Hernandez personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon. (Pen. Code, §§ 211, 186.22, subd. (b)(1), 12022, subd. (b)(1).) 1 The trial court sentenced Hernandez and Fuentes each to a term of 13 years in state prison. We affirm.
In the published portion of the opinion, we conclude the trial court should have bifurcated the trial of the criminal street gang enhancement from the trial of the underlying offenses. However, appellants cannot demonstrate prejudice and reversal is not required. The unpublished portion of the opinion rejects various claims of instructional error.
1. Prosecution’s evidence.
a. The robbery of Blanca Rodriguez.
On August 15, 2000, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Blanca Rodriguez was sitting with Armen Stepanyan in a Honda parked in front of Rodriguez’s residence on Doty Avenue in Hawthorne. Hernandez and Fuentes approached the passenger side of the Honda and asked Rodriguez for a cigarette. Rodriguez handed Hernandez a cigarette through the window of the Honda, but Hernandez said, “I need another cigarette. You better give me another cigarette . . . .” When Rodriguez indicated she had no more, Hernandez demanded a dollar.
At this point, Rodriguez was afraid. Hernandez said, “[Y]ou don’t know who you are dealing with. You are dealing with Hawthorne Little [Watts] . . . .” Rodriguez suspected Hernandez was referring to a gang. Hernandez said if they did not get money, they were going to take the Honda. Fuentes and Hernandez opened the passenger door and pulled Rodriguez from the Honda. Fuentes grabbed Rodriguez by the neck, choked her and took her necklace while Hernandez pointed a knife at her neck below the ear. Rodriguez thought she was going to die. Rodriguez saw Stepanyan obtain a wooden stick from the trunk of the Honda and challenge the attackers. Rodriguez screamed, “Somebody call 911.” Fuentes and Hernandez looked at each other, then ran from the
1Subsequent unspecified statutory references are to the Penal Code.