People v. Cruz CA4/1

Filed 9/8/22 P. v. Cruz CA4/1 NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115. COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION ONE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, D079151 Plaintiff and Respondent, v. (Super. Ct. No. INF2000322) MARIO CRUZ, JR., Defendant and Appellant. APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Riverside County, Otis Sterling III, Judge. Affirmed in part; reversed in part; remanded with directions. Kevin Smith, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Rob Bonta, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Charles C. Ragland, Assistant Attorney General, A. Natasha Cortina, and Ksenia Gracheva, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent. A jury convicted Mario Cruz, Jr. of false imprisonment1 (Pen. Code,2 § 236); stalking with a prior conviction for the same offense (§ 646.9, subd (c)(2); count 2); and inflicting corporal injury on a dating partner (§ 273.5, subd. (f)(10); count 3). In a bifurcated proceeding, the trial court struck Cruz’s serious felony prior and found two strike priors to be true. The court sentenced Cruz to prison for 12 years, consisting of the following: the upper term of five years for count 2, doubled for Cruz’s prior strike; and one-third the middle term (one year) for count 3, doubled to two years. Per section 654, the court stayed Cruz’s sentence under count 1 (16 months). Cruz appeals, contending substantial evidence does not support his conviction under count 2, and the trial court erred in admitting evidence regarding Cruz’s domestic violence toward a previous intimate partner. In addition, while this appeal was pending, we granted Cruz’s request to file a supplemental brief regarding whether remand for resentencing was necessary under Assembly Bill No. 518 (Stats. 2021, ch. 441, § 1) (Assembly Bill 518) and/or Senate Bill No. 567 (Stats. 2021, ch. 731, § 1.3) (Senate Bill 567). The People filed a supplemental brief on these resentencing issues as well. We determine that Cruz’s substantial evidence and evidentiary challenges to the judgment are without merit. However, we believe the prudent course is to remand this matter to the superior court to allow the court to consider its new discretion under Assembly Bill 518 and Senate Bill 567. 1 False imprisonment was a lesser included offense of count 1 (kidnapping; Pen. Code, § 207, subd. (a)). 2 Statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise specified. 2 FACTUAL BACKGROUND Prosecution Cruz met Jane Doe in November 2019 when Doe started a job at the same landscaping company where Cruz had been working. Doe left that job at the end of that month and found work at a bakery in Palm Springs. The two began dating in mid-December. At the end of December, after Doe saw what she thought …

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