Best Defender Bytes:

July 8, 2015


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:42 am

SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Panel), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, denied parole for 10 years today for an inmate convicted of the 1991 stabbing murder of an unarmed teenager after getting into an argument with him at a house party. Robert Aguirre Jr., 42, is currently being held at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano. Aguirre was found guilty at a court trial on May 24, 1993, of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. He was sentenced on July 22, 1993, to 16 years to life in state prison. This case was originally prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Mark Sevigny.

Deputy District Attorney Janine Madera of the Gang Unit attended the hearing at the prison today to oppose Aguirre’s parole.

Before denying the inmate’s parole, the Panel took into consideration Aguirre’s recent prison rules violations and his lack of insight and remorse for the crime, citing his continued gang association, minimal self-help, minimal programming and vocational training and incomplete parole plans. Aguirre will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2025.

Murder of Emanuel Macklin

On the evening of Oct. 15, 1991, Aguirre then 19 years old, went to a party at a home in La Habra. Aguirre was an associate of a criminal street gang. Also attending the party was 16-year-old Emanuel Macklin, who was not a member of any criminal street gang. During the course of the evening, people at the party asked Macklin about his gang affiliation, to which he denied having any membership. The victim, who was unarmed, was later attacked by several people, striking and kicking him. Aguirre then stabbed Macklin a total of five times with a knife while the victim was being held down. Macklin died as a result of a stab wound to his right abdomen.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:39 am

SANTA ANA – Two men have been charged with trafficking, pimping, and pandering a teenage woman in Santa Ana. Caine Alexander Herrera, 18, and Emari Litrell Johnson, 18, both of Fresno, are each charged with one felony count of human trafficking, one felony count of pimping, and one felony count of pandering. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. Both defendants are being held on $250,000 and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The defendants were both arraigned yesterday and are scheduled for pre-trial on July 14, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case
Herrera and Johnson are accused of being human traffickers/pimps who exploit women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow which include setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in physical and/or emotional abuse.

Between May 1, 2015, and July 1, 2015, Herrera is accused of recruiting Jane Doe to work for the defendant as a commercial sex worker in exchange for extra money and support for the victim’s son. Herrera and Johnson are accused of trafficking 19-year-old Jane Doe from Fresno to Orange County to perform commercial sex.

Johnson is accused of posting a sexually explicit advertisement of Jane Doe on a website known for prostitution. Herrera is accused of instructing the victim on how much to charge for commercial sex. The defendants are accused of collecting all the money Jane Doe received from sex purchasers and instilling fear in the victim to prevent her from leaving.


July 7, 2015


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

FULLERTON – A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputy is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for threatening and assaulting a woman including lighting her hair on fire. Alejandro Flores, 33, Buena Park, is charged with three felony counts of domestic battery with corporal injury, two felony counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of criminal threats, one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat, and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace or violence with sentencing enhancement allegations for great bodily injury inflicted during domestic violence and the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years and eight months in state prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, July 7, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

At the time of the crime the defendant was a LASD deputy and was in a romantic relationship with Jane Doe. The defendant lived with the victim and a child relative under two years old in Buena Park.

Around Oct. 22, 2014, the defendant is accused of hitting Jane Doe in the face resulting in the victim suffering a broken nose. The incident went unreported.

On June 28, 2015, Flores is accused of arguing with the victim about the child’s pacifier and pushing the victim into a wall in the Buena Park home. The defendant is accused of hitting Jane Doe on the top of her head with his fist and grabbing her neck, causing the victim to fall to the ground.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) are seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims of a defendant charged with defrauding more than $100,000 from neighbors and acquaintances through false investment opportunities. Angelo Castelo, 60, Yorba Linda, is charged with six felony counts of fraudulently defrauding another, one felony count of first degree burglary, one felony count of first degree robbery, one felony count of criminal threats, two felony counts of extortion by force or threat, one felony count of criminal threats, and one felony count of theft with one prior conviction, the defendant was previously convicted of grand theft of personal property in 1997 in San Diego County. The defendant also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for being a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary, committing a crime against a vulnerable victim, crime-bail-crime, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage or loss over $65,000. If convicted, Castello faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison. He is being held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Castello was arraigned today and is scheduled for pre-trial on July 14, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Between July 14, 2012, and July 30, 2012, Castello is accused of posing as a day trader and approaching a couple at a yard sale. Castello is accused of telling the couple that he would teach them how to invest in stocks and collected over $10,000 from the victims and never made contact with the victims again or investing the money.

Between Oct. 3, 2013, and Oct. 6, 2013, Castello is accused of approaching a sales employee at a car dealership while looking for a car to purchase. The defendant is accused is of offering a fraudulent investment deal to the employee where he could receive a $12,000 return on an investment. Castello is accused of collecting $3,800 from the employee and never investing the money.

On Feb. 15, 2014, Castello is accused of accompanying his girlfriend to a rental car company and befriending a rental car agent. He is accused of offering the agent an opportunity to invest in an oil company and receiving a substantial return on the investment. The defendant is accused of collecting $7,100 from the victim and never investing the money.


