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It is not indispensable to a conviction that wounds be fatal and the direct cause of death. It is sufficient that they cause death indirectly through a chain of natural effects and causes unchanged by human action. By the phrase "unchanged by human action" is meant human action that changes or breaks the chain of natural events and of itself causes the death of the victim.
Doctors had removed life support systems from the victim three days after David Madrid Fierro repeatedly shot him. Fierro was adjudged guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Fierro contended on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to show that he caused the death, and that the trial court erred in allowing testimony from two attorneys who had previously represented Fierro and admitting expert testimony on the subject of the Mexican Mafia.
Was the evidence sufficient to support the jury's conclusion that Fierro caused the death of the victim?
The court affirmed the judgment. The court stated that the gunshot wounds, not removal of the life support systems, were the proximate cause of death, and that in any event the victim was legally dead before the life support systems were withdrawn. The court found neither prejudice nor error in admitting the testimony of the attorneys, who were not testifying to any confidential conversations made by Fierro during the brief time they represented him. The court determined that the subject of the Mexican Mafia was part of the "complete picture" of the crime, noted that expert testimony was a question within the sound discretion of the trial court that would not be altered on appeal absent a clear abuse of discretion, and found no abuse of discretion.