Los Angeles Gangbanger’s Appeal Granted Cert

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the evidence challenge of Los Angeles gangbanger who stabbed a man during a robbery.
     California charged Walter Fernandez after an armed robbery on Oct. 12, 2009. During the robbery, Fernandez told the victim, Abel Lopez, that he was in “D.F.S.” territory, short for a Los Angeles criminal street gang called the Drifters. He then cut the victim’s wrist with a knife and summoned other members of his gang to help with the robbery and beating.
     Officers had seen Fernandez run into a house and then heard screaming and fighting from inside the house. When they went to the door, they found Fernandez and a woman with a baby and fresh bruises.
     Lopez then participated in a field showup with the police and identified Fernandez as his assailant. The battered woman told officers that Fernandez had hit her in the face when she confronted him about his alleged infidelity. She consented to a search of the apartment that turned up gang paraphernalia and a sawed-off shot gun hidden in a heating unit.
     She later stopped cooperating with police and blamed the alleged mistress for her injuries.
     Fernandez pleaded no contest to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, and a jury convicted him of second degree robbery with a knife in support of a criminal street gang. The jury also found that Frenandez had willfully inflected corporal injury against the woman in the apartment.
     California’s Second Appellate District mostly affirmed the judgment in August 2012, rejecting his claims that the trial court should have suppressed the evidence seized from the warrantless search of the apartment. It also upheld as sufficient the evidence used to support the gang allegation finding, among other things.
The court did reverse the conviction related to the battered woman so that the trial court could review the personnel file of one of the officers.
     Per its custom, the Supreme Court did not comment on its decision to grant Fernandez a writ of certiorari and leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

%d bloggers like this: