Child Abduction Case Study

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1. Child Abduction
Mr. Harris will most likely be convicted of child abduction. To prove a case of child abduction the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Harris: 1) took, enticed away, kept, withheld, or concealed Quack; and (2) that Mr. Harris maliciously deprived Ms. Wallace of a right to custody. Cal. Penal Code § 278.5. The State can prove each element of this claim.

A. The court will likely find that Mr. Harris took, and enticed Quack from school with an intent to detain and conceal her.

For the prosecution to prove that Mr. Harris took or enticed away Quack, they must prove that Mr. Harris took Quack from the school with the intent to detain and conceal her. People v. Bormann, 6 Cal. App. 3d 292, …show more content…

Wallace and the events of that day. Mr. Harris was beginning to fall behind on his child support. Mr. Harris went to Quack’s school, and took his daughter without Ms. Wallace knowing. Mr. Harris then used a phone app to disguise his number and voice in a phone call to Ms. Wallace. Mr. Harris informed Ms. Wallace that he took Quack, and that she was to bring $100,000 to a bar in a shoe box. Mr. Harris also informed Ms. Wallace that she was not to contact the police if she wanted to see Quack again. When Ms. Wallace sent Mr. Harris a text asking if he knew where Quack was, he did not respond. The prosecution will likely prove that both the asking for money and the totality of Mr. Harris’ actions show that Mr. Harris had the specific intent to commit …show more content…

Harris received the money to constitute an attempt. People v. Superior Court (Decker), 41 Cal. 4th 1, 8-10 (2007). Nor is it required that Mr. Harris reached the last steps of committing the extortion. Id. It is only required that Mr. Harris’ action brought him beyond the mere preparation of committing extortion. Id. In Franquelin, the court held that there was sufficient evidence to convict in which the defendant took all the necessary steps to commit extortion except for receiving the money as payment. People v. Franquelin, 109 Cal. App. 2d 777, 784 (1952). Franquelin had threatened the victim that he would have her arrested if she did not pay him. Id. at 781. Franquelin then set a time that he would come to her apartment to retrieve the money. Id at 782. When Franquelin arrived at the arranged time he was arrested before he received the money from the victim. Id. at 783.
Here, Mr. Harris called Ms. Wallace with his ransom demand. Mr. Harris then set a time and place for the pick-up of the ransom. He then traveled to the ransom delivery site where he waited for Ms. Wallace to arrive. The fact that he never received the money is immaterial. Id. at 784. The court will likely find that took a direct and ineffectual act towards committing extortion.
The prosecution will likely prove that Mr. Harris had the specific intent to commit extortion against Ms. Wallace and that he took direct and ineffectual acts towards committing the extortion of Ms.

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