Tuesday, September 12, 2017

People v. Hunter (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 11, 2017)

This isn't what you expect to see at all.

A group of seven people decide to rob Monaco Jewelers in lovely San Juan Capistrano.  A pretty heavy crew.  Seize the location, take the high-end jewelry, grab the security tape, and leave.

So the crew enters the store and starts pointing guns.  At which point the shooting starts.

But the shooting isn't from the perpetrators.  It's from multiple employees in the store itself, who shoot and kill two of the would-be robbers.  At which point the others (wisely) flee.

Nor was this a meek little crew.  One of the robbers was Robert Avery, who " towered over Pashaian [the store manager] even though Pashaian stood six feet tall" and who pointed a gun at the manager's head as he told him to "Come here, you motherf****r."

Which turned out to be Mr. Avery's last words, as he was then promptly shot three times by the father of one of the store's employees who was in the back room with the manager.

Two robbers dead and the others fleeing, desperate to escape.  Two of whom (Mssrs. Hunter and Paschall) are then caught and convicted of first-degree murder under the provocative act doctrine.  Because even though neither of the defendants were shooters -- indeed, even though neither of them were even in the store, since Paschall was acting as the lookout and Hunter was the getaway driver -- that doesn't matter.  They're sentenced to 30-to-life because one (indeed, two) of their accomplices died.

And there's more.

As is often the case, there's a plea deal for some of the participants, who then agree to testify against the others.  The defense attorneys who represent the remaining defendants then turn on the counsel for the "rat" and demand their interview notes, but counsel for the pled-out defendant refuses to turn over those notes.  Because even though everyone's in the same boat for a while, once there's the plea deal, everyone looks out exclusively for their own client.  At which point there's fighting and an appeal.

Though for naught.  Everything's affirmed.

But nonetheless and unusual case.  Not the usual result of a seven-person robbery.