People v. Williams, No. S004720

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtWERDEGAR; GEORGE
Citation940 P.2d 710,66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123,16 Cal.4th 153
Decision Date04 August 1997
Docket NumberNo. S004720
Parties, 16 Cal.4th 990B, 940 P.2d 710, 97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6192, 97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 10,025 The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Barry Glenn WILLIAMS, Defendant and Appellant.

Page 123

66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123
16 Cal.4th 153, 16 Cal.4th 990B, 940 P.2d 710,
97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6192,
97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 10,025
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Barry Glenn WILLIAMS, Defendant and Appellant.
No. S004720.
Supreme Court of California.
Aug. 4, 1997.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 24, 1997.
As Modified Sept. 24, 1997.

Page 140

[16 Cal.4th 176] [940 P.2d 727] Joan W. Howarth, San Francisco, Cathy Dreyfuss, Venice, under appointments by the Supreme Court, Mark Rosenbaum and Mark Silverstein, Los Angeles, for Defendant and Appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Carol Wendelin Pollack, Assistant Attorney General, Donald E. De Nicola and Andrew D. Amerson, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

WERDEGAR, Justice.

Barry Glenn Williams (defendant) appeals the first degree murder conviction and sentence of death he received in Los Angeles County Superior Court in connection with the shooting death of Jerome Dunn in 1982. The sole special circumstance found true was that defendant had previously been convicted of the June 16, 1981, murder of Donald Billingsley. We affirm the judgment in its entirety, finding no prejudicial error affecting either the guilt or penalty trials.

I. FACTS

The charges against defendant arose out of two incidents: the shooting deaths of Donald Billingsley in June 1981 and of Jerome Dunn in March 1982. The People initially charged defendant with Billingsley's murder and with attempted murder of others injured in the Billingsley incident. That [16 Cal.4th 177] information was dismissed for insufficiency of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. The People then filed a new complaint, charging defendant, inter alia, with the murder of Jerome Dunn and the murder of Donald Billingsley, and alleging multiple murder special circumstances as to each. Defendant moved to sever the charges. We issued a peremptory writ of mandate directing the trial court to grant defendant's motion to sever. (Williams v. Superior Court (1984) 36 Cal.3d 441, 446, 454, 204 Cal.Rptr. 700, 683 P.2d 699.) Accordingly, charges related to Jerome Dunn's death were severed from those based on Donald Billingsley's death.

Following a jury trial on the Billingsley charges, defendant was found guilty of one count of first degree murder (Pen.Code, § 187), 1 two counts of attempted murder (§§ 187, 664) and one count of conspiracy to commit murder (§ 182). Defendant was sentenced to 34 years to life in state prison. The Court of Appeal affirmed.

The trial court denied defendant's motion to continue the trial in this matter until final resolution of the appeal of his conviction on the 1981 offenses. Accordingly, trial commenced on October 16, 1985. The jury in this case found defendant guilty of the first degree murder of Jerome Dunn (§ 187) and found true allegations that a principal was armed with a firearm (§ 12022, subd. (a)) and that defendant personally used a firearm in the commission of the offense (§§ 12022.5, 1203.06, subd. (a)(1)). Subsequently,

Page 141

[940 P.2d 728] defendant admitted a prior-murder special-circumstance allegation. (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(2).) After trial on penalty, on July 11, 1986, defendant was sentenced to death. This appeal is automatic. (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 11; § 1239, subd. (b).)

A. Guilt Trial

The prosecution's theory was one of gang violence, namely, that defendant, a "Blood," killed Jerome Dunn for being a "Crip." Defendant proffered an alibi.

1. The Murder of Jerome Dunn

In 1982, defendant Barry Williams, also known as "Big Time," was a member of the 89th Street Family Bloods, a street gang in South Central Los Angeles. At that time, the 89th Street Family Bloods associated with other Blood gangs in Los Angeles against rival Crip gangs, especially the Avalon Garden Crips. The Crips wore blue and the Bloods wore red. On the morning of March 25, 1982, defendant led a meeting of Bloods gang members. The purpose of the meeting was to "protect" the neighborhood [16 Cal.4th 178] from various Crips gangs. Some present had weapons; defendant had a .38-caliber pistol. It specifically was stated at the meeting that anyone present who wanted to go out and shoot rival gang members could go out and shoot.

