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Foreign Prior Cannot Support Three Strikes

People v. Hiller Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: A165126 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: May 9, 2023. Based on a 2021 shooting death, a jury convicted Hiller of second-degree murder, Penal Code 187(a), and being a felon in possession of a firearm, section 29800(a)(1). The court found true several enhancement allegations, including that Hiller had suffered convictions in the State of Washington for serious or violent felonies, specifically robbery, and imposed a total sentence of 116 years to life; his terms were tripled under the Three Strikes law and he received two consecutive five-year enhancements for prior serious felonies. The court of appeal vacated the sentence, noting that robbery under Washington law does not require, as California law does, that the defendant intends permanently to deprive another of personal property, and that the trial court cannot supply this missing element of permanency by construing facts recorded in a document supplying the factual basis for defendant’s plea. The one-year arming enhancement (Penal Code 12022(a)(1)) was also stricken. The trial court’s true findings regarding the prior felony allegations under sections 667(a) and the Three Strikes law were reversed. The court remanded for retrial of the prior conviction allegations and resentencing.


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