Friday, May 22, 2009

People v. Chaffin (Cal. Ct. App. - May 14, 2009)

I'ts a snoozer of a Friday as we head into the Memorial Day weekend. Nothing special in the Ninth Circuit or in the California Court of Appeal today, which mostly concerned themselves with making tiny amendments to previous decisions.

So I thought I'd just float this one out for your consideration:

Mike gets into a verbal altercation with his baby mama that escalates into a physical confrontation after she slaps him. The Bama Mama gets into her car -- in which she's strapped Baby in his car seat -- and starts down the driveway, Mike throws some golf-ball sized rocks at the car and BM. A rock shatters the rear window and two rocks enter the car, and some glass shards end up in Baby's hair.

Mike's clearly guilty of domestic battery and vandalism. Is he also guilty of felony child endangerment? That offense requires proof that Mike engaged in acts "under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death" to a child. Is throwing golfball-sized rocks under the circumstances described above an act that was "likely" to produce great bodily harm or death to Baby?

What do you think? And do you agree with Justice Gaut (and the rest of the panel) here?

Enjoy the long three-day weekend,all. Stay thirsty.