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January 17, 2016

Man Sentenced for 2010 Halloween Shooting of 5-Year-Old Boy Dressed as Spiderman

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

A man was sentenced today to more than 25 years in state prison for the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old boy on Halloween six years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Marcus Denson, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of attempted murder in early 2013. He was sentenced today to 25 years and eight months in prison.

Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kim of the Hardcore Gang Division said Leonard Hall, 26, and Denson were members of the Kitchen Crips gang and went into rival gang territory in South Los Angeles on Oct. 31, 2010.

The two men approached the back of a house where a group of men were gathered. Five-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr. was showing his father and others his Spider-Man costume when shots rang out, the prosecutor said.

The boy died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head and two others were wounded but not seriously injured.


January 15, 2016

California Man Indicted for Terrorism Offense

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:15 am

A grand jury in Sacramento, California, returned an indictment today charging Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, of Sacramento, with one count of making a false statement involving international terrorism, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California announced.

Al-Jayab is in custody and is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 22, 2016, at 2:00 PM PST before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman of the Eastern District of California.  He was arrested by criminal complaint on Jan. 7, 2016.

According to the indictment, on Oct. 6, 2014, Al-Jayab was interviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and indicated that he had not ever: been a member of any rebel group or militia; provided material support for any person or group engaged in terrorist activity; and been a member of a group, or assisted in a group, which used or threatened the use of weapons against others.  Al-Jayab also allegedly stated during the interview that he had traveled to Turkey in late 2013 and early 2014 to visit his grandmother.  The indictment alleges that all of the aforementioned statements are false.

If convicted, Al-Jayab faces a maximum statutory penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.  The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Mexican Mafia Member who Oversaw Latino Street Gangs in Orange County for Decades Found Guilty of Federal Racketeering Offenses

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:11 am

SANTA ANA, California – A longtime member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang who exerted control over Latino street gangs in Orange County for 30 years was convicted today of federal racketeering offenses, with a jury finding that he ordered murders and assaults while incarcerated in federal prison for a prior racketeering conviction.

Peter Ojeda, 73, who has been in federal custody since he was indicted in a prior racketeering case in 2005, was found guilty of two counts: conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to commit violent crimes in aid of racketeering.

Ojeda, who is also known as “Sana” and “The Big Homie,” was one of 99 defendants charged in 2011 in relation to Operation “Black Flag,” an investigation conducted by the Santa Ana Gang Task Force (see:

The jury, which began hearing evidence about two months ago in United States District Court, found that both conspiracies involved plots to murder other gangsters as part of a turf war with a rival Mexican Mafia member who attempted to assert control over local street gangs after Ojeda was imprisoned in his prior case.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:05 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – An inmate who was previously sentenced to receive the death penalty will be brought back to Orange County at the request of the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) to be resentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Kenneth Clair, 55, housed in San Quentin State Prison, was found guilty by a jury in 1987, of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a burglary, two felony counts of burglary, and a sentencing enhancement for a prior prison conviction for a 1976 armed robbery in Louisiana was found true. Clair was also sentenced to receive the death penalty in 1987. Clair is expected to be in court for a resentencing hearing on Feb. 19, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Case Facts

In November 1984, Clair was a transient and unlawfully living in an unoccupied home on West Wilshire Avenue in Santa Ana.

On Nov. 7, 1984, Clair, then 25, entered the home next door to the one where he was squatting in while the neighbors, the Henriksens, were out of the house. Clair stole several items from the neighbors’ home, including $450 in cash. On Nov. 11, 1984, Clair was arrested for the burglary, and he was subsequently released the next day.

On the evening of Nov. 15, 1984, Clair entered the same home, while the Henriksens were away. Linda Faye Rodgers, 25, who babysat the homeowners’ children and lived in the home, was in the residence. Clair bound the victim’s hands behind her back and forced her to walk into a bedroom. Clair began punching and hitting the victim, removed the victim’s pants and forced the victim onto a bed. Clair then used a foreign object to penetrate the victim before strangling and stabbing the victim multiple times.


January 14, 2016

Executive at Now-Defunct Mirae Bank Indicted in Loan Fraud Case that Caused $33 Million in Losses and Contributed to Failure of Bank

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:51 am

LOS ANGELES – The former chief marketing officer at Mirae Bank was arrested this morning on federal bank fraud charges that allege he was responsible for the bank issuing $150 million in fraudulent loans – loans that caused the bank to suffer $33 million in losses and were “a significant factor in Mirae Bank’s failure as a financial institution in 2009.”

Ataollah Aminpour, 57, of Beverly Hills, was arrested without incident pursuant to an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on January 7.

