Best Defender Bytes:

January 6, 2015

Los Angeles judge denies Polanski bid to close 1977 child sex case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:20 am

(Reuters) - A Los Angeles judge has declined a bid from attorneys for Roman Polanski to close the 1977 child sex case against the Oscar-winning director, a court spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Brandlin on Tuesday is the latest defeat for the filmmaker in having the case dismissed without returning to the United States.

Polanski’s attorneys had filed court papers last week seeking an evidentiary hearing on what they called prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the case in a bid to have it dismissed, at least in part to allow Academy Award-winning director of “The Pianist” to travel freely without the threat of extradition.

“While this court is empowered to order an evidentiary hearing, it may also exercise its discretion by declining to do so,” Brandlin wrote in a nine-page ruling.


Man arrested for Pomona vandalism spree

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:16 am

POMONA >> Police arrested a 24-year-old man who reportedly went on a vandalism spree targeting several businesses along South Garey Avenue, officials said.

Rafeal Palafox of Pomona was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism Sunday after four businesses along the 2000 block of South Garey Avenue had their front windows shattered. A video store had its window broken three times in the last two weeks, according to a police statement.

Investigators had been alerted to the vandalism a few days ago and were able to identify Palafox through security footage but officers were initially unable to locate the 24-year-old, officials said.

After Sunday’s attacks, police were able to find Palafox in the area of Indian Hill Boulevard and Holt Avenue.

A motive for the crimes was unclear.

POSTED: 01/05/15, 6:27 AM PST |

January 5, 2015

California’s new laws for 2015: How are you affected?

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

Hundreds of California laws take effect with the new year, including several drafted in response to corruption scandals in the Legislature, the mass shooting in Isla Vista last spring and racially inflammatory comments by the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Others address drug crimes, the use of aerial drones by paparazzi and rights for immigrants who are in the country illegally.

California lawmakers have continued to aid immigrants and tighten gun controls even as Congress has remained gridlocked on those issues. They also passed a raft of bills aimed at winning back public trust in an election year (though the ruling Democrats, tarnished by criminal charges against several party legislators, failed to regain a supermajority in the Capitol).

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who meanwhile rode a wave of popularity to a historic fourth and final term, vetoed 143 bills the Legislature sent him, saying they cost too much money, did not improve the state or created unnecessary regulations. He signed 930 others into law.


Prosecutors to seek death penalty in fatal LAX shooting

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

Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man charged in the 2013 attack that killed a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport, according to a document filed in federal court Friday.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 24, was charged with 11 federal counts in connection with the Nov. 1, 2013, attack, in which authorities allege he opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in the airport’s busy Terminal 3. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


Jan. 2, 3:38 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the decision to seek the death penalty was made by the U.S. attorney’s office. It was made by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.

Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez was killed and three other people were wounded in the attack. Hernandez, 39, was the first TSA employee killed in the line of duty since the agency was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


Second man charged with shooting at two LAPD officers

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

Prosecutors have charged a second suspect in connection with the shooting at a Los Angeles police patrol car Sunday night during an attack on a rival gang.

James Brooks, 19, was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas after an investigation led by the FBI/LAPD Fugitive Task Force, FBI spokeswoman Ari DeKofsky said.

Details about his arrest were limited. LAPD spokesman Jack Richter said police had received little information about Brooks’ arrest.

Brooks has been charged with five felony counts as well as gang and gun allegations, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman of the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.


January 3, 2015

Slain TSA agent wrongful death lawsuit moves to L.A. federal court

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

A $25 million wrongful death lawsuit brought by the widow of a Transportation Security Administration officer who died in a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport will be tried in federal court, according to papers obtained Friday.

The widow of Gerardo Hernandez filed the lawsuit in October in state civil court on behalf of herself and her children, naming Los Angeles World Airports — the operators of LAX — the Los Angeles Airport Police, city of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles County.

The complaint was transferred to federal court last week.

Ana Machuca contends her husband’s death, allegedly at the hands of Paul Anthony Ciancia, could have been avoided.


