Best Defender Bytes:

October 1, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:43 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today for the special circumstances poisoning-murder of his wife for financial gain in 1994. Paul Marshal Curry, 57, Salina, KS, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain with a sentencing enhancement for murder by poisoning. He faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole on Oct. 31, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Late on the night of June 9, 1994, Paul Curry used nicotine to poison his wife of two years, Linda Curry. Paul Curry called 911 and told emergency personnel that the victim was in bed and not breathing. Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputies responded to the scene and medical personnel rushed Linda Curry to the hospital where she died hours later.

Paul Curry collected over $500,000 from his wife’s life insurance policies. At the time of the crime, Paul Curry was a suspect but the case went cold.

In 2007, OCSD and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office began reinvestigating the case. As a result of further investigation, Paul Curry was arrested in Kansas in 2010 by OCSD deputies. He was subsequently extradited from Kansas to face the charges in Orange County.


Ex-Arcadia Police Officer Sentenced to 180 Days in Jail For Embezzling Funds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:39 am

A former Arcadia Police Department officer was sentenced today to 180 days in county jail after pleading no contest to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a police association to buy personal items, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin also placed Christian Blesch, 37, on probation for three years. Blesch paid $41,965.99 in restitution to the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association.

He was ordered to surrender Nov. 5.

In July, Blesch pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft by embezzlement in case BA416513.


Man Charged With Making Bomb Threat At Downtown Criminal Courts Building

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:35 am

A man was charged today with making a false bomb threat at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center last week that caused the evacuation of a courtroom and the third floor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Edward Watson (dob 8/25/71) of North Hollywood was charged with one count each of false report of a bomb to agency or business and malicious informing of false bomb in case BA429872.

Watson appeared this afternoon for arraignment in Department 30 but did not enter a plea. He was ordered to return Oct. 21 for a subsequent hearing.

Prosecutors said Watson walked into Department 32 on Sept. 26, carrying a small box. He placed the box next to him and stood up and said there was a bomb that was going to blow up, prosecutors added.

More than 30 people were evacuated from the courtroom and the entire floor was cleared as a precaution. Investigators determined there were no explosives inside the box.


September 30, 2014

Cyberstalking Case involving Violent Threats against Art Dealers and Their Children Leads to 5-Year Federal Prison Term

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:45 am

LOS ANGELES – The owner of a Temecula art gallery who stalked, harassed and attempted to extort as much as $300,000 from art world professionals was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison.

Jason White, 43, of Temecula, who pleaded guilty in March to two counts of federal stalking, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.

During today’s hearing, Judge Wilson called White’s crimes ”horrendous” and “very disturbing.”

White was arrested by the FBI on February 12 after engaging in a six-month stalking and extortion scheme that targeted art world professionals with whom he had had business relationships. When those business relationships ended, White posted derogatory information about his former associates on websites he had created, and then used threatening emails to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for taking the websites down. White repeatedly made extortionate demands through harassing text messages and emails, and when his demands were not met, he threatened violence against the victim families, including their children.


Man Found Guilty in West Hollywood Triple Murder

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

A 35-year-old man was found guilty today of the killing of three men in West Hollywood during a failed drug deal, the Los Angeles County District’s Attorney Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham of the Airport Branch found Harold Yong Park guilty of three counts each of first-degree murder and first-degree residential robbery in case SA075285.

He also found Park guilty of one count each of first-degree residential burglary, person present and transportation for sale of marijuana.

Special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during a robbery, murder for financial gain and murder during a burglary also were found true.


Mother Indicted in Fatal Stabbings of Young Daughters

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

A criminal Grand Jury has indicted a woman with three counts of capital murder in the stabbing deaths of her three daughters, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Carol Ann Coronado, 30, pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity today to three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in BA425234.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo unsealed the indictment which includes a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, in the commission of the crime.

The defendant is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 17 for pretrial in Department J of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Compton.


September 29, 2014

Two Inland Empire Men Ordered Held without Bond after Being Charged in Federal Case Alleging Series of ATM Robberies

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

RIVERSIDE, California – Two men were charged today with participating in a string of ATM robberies in which they used power tools and a truck to forcibly open safes inside drive-up ATMs and steal nearly a half million dollars.

James William Costilow, 38, of Riverside, and David Joseph Silva Jr., 25, of Fontana, were charged today in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court with attempted theft from a bank.

The charge relates to an unsuccessful ATM robbery early Tuesday morning in Murrieta, but the affidavit in support of the complaint alleges that the two men “have been successful in approximately four incidents and have stolen approximately $462,093 in cash.”


Parolee Sentenced in Theft of Reality Show Star’s Bentley

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

A parolee who stole a Bentley belonging to celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels was sentenced today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Vodnoy said Gerjuan Deshon Harmon, 31, was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for case LA071371.

On June 16, a jury found Harmon guilty of one count each of first-degree burglary, person present and grand theft of personal property.

On Dec. 16, 2013, a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict on those counts but did find the defendant guilty of one count each of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, evading an officer and hit-and-run and two counts of resisting an officer.


Serial Killer Sentenced to Three Consecutive Life Terms

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

A 74-year-old defendant convicted of murdering three women in the late 1980s was sentenced today to three consecutive life without the possibility of parole prison terms, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Samuel Little, 74, was sentenced to the maximum by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli immediately after several family members of the victims addressed the court.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman with the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

A jury on Sept. 2 found Little guilty of the first-degree murders of Carol Alford, 41, on or about July 13, 1987; Audrey Nelson, 35, on or about Aug. 14, 1989; and Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, on or about Sept. 3, 1989. The jury also found true the special circumstance of multiple murders.


September 26, 2014


Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:06 pm

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for sexually assaulting two boys, ages 9 to 11, and possessing graphic amateur and commercial child pornography featuring young boys. Oscar Manuel Vaquera, 39, Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury June 19, 2014, of two felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, two felony counts of possession of child pornography, and one felony count of distributing child pornography with sentencing enhancement allegations for lewd acts against more than one victim and substantial sexual conduct with a child.

At the time of the crimes, Vaquera lived in a bedroom in an Anaheim house. Other people, to whom the defendant was not related, also lived in other bedrooms in the home. Vaquera drilled a hole from his closet into the bathroom and secretly photographed and recorded young boys as they used the restroom and showered.

On one occasion between 2007 and 2008, Vaquera sexually assaulted 11-year-old John Doe #1 while the victim stayed overnight in the defendant’s home while visiting a family member. The defendant touched John Doe #1’s penis while the victim was sleeping. Vaquera recorded the sexual assault. This case went unreported at the time.

On one occasion between 2011 and 2012, Vaquera sexually assaulted John Doe #2 when the victim was between 9 and 11 years old. The victim is not related to the defendant. The defendant touched the victim’s penis while the victim was awake and video-recorded the sexual assault. This case also went unreported.


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