July 6, 2015

LA Kings Defenseman Enters Plea in Domestic Violence Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:38 am

A Los Angeles Kings defenseman pleaded no contest today in connection with an attack on his wife and was immediately sentenced to 90 days in local jail, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Viatcheslav Leonidovich “Slava” Voynov, 25, entered the plea to one misdemeanor count of corporal injury to spouse. Case YA091588 also was amended to reflect his true date of birth 1/15/90.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Eric Taylor of the Torrance Branch also sentenced Voynov to three years summary probation, ordered him to attend a 52-week domestic violence prevention program and serve eight hours of community service.

On Oct. 19, 2014, Voynov caused his wife to suffer injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck during an argument at their Redondo Beach home, prosecutors said. The injuries required medical attention at a local hospital where the defendant was arrested, prosecutors added.


Woodland Hills Woman Sentenced for Mother’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:34 am

A 27-year-old woman was sentenced today to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life in state prison for the fatal shooting of her mother in Woodland Hills, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Sharon Ransom said Laura L. Purviance pleaded no contest on June 30 to one count of first-degree murder and admitted using a handgun in case LA073342.

On Feb. 13, 2013, Purviance lured her 61-year-old mother, Caroline Purviance, into her bedroom and then shot her in the back of the head, according to evidence presented in court. The defendant then took the victim’s car and fled to Oregon where she was arrested two days later, the prosecutor said.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.


Compton Man Charged with Murder After Child Dies From Injuries

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:30 am

Prosecutors amended charges yesterday after a 13-month-old child died from injuries reportedly sustained by his mother’s boyfriend after a beating, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rodrigo Hernandez of Compton was originally charged in case TA137386 with attempted murder and assault on a child becoming comatose.

On Tuesday, prosecutors dismissed the charges and filed one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death in the same case.

Hernandez pleaded not guilty and his bail was set at $2.03 million.

Prosecutors said on June 7, Hernandez was reportedly watching his girlfriend’s toddler son while the mother was in another room in the apartment.


July 3, 2015

Central Coast Real Estate Developer Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for Scam that Cost Victims Millions in Lost Investments

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:15 am

LOS ANGELES – A former Central Coast real estate developer was sentenced this morning to 168 months in federal prison for his conviction on fraud and money laundering charges after bilking investors who put millions of dollars into Central Coast real estate projects.

Kelly Gearhart, 54, who previously lived in Atascadero and currently resides in Wadsworth, Ohio, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II. Gearhart was remanded into custody at the close of the sentencing hearing.

Gearhart, who was named Atascadero’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2006, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. When he pleaded guilty, Gearhart admitted that he knowingly and intentionally made misrepresentations and omissions relating to his Vista Del Hombre real estate development project to induce victims to part with their money. Gearhart admitted that he sold lots that were part of the Vista Del Hombre project in Paso Robles, even though those lots were being used to secure others’ loans. Gearhart admitted that he then used those same lots to obtain bank loans.

At sentencing, prosecutors introduced evidence that Gearhart also told investors that their investments – which he called “loans,” promising repayment with interest – would be used to develop the Vista Del Hombre project.


L.A. Man Who Hacked into Email Accounts and Obtained Nude Photos for ‘Revenge Porn’ Website Pleads Guilty in Hacking Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:12 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man who hacked into e-mail accounts to steal nude photos that were later posted on a notorious “revenge porn” website has pleaded guilty to federal computer crime and identity theft charges.

Charles Evens, 26, of Studio City, pleaded guilty late Wednesday afternoon to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information for purposes of private financial gain and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Appearing before United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, Evens pleaded guilty to the two felony charges and admitted that he obtained nude pictures that were posted on the revenge porn website,[external link]. The operator of that website – Hunter Moore, 29, of Woodland, California – pleaded guilty in February to the same two offenses that Evens admitted to yesterday.

On his website, Moore posted nude and sexually explicit photos that had been submitted without the permission of victims. To obtain more photos for the website, Evens gained unauthorized access – in other words, hacked into – Google e-mail accounts. Moore sent payments to Evens in exchange for nude photos unlawfully obtained from the victims’ accounts. Moore then posted the illegally obtained photos on his website, without the victims’ consent, as both men have now admitted in court.


Lancaster Man Sentenced for Killing Elderly Mother

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:09 am

A Lancaster man who killed his 73-year-old mother was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson said Shelton Eugene Bradley, 49, pleaded no contest on June 17 to one count of second-degree murder and agreed to waive any credit for time in jail since his arrest on Dec. 20, 2013.

Bradley was arrested a day after his brother called police to report that he found his mother, Rosie Manuel, unresponsive at her Lancaster home. The victim was found dead with her upper torso on an open oven door, with the oven tipped slightly over on top of her, Swanson said.

According to court testimony, the defendant told detectives that God had told him that his mother was a witch and commanded him to kill and burn the witches. Bradley then strangled the victim, and attempted to place her inside the kitchen oven, the prosecutor added.


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