up a Fresno motel at gunpoint, taking money from the till as well as from the night clerk’s wallet. Defendant, who did not display a gun, cut the clerk with a knife. In the 1979 incident, the preliminary hearing testimony of Edwin Dillhoffer, who had died by the time of trial, was read. Dillhoffer was in the lobby outside Koll’s pharmacy. A large man jumped over the pharmacy counter and hit him in the head with what appeared to be a black sock. He was immediately followed by a smaller man, who knocked Dillhoffer down, breaking his hip.
Evidence was also introduced of an unadjudicated 1980 incident of violence. Leroy Smith testified that after defendant’s sister had an argument with Smith’s daughter, defendant left in his car, going to another sister’s house. Smith followed in his own car. Smith parked in the driveway and started to get out of his car, but defendant started shooting a handgun in his direction. Smith got back in the car, took cover behind the dashboard, and backed out. He was not injured, but several shots hit his car.
The defense introduced no evidence at the penalty phase.
Guilt Phase Issues
I. Sufficiency of the Evidence
Defendant contends the evidence at trial was insufficient to justify his conviction for Koll’s murder and that his conviction therefore violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The standard of review is well settled: On appeal, we review the whole record in the light most favorable to the judgment below to determine whether it discloses substantial evidence—that is, evidence that is reasonable, credible and of solid value—from which a reasonable trier of fact could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (Jackson v. Virginia (1979) 443 U.S.