January 2, 2015

LA Police Protective League v. City of LA

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

PPL v Los Angeles is a lawsuit in which the ACLU has intervened on behalf of community groups to uphold the legality of Special Order 7 (“SO7”), an LAPD policy that limits the use of punitive 30-day vehicle impoundments for unlicensed driving violations to circumstances in which such a harsh measure is warranted.

When police in California encounter a car being driven by an unlicensed driver, California law gives them the authority (in addition to ticketing the driver) either to store the vehicle or, in certain circumstances, to impound it for a 30-day period.  Many departments have no policies on when and under what circumstances a 30-day impound should apply and discretion is often exercised punitively, raising both Fourth Amendment and racial profiling concerns.  Law enforcement agencies, including LAPD, have been criticized for targeting Latinos on the assumption that they are more likely to be unlicensed (because undocumented immigrants are ineligible for a driver’s license under current California law), and officers themselves have expressed confusion over when and under what circumstances to impound a vehicle.  These concerns underscore the need for policies to guide officer discretion and protect against racial profiling.  This is precisely what SO7 does.

SO7 was challenged in two separate actions by the Police Protective League (“PPL”), the LAPD police officers’ union, and Judicial Watch, a group that advocates for increased immigration enforcement.  The ACLU represents interveners, LA Voice and the Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles (“CHIRLA”), two immigrants’ rights organizations whose members have been disproportionately affected by car impoundments and helped advocate for the adoption of SO7.

Categories : Immigrant Rights, Police Practices,

Case Developments, go to….

Complexities Multiply for Hollywood Sex Abuse Accuser After Criminal Indictment, Civil Suit (Analysis)

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

Michael Egan — who sued X-Men director Bryan Singer and three others earlier this year for 1997-1999 teen sex abuse in Los Angeles and Hawaii, only to drop his suits within months in the face of his own contradictory sworn statements — allegedly told at least one individual before filing suit that his money-making plans included going after “Gay Hollywood” with false claims of abuse and that “God, no,” he had never actually been abused.

Those allegations came in an amended complaint filed earlier this month in Hawaii by one of the formerly accused, television executive Garth Ancier, against Egan and his former attorneys for malicious prosecution and abuse of process.

The amended complaint was filed just two days after a federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted Egan for securities fraud and wire fraud in connection with a five-year sham investment scheme in which he allegedly forged brokerage account statements and lied about his financial background, assets and purported business relationships. Egan’s criminal attorney, Mark Foster, told The Hollywood Reporter that Egan will be pleading not guilty.

As the defendant in two legal matters, “any way you look at it, [Egan’s] got double trouble,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson, a criminal law expert and former federal prosecutor.


December 31, 2014

Former Pasadena City Official, Two Others Charged in $5 Million Embezzlement Scheme

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

A former Pasadena Public Works analyst and two of his friends were arrested on charges they embezzled more than $6 million in city money over a decade, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Danny R. Wooten (dob 4/07/63), Tyrone Collins (dob 10/12/59) and Melody Jenkins (dob 5/22/68) were arrested this morning by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. They are charged in a 60- count felony complaint for arrest warrant, case BA430233, with embezzlement, conflict of interest and grand theft with excessive taking allegations.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Bjorn Dodd with the Public Integrity Division.

Wooten was a management analyst in the city’s Public Works Department, which was in charge of relocating all of the city’s utility lines underground. Between 2004 and March 2014, Wooten is suspected of creating false invoices for the underground utility program and stealing more than $6 million.


Jury Recommends Death for Man Found Guilty in 2008 Murder of Lancaster Family

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

A jury reached a verdict of death today for a 24-year-old man that murdered a woman and her three young daughters and then set their Lancaster home on fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Robert Sherwood, Assistant Head Deputy of the Antelope Valley Branch, said Corey Lynn King was found guilty on Nov. 25 of four counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and torture for three of the victims in case MA043389.

King also was found guilty of one count each of arson of an inhabited structure and grand theft auto.

He is due to return on Feb. 20 in Department A19 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress