California Court of Appeal

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People v. Rios, H037745

Defendant's multiple convictions, including three counts of first degree murder, and sentence of life without the possibility of parole, are affirmed, where: 1) by referring to "intent to kill" rather than to express malice or its legal equivalent, the trial court's voluntary intoxication instruction failed to properly inform the jury that it could consider evidence of defendant's voluntary intoxication on the issue of whether or not defendant killed with express malice; but 2) the error does not require reversal because the instruction allowed the jury to consider evidence of defendant's voluntary intoxication with regard to premeditation and deliberation; and 3) given the court's proper instructions and the ample evidence of murder, it is not reasonably probable that defendant would have obtained a more favorable outcome had the court properly informed the jury that evidence of defendant's voluntary intoxication could be considered in deciding whether he acted with express malice.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 12/27/2013
  • Published 12/27/2013


  • ELIA


  • California Court of Appeal