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People v. Reed

Filed 5/7/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S082776 v. ) ) ENNIS REED, ) ) Los Angeles County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. TA037369-01 ____________________________________) This automatic appeal follows from defendant Ennis Reed’s 1999 conviction and death sentence for the murders of Amarilis Vasquez and Paul Moreland. Reed contends that several errors occurred during the guilt and penalty phases of his trial. After carefully considering defendant’s claims, we find that they do not merit reversal of the guilt or penalty verdicts. So we affirm the judgment in its entirety. I. FACTS Defendant Ennis Reed was charged in an amended information with two counts of murder (Penal Code § 187, subd. (a)),1 two counts of attempted murder (§§ 667/187(a)), the special circumstance of multiple murder (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(3)), and various enhancements. The charges arose out of two separate incidents, but were consolidated in a single trial. 1 All subsequent statutory citations are to the Penal Code unless otherwise noted. SEE DISSENTING OPINIONS A. Guilt Phase 1. The Vasquez Murder At around 8:00 p.m. on September 24, 1996, Carlos Mendez and his wife Amarilis Vasquez took a meal break from their jobs at a plastics factory. The couple headed to Tacos El Unico, a Mexican fast food restaurant on Long Beach Boulevard in the City of Compton. Mendez and Vasquez parked in the restaurant’s lot and ordered food to go. After they got back into their pickup truck, the couple noticed a man walking toward the truck with a large pistol. Mendez had never seen the man before. As Mendez started the truck, the man started shooting at them from a distance of roughly 20 feet. Vasquez — sitting in the passenger seat — was hit first, in the head. Mendez was then shot in the right cheek. He got out of the truck and started running, but was hit again, this time in the left thigh. Mendez fled about 15 feet from the truck before realizing that his wife was still inside. By the time Mendez ran back to the passenger side of the truck, the man had disappeared. Vasquez died from the gunshot wound to her head, while Mendez survived. Officer James Lewis of the Compton Police Department was one of the first law enforcement officers to arrive on the scene. Officer Lewis interviewed Mendez, who was clearly “very, very upset.” Mendez described the shooter as a black male with a black jacket. Later that evening, Detective Michael Paiz of the Compton Police Department interviewed Mendez at the hospital. Mendez described the shooter as a black male “about 5’8” to 5’11” in height, 20 to 25 years in age, clean shaven, short black hair, wearing a black jacket and black pants.” At trial, the parties stipulated that Officer Peters of the Compton Police Department would have testified that, on the day of the incident, Mendez described the shooter as “a male black adult, 25 years old, wearing …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court