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August 9, 2012

Two Charged with Murder in Santa Clarita Street Racing Death

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:46 pm

SAN FERNANDO – Two young men were arrested today on a felony complaint for arrest warrant charging them with murder in connection with the death of a friend early this year during a street race between two cars in Santa Clarita.

The defendants – both from Canyon Country — were named in a felony complaint for arrest warrant filed by the District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday. They were arrested by Sheriff’s investigators and are scheduled to appear for arraignment tomorrow in San Fernando Superior Court, Dept. S.

Bail for each was recommended at $1 million. If convicted, each defendant faces a state prison sentence of life with the possibility of parole.

Charged in case No. PA 074271 are Colt Sean Doherty, 19 (dob 12/28/1992), and Thomas Joseph Vensko, 20 (dob 3/19/1992). Each are charged with one count of second-degree murder. Doherty additionally was charged with one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated while Vensko was charged with vehicular manslaughter. It also was alleged that Vensko fled the scene of the crime.

Doherty also was charged with one count of D.U.I. causing injury. It was alleged he personally inflicted great bodily injury the victim.

Dakota Demott, 19, a passenger in Doherty’s Mustang, was thrown out of the car and killed on Jan. 10, 2012, when the vehicle crashed while street racing a Honda driven by Vensko in Santa Clarita. The crash occurred after the cars left a fast food restaurant at Sand Canyon Road shortly before 11 p.m., authorities said.

Vensko, who had two passengers in his car, fled. Doherty’s car crashed into a tree, killing Demott and critically injuring Doherty. Doherty has since recovered, according to authorities.

Deputy District Attorney Ruby Arias of the San Fernando branch office is prosecuting the case.

March 23, 2012

MAN FACES TRIAL FOR MURDERING ANOTHER MAN BY HITTING HIM IN HEAD AND FACE WITH AXE HANDLE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 1:48 am

*Defendant is accused of fleeing the scene in victim’s car and was arrested for DUI

SANTA ANA - A man faces trial Monday for murdering another man by hitting him in the head and face with the handle of an axe before fleeing the scene in the victim’s car. Jorge Santiago Avalos, 25, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, March 19, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On the afternoon of Sept. 12, 2008, Avalos is accused of going to the Santa Ana home of Hilario Urquiza to drink with the victim. While in the home, Avalos is accused of murdering the victim by hitting him 15 times in the head and face with the handle of an axe. He is accused of leaving the victim face-down in a pool of blood, stealing the victim’s Jeep, and fleeing the scene. The defendant is accused of leaving the axe handle, containing DNA from the victim and the defendant, in the home.

Shortly after the murder, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Avalos is accused of driving with a .16 percent blood alcohol level in the victim’s stolen car. Witnesses called 911 to report a possible drunken driver. At the intersection of Jackson Street and Camille Street in Santa Ana, the Jeep ran out of gas and the defendant is accused of attempting to abandon the car and leave on foot.

The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded to the scene and observed the defendant near the car. When contacted by police, the defendant displayed objective signs of intoxication and was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Officers found paperwork in a subsequent search of the Jeep showing that that car was registered to Urquiza.

At approximately 9:00 p.m., Urquiza’s son called SAPD to report that he had returned home to find his father had been murdered. SAPD investigated this case and linked Avalos to the crime.

January 18, 2012

OFF-DUTY POLICE OFFICER CONVICTED OF CRASHING MOTORCYCLE AND INJURYING WIFE ON FREEWAY WHILE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 1:41 pm

WESTMINSTER - An off-duty deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was convicted and sentenced today for crashing his motorcycle on the freeway and injuring his wife while driving under the influence of alcohol. Richard J. Patterson, 38, West Covina, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, three years of informal probation, nine months of a first offender alcohol program, and completion of a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Victim’s Impact Panel.

At approximately 6:25 p.m. on July 5, 2011, Patterson was driving a motorcycle while intoxicated northbound on the Interstate 405 near Brookhurst Street. His wife was riding on the back of the motorcycle. The defendant crashed his motorcycle into the back of a moving vehicle.

Patterson and his wife were both transported to Western Medical Center. The defendant was treated for injuries to his hip and his wife suffered a knee injury and abrasions to her arms and hand. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured.

Two hours after the crash, Patterson had blood alcohol level of .15 percent, almost twice the legal limit.

November 27, 2011

UNLICENSED, UNINSURED TEEN DRIVER CHARGED WITH KILLING FRIEND IN CRASH WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:36 pm

SANTA ANA - An unlicensed, uninsured teen driver has been charged with killing his friend by crashing into a tree on Ortega Highway while driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Francisco Jesus Ochoa, 18, Lake Elsinore, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, and an infraction for failing to maintain liability insurance. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison. The defendant is currently being treated at Mission Hospital for a broken leg and his arraignment date is to be determined. The People will be requesting Ochoa be held on $100,000 bail at his arraignment.

