People v. Villa

Filed 10/16/20 CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION TWO THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, E074417 v. (Super.Ct.No. RIF1900014) DAGOBERTO SHOREQUE VILLA, OPINION Defendant and Appellant. APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. Bambi J. Moyer, Judge. Affirmed. Richard Jay Moller, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Steve Oetting and Daniel J. Hilton, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent. 1 While driving with his girlfriend, Jane Doe, and their infant child, Dagoberto Shoreque Villa, who was heavily intoxicated, began punching Doe and pulling out her hair in a fit of jealousy. When a police officer pulled them over after seeing him run a red light, he found Doe injured and bleeding and asked Villa to exit the vehicle. Villa identified himself using a false driver’s license and resisted taking a blood alcohol test. Later, Doe accused Villa of having previously beat her with a belt buckle and threatening to have her deported if she disclosed the abuse. Villa denied these last charges but said he didn’t remember the events on the night of the drunken driving. A jury convicted Villa of inflicting corporal injury, child endangerment, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, falsely identifying himself to a police officer, giving false information to a police officer, and intimidating a victim. On appeal, he argues the trial judge abused her discretion by excluding evidence Doe had applied for a visa available only to victims of domestic violence who cooperate in prosecuting their abusers. Though the evidence was relevant, we conclude the trial judge didn’t abuse her discretion by excluding it. Doe gave a statement to police and testified against Villa at the preliminary hearing, when she didn’t know about the visa program, and her trial testimony was the same except for some unimportant details. That fact makes the probative value of the evidence minimal, easily outweighed by the potential for wasted time and jury confusion. Moreover, the physical evidence of the abuse was overwhelming, so any error was harmless. 2 Villa also argues his defense counsel violated his right to self-determination when she conceded some of the charged offenses during closing argument. Assuming for the sake of argument that counsel did concede certain counts, there’s no evidence Villa disagreed with her strategy, and his trial testimony suggests he supported the decision. We therefore affirm the judgment. I FACTS A. The Offenses At the time of these events, Villa was around 28 years old, and Doe was 18 years old. They had recently had a child together and had lived together briefly. On the evening of December 30, 2018, they went to a party held by Doe’s aunt. Doe and Villa were outside by a fire, and the baby was sleeping inside. Doe left Villa a couple ...

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