Best Defender Bytes:

July 28, 2015

Complaint Amended in Montebello Restaurant Shooting

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

A criminal complaint has been amended against a woman allegedly involved in the robbery of a Montebello restaurant that resulted in the fatal shooting of two of her accomplices, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Toni Danielle Lopez (dob 12/9/93) is now charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of receiving stolen property. Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 6 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Prosecutors said on July 17, Lopez was with Kevin Fierro and Roger Soriano and observed the two men carjack a Toyota Camry in the 3600 block of West Whittier Boulevard.

The trio drove to a nearby restaurant in Montebello shortly after midnight where Fierro and Soriano grabbed several items from the owner. Soriano pointed a gun at the man and shot him once, prosecutors said.

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Brothers Sentenced in Shooting Death of 7-Year-Old Girl

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

Two Palmdale brothers were sentenced to prison today for a car-to-car shooting in which a 7-year-old girl was killed, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Chung of the Hardcore Gang Division said Jesus Alberto Peralta, 24, was sentenced to 125 years to life in state prison and Carlos Peralta, 21, received a 46-years-to-life state prison sentence in case MA060719.

Both were found guilty on June 23 of one count each of first-degree murder and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle.

A jury also found them guilty of three counts of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder and found gun allegations to be true.

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July 27, 2015

OCDA SEEKS POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF WOMAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING OVER $24,000 IN CASH AND PROPERTY FROM ELDERLY MAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is seeking potential additional victims of a woman charged with defrauding over $24,000 in cash and property from an elderly man. Polly Sandra John, 49, Anaheim, is charged with five felony counts of theft from an elder, two felony counts of attempted theft from an elder, three felony counts of grand theft auto, one felony count of grand theft, and sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage loss over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. She is currently being held on $750,000 bail. John was arraigned today and is scheduled for pre-trial on Aug. 14, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Between Nov. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012, John is accused of isolating 76-year-old Lynn Merrell, who suffered from dementia, and convincing the victim to marry her after the victim’s wife passed away. John is accused of manipulating the victim into changing his bank accounts, coercing the victim to give her money, and listing the defendant as a beneficiary of Merrell’s pension, home, and his vehicles. John is accused of taking the victim’s money, cars, and forcing the victim to buy her another car.

Bank tellers and AAA representatives contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD) after seeing the defendant arguing with the victim in their businesses. APD investigated this case and arrested the defendant on Jan. 10, 2013.

Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Damon Tucker at (714) 648-3667.

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Boyfriend Charged in Attorney-Turned-Reality Star’s Killing

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

A Redondo Beach man was charged today with the stabbing death of his girlfriend, star of the reality show “Loredana, Esq.”, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick said Robert Brian Reagan (dob 4/8/64) faces one count of murder with a knife-use allegation in case YA092768.

Arraignment was continued today to Aug. 20 in Department 4 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Torrance Branch.

The victim, Loredana Nesci, 47, was allegedly killed on July 22 during a domestic dispute at the Redondo Beach home she shared with the defendant, the prosecutor said.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Five Murders in Antelope Valley

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

A 44-year-old man has pleaded guilty to murdering two men, a woman and her two children, then torching a Quartz Hills home during a bloody rampage seven years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Steve Kwon entered his plea late yesterday in case BA361224 as a jury was being picked for his trial. Kwon and co-defendant Jae Shim, 46, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of Shim’s ex-wife Jenny Young Park, 34; her daughter, Jamie, 13; her son, Justin, 11; a relative, Joseph Ciganek, 60; and Young’s boyfriend, Si Young Yoon, also 34. Both men also pleaded guilty to one count of arson of an inhabited structure.

The five victims were brutally stabbed and bludgeoned to death on June 23, 2008. The two children, along with their mother, also were set on fire.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman with the Major Crimes Division, who prosecuted the case along with Deputy District Attorneys Tannaz Mokayef and Eileen Kim, said Shim became enraged that his ex-wife was recently engaged to Yoon.

Shim enlisted the help of Kwon, a lifelong friend from Korea to murder the victims. The wife of Joseph Ciganek, Young Park’s cousin, also was an intended victim, but survived because she was not home when the crimes occurred.

