California v. PerezAnnotate this Case
At issue in this case were five eyewitness identifications of a shooter at a party for the California State University Sacramento golf team. Tino Perez challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that supported a jury finding that he specifically intended to benefit the Norteno street gang. While the shooter was a gang member, there was no evidence the party was in gang territory, there were no rival gangs present or involved, there were no gang epithets or gang attire, and there was no evidence the shooting was in retaliation or for revenge. On appeal, defendant challenged the imposition of the gang enhancement on a number of grounds. He also objected to the admission of text messages exchanged between one of the victims and defendant’s girlfriend, the prosecutor’s closing argument, and the finding the four attempted murders were willful, deliberate, and premeditated. The Court of Appeal found the evidence insufficient to support the gang enhancement, and the life terms for willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder was unauthorized. Therefore the Court struck the gang enhancement and the four life terms and remanded for resentencing on counts one through four, but in all other respects, the Court affirmed the judgment.