Tuesday, August 29, 2017

People v. Drew (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 29, 2017)

Sometimes even someone as jaded as I am can't believe what I'm reading:

"Appellant Charles Patrick Drew sexually assaulted Amber Oceja while she was in a diabetic coma, and within two hours of the assault, Oceja died from diabetic ketoacidosis."

What?!  Someone's in a diabetic coma and you take that opportunity to sexually assault her?!  Wow.

Then there's the resulting legal quandry:

"The experts all agreed that since Oceja was already unconscious when the sex crimes occurred, they did not materially contribute to her death. Indeed, it appears she would have died when she did even if appellant had not sexually assaulted her. However, appellant did not just sexually assault Oceja while she was unconscious, he failed to seek medical assistance for her knowing she was in dire physical condition – a fact which would remain hidden as long as she was confined in his motel room."

So does that mean he's guilty of first degree murder?  Even though he didn't contribute to her death (apart from doing nothing -- which, ordinarily, is not a criminal offense)?

Apparently so.

"We hold there was a sufficient causal relationship between this fatal omission and appellant’s sex crimes to support his conviction for first degree felony murder."

Oh, and just when you thought the facts couldn't be any more bizarre:

"At the time this case arose in 2012, appellant was 62 years old and Oceja was 29."

Yep.  That's a 62-year old man sexually assaulting a 29 year old woman when the latter is in a coma and about to die.

What a world.