Aminpour, who is also known as John and Johnny Aminpour, is expected to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

According to the indictment, Aminpour held himself out as a successful businessman who could help people obtain financing for gas station and car wash businesses with little or no down payment. In some cases, Aminpour personally identified businesses to be purchased and negotiated a sale price, but he allegedly overstated the actual purchase price to buyers. For these buyers and others whom Aminpour introduced to Mirae Bank, the indictment alleges that Aminpour oversaw the loan process and provided loan officers with information and documentation that contained false facts and figures, including the actual purchase price of the business and the source of the down payment. As a result, Mirae Bank funded inflated loans, with excess funds secretly going to Aminpour, borrowers and/or “hard money lenders” who had surreptitiously provided funds used to make down payments.


Couple Charged with Animal Cruelty After Cat Allegedly Found with Paws Taped Together

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:49 am

A couple is facing drug and animal abuse charges after deputies say they found them in possession of heroin and a cat with its paws duct-taped in Canyon Country, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Tyler Scott Vest (dob 8/8/92) of Valencia and Kylie Stringer (dob 3/20/89) of Canyon Country each face one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal.

Case PA085466 includes one felony count of possession for sale of a controlled substance, heroin, against Vest and one misdemeanor count of possessing a controlled substance, heroin, against Stringer.

Vest also faces an allegation that he was convicted in 2012 of one misdemeanor count of grand theft from the person of another in case PA074329.

Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch. The case was filed yesterday.


Man Pleads to Murdering Palmdale Woman in Decades-Old Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:45 am

One of two men charged with kidnapping and killing a Palmdale gas station attendant 35 years ago has pleaded guilty to her murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Terry Moses, 60, pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 to the murder of Leslie Long on Dec. 3, 1978, said Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef of the Major Crimes Division who is prosecuting the case. As part of his plea, Moses admitted the special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery, murder during a kidnapping and murder during a rape in case MA066096.

Moses also pleaded guilty to the murders of Carlton Goodwin and Michael Fuqua on Aug. 22, 1976; and to the attempted murder of Kenney Guevara on Dec. 7, 1996.

Moses will be sentenced to three terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole after his codefendant in the Long murder, Neal Antoine Matthews, 58, goes to trial, Mokayef said.

Matthews was in the Antelope Valley branch court today for arraignment, but it was continued to Feb. 17. He is charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery, murder during a kidnapping and murder during a rape.


January 13, 2016

Kansas Man Sentenced For Stalking Singer Lana Del Rey

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:35 am

A 19-year-old man was sentenced today after pleading no contest to stalking singer Lana Del Rey, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Zachary Benton Self of Overland Park, Kansas, entered his plea today to one count of stalking and was sentenced to 84 days in county jail and placed on probation for five years. A 10-year protective order also was issued.

Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall of the Target Crimes Division handled the case.

Self stalked the musician, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, on social media. According to the criminal complaint, the stalking lasted approximately from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1, the date of his arrest.

Case LA082334 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lost Hills Station.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case LA082334 / January 11, 2016

Registered Sex Offender in Palmdale Sentenced to Life for Second Child Abuse Conviction

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:33 am

A Palmdale man was sentenced today to 270 years to life in state prison for sexually abusing two girls related to his girlfriend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang said Jeffery Lee Thomas (dob 10/22/63) was convicted by a jury on Aug. 13, 2015, for two counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse in case MA063283.

Thomas was a lifetime registered sex offender. In 2002, he was convicted of two counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child in case MA022353.

The two victims, ages 8 and 13, were abused for as long as a two-year period beginning in May 2010, the prosecutor said. According to witness testimony, Thomas began a relationship with a Palmdale woman and soon after began abusing her daughters.

The abuse was uncovered after the youngest victim told what happened to a medical professional, the prosecutor added.


Woman Sentenced to Jail for Metro Train Robbery Attack

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:29 am

An 18-year-old woman was sentenced yesterday to 270 days in county jail for an attempted robbery attack that was captured on video and shared on social media, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

At Thursday’s court appearance, defendant Aliyah Alize Von Lewis pleaded no contest to a felony count of attempted robbery within a public vehicle in case TA138851.

In addition to jail, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lynn D. Olson also sentenced Von Lewis to three years of probation. Furthermore, the defendant was ordered to stay away from the victim for three years and attend one year of anger management classes.

Deputy District Attorney Osman Abbasi, who prosecuted the case, said on Dec. 8 Von Lewis approached a girl as she entered the Metro train and violently tried to take her backpack.

The attack was captured on video and shared on social media, the prosecutor added.


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