California v. KnightAnnotate this Case
Defendant-appellant Darius Knight was convicted by jury of robbery, and the jury found not true the special allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm on the victim. The robbery was his third strike, and as a result, was sentenced to a term of 25 years to life. On appeal, defendant argued the trial court erred in a posttrial, presentence "Marsden" hearing when the trial court advised defendant he would waive his right to remain silent if he discussed the circumstances of the robbery. Defendant argued the trial court's warning effectively prevented him from fully articulating the reasons his counsel had been ineffective. The Court of Appeal found that the judge's warning was erroneous and that on this record the Court could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the error was harmless. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded the case to the trial court for the limited purpose of conducting a second Marsden hearing.