Apr. 29, 2022 – People v. Whitmore (4th Dist., Div. 3, G059779) [rehg. granted and opn. vacated; new opn. issued Jun. 23, 2022]

The Court of Appeal rejects defendant’s argument that the trial court prejudicially erred by conducting his December 2020 sentencing hearing with him appearing remotely without his consent. The court finds that defendant’s statutory right to be present was violated, but that the error was harmless under Watson, as “[t]here is no indication in this record that [defendant’s] physical presence in the courtroom would have benefited his case in any way.” The court also affirms the denial of defendant’s Marsden motion and finds sufficient evidence to support his conviction for felony false imprisonment.

^