Homicide by An Not Known Type of Weapon In California

In People v. Riser (1956) 47 Cal.2d 566, the Supreme Court explained: "When the specific type of weapon used to commit a homicide is not known, it may be permissible to admit into evidence weapons found in the defendant's possession some time after the crime that could have been the weapons employed. There need be no conclusive demonstration that the weapon in defendant's possession was the murder weapon. When the prosecution relies, however, on a specific type of weapon, it is error to admit evidence that other weapons were found in his possession . . . ." (Id. at p. 577.) In People v. Cox (2003) 30 Cal.4th 916, 955, it was unknown how the three victims were killed. The prosecutor argued that the evidence pointed to stabbing as the cause of death, but there also was a reasonable possibility that one or more of the victims had been shot. For that reason, the court held the three guns found during the search of defendant's car were sufficiently connected to the crimes to merit admission into evidence. (Id. at pp. 955-956.)