People v. Wynn – Case Brief Summary (California)

In People v. Wynn (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1210, a loss prevention officer at a store observed the defendant shoplifting. She followed him from the store and confronted him in the parking lot, identifying herself. The defendant took a nunchaku from his pants and started swinging it. Several employees eventually subdued him, although one suffered a head injury in the melee.

The defendant was convicted of a number of crimes, including burglary and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. (Id. at pp. 1213-1214.)

On appeal, he argued that his sentence for burglary, among others, should have been stayed. The Court of Appeal applied the established test to determine whether the offenses were indivisible for purposes of section 654, which turns on the '"defendant's intent and objective, not the temporal proximity of his offenses."' (Id. at pp. 1214-1215, quoting People v. Harrison (1989) 48 Cal.3d 321, 335.)

"Where the commission of one offense is merely '"a means toward the objective of the commission of the other,"' section 654 prohibits separate punishments for the two offenses. " (Id. at p. 1215.)