Attorney Support Services for San Diego County and the Temecula Valley.

Eviction Services

Iron Law Eviction Services for San Diego County and Riverside County.

People v. Garton

Filed 3/5/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S097558 v. ) ) TODD JESSE GARTON, ) ) Shasta County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. 98F4493 ____________________________________) A jury in Shasta County convicted defendant Todd Jesse Garton of first degree murder and conspiracy to murder his wife, Carole Garton, and her fetus, and conspiracy to murder his codefendant’s husband, Dean Noyes. (Pen. Code, §§ 182, subd. (a)(1), 187, subd. (a); all undesignated references are to this code.) The jury found true special circumstance allegations that defendant committed multiple murders, that he committed the murders for financial gain, and that a principal in each offense was armed with a firearm. (§§ 190.2, subds. (a)(3), (a)(1), 12022, subd. (a)(1).) The jury returned a verdict of death. This appeal is automatic. (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 11; Pen. Code, § 1239, subd. (b).) We reverse defendant’s conviction for conspiracy to murder Dean Noyes and affirm the judgment in all other respects. SEE CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION I. FACTS A. Guilt phase Defendant was originally charged with a codefendant, Lynn Noyes. Before trial, the court severed their cases, and Lynn Noyes pleaded guilty to the murder of Carole Garton and to the conspiracy to murder her husband, Dean Noyes. For clarity, we refer to Carole Garton, Lynn Noyes, and Dean Noyes by their first names. The parties presented the following evidence in Garton’s trial. 1. Prosecution evidence Garton and Lynn met in high school in 1986 and dated for a time. After Lynn was suspended from high school, she saw Garton less, and by 1987, Garton had begun dating Carole. In 1990, Garton entered the Marine Corps, and he and Carole married in 1991. Although Lynn and Garton remained in contact, Lynn began dating Dean, and the two were married in 1992. Lynn and Dean had divorced by the time of Garton’s trial in 2001. a. Conspiracy to kill Dean Noyes In the beginning of 1996 or 1997, after he and Carole had moved to Shasta County, Garton told his friend Dale Gordon that he was a paid assassin for an organization he called “The Company.” He began to talk about murdering Lynn’s husband, Dean, as a “hit” or “assassination” for this organization in exchange for money. Over the course of one or two years, Garton and Gordon discussed the murder “about 50 times, at least,” and “[m]aybe a hundred times.” Garton said he would be paid $25,000 for such a murder, and although he did not agree to a particular amount, Garton told Gordon that Gordon would be paid from Dean’s life insurance policy if he was involved in his murder. Gordon agreed to help plan and participate in Dean’s murder. 2 In the spring of 1997, Garton told Lynn that Dean was having an affair and that “he knew people who could take him out.” Later that year, Lynn received a call from the husband of the woman with whom Dean was …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court