LOS ANGELES – A state appeals court panel on Thursday upheld a former Lancaster resident’s conviction for kidnapping a woman at knifepoint as she was returning to her car in a parking lot at the Westfield Topanga shopping mall and sexually assaulting her.
A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court erred in admitting portions of Kioki Snowden’s interview with police detectives in which he referred to convicted serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy and to being a “cutthroat monster.”
In a 15-page ruling, the appellate court justices said the evidence that Snowden kidnapped and robbed the woman was “effectively uncontested,” and the evidence that he sexually assaulted her was “overwhelming.”
“In short, there was no reasonable chance that the verdicts would have been different had the ‘Ted Bundy’ and ‘cutthroat monster’ portions of the interview not been introduced,” the appellate court panel found.
Snowden was convicted last year of one count each of kidnapping, kidnapping to commit robbery, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by a foreign object, second-degree robbery and identity theft in connection with the July 4, 2013, attack on the 19-year-old woman, who was left in her car with her hands tied behind her back.
Jurors acquitted him of three other counts of forcible rape and one count of forcible sodomy.
Snowden was sentenced last year to 84 years to life. The appellate court panel ordered one year and four months of that term to be stayed in light of his sentence on the charge of kidnapping to commit robbery.
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