People v. MendozaAnnotate this Case
A jury convicted defendant of first degree murder and found true the allegation that he personally used a firearm in commission of the murder. The jury also found true the three special-circumstance allegations that defendant intentionally killed a police officer, that he committed murder for the purpose of avoiding a lawful arrest, and that he intentionally killed the victim by lying in wait. Defendant was sentenced to death and an appeal to the court was automatic. The court held that because the trial court had no authority to strike a special circumstance found by the jury, the court reinstated the lying-in-wait special circumstance. As so modified, the court affirmed the judgment of death.