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July 24, 2015

COSTA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER CHARGED FOR COMMITTING INSURANCE FRAUD AGAINST CITY OF COSTA MESA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officer was charged today for committing insurance fraud by presenting a false insurance claim and making false material statements related to the claim. Ryan Patrick Natividad, 30, Corona, is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and one felony count of making a fraudulent statement. If convicted, Natividad faces a maximum sentence of six years in jail. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

On Sept. 23, 2014, Natividad is accused of reporting a work-related injury to his employer CMPD. Natividad is accused of falsely claiming earlier in the day, he had struck his fist against a wall when attempting to prevent an arrestee from stumbling into the wall while escorting the arrestee from the patrol vehicle into jail. Natividad is accused of filing a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. He was subsequently directed by CMPD to seek immediate medical attention.

The City of Costa Mesa internally investigated Natividad’s workers’ compensation claim and uncovered evidence contradicting Natividad’s account of how and when the injury occurred.

Deputy District Attorney Noor Hasan of the Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15CF1637 / July 23, 2015

Woman Charged With Murder in Montebello Restaurant Shooting

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

A woman was charged today with murder after a restaurant owner in Montebello fatally shot her alleged accomplices during a robbery, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Toni Danielle Lopez aka Naughty (dob 12/9/93) was charged in case BA438338 with two counts of murder and one count of second-degree robbery. She is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Prosecutors said on July 17, Lopez was with Kevin Fierro and Roger Soriano when the two men carjacked a Toyota Camry in the 3600 block of West Whittier Boulevard.

The trio drove to a nearby restaurant in Montebello shortly after midnight where Fierro and Soriano grabbed several items from the owner. Soriano pointed a gun at the man and shot him once, prosecutors said.

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LAPD Officer Sentenced for Assault While On Duty

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

LAPD officer was sentenced today to 16 months in county jail for assault under color of authority during a July 2012 arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Officer Mary O’Callaghan, 50, was sentenced to the maximum of three years in local custody after a jury in June found her guilty of pushing, shoving and kicking Alesia Thomas during Thomas’ arrest.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta sentenced O’Callaghan to the maximum term, but suspended 20 months of the 36-month sentence. He also denied a defense motion to place the 18-year police veteran on probation in case BA417095.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby, assistant head deputy of the Justice System Integrity Division who prosecuted the case, told the court that the victim needed help that day, “but what she got was violence.”

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July 23, 2015

DRIVER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING BICYCLIST AND FLEEING TO MEXICO TO REPAIR VEHICLE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:30 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – A driver was sentenced today to three years in state prison for killing a bicyclist and fleeing to Mexico to repair his vehicle. Junior Rigoberto Lopez, 31, Buena Park, pleaded guilty April 16, 2015, to one felony count of hit and run with death.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2014, Lopez was driving his Ford F-150 pick-up truck traveling northbound on Magnolia Street in Anaheim. He approached the intersection of Magnolia Street and La Palma Avenue when he crashed into 44-year-old Daniela Palacios, who was riding her bicycle. Instead of stopping to assist the victim or calling 911, Lopez failed to remain at the scene or render any aid to the victim and fled the scene. The defendant sustained damage to his pick-up truck consistent with colliding with a person riding a bicycle. The Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated this case, also found broken pieces of a front grill and headlights at the scene of the crash.

The victim was transported to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center to be treated for broken ribs, a broken right clavicle, head trauma, left lung filled with blood, and internal bleeding. The victim died hours later at the hospital while being treated for her injuries sustained in the crash.

After the crash, the defendant drove to Mexico to have his pick-up truck repaired. On Dec. 11, 2014, the defendant returned to Mexico to retrieve his repaired truck.

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DEFENDANT TO FACE TRIAL FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF MAN OUTSIDE STANTON BAR

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:16 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man will face trial tomorrow for shooting and murdering a fellow patron outside a Stanton bar. Leobardo Villadares, 45, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. If convicted, Villadares faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday, July 23, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On the night of Sept. 15, 2013, Villadares is accused of going to Oasis Bar in Stanton. He is accused of frequenting the bar and being acquainted with the staff. The defendant is accused of starting an altercation outside the bar with 48-year-old Francisco Salgado Torres. Villadares is accused of fatally shooting the victim twice before fleeing the scene on foot.

On Sept. 17, 2013, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case, issued a press release with a photo of the defendant.

At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2013, Villadares is accused of surrendering to law enforcement at a residence in Garden Grove. The Garden Grove Police Department assisted in the defendant’s arrest.

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