California v. RivasAnnotate this Case
Defendants Jose Rivas and Aaron Valadez participated with other Norteño gang members in an attack on Osvaldo Hernandez and Victor Arechiga. Gang members stole beer that Arechiga had just purchased. After the beer had been taken, defendant Valadez trapped Hernandez in the driver’s seat of Hernandez’s car while defendant Rivas reached in from the passenger side and slashed Hernandez’s face. Hernandez identified defendant Rivas as the one who slashed him, and defendant Valadez was identified as a participant in the attack by his palm print found on the driver’s side window of Hernandez’s car. In the published part of this opinion, the Court of Appeal found no merit in defendant Valadez’s contention that the trial court committed prejudicial error by admitting fingerprint evidence even though, according to him, the scientific community has rejected the reliability of fingerprint evidence. In the unpublished part of the opinion, the Court concluded that two restitution fines had to be vacated, but in every other respect found no other reversible error.