In the afternoon of the same day, Marcellus Gray (who had died by the time of trial) and a friend, Kathleen Gurley, drove, in Gray's blue van, to the Food Barn near the corner of Rosecrans and Central in Los Angeles. Around 6:30 p.m., Gurley testified, Gray came running into the market (where Gurley was shopping) and agitatedly recounted that his van had been stolen from him, at gunpoint, by two African-American men, while he was in the parking lot waiting for Gurley. Gray and Gurley reported the theft to police, then returned to their homes.

Shortly after the van was stolen, it was driven towards the intersection of 88th Place and McKinley Avenue. When the van arrived at the intersection, Kenneth Hayes, 22, and the victim, Jerome Dunn (also known as "Bone"), were riding by on their bicycles. Both Hayes and Dunn associated with the Grape Street Crip gang. The two were on their way to see their girlfriends. Hayes, who had recently been released from Soledad prison, was wearing a blue jacket, blue corduroy pants and blue hair rollers. Dunn was wearing beige corduroy pants, a blue windbreaker, white shoes and a blue cap. According to Officer Johnson, Dunn was dressed the way a typical Crip gang member would dress in that area, although a person could be dressed that way and not be a Crip.

At that time, Patricia Lewis (who lived in the neighborhood) was a passenger in a station wagon that was stopped, northbound on McKinley, at the stop sign at 88th Place. Jean Rivers (who did not testify at the trial) was driving. The street lights were on; it was twilight and misty.

Lewis testified she saw a van at the intersection of 88th and McKinley; she identified a photograph of Marcellus Gray's van as depicting the one she had seen. Lewis also testified that two young men rode by on bicycles, one following the other, and that the van then slammed on its brakes and turned so it could follow the first bicyclist. According to Lewis, the station wagon in which she was riding backed up to allow the van to proceed through the intersection, and, when the van paused momentarily at the northeast corner of 88th Place, she was able to see who was inside. When the van started to turn, she looked directly--for more than 20 seconds--into the face of the driver of the van, whom she identified as defendant. She noticed a shiny object in the upper right side of defendant's mouth. She also noticed a passenger was riding alongside defendant and the occupants of the van were laughing.

[16 Cal.4th 179] Dunn crossed McKinley Avenue, while Hayes followed at some distance. As Dunn rode his bicycle past the van, Patricia Lewis heard the driver of the van say, "Let's go f--- him up." Hayes and Lewis each observed that the van then drove west on 88th Place and stopped near where Dunn had stopped on his bicycle. Someone in the van spoke with Dunn. As Hayes rode closer on his bicycle, he heard chattering and laughter inside the van. According to Hayes, Dunn

Page 142

[940 P.2d 729] shook his head in response to something said to him by an occupant of the van.

Hayes came up behind the van on its left side, noticing that the curtains on its back window were closed. He stopped within three or four feet of the driver's door and could see the driver's hands on the steering wheel. Hayes testified that a Black person's hand and right arm then came out of the van driver's window, holding a handgun, at which time he could no longer see the driver's hands on the steering wheel. The muzzle of the gun was four or five inches from Dunn's head. Hayes watched as the shooter fired about four shots at Dunn, who fell from his bicycle after the first shot. Dunn jumped and blood came from his mouth and nose. In all, the shooter fired five .38-caliber bullets into Dunn's head and upper body, killing him. The shooting occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Patricia Lewis testified that, as she watched the van, she leaned over and rolled down the station wagon's driver's side window. According to Lewis, she did so because she was "nosey." Defendant was wearing a dark jacket. Lewis saw defendant's hand come out through the driver's side window of the van, holding a gun. At that point, Lewis testified, Rivers drove the station wagon forward across 88th Place and Lewis heard three or four gunshots. Rivers then drove to Lewis's home, nearby on 87th Place. As the two women were speaking before Lewis entered her house, Lewis looked up and saw the van again, speeding back along Wadsworth Avenue, heading south, towards 88th Place. At this time, Lewis saw "Bongo" and Mark Williams in the van with defendant.

