California v. BrewerAnnotate this Case
Defendant Malcolm Brewer and codefendants Glen Conway and Shane Williams participated in a string of armed robberies and attempted robberies, mostly of gas stations and convenience stores, in November and December 2017. In many of the robberies and attempted robberies, defendant personally used a firearm by displaying it to or pointing it at the victims. Defendant and his codefendants were charged in a 20-count amended information with numerous counts of robbery and attempted robbery with firearm enhancement allegations as well as one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Williams entered into a plea agreement. Defendant and Conway proceeded to trial together before separate juries. Defendant’s jury found him guilty of 11 counts of second degree robbery, two counts of attempted second degree robbery, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. The trial court sentenced defendant, who had a strike prior, to an aggregate determinate term of 63 years. On appeal, defendant characterized his sentence as the functional equivalent of a life sentence without parole imposed on a developmentally disabled person, and contended it was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of federal and California Constitutions. The Court of Appeal rejected defendant’s contention that such a sentence categorically violated those constitutional provisions in the same way as imposition of the death penalty as to developmentally disabled adults and imposition of life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) as to juvenile defendants. Accordingly, his convictions and sentence were affirmed.