Tuesday, June 13, 2017
C.A. Partially Reverses Despite Filing of Wende Brief
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal for this district has taken the rare action of reversing a portion of a judgment against a criminal defendant notwithstanding an assurance from appointed appellate counsel that there were no bases for a reversal.
Div. Four, in an unpublished opinion by Div. Four’s presiding justice, Norman Epstein, on Friday reversed one of 14 counts of vandalism on which appellant Antwan Irby had been convicted.
Epstein said that in light of rulings by then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden Fox (now retired) excluding evidence related to the alleged vandalism of an automobile Electric Avenue in Venice, “there was no competent evidence before the jury” that a particular car was parked there “and no basis for inferring that it was vandalized by appellant.”
Where appointed counsel files a brief under People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 indicating the lack of arguable issues, the Court of Appeal, following its mandated independent review of the record, seldom finds a need to reverse.
Trust and estates lawyer Katja M. Grosch of Keystone Law Group, P.C. represented Irby on appeal. She remarked yesterday:
“I was very happy to get this result for my client.”
The case is People v. Irby, B270752.
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