Tracy A. Rogers, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, California, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115. (Kings Super. Ct. No. 14CM2655HTA)
THE COURT APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Kings County. Robert S. Burns, Judge. Tracy A. Rogers, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, California, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
Before Poochigian, Acting P.J., Detjen, J. and Smith, J.
Appellant/defendant Jason James Reyes pleaded no contest to two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 51 years to life in Kings County Superior Court case No. 12CM0820BHTA.
In a separate and unrelated case, defendant pleaded no contest to assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury on an inmate while they were housed in the Kings County Jail (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(4)) in case No. 14CM2655HTA. He was sentenced to four years, to be served concurrently with the indeterminate life term imposed for the murder and attempted murder convictions.
All further statutory citations are to the Penal Code unless otherwise indicated.
Defendant filed notices of appeal in both cases.
This appeal is from defendant's conviction and sentence in the assault case. His appellate counsel has filed a brief that summarizes the facts with citations to the record, raises no issues, and asks this court to independently review the record. (People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 (Wende).)
In a separate opinion, we address defendant's challenge to the $10,000 restitution fine imposed for the murder and attempted murder convictions in case No. 12CM0820BHTA (People v. Reyes (F076119, app. pending)).
We review the factual and procedural backgrounds in both cases and affirm defendant's conviction and sentence for the assault charge.
Count 1 - Murder (Kings County)
On March 5, 2012, defendant was in a car with his teenage daughter and two other people. Defendant talked to his daughter about Armando Ramirez, Jr., her former stepfather who had previously been married to her mother. Ramirez had been convicted of sexually molesting defendant's daughter, served eight to 10 years in prison, and was released from custody. Defendant told his daughter that "he was going to get that fool."
They continued driving around and defendant saw Ramirez's car. Defendant told the driver of his car to follow Ramirez's car. Both cars entered a parking lot.
Ramirez got out of his car with his wife, and he was holding the hand of their eight-year-old child. Defendant got out of his car, pulled a handgun, and shot Ramirez four times and killed him. Defendant got back into his car and left the scene.
When defendant was subsequently arrested, he said that he shot Ramirez because of what he had done to defendant's daughter, and he had thought about doing it for 10 years. Count 2 - Murder (Alameda County)
On or about February 13, 2012, defendant shot and killed Anthony Cano while the victim was leaving his apartment in Hayward. Count 3 - Attempted murder (Alameda County)
On or about March 2, 2012, defendant fired multiple shots and attempted to kill Matthew Maddox, Vasquinho Bettencourt, and Patricia Knecht. Maddox was hit by at least one of the shots. Count 4 - Attempted murder (Ventura County)
On or about March 13, 2012, defendant fired shots at Roberto Cervantes and attempted to kill him. Cervantes was wounded in the hand. Count 5 - Attempted murder (Kings County)
On or about August 20, 2016, defendant was in prison when he attempted to kill Rogelio Rodriguez. He used a razor blade and thrust it through the prison's food port, and sliced Rodriguez's throat and arms. Rodriguez suffered extensive damage to his arm and a large amount of blood loss.
Murder/special circumstance charges (case No. 12CM0820B)
On May 30, 2013, an information was filed in Kings County that charged defendant with count 1, first degree murder of Ramirez (§ 187, subd. (a)), with a special circumstance for lying in wait (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(15)).
The information also alleged firearm enhancements, and that defendant had one prior serious felony conviction and one prior strike conviction. Defendant pleaded not guilty and denied the special allegations.
On June 27, 2013, the district attorney's office declared that it would seek the death penalty based on the lying-in-wait special circumstance. Assault charge and plea (case No. 14CM2655HTA)
The instant appeal is based on the following offense that defendant committed while in custody for the pending murder and attempted murder charges.
On or about April 7, 2014, defendant punched and assaulted Michael Landis while they were both inmates at the Kings County Jail. Landis suffered a bloody nose, lumps on his head and forehead, and bruises on his face.
On December 8, 2014, an amended information was filed in Kings County Superior Court case No. 14CM2655HTA, charging defendant with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury on Landis (§ 245, subd. (a)(4)), with prior conviction allegations.
