People v. RobertsAnnotate this Case
Roberts beat his girlfriend with a belt, was apprehended several weeks later, and gave a false name. The District Attorney was unable to locate the complaining witness before trial; the court denied a motion to exclude statements she made on the day of the event. A potential juror’s sister was a paralegal in the public defender’s office. Defense counsel knew her. The prosecutor exercised a peremptory challenge to that juror, the only African American potential juror. Defendant unsuccessfully objected on the ground that the peremptory challenge was racially motivated. There was testimony about a previous domestic violence incident. Convicted of inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner and giving a false name to a police officer, Roberts was acquitted of assault likely to cause great bodily injury. The judge applied an enhancement for committing the crimes while released on bail. Roberts was granted probation, with a condition that he serve one year in county jail.
The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting arguments that a missing portion of the reporter’s transcript prevented a meaningful review of Roberts's claim that the prosecutor exercised a race-based peremptory challenge; concerning the alleged admission of hearsay and a response Roberts gave to an officer’s question while in custody; concerning alleged misconduct by the prosecutor in closing argument; and concerning the imposition of fines and fees without a hearing to determine his ability to pay.