People v. Young

Decision Date23 February 1987
Citation234 Cal.Rptr. 819,189 Cal.App.3d 891
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Daniel Lee YOUNG, Defendant and Appellant. B012755.
Anson & Milberg, Jonathan Milberg, Los Angeles, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for defendant and appellant

John K. Van de Kamp, Atty. Gen., Christine C. Franklin and Joan Comparet, Deputy Attys. Gen., for plaintiff and respondent.

KRIEGLER, * Associate Justice.

The instant appeal arises from appellant's act of driving an automobile down a crowded sidewalk in Westwood on the eve of the 1984 Summer Olympics. A jury convicted appellant of one count of first degree murder (Pen.Code, § 187) and 48 counts of attempted murder in the first degree (Pen.Code, §§ 664/187). The jury also found that appellant used a deadly weapon, an automobile, in each count (Pen.Code, § 12022, subd. (b)) and that great bodily injury was inflicted in 20 of the attempted murder counts (Pen.Code, §§ 12022.7 and 1203.075). The same jury found appellant sane at the time of the commission of the offenses. Appellant was sentenced to 80 years and 4 months on the attempted murder counts, and a consecutive term of 25 years to life for murder. The appeal is from the judgment.

There was no material issue at trial as to appellant's participation in the charged offenses. The issues at trial instead centered on appellant's ability to form the requisite mental states for murder and attempted murder, as well as appellant's sanity. We therefore summarize the facts in light of the issues at trial.

A. The Prosecution Case

On July 27, 1984, appellant drove from the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Weyburn onto a sidewalk crowded with at least 300 people. Appellant accelerated on the sidewalk after striking the first pedestrian. The car's speed was estimated to be as much as 40 or 50 miles per hour.

As appellant proceeded down the sidewalk, people were struck by the car. Some victims were thrown clear, while others were carried on the front, hood and roof of the car. The vehicle came to rest after colliding with a kiosk protecting a bus bench at Westwood Boulevard and Kinross. Appellant tried to back up, but his car struck the side of a Bank of America.

Appellant exited his car, threw his arms in the air and smiled at a passerby who asked if appellant was hurt. Appellant moved away from his vehicle into the gathering crowd, where he was taken into custody by officers.

As a result of appellant's conduct, fifteen-year-old Ellen Deutsch was killed. Among the others hurt, the injuries ranged from one victim who suffered complete paralysis and amputation of the foot, to skull fractures, brain damage, broken arms, legs and backs. A two-and-one-half-year-old baby who was struck while in her stroller was in a coma for 10 days, is partly paralyzed and lost speech and part of her vision.

After appellant was arrested he voluntarily gave the police samples of his blood, breath and urine. Analysis of the results of these tests revealed no alcohol or drugs in appellant's system. An examination of the car appellant drove revealed no mechanical defects in the brakes, steering or throttle.

Appellant was interviewed at the West Los Angeles Police station at 3:15 a.m. on July 28, 1984, by Detective Patrick Aguiano. Also present was Deputy District Attorney John Reid.

When questioned regarding the incident in Westwood, appellant said he lifted some keys from his sister's purse and drove to Westwood in his brother's car. Appellant chose Westwood because he might get someone important "and they're gonna put it on the news I did that." He thought about going to Rodeo Drive, "but it's not crowded enough."

Appellant said he drove to U.C.L.A. and made a U-turn. He picked the street because it was crowded. He just wanted to get the general public, and he hoped they put it on television.

Appellant said he had started to do it the day before, but his sister got the car keys and left. He planned to hurt someone and made no attempt to miss pedestrians on the sidewalk. Appellant stated, "he had it to the floor" and "burnt rubber in front of the people." He saw the people he was hitting and made sure he ran down the whole block. If he could, appellant would have gone another block and run down as many as possible, but the car got stuck.

Appellant said he knew if he ran down people he would go to jail. He said, "I knew it was wrong," and that "this time I'd be arrested."

Appellant also made a series of bizarre statements during the course of the interview. He referred to a law passed by Congress which required him to write songs for free and live like "trash." Appellant referred to songs stolen from him by various famous recording artists. Appellant claimed he had turned into Michael Jackson. Appellant also said he had done this before and was never arrested. Additionally, he had killed 50 children at an elementary school.

