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December 3, 2012

MAN SENTENCED TO 46 YEARS TO LIFE FOR SHOOTING-MURDER IN HUNTINGTON BEACH PARK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 7:09 pm

*Female co-defendant is pending trial in this case

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 46 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a man in a Huntington Beach park after setting up a meeting to return a stolen cell phone. Derek Christopher Adams, 24, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Aug. 22, 2012, of one felony count each of second degree murder, grand theft, first degree residential burglary, and aggravated assault with true finding on the sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death and the personal use of a firearm.

Co-defendant Marissa Star Bilotti, 21, Huntington Beach, (Case #11ZF0123) is charged with one felony count each of murder, aggravated assault, and first degree residential burglary with sentencing enhancements for being armed with a firearm and knowingly being vicariously armed with a firearm. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 35 years and four months to life in state prison. Bilotti is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Dec. 14, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-41.

Adams was convicted and Bilotti is accused of the following:

Residential Robbery and Burglary of Cody Mosher
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2010, Adams and his female friend, Bilotti, went to the Newport Beach home of Cody Masher, a parolee who was dating a woman in whom Adams was romantically interested. The defendants broke down the door and entered Mosher’s home to confront him and his girlfriend. They got into a verbal argument with Mosher’s girlfriend and stole money from her purse.

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November 30, 2012

FIANCÉ OF MAN INDICTED BY GRAND JURY FOR 2010 DOUBLE MURDER OF NEIGHBOR AND NEIGHBOR’S FRIEND CHARGED AS ACCESSORY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 9:06 pm

*Orange County District Attorney seeking death penalty against defendant Daniel Wozniak

SANTA ANA - The fiancé of a man indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury for the double execution-style murder of his neighbor and neighbor’s friend for financial gain will be arraigned tomorrow for being an accessory to the crime. Rachel Mae Buffett, 25, Costa Mesa, is charged with three felony counts of accessory after the fact. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years and 8 months in state prison. Buffett is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In 2010, Buffett is accused of becoming engaged to 28-year-old Daniel Patrick Wozniak. They are accused of planning to marry May 28, 2010 in Long Beach, a week after the murders of 26-year-old Samuel Herr and Herr’s friend, 23-year-old Juri “Julie” Kibuishi.

Circumstances of the Crime
Prior to May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of plotting the murder of his neighbor, Herr, who lived in the same apartment complex with the intention of stealing the victim’s substantial savings. On the afternoon of May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of luring Herr from their Costa Mesa apartment complex and driving him to the theater facility at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Wozniak is accused of being familiar with the theater because he had previously acted in plays at that location.

Once inside the theater, Wozniak is accused of murdering Herr by shooting him twice in the head with the intention of stealing the victim’s savings. He is accused of leaving Herr’s body in the theater and stealing the victim’s ATM card, wallet, and cell phone.

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November 27, 2012

Man Accused of Murdering Wife

Filed under: California