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First degree murder conviction on provocative act murder theory
People v. Gonzalez, D055698, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant on a provocative act murder theory of the attempted murder of an individual and for first degree murder of her boyfriend, who was shot and killed by the individual.
In affirming the conviction, the court held that there is sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that defendant's provocative acts proximately caused the killing of her boyfriend, as the evidence supports the finding that the death was the "natural and probable consequence" of defendant's acts of cocking the rifle she brought to assault the individual. The court held that the jury was properly instructed that defendant could not be guilty of provocative act murder unless the prosecution proved it was her acts, as opposed to those of her boyfriend, that proximately caused his death. The court also held that the jury was properly instructed on the issue of premeditation and deliberation as the record contains uncontroverted evidence showing defendant personally premeditated and deliberated the attempted murder of the individual. Lastly, the trial court did not err when it failed sua sponte to instruct on self-defense as it pertained to the individual and whether he was legally justified in shooting defendant's boyfriend, or in instructing the jury on involuntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense of murder.