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Rick J. Wilson v. Mike

February 8, 2011

RICK J. WILSON,
PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
MIKE KNOWLES, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California James Ware, District Judge, PresidingD.C. No.CV-04-02858-JW

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Noonan, Circuit Judge:

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Argued and Submitted

January 12, 2011-San Francisco, California

Before: Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, John T. Noonan and Barry G. Silverman, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Noonan; Dissent by Chief Judge Kozinski 2405

OPINION

Rick Wilson appeals the denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Holding that the California courts violated Wilson's right to due process under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand.

BACKGROUND

In 1993, Wilson pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of California Penal Code § 191.5(a), and to proximately causing bodily injury while driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of California Vehicle Code § 23153(b). There was a preliminary hearing but no trial. He was sentenced to a total of one year of imprisonment to be served in a residence for the treatment of addiction.

Both convictions resulted from a single accident. Wilson had driven with his girlfriend Deborah Horvat from Reno, Nevada into California. At some point, Horvat gave Wilson the keys and asked him to drive. They picked up a hitchhiker, John Haessly, along the way. Wilson had been drinking and drove at a high rate of speed. The car veered off the road and flipped over. Haessly was killed, and Horvat was injured.

PROCEEDINGS

In the latest case, Wilson was convicted by a jury of driving under the influence with a prior felony conviction. See Cal. Veh. Code §§ 23152(a), 23550.5. The trial judge found this conviction to be Wilson's third strike under California Penal Code § 667(b)-(i). The judge found that the 1993 convictions counted as ...


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