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Sufficiency of the Evidence--Conspiracy to Commit Murder for the Benefit of a Gang

Does sufficient evidence support Hoskins's Count 1 conviction for conspiracy to commit murder? (People v. Ware (2020) 52 Cal.App.5th 919, review granted 12/9/2020 (S263923/D072515).) [Editor's Note: Count 1 in this case alleged that multiple defendants conspired to commit murder (Pen. Code, 182, subd. (a), 187) for the benefit of a criminal street gang ( 186.22, subd. (b)(1)) between January 1, 2012, and April 23, 2014. On appeal, it was undisputed that the prosecution relied exclusively on circumstantial evidence and presented no direct evidence of a conspiracy to commit murder. The prosecution failed to prove Hoskins was a direct participant or aider and abettor in any of the shootings. However, the Court of Appeal concluded sufficient circumstantial evidence supported the conviction. The court reasoned evidence from Hoskins's social media account (which contained references to killing and Crip killing) when viewed with the evidence of the coconspirators' activities and Hoskins's relationship to the coconspirators, constituted sufficient evidence from which jurors could conclude that Hoskins knew of the conspiracy and had the deliberate, knowing, and specific intent to join the conspiracy.]

Updated: 12/9/2020

Return to: California Supreme Court Pending Issues.

 

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