Early in the morning on Nov. 18, 2011, Ochoa is accused of driving a Ford pick-up truck without a valid license or insurance westbound on Ortega Highway with friend Margarita Estrella in the front passenger seat. The defendant is accused of swerving and weaving across the two-lane highway for several miles, crossing back and forth onto the wrong side of the road and onto the dirt shoulders on either side.

At approximately 6:45 a.m., Ochoa is accused of veering off the road, failing to slow, and crashing directly into a tree. He is accused of killing Estrella, who was crushed in her seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of the crash, the defendant is accused of being under the influence of prescription drugs, which impaired his ability to drive. He is also accused of being in possession of six Vicodin pills at the time of the crash, for which he did not have a prescription.

Ochoa was transported to the hospital to be treated for a broken leg.

May 27, 2011

DRIVER CHARGED WITH MURDERING PEDESTRIAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 8:33 am

DRIVER CHARGED WITH MURDERING PEDESTRIAN AND INJURING TWO OCCUPANTS OF ANOTHER CAR AFTER RUNNING RED LIGHT AND CRASHING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS

SANTA ANA – A driver with two prior convictions for driving under the influence has been charged with murdering a pedestrian and injuring two occupants of another car in a drug-induced crash after running a red light. Adam Harrison Hall, 27, Placentia, is charged with one felony count of murder and one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing bodily injury and causing great bodily injury or death to more than one victim. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years to life in state prison. Hall was arrested today by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and is being held on $1 million bail. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.  The time is to be determined.

At approximately 11:10 a.m. on Feb. 13, 2011, Hall is accused of driving northbound on Moulton Parkway while under the influence of drugs in the City of Laguna Niguel in a Ford sport utility vehicle (SUV). At the intersection of Moulton Parkway and Nueva Vista Drive, Hall is accused of driving through a red light and crashing into a Toyota SUV that was passing legally through the intersection. The force of the crash caused both vehicles to lose control.  The Toyota spun 360 degrees before coming to a stop. The occupants, Steven James and Anna Gaffney, were both injured in the crash. Gaffney suffered a fractured collar bone and James suffered severe bruising.

As a result of the crash, Hall is accused of losing control of his vehicle and driving up the curb onto the sidewalk. He is accused of crashing into victim Mara Lynnes Steves, 48, who was walking in the area attempting to locate the owner of a stray dog. Hall is accused of murdering Steves, who died as a result of her injuries. Hall is also accused of hitting the dog, a labrador retriever named Max, leaving a tire mark on the animal and requiring it to undergo emergency veterinary services. Steves was honored after her death by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for her efforts in helping the lost dog.

OCSD responded to the scene and investigated this case. At the time of the crash, Hall is accused of being under the influence of drugs including methamphetamine, Diazepam, Nordiazepam, Alprazolam, Hydroxyalprazolam, Oxazepam, Temazepam, amphetamine, Morphine, and 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahyrocannabinol (THCA).

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July 9, 2010

Was 90 days a just punishment for Lindsay Lohan?

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 3:23 am

On July 6, 2010, Judge Marsha Revel, a Beverly Hills judge, sentenced actress Lindsay Lohan to 90 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation. Ms. Lohan cried and begged Judge Revell for another chance to try to successfully complete her probation.

Ms. Lohan claimed that she did her best to comply with the terms and conditions of probation. But, Judge Revel cited a number of times in which the actress lied to the court and to authorities. Judge Revel sentenced Ms. Lohan to three 30-day sentences and also ordered her to spend 90 days in a locked-down drug rehabilitation facility. Should Judge Revel have given Ms. Lohan another chance or was the 90 days in jail and 90 days in a residential rehabilitation facility just punishment?

June 29, 2010

Ignition Interlock Bill Passes in California

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 1:25 am

Guest Author Blog Article

Ignition interlock devices function similarly to breath analysis machines in that the driver must blow into a tube to have his or her breath alcohol content analyzed. If the driver’s reading is above legal limits, the car will simply lock up and the driver will be unable to turn it on.

California DUI defense attorneys have been waiting for the new, pilot Ignition Interlock Device (IID) law to take effect, requiring even first offenders to install an IID in four counties only.This pilot program goes from July 1, 2010, to January 1, 2016, in only the Counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare.

It requires, as a condition of being issued a restricted driver’s license, being reissued a driver’s license, or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction for a violation of DUI offenses (California Vehicle Code Section 23152), a person to install for a specified period of time an ignition interlock device on all vehicles he or she owns or operates unless exempted (see attached DMV notices). The amount of time the ignition interlock device would be required to be installed would be based upon the number of convictions, as prescribed.

The statute specifies IID terms below in the target counties

(7) A person is required to install an ignition interlock device for the applicable term as a condition of being issued a restricted driver’s license, being reissued a driver’s license, or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction for a violation or a suspension of a person’s driver’s license, as follows:

(A) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 shall be required to install an ignition interlock device, as follows:
(i) Upon a first offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of five months.
(ii) Upon a second offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in  all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 12 months.
(iii) Upon a third offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 24 months.
(iv) Upon a fourth offense or any subsequent violation, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 36 months.

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