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August 29, 2012

MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING 77-YEAR-OLD WWII VETERAN ON VETERANS DAY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 5:32 pm

*Defendant and co-defendant left victim in a coma for three years and were charged with murder after the victim’s death

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for the beating-murder of a 77-year-old WWII veteran on Veterans Day. The victim was left in a coma for over three years until he died as a direct result of his injuries sustained in the 2003 attack. John Kirk McKinney, 30, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury May 21, 2012, of one felony count of second degree murder.

Co-defendant Curtis James Hill, 29, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 1, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery. Hill was sentenced Dec. 16, 2011, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

At approximately 4:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2003, McKinney and Hill entered the parked van of 77-year-old Cecil Warren. The victim, who was working as a handyman cleaning the Huntington Beach bank parking lot where his van was parked, noticed the defendants in his van. When Warren asked Hill and McKinney what they were doing, the defendants attacked the victim. The defendants hit and kicked Warren in the head, robbed him of his wallet, and left the victim on the ground before fleeing the scene.

Approximately 30 minutes later, a pedestrian found Warren bleeding and moaning on the ground in the parking lot and called 911. The victim gave police a brief description of the two defendants before losing consciousness. Warren was transported to the hospital, where he spent the next three and a half years in a coma.

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August 25, 2012

Suspected Burglar Charged with Breaking into Rapper-Actor’s Home

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:51 am

VAN NUYS – A 56-year-old transient who allegedly broke into the Sherman Oaks home of rapper-actor LL Cool J while he and his family were sleeping was charged today with first-degree burglary with a person present, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jonathan A. Kirby, (dob 8-19-56), was charged as a Third Striker in a felony complaint for arrest warrant filed by Deputy District Attorney William Ryder. Prosecutors will ask bail be set at $1.1 million.

Kirby remains hospitalized with a broken nose, jaw and ribs after the actor – who plays a federal agent and former Navy SEAL on the TV show “NCIS: Los Angeles,” subdued the alleged intruder. Kirby allegedly broke into the home of the actor, whose real name is James Smith, Wednesday night, triggering an alarm.

Kirby’s arraignment will be announced later. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 38 years to life in prison.

August 9, 2012

Man Charged in South Pasadena Burglary of Elderly Woman

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:44 pm

ALHAMBRA – A 49-year-old man was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with residential burglary and other felony crimes in connection with Sunday’s robbery at the South Pasadena home of a 79-year-old woman.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Michelena said the victim was beaten during the robbery, but is expected to survive her wounds.

Alonzo Bernard Johnson, 49 (dob 10-31-1962), of Los Angeles, was charged in case No. GA 087078 with one count each of residential burglary, residential robbery and kidnapping. It was alleged in the complaint that Johnson personally inflicted great bodily injury on a victim over 70 years old, that he used a knife during commission of the crimes and that he had seven separate burglary or theft convictions dating back to 1981.

Johnson appeared briefly in Alhambra Superior Court this afternoon. His arraignment was put over until Aug. 17 in Dept. 5.

Authorities said a man entered the woman’s home early Sunday morning and overpowered her, threatening her with a paring knife he took from kitchen. He also beat her in the face with his fists and took her to various parts of the home seeking money, authorities said.

The attacker fled with a fistful of jewelry when the victim’s grandchildren arrived. Johnson was arrested a short time later by South Pasadena police.

The victim was hospitalized and is in stable condition, authorities said.

If convicted, Johnson faces a state prison term of life with the possibility of parole. The District Attorney’s Office recommended bail of $1.195 million. The defendant remains in custody.

August 3, 2012

Oxnard Man Convicted of Federal Charges for Kidnapping Former Girlfriend, Bringing Her to Mexico and Threatening to Kill Her

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:26 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Ventura County man who kidnapped his former girlfriend and brought her to Mexico while threatening to kill her and dispose of her body was convicted today by a federal court jury, announced André Birotte Jr, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and Timothy Delaney, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Rudy Soto, 25, of Oxnard, was found guilty of two counts – conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping.

