People v. Reynoso

Full title:THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. DAVID REYNOSO, Defendant and…

Court:California Court of Appeals, Third District, Sacramento

Case no: C093085

Date published: Nov 5, 2021

Fact:

Defendant David Reynoso, along with accomplices Pablo Cobb and Cruz Avila, entered the home of victim Nicholas Godinez while armed and attempted to rob him. Multiple guns were fired, during which Cobb shot and killed Godinez. A jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder and found true the special-circumstance allegations that the murder occurred during the commission or attempted commission of burglary and robbery. In 2019, defendant filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95. The trial court denied the petition on the basis that  defendant is ineligible for section 1170.95 relief as a matter of law. Defendant appeals, arguing he demonstrated prima facie entitlement to relief, and that the trial court should have issued an order to show cause and conducted an evidentiary hearing. Finding no error, we affirm.

Issue: 

  • The issue in the case was whether the defendant was eligible for resentencing under section 1170.95 of California’s Penal Code, given the changes to the felony-murder rule and recent decisions by the California Supreme Court regarding the definition of an active participant with reckless indifference to life.

Decision:

The court held that the defendant was not entitled to relief under section 1170.95 as a matter of law. It determined that the defendant failed to make a prima facie showing for relief, as evidenced by the jury’s findings on special-circumstance allegations, which were equivalent to the findings required for felony murder under the revised law. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny the defendant’s petition for resentencing.

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