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July 19, 2016

Probation Violation Hearing Scheduled for Former Doctor Convicted of Sexual Battery of Patient

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:11 am

A 47-year-old man who had his doctor’s license revoked after being convicted in 2013 of sexually abusing a patient at a Northridge hospital is alleged to have violated the terms of his probation by continuing to perform medical exams, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Rena Durrant said Kevin Pezeshki of Tarzana pleaded no contest on Sept. 11, 2013, to one felony count of sexual battery by fraud in case LA071845. Pezeshki was then sentenced to three years formal probation, a year of counseling and lifetime sexual offender registration.

A probation violation hearing is scheduled tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in Department E of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

The defendant had been ordered to obey all laws as a condition of probation after admitting to inappropriately touching a female patient during an exam in 2008 at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gregory Dohi revoked Pezeshki’s probation on June 27 based on allegations that the defendant performed an ultrasound on a female patient although he no longer has a medical license, the prosecutor said. The defendant also is reported to have conducted an ultrasound on another woman, the prosecutor added.


July 18, 2016

Independent Producer Charged with Stealing Money Generated by Feature Film that Should Have Gone to Partner Company

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

LOS ANGELES – An independent film producer has been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property related to the theft of nearly $1.5 million that should have gone to his partner in a film production deal.

Julio Caro, 56, of Calabasas, was charged on Tuesday with moving money to New Jersey that had been stolen from an investment company called Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund I, LP.

When he was charged, prosecutors also filed a plea agreement in which Caro agreed to plead guilty to the felony offense and admitted that he stole a total of $1,487,529 from Yucaipa over five years.

“This defendant exploited his position of trust by stealing money from a business he had been partners with for years,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Mr. Caro then engaged in another crime by moving the pilfered money across the country.”

Caro has agreed to surrender to federal authorities and make his first appearance in United States District Court on July 27.



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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 25 years to life state prison and two defendants were sentenced for their roles in the 1995 cold case kidnapping and brutal meat cleaver hacking murder of a man. Shannon Ray Gries, 45, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2016, to one count of felony-murder for murder during the commission of kidnapping and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

Co-defendant Diane Tran, 47, Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty on Jan. 24, 2014, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for being armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony. Tran was sentenced today to four years in state prison. Kody Tran, Diane Tran’s husband, was also involved in the murder but died before charges were filed in this case.

Co-defendant Norma Patricia Esparza, 41, France, pleaded guilty on Sept. 12, 2014, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. Esparza was sentenced today to six years in state prison.

Co-defendant Gianni Anthony Van, 46, Costa Mesa, was found guilty by a jury on May 7, 2015, of one felony count of first degree murder with a special circumstance enhancement for murder during the commission of kidnapping. Van was sentenced on July 10, 2015, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Circumstances of the Case



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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced today to 22 years to life in state prison for murdering a 6-year-old girl and severely injuring the child’s sister and mother by crashing into them in a crosswalk after driving through a red light. Jessicah Louise Cowan, 37, Lake Hughes, was found guilty by a jury on April 15, 2016, of one felony count each of murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, hit and run with permanent injury or death, hit and run with injury, two felony counts of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, two felony counts of driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more causing bodily injury, and an infraction for possession of marijuana while driving. Allegations and sentencing enhancements for causing bodily injury to Eloisa M. and Grisea M., having a blood alcohol content of .20 percent or more, fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter, and causing great bodily injury were found true.

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on June 23, 2012, Cowan drove erratically in Santa Ana while under the influence of alcohol. She drove on 17th Street and ran through a red light before losing control and crashing into the center median. Cowan continued on 17th Street and drove through another red light at Spurgeon Street. Three victims, including 6-year-old Osmara Meza, her 7-year-old sister Gresia, and her mother Eloisa, were holding hands and legally walking through a crosswalk on a green light with a walk sign.

Cowan crashed into the three victims when she ran the red light, throwing them from the intersection into the street. The defendant then attempted to flee the scene in her a car. A witness used their own car to block the road to prevent Cowan from fleeing.

The Santa Ana Police Department responded to the scene and arrested Cowan. At the time of her arrest, the defendant was found to have marijuana in her vehicle.

Osmara was pronounced dead at the scene. Gresia and Eloisa were transported to the hospital to be treated for traumatic brain injuries.


July 15, 2016

ATF-Led Investigation Leads to Arrest of 6 Accused of Illegal Firearms and Narcotic Sales in and around Compton

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

LOS ANGELES – Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement authorities this morning arrested six people charged in three federal indictments that allege illegal firearms sales and drug distribution.

The arrests stem from an ATF-led investigation targeting the sale of guns in and around Compton and Mona Park in Willowbrook. During the course of the year-long investigation, authorities took more than 100 illegally trafficked firearms off the streets.

Those taken into custody today face various federal charges, including conspiracy, illegal firearm sales, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and trafficking in crack cocaine and PCP. Two other defendants named in the indictments are fugitives who are being sought by authorities. (A fourth grand jury indictment charges one defendant who also remains a fugitive, and that indictment will remain under seal until that defendant is taken into custody.)