Soto and his co-defendant, Erin Nicole Fisher, 22, of Santa Paula, were indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2010, for their roles in a conspiracy to kidnap the victim, who is identified in the indictment as “E.C.”

The evidence presented at trial showed that Soto contacted the victim on September 14, 2010, and told her that he had a “surprise” for her. When Soto arrived at the victim’s home near downtown Los Angeles, the victim refused to accompany him and told him that their relationship was over. After an argument, Soto abducted E.C. and threw her into a waiting pickup truck that allegedly was driven by Fisher. While Soto restrained the victim, Fisher allegedly drove the vehicle to Mexico. During this drive, Soto told the victim he was taking her to Mexico, where she was going to die. Soto also contacted the victim’s family during this time and advised the victim’s brother-in-law that he was taking E.C. to Tijuana and would dump her there. When the victim tried to fight or escape, Soto held a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill her.

At the Otay Mesa checkpoint at the United States-Mexico border, Mexican authorities stopped the pickup truck, which prompted the victim to scream for help. After telling Mexican authorities about her plight and being threatened with a knife, Mexican authorities detained Soto, Fisher and the victim. After E.C. was examined by a Mexican army physician, she was released. Agents with United States Customs and Border Protection helped return her to the United States.

Soto, who has been in custody since his arrest in Mexico, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3 by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Soto faces a statutory maximum penalty of life in prison.

Fisher is being prosecuted separately and will participate in a court-ordered diversionary program.

July 27, 2012

Former Desert Hot Springs Police Officer Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Abusing Suspects with Pepper Spray and Taser

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 8:04 pm

LOS ANGELES – A former police officer with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department was sentencing this afternoon to four years in federal prison for violating the civil rights of two suspects in police custody.

Anthony Sclafani, 42, of Beaumont, received the 48-month sentence from United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. In addition to the four-year prison term, which Sclafani was ordered to begin serving by September 24, Judge Hatter ordered the defendant to perform 500 hours of community service after Sclafani completes his prison sentence.

A federal jury convicted Sclafani in February of two counts of deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Sclafani, “a police sergeant and watch commander at the Desert Hot Springs Police Department, abused his authority when he willfully used excessive force by pepper spraying and shocking with a Taser gun two arrestees on two consecutive days without any lawful justification,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

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July 1, 2012

Man Sentenced to Prison for Toddler’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:45 pm

COMPTON – A 31-year-old Compton man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of his live-in girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in 2010, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Omar Gutierrez, who was convicted in March of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death, was sentenced by Compton Superior Court Judge Paul Bacigalupo, said Deputy District Attorney Catherine Granof.

The toddler, identified as Leslie R. in court documents, was pronounced dead Nov. 12, 2010, after Gutierrez and the child’s mother called paramedics.

June 28, 2012

Pair Charged in USC Grad Student Slayings Awaiting Arraignment

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:42 am

LOS ANGELES – Two men charged today with capital murder in the fatal shooting two USC graduate students from China are scheduled to be arraigned today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, both of Los Angeles, are charged in case BA397880 with the April 11 special circumstance murders of Ming Qu and Ying Wu. The two engineering students, both 23, were gunned down in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue during a suspected robbery.

An amended complaint filed in late May charges Bolden with additional counts, including one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Authorities say that while attending a party in South Los Angeles on Feb. 12, he allegedly fired numerous rounds, striking and severely injuring a male and also injuring a female. Both victims are in their 20s.

Initially, due to an error, Barnes was charged with the Feb. 12 attempted murder and assault.

The amended complaint also alleges Barnes personally and intentionally discharged a handgun in the death of Ying Wu and Ming Qu.

Barnes and Bolden also are charged with one count each of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 20-year-old man during a Dec. 3, 2011, party in South Los Angeles. The complaint alleges both defendants used a handgun and caused great bodily injury.

