The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a man convicted of second-degree murder for shooting an acquaintance in the face during an argument near a police station in Huntington Park.
Jurors in October 2016 acquitted Jorge Mario Godoy of the more serious charge of first-degree murder in the March 5, 2015, killing of Daniel Ivan Santamaria Ramirez.
In a May 7 ruling that upheld Godoy’s conviction, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the judge erred in failing to instruct jurors on self-defense and voluntary manslaughter.
“The trial court here correctly omitted a self-defense instruction, because there was no substantial evidence from which the jury could have found Godoy acted in self-defense or the defense of others, and the instruction ran counter to his theory of defense at trial,” the panel found in its 17-page opinion. “Godoy did not testify that he intentionally shot Ramirez because he believed deadly force was required to defend himself or anyone else from an imminent attack. Instead, he testified that the gun accidentally discharged when he struck Ramirez with it.”
Godoy was sentenced in January 2017 to 25 years to life behind bars, but the state appellate court panel cited a new state law in ordering the case to be sent back to the trial court for a hearing to exercise its discretion in determining whether to strike or dismiss a firearm use enhancement that added 10 years to his sentence.