California v. LavoieAnnotate this Case
Defendant Joseph LaVoie carjacked a stranger in a parked car, forcing him to turn over his car keys and cell phone at gunpoint. When defendant was arrested, he was in possession of a handgun with a 15- round-capacity magazine. A jury convicted him of: (1) second degree robbery with a personal firearm use enhancement; (2) unlawful possession of a firearm; and (3) receiving a large-capacity magazine. In a bifurcated proceeding, after waiving a jury trial, defendant admitted two “strike” priors, two prior serious felony enhancements, and two prior prison term enhancements. As a result, defendant was sentenced to a total of 71 years 4 months to life. Defendant did not challenge his conviction of the substantive offenses; all of his appellate contentions related to the enhancements and the strikes. Primarily, he argued the trial court erred in allowing the prosecution to amend the prior conviction allegations after the jury had been discharged. The Court of Appeal agreed as to one of the strikes; otherwise, the Court affirmed but remanded for resentencing.