“The illegal firearms trade fuels violence on the streets,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “If individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms can readily obtain them in an underground market, the challenge of reducing gun violence in our communities is much greater. As we work to stem violent crime in and around Compton, we will, therefore, target those who are sources of the firearms and narcotics that sustain these underground markets.”


United States Files Lawsuit to Recover Monetary Damages Associated with 2013 Mountain Fire in San Bernardino National Forest

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A federal lawsuit filed today seeks nearly $25 million in damages from the owner of a Mountain Center residence and the property’s caretakers for alleged negligence that led to the 2013 Mountain Fire, which burned for more than two weeks and scorched over 27,500 acres, more than half of which was in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The civil complaint alleges negligence and violations of California law as being the cause of the fire that started on July 15, 2013, and burned a large swath of the San Jacinto Mountains, for a time threatening the town of Idyllwild and forcing over 5,000 residents to evacuate. An investigation determined that the fire started when an electrical discharge inside of an improperly maintained electrical junction box “shot sparks and hot material out of the box and onto dry ground vegetation below,” according to the lawsuit.

The Mountain Fire started on property known as Gibraltar West that is owned by Tarek M. Al-Shawaf, who is the lead defendant in the lawsuit. The complaint also names as defendants James D. Nowlin and Donna L. Nowlin, who were the caretakers employed by Al-Shawaf.

The defendants had a duty “to properly inspect and maintain their electrical equipment, electrical wires, and electrical junction boxes to ensure that they were safe, properly secured, and clear from dangerous conditions,” the complaint alleges.


TV Dance Competition Winner Charged with Domestic Violence

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

A 27-year-old dancer who was a winner on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance” was charged today with domestic violence charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Joshua Demon Allen (dob 3/13/89) of North Hollywood faces two felony counts of willfully injuring a girlfriend after a prior conviction and one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, a glass vase.

Case LA083861 also charges Allen with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a domestic relations criminal protective order and one misdemeanor count each of simple battery and vandalism under $400.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department 100 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

The criminal complaint alleges a prior Jan. 13 conviction of one misdemeanor count of willfully injuring a girlfriend for which a criminal protective order was issued prohibiting the defendant from communicating with his girlfriend.


July 14, 2016

Chinese National Who Conspired to Hack into U.S. Defense Contractors’ Systems Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:13 am

A Chinese national who admitted to participating in a years-long conspiracy that involved Chinese military officers hacking into the computer networks of major U.S. defense contractors in order to steal military technical data was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison.

Today’s sentencing was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California.

“Su Bin’s sentence is a just punishment for his admitted role in a conspiracy with hackers from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force to illegally access and steal sensitive U.S. military information,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Su assisted the Chinese military hackers in their efforts to illegally access and steal designs for cutting-edge military aircraft that are indispensable to our national defense.  These activities have serious consequences for the national security of our country and the safety of the men and women of our armed services.  This prison sentence reinforces our commitment to ensure that hackers, regardless of state affiliation, are held accountable for their criminal conduct.”

“Protecting our national security interests, including sensitive military information, is the Justice Department’s highest priority,” said U.S. Attorney Decker.  “Over the course of years, this defendant sought to undermine the national security of the United States by seeking out information that would benefit a foreign government and providing that country with information it had never before seen.  The outstanding efforts of the prosecutors and investigators who developed this case demonstrate our commitment to protecting our nation’s security from all threats.  As this case shows, criminals can be held accountable no matter where they are located in the world.”


Three Sentenced for String of Palmdale Home Burglaries

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:11 am

Two men and a woman, all from Lancaster, entered no contest pleas today for a string of home burglaries in Palmdale from October 2014 to January 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dean Bailey Johnson (dob 8/12/89) pleaded no contest to three counts of first-degree burglary and admitted a prior strike conviction for criminal threats. He was immediately sentenced to 17 years and four months in state prison.

Artavia Montrella Eaton (dob 8/27/96), Johnson’s sister, entered no contest pleas to two counts of first-degree residential burglary and was sentenced to three years and four months in state prison

Keith Thomas Martin (dob 12/5/88) pleaded no contest to one count of residential first-degree burglary, admitted a prior strike conviction for first-degree burglary, and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

Case MA065100 was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Steven Mac.


Newhall Man Sentenced for Ramming Sheriff’s Patrol Car

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:08 am

A Newhall man was sentenced yesterday to eight years and eight months in state prison for assaulting a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy while fleeing from police in a stolen pickup truck, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Tracy said a jury found Jesse Alan Tucker, 31, guilty of one felony count each of assault upon a peace officer and resisting executive officer and two felony counts of driving or taking a vehicle without consent after a prior conviction.

Tucker also was convicted of one misdemeanor count of vandalism under $400 damage.

On Feb. 2, 2015, Tucker stole a Ford F-150 truck and when police pursued him, he hit a deputy’s patrol car with the stolen truck and then backed up and aimed it at the deputy, according to the evidence presented at the trial.

Tucker had succeeded on evading two sheriff’s deputies days earlier, on January 28, 2015. In that incident, the defendant drove recklessly through William S. Hart Park and damaged park property, the prosecutor said.


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