Published Opinions · January 22, 2009
Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District
State of California
MICHAEL FRANK GOODWIN,
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY,
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
Real Party in Interest.
(Super. Ct. No. 01CF3294)
O P I N I O N
Original proceedings; petition for a writ of prohibition/mandate to challenge an order of the Superior Court of Orange County, Frank F. Fasel, Judge. Petition granted; motion to augment and for judicial notice denied.
Jeffrey S. Benice and Jeffrey H. Friedman for Petitioner.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney, and James J. Mulgrew, Deputy District Attorney, for Real Party in Interest.
* * *
Michael Frank Goodwin is charged with the 1988 murders in Los Angeles County of Mickey and Trudy Thompson and the conspiracy to commit those crimes. Although Los Angeles was the obvious venue under Penal Code sections 777, 781 and 790 (all further section references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise stated), the Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to prosecute Goodwin for these murders because the evidence was insufficient for a successful prosecution. (See fn. 1, post.) Then, 13 years after the murders, the Orange County District Attorney filed these charges in Orange County under the alternative theories that (1) an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy to murder the Thompsons occurred in Orange County, or (2) preliminary acts preparatory to the murders occurred in Orange County. After the magistrate rejected Goodwin’s argument that the evidence failed to meet the test for venue, Goodwin moved to set aside the information in superior court, arguing the evidence of venue was insufficient. (
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