that the footprints matched the types of shoes worn by Rosenquist and Wall. John's room appeared to have been ransacked: his dresser drawers had been emptied and stacked on his bed, and a can in which he kept change was found emptied in the hallway. An autopsy revealed seven serious blows to John's head, stab wounds on his neck, rib fractures, and lacerations on his liver and one of his kidneys. At trial, forensic pathologist Dr. Christopher Swalwell testified that blunt force trauma to John's head, with the contributing cut and stab wounds, caused his death. Katherine's autopsy revealed stab wounds on her neck and lower arm, bruising on her arms, face, and back, and several rib fractures. Swalwell testified that Katherine's death was caused by a "large cut wound of the neck."

3. Wall and codefendant Rosenquist travel to San Francisco

Early on the morning of March 2, 1992, a witness saw a car that looked like the Orens' yellow and green Mercury traveling quickly on the highway in San Diego. A few hours later, John's credit card was used at a gas station north of Los Angeles. The district attorney presented evidence that the signature on the credit card receipt matched Wall's handwriting.

An employee with the federal Bureau of Land Management, David Kessler, found Wall and Rosenquist in a remote part of San Luis Obispo County later that day. When asked, Wall and Rosenquist gave

224 Cal.Rptr.3d 867

fake names and said their car had broken down and had been towed, but that they decided not to ride along with the tow truck. Kessler gave them a ride to a motel, where the owners gave Wall and Rosenquist dinner and a room. Kessler then reported this encounter to the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office because "it just didn't feel right."

3 Cal.5th 1054

Wall and Rosenquist left the motel the next morning and walked in the direction of San Luis Obispo. They were stopped by a San Luis Obispo County deputy sheriff who asked them for identification, patted them down for weapons and found that they each were carrying pocket knives, searched their duffel bag and found a lot of change, and then let them go. On March 4, 1992, the Orens' car, along with John's wallet, was found burned in a ditch in the same remote area where Kessler had picked up Wall and Rosenquist.

404 P.3d 1214

4. Wall is interviewed and arrested

On March 17, 1992, San Francisco homicide detectives approached Wall as he exited a social services office in San Francisco. They brought him to the San Francisco Hall of Justice, where he waited in an open interview room for about five hours for two San Diego police officers to interview him.

During the guilt phase, the district attorney played a portion of this interview. In the interview, Wall at first denied knowing Rosenquist and denied traveling to San Francisco from Mexico. But after some back and forth with the detectives, Wall explained that he met Rosenquist in Salt Lake City and traveled with him to San Francisco, then Mexico, and back to San Francisco in the beginning of March. Wall said they took a trolley from the Mexican border to San Diego and walked along the freeway around March 1, 1992. Several hours into the walk, according to Wall, Rosenquist left to find a car and returned with one, although Wall said he did not know where Rosenquist had acquired it. From there, Wall said they stopped for gas off the highway once and then later, at Rosenquist's request, drove off the main roads; eventually, the car got stuck on a side road. He said that he and Rosenquist headed north toward San Francisco with help from the Bureau of Land Management employee and the motel owners in San Luis Obispo County, and that he had not seen Rosenquist in over a week.

After the interview, a search warrant was executed for the apartment where Wall was staying on Third Street in San Francisco. The officers found Rosenquist there, along with a knife, a black bag, and a signed written agreement between Rosenquist and Wall concerning a share of their "partnership" if "Wall has done what he is supposed to do."

5. Wall discusses the crime while detained

The district attorney also introduced evidence from three jailhouse informants. Raynard Davis testified he was housed in the San Francisco County jail on charges of selling...

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  • People v. Wall, S044693
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 13, 2017
    ...3 Cal.5th 1048404 P.3d 1209224 Cal.Rptr.3d 861The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,v.Randall Clark WALL, Defendant and Appellant.S044693Supreme Court of CaliforniaFiled November 13, 2017Michael J. Hersek, State Public Defender, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and Andrea G. Asaro, De......

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