Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Yolo DA opposes bid for new Topete trial

By
From page A1 | January 08, 2012 | Leave Comment

A Yolo Superior Court judge was “proper” in his removal of a juror from the death-penalty trial of Marco Topete, whose bid for a new trial should be denied, prosecutors said in a court document filed Thursday.

In a response to a motion by Topete’s defense attorneys for a new trial, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Garrett Hamilton said Judge Paul Richardson “established a complete and thorough record” before dismissing Juror No. 11 due to her insufficient command of the English language.

The removal occurred during the penalty-phase deliberations for Topete, who had been convicted of murder with special circumstances for the June 15, 2008, fatal shooting of Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose “Tony” Diaz.

On the second day of discussions, the juror sent Richardson a note indicating she was “raised in a foreign country and it is very difficult for me to make a dessision (sic) from point of view of this country.” She asked to be replaced with an alternate juror.

Richardson questioned the woman away from the other jurors before ruling that she should be dismissed.

“Her responses that she was having difficulty in understanding the concepts, evidence and law as they pertained to the penalty phase of the trial were a demonstrable reality, as required by law,” Hamilton wrote. “As such, her discharge from the jury was proper.”

The judge replaced Juror No. 11 with a male alternate, and the jury deliberated two more days before recommending that Topete, 39, should be sentenced to death. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

In their bid for a new trial, defense attorneys Hayes Gable III and Dwight Samuel produced a declaration from another juror in the case, who contacted The Davis Enterprise shortly after the Nov. 16 death-penalty verdict to voice concerns about the removal of his fellow juror.

Juror No. 6, a Davis resident, described the woman as a holdout who believed Topete should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He said the woman was swayed by defense experts who blamed Topete’s behavior on his abusive and violent upbringing.

The woman submitted her note to Richardson after being pressured by other jurors to change her mind, the declaration said.

Hamilton dismissed the juror’s statement as “inadmissible hearsay,” saying the declaration was not signed under penalty of perjury and seeks only to impeach his fellow juror’s testimony.

“It details what Juror No. 11 was thinking, and what effect certain types of evidence were having on her,” Hamilton wrote. Jurors’ thought processes are inadmissible under case law, he added, calling the declaration “a clear violation of the sanctity of the deliberation process.”

Gable and Samuel also have argued that if Richardson upholds his decision to remove Juror No. 11, then Topete should receive a new guilt-phase trial because the woman may have been impaired from the very beginning of the proceedings.

Not so, responded Hamilton, who noted that the woman expressed to Richardson she was having trouble understanding “legal documents” the jury received during the penalty phase.

“She made no mention or indication that she had difficulty in the guilt phase with the evidence or the instructions,” Hamilton wrote. “As such, no presumption can be made that because she had difficulty in the penalty phase that she had difficulty in the guilt phase.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    ‘Eco-Heroes’ help get us from here to there

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Alleged serial killings highlight GPS limits

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    CHP seeks owner of lost cash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Home building up in March after frigid winter

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Davis elder-abuse case wraps up

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

    By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

    Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seniors can get tips for getting around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    School has garden plots for rent

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Check out the night sky

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Still supporting this guy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Urban forest under siege

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

     
    Drought care for our trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

     
    UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Giants beat L.A. in 12

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

     
    .

    Arts

    Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Red Union Blue inks record deal

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6