Less than an hour later, police recovered Marcellus Gray's van, approximately four blocks from the scene of the shooting. Kenneth Hayes identified it as the van that was used in Jerome Dunn's killing.

In April 1982, after Patricia Lewis selected defendant's photograph from a photographic showup, defendant was arrested for the murder of Jerome Dunn.

On several occasions before trial, defendant acknowledged killing Dunn. First, according to John Gardner (a former Blood gang member), about 9 [16 Cal.4th 180] o'clock on the evening Dunn was shot, defendant told Gardner that he (defendant) "shot, took out--he said say bloody shot and took out of the box some fool A.G. quarters" who was "a gangster dude with flew clothes on." (In gang parlance, this meant that he had shot dead a gang member who was wearing blue clothing.) Gardner testified defendant repeatedly stated it was "Silky" who had been killed, but that, walking off, he muttered under his breath the victim was actually "Bone" (i.e., Dunn). Defendant also said to Gardner that the...

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  • Mata v. Sherman, Case No. 1:13-cv-01040 DAD MJS (HC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • April 22, 2016
    ...are not given under suspect circumstances, those statements do not qualify as "testimony"....' [Citation.]" (People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 245, quoting People v. Jeffery (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 209, 218; see also People v. Brown (2003) 31 Cal.4th 518, 555 [accomplice's declaration......
  • People v. Denard, B253464
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 3, 2015
    ...statements admissible under exception to the hearsay rule violated Sixth Amendment right to confrontation]; People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 250, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710 [same]; People v. Alexander (2010) 49 Cal.4th 846, 922, 113 Cal.Rptr.3d 190, 235 P.3d 873 [arguments fi......
  • People v. Mena, No. S173973.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 31, 2012
    ...before trial, and People v. Farnam (2002) 28 Cal.4th 107, 183–184, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 106, 47 P.3d 988, and People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 235–236, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710, in which lineups were sought during the penalty phase of trial. In each case we concluded that the tr......
  • People v. Dickey, No. S025519.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 23, 2005
    ...failure to object rarely rises to a level implicating one's constitutional right to effective legal counsel. (People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 221 [66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710].)" (People v. Boyette (2002) 29 Cal.4th 381, 433, 127 Cal.Rptr.2d 544, 58 P.3d With regard to the fi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2285 cases
  • Mata v. Sherman, Case No. 1:13-cv-01040 DAD MJS (HC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • April 22, 2016
    ...are not given under suspect circumstances, those statements do not qualify as "testimony"....' [Citation.]" (People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 245, quoting People v. Jeffery (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 209, 218; see also People v. Brown (2003) 31 Cal.4th 518, 555 [accomplice's declaration......
  • People v. Denard, B253464
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 3, 2015
    ...statements admissible under exception to the hearsay rule violated Sixth Amendment right to confrontation]; People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 250, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710 [same]; People v. Alexander (2010) 49 Cal.4th 846, 922, 113 Cal.Rptr.3d 190, 235 P.3d 873 [arguments fi......
  • People v. Mena, No. S173973.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 31, 2012
    ...before trial, and People v. Farnam (2002) 28 Cal.4th 107, 183–184, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 106, 47 P.3d 988, and People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 235–236, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710, in which lineups were sought during the penalty phase of trial. In each case we concluded that the tr......
  • People v. Dickey, No. S025519.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 23, 2005
    ...failure to object rarely rises to a level implicating one's constitutional right to effective legal counsel. (People v. Williams (1997) 16 Cal.4th 153, 221 [66 Cal.Rptr.2d 123, 940 P.2d 710].)" (People v. Boyette (2002) 29 Cal.4th 381, 433, 127 Cal.Rptr.2d 544, 58 P.3d With regard to the fi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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