A state appellate court panel upheld a gang member’s conviction for trying to carjack a man in Whittier and then later firing shots at him.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the “evidence of guilt” of Jessie Abbott Duran was “overwhelming.”
But the appellate court justices cited a new state law in ordering the case to be sent back to the trial court so Superior Court Judge Robert J. Higa can determine whether to exercise his discretion to strike or dismiss handgun enhancements against Duran, who is serving a 35-year-to-life state prison term.
Duran walked up to a man who had backed his car into a parking space in an alley on April 3, 2014, and demanded the vehicle, according to the appellate court panel’s 14-page ruling.
The man accelerated forward, stopped the car and called 911 as he watched Duran walk down the alley, the justices noted.
Duran subsequently fired shots at the man and missed, but struck a passing car, according to the ruling.
Duran was arrested about 10 minutes later, the justices noted.
He was convicted in August 2016 of one count each of attempted murder, attempted carjacking, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.
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