Appellant had taken one Triavil at 4 p.m. He said Triavil has no effect on him and does not make him high. Appellant said, "They don't do anything to me."

B. Defense

Appellant's family life was portrayed through the testimony of his mother, brother and sister. Appellant was one of 12 children who moved from a housing project in Los Angeles to Inglewood in 1975. After Appellant's behavior, which had been good, changed in 1982 or 1983. He began wearing ragged clothes, talking to himself and imitating celebrities. He twice kicked in the door at the home of a friend, and was placed on diversion as a result of the second incident. He also attempted to attack one of his brothers with a baseball bat.

the move appellant became interested in music and although he did not play an instrument, he did work as a sound mixer for friends in a band.

In September 1983, appellant poured gasoline on himself, and after being restrained, was taken first to Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center and then to Hillview Medical Center for 72 hours. Appellant was diagnosed by one psychiatrist at Harbor-U.C.L.A. as suffering from undifferentiated chronic schizophrenia. A second psychiatrist there diagnosed appellant as suffering from a schizophrenic form disorder. At the Hillview Medical Center appellant was also diagnosed as having a schizophrenic form disorder.

Upon his release from the 72-hour commitment, appellant began being treated monthly by Dr. Garold Faber, who also diagnosed appellant as suffering from schizophrenic form disorder. Dr. Faber prescribed Triavil, a combination anti-psychotic and anti-depressant. Dr. Faber observed appellant's thoughts to be both grandiose and paranoid. Appellant complained of people stealing his music and the police refusing to do anything about it. Appellant told Dr. Faber he had been told by his attorney to get treatment to avoid going to jail.

Dr. John Stalberg, a psychiatrist, was appointed to examine appellant regarding competence to stand trial and for a diagnosis relating to the case. After reviewing appellant's medical and psychiatric records, the police reports and the tape recorded interrogation on the night of the incident, Dr. Stalberg opined appellant suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia on July 27, 1984. The characteristics supporting this diagnosis were the history of mental problems going back more than six months, the delusional belief others were controlling appellant with ulterior motives and appellant's inappropriate response (affect) to his situation. Dr. Stalberg doubted the truth of appellant's tape recorded statement that he had intended to drive down a sidewalk the night before, because bizarre acts of this nature tend to be impulsive.

Dr. Stalberg believed appellant's mental illness substantially affected his reasoning and social behavior. Appellant's reasoning was psychotic and not parallel with what was going on in society. Appellant was both compulsive and obsessive. Dr. Stalberg felt it was malpractice to prescribe Triavil to someone with delusions because the anti-depressant would worsen appellant's delusions.

Appellant was also diagnosed by Dr. Kenshal Sharma, a psychiatrist, as suffering from a schizophrenic disorder, paranoid type. The symptoms observed by Dr. Sharma included fixed false beliefs, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, suspicion and distrust. Appellant's affect was inappropriate for what he discussed and his situation in general.

Dr. Sharma felt appellant's behavior was compulsive in that it was in response to his obsessions with his songs being stolen. Appellant's behavior was impaired due to his mental illness, and he drove down the sidewalk in response to the obsession people had stolen his songs and deprived him of his livelihood.

According to Dr. Sharma appellant knew the people he hit were human beings who were likely to be injured when appellant drove down the sidewalk. Appellant did believe his actions were against the law and he would go to jail as a result of his conduct.

Appellant's testimony consisted of a mixture of his version of the events on the night of July 27 and the strange events that occurred during his life. Appellant was driving in Westwood when two females drove up next to him and said something appellant did not like. Appellant got Among the incidents described by appellant was a law passed by Congress in 1976 requiring him to write songs, for which he was paid $7 billion, which was stolen from him. Appellant had driven his car into people on a sidewalk four times before, although the police released him each time. He had also shot people with a machine gun at a McDonald's and cut up a judge. Appellant claimed to have been beaten by the police and President Carter. Additional incidents of a similar nature were described in appellant's testimony.

mad and drove onto the sidewalk. He knew he was hitting people and had hate in him.

C. Rebuttal


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