top of page

Felony Murder & LWOP Reversed: Not 'Actual Killer'

California v. Vang Docket: C090365 (Third Appellate District), Opinion Date: August 5, 2022. Defendant Jerry Vang was convicted by jury for multiple crimes against two different victims, including: kidnapping first degree felony murder with a special circumstance, infliction of corporal injury on a cohabitant, making criminal threats with firearm allegations, and firearms possession by a felon. Defendant had a long history of domestic violence, had an argument with his wife. After she fled in her car, defendant followed, eventually forced her to stop, and coerced her (through force or fear) into his vehicle. As defendant was driving away, his wife opened the door and jumped from the moving vehicle, resulting in her death. Defendant argued the trial court erred by permitting the prosecution to proceed on a legally inadequate theory of felony murder. He contends that under the current felony-murder rule, as amended by Senate Bill No. 1437 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.), he could be liable for felony murder only if he was proven to be the “actual killer.” Because the evidence showed that his wife jumped from the vehicle of her own volition, defendant contends he was not the actual killer and therefore his conviction for first degree felony murder with a special circumstance rested on a legally invalid theory. To this, the Court of Appeal agreed, and reversed that conviction as to first degree felony murder. The judgment and convictions were affirmed in all other respects.

Would you like to learn more about how to prepare your loved one for their parole suitability hearing? We can help. Learn about the process and what it takes to obtain a grant of parole from someone who has received one at the first hearing! Email us at, or call us at (213) 572-6227 for more information. #BPH #parolesuitability #rehabilitation #insight #remorse #paroleplans #relapsepreventionplans #remorse #responsibility

73 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page