On January 16, 2015, defendant pleaded no contest to the charged offense of the assault on Landis by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and admitted a prior strike conviction. The parties stipulated to the preliminary hearing transcript for the factual basis. The court granted the People's motion to dismiss the prior prison term enhancements.
The sentencing hearing for the assault conviction was trailed pending resolution of his other pending cases. Consolidated/amended information (case No. 12CM0820BHTA)
On February 15, 2017, the parties agreed to the filing of a consolidated and amended information in Kings County Superior Court case No. 12CM0820BHTA, which had originally been limited to the special circumstance murder of Rodriguez. The parties also agreed for the superior court to take jurisdiction of charges that were pending in other counties (§ 790, subd. (b)).
The consolidated/amended information charged defendant with count 1, second degree murder of Ramirez; it no longer alleged first degree murder or a special circumstance for that offense.
The consolidated/amended information also alleged count 2, second degree murder of Cano; count 3, attempted premeditated murders of Maddox, Bettencourt, and Knecht; and counts 4 and 5, the attempted premeditated murders of Cervantes and Rodriguez (§§ 664/187). Defendant's pleas to the consolidated/amended information
On the same day the consolidated/amended information was filed (case No. 12CM0820BHTA), defendant pleaded no contest to counts 1 through 5 pursuant to a negotiated disposition that he would be sentenced to an aggregate term of 51 years to life, based on consecutive terms of 15 years to life each for counts 1 and 2, second degree murder; and consecutive terms of life in prison with a minimum parole eligibility of seven years each for counts 3, 4, and 5, attempted premeditated murder.
The parties stipulated to the preliminary hearing transcript as the factual basis for count 1. The district attorney recited the factual basis for counts 2, 3, 4, and 5.
As part of the negotiated disposition, the court granted the People's motion to dismiss several other pending cases against defendant. Sentencing hearing
On July 24, 2017, the court conducted the sentencing hearing on all of defendant's pending cases, and stated it was going to impose the sentence based on the negotiated disposition.
In case No. 12CM0820BHTA based on the consolidated/amended information, the court sentenced defendant to 15 years to life for count 1, second degree murder of Ramirez; a consecutive term of 15 years to life for count 2, second degree murder of Cano; and consecutive terms of life in prison with a minimum parole eligible of seven years for count 3, attempted murders of Maddox, Bettencourt, and Knecht; count 4, attempted murder of Cervantes; and count 5, attempted murder of Rodriguez.
In case No. 14CM2655HTA, the assault on Landis, the court sentenced defendant to a concurrent lower term of two years, doubled to four years for the second strike term.
The court ordered defendant to pay a $10,000 restitution fine in case No. 12CM0820BHTA, for the two convictions for murder and three convictions for attempted murder (§ 1202.4, subd. (b)(2)) and suspended the imposition of a $10,000 parole revocation restitution fine (§ 1202.45). The court ordered defendant to pay restitution to the Victims Compensation Claim Board in the total amount of $11,033.92, based on $10,615 to Vasquinho Bettencourt, Sr., apparently the father of the victim in count 3, attempted murder; and $5,284.17 to Rodriguez, the victim in count 5, attempted murder. The court reserved restitution as to the other victims.
As to case No. 14CM2655HTA, the assault on Landis, the court ordered defendant to pay a $300 restitution fine and suspended the imposition of a $300 parole revocation restitution fine. The court reserved victim restitution for Landis. Notices of appeal
On August 9, 2017, defendant filed notices of appeal in case No. 12CM0820BHTA (People v. Reyes (F076119, app. pending)), for the murder and attempted murder convictions; and case No. 14CM2655HTA, for the assault conviction. Defendant declared that he intended to challenge the validity of his pleas; he did not request or receive a certificate of probable cause.
As noted above, defendant's counsel has filed a Wende brief with this court for his appeal arising from the conviction and sentence imposed for assaulting Landis. The brief also includes the declaration of appellate counsel indicating that defendant was advised he could file his own brief with this court. By letter on February 5, 2018, we invited defendant to submit additional briefing. He has failed to do so.
After independent review of the record, we find that no reasonably arguable factual or legal issues exist.
The judgment is affirmed.