Monday, March 06, 2017

People v. Shorts (Cal. Ct. App. - March 6, 2017)

I'd ordinarily expect to see facts like these in the California Supreme Court.  In a death penalty case.

"Defendant Terry Glen Shorts sexually assaulted and murdered 13-year-old Jessica S. in 1996, shooting her in the head and leaving her half-naked body in a park in the middle of the night. Sixteen years later, he was connected to the crime when his DNA was identified in samples taken from Jessica’s body. At trial, defendant conceded that he had sexual relations with Jessica, but claimed he did not kill her. Instead, he argued that Sammy Rodriguez did it. The jury convicted defendant of the murder and sex offenses, and the trial court sentenced him to life without possibility of parole, as well as other terms. . . .

On the morning of February 12, 1996, 13-year-old Jessica S.’s body was found in Florin Creek Park in Sacramento. She was five feet, one-and-a-half inches tall, and she weighed 90 pounds. Jessica died of a single gunshot contact wound to the head. She also had injuries consistent with being hit in the head with the butt of a gun and being strangled. Her pants and underwear were off, and her bras (she wore two) were hiked up, exposing her breasts.

Jessica’s mother said that Jessica left their home the night before at around 11 p.m. or midnight with a 14-year-old boy to go to her grandmother’s house. Between 2 and 4 a.m., a woman who lived adjacent to Florin Creek Park heard a “horrible scream” from a female. She also heard a man say “stop” and “don’t,” as well as more screaming from the young female. About 10 minutes after the first scream, a gunshot rang out, and the screaming stopped.

Vaginal, rectal, and oral swabs were taken during an autopsy of Jessica’s body. Sperm was found on the vaginal and rectal swabs but not on the oral swab. . . . Sixteen years after the murder, in 2012, the vaginal and rectal swabs were analyzed again, and defendant’s DNA was collected from the sperm. . . .

The prosecution presented evidence under Evidence Code section 1108 that defendant sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend, J.P., less than three years before the murder of Jessica. He dragged J.P. to a car and took her to a park. Pointing a gun at her and threatening her, he strangled her, beat her, and forced her to have oral and anal sex with him."

Same result as generally transpires in the California Supreme Court, though.  Conviction affirmed.