Deputy District Attorneys Deborah Brazil and Beth Silverman with the Major Crimes Division are prosecuting the case.

Barnes and Bolden are scheduled to be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30.

Two Men Charged in Suspected Road Rage Incident

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:38 am

LOS ANGELES – Two Los Angeles men suspected of attacking another driver on the Golden State (5) Freeway in a brawl that was caught on camera were charged today with assault, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Mendez, 21 (dob 7-27-90), and Edras A. Ramirez, 27 (dob 4-30-85), are charged with two felony counts each — assault with a deadly weapon, a foot, and assault by mean likely to produce great bodily injury. The complaint, BA399087, includes great bodily injury allegations against each defendant.

The men allegedly attacked another driver, Jerry Patterson, after he stopped his vehicle on the freeway just north of Marietta Street on June 12. After all three men allegedly began fighting, Ramirez and Mendez allegedly kicked Patterson in the head while he was lying on the ground.

Mendez and Ramirez are due in court on July 13 for arraignment at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30. Both men were arrested June 20 and released on $60,000 bail.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to seven years in state prison.

June 23, 2012

SERIAL RAPIST SENTENCED TO 112 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR FORCIBLY RAPING FIVE WOMEN AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A SIXTH

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 112 years to life in state prison for raping five women and sexually assaulting a sixth. Sekayi Rudo White, 34, Lake Forest, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 2, 2011, of 14 felony counts including attempted rape and forcible rape for Jane Doe #1, assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint, and criminal threats for Jane Doe #2, forcible rape and dissuading a witness by force for Jane Doe #3, first degree residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling and two counts of forcible rape for Jane Doe #4, forcible rape, criminal threats, and first degree residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling for Jane Doe #5, and forcible rape for Jane Doe #6.

The jury found true the sentencing enhancements and allegations for sexual crimes against multiple victims, rape with the use of a deadly weapon, rape in the commission of a burglary, non-accomplice present during a residential burglary, personal use of a deadly weapon, use of a deadly weapon during a sexual offense, being armed with a deadly weapon during a sexual offense, and a judge found true the enhancement for crime-bail-crime. The term crime-bail-crime indicates that the defendant committed a crime while out of custody on bail for another criminal case.

Jane Doe #1
On Aug. 13, 2006, White met 22-year-old Jane Doe #1 at a bar in Huntington Beach. He drove Jane Doe #1 to his home in Lake Forest and took her inside. The victim passed out and later woke up in the defendant’s bed with the defendant on top of her. He removed the victim’s pants and panties and unsuccessfully attempted to rape her. Sometime later, White forcibly raped Jane Doe #1. He then dropped her off at a convenience store, where her friend picked her up.

Jane Doe #2
On Dec. 23, 2005, White met 44-year-old Jane Doe #2 at a bar at the Irvine Spectrum. The defendant offered the victim a ride home. He drove Jane Doe #2 to her Newport Beach apartment and asked to go inside to use the restroom. White went into the restroom and then exited naked with his penis erect. He pinned the victim down and fondled her breasts as he attempted to remove her pants. White threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the attack. Jane Doe #2 screamed and the defendant grabbed his clothes and fled the scene.

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June 15, 2012

Suspected Hostage-Taker Pleads

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 5:39 pm

WHITTIER – A 31-year-old Whittier man pleaded no contest today to holding a woman captive with a pair of scissors at the Whittier Public Library last year, District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ignacio Gabriel Munoz pleaded no contest to one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of kidnapping and 12 counts of making criminal threats. He was immediately sentenced by Norwalk Commissioner Michael Schuur to 18 years in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Brandon Wong.

Munoz entered the library at 7344 Washington Avenue shortly after 12:30 p.m. on May 10, 2011. He grabbed a woman who was there with her students and forced her out of her chair, holding a pair of scissors in front of her face. When police arrived, he allegedly demanded a pound of kush, a car and the Mexican Army to pick him up.

In exchange for his plea, the remaining five felony counts were dismissed.

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