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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


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


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


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.

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