Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Court of Appeal:
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Causing a robbery victim, at gunpoint, to back up four steps was insufficient to constitute a kidnapping, Div. Eight of the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday.
The opinion by Justice John Sheppard Wiley directs that Isaac Taylor’s conviction under Penal Code §209—kidnapping to commit robbery—be stricken, and that the case be remanded for resentencing, including a consideration of whether to exercise discretion, newly created by statute, to strike a firerm enhancement.
The judge presiding over Taylor’s trial was Shannon Knight of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Wiley wrote that §209 has two requirements:
“1. The defendant must move the victim beyond movement “merely incidental” to the robbery, and
“2. This movement must increase the victim’s “risk of harm” beyond that necessarily present in the robbery.”
Only the first element is pertinent to Taylor’s appeal, he said.
Declaring that the movement of the victim, David Ho, “was merely incidental to the robbery,” he reasoned:
“[T]his was not kidnapping. This was just robbery.”
The jurist elaborated:
“The classic kidnapping to commit robbery involves a robber taking a victim from one place to another to help get a distant and valuable thing the robber wants: money from a cash machine, treasure from a home, and so forth….
“There was nothing like a classic aggravated kidnapping in this case. Rather, this robbery was just an ordinary robbery. The victim backed up four steps and ended up 12 inches into an alley, where the darkness and the corner screened the robbery, which is where robbers typically want to be: out of public view. Taylor never confined Ho in an isolated room. The whole episode lasted a mere minute and a half. This movement was trivial and incidental to the robbery.”
The case is People v. Taylor, B293881.
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