By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
"Mistaken identity is a classic form of 'transferred intent' in murder cases, but the mistake precludes conviction of attempted murder where the defendant did not intend to kill the person shot," Kopeny argued.
The defense strategy was met with contempt from Deputy California Attorney General Vincent P. LaPietra. In an 18-page responding brief, LaPeitra noted that Aguirre, who deceitfully claimed he was never at the scene of the crime, sealed his fate by his own admissions. Not knowing a bug had been planted in his cell, Aguirre told his cellmate he lied to his parents about his role, strategized about sabotaging the police investigation, and opined about the shooting, "Fuck it, dog. Those fools [Barrio Pobre gangsters] had it coming to them."
According to LaPietra, the Orange County district attorney's office didn't argue, as Kopeny claimed, a "transferred intent" theory to the jury. The Deputy AG states that the evidence shows Aguirre had intent to kill the victim. "During the recorded conversation, [the defendant] says he and [the shooter] confronted and shot Magana because they believed he was a rival gang member who had disrespected them," LaPietra wrote.
Besides, Kopeny's attempt to remove intent from his client's mind isn't new. The defendant's trial counsel, Randall Longwith, passionately argued that same notion in his closing argument. The jury didn't buy it. They sided with Brian, who asserted a gangster doesn't get a "freebie" shooting because he claims the wrong person was shot.
Kopeny has requested 10 minutes to lobby the justices at an as-yet-to-be-scheduled oral-argument hearing. If he loses, his client's fate is sealed for several decades. Aguirre then won't be able to apply for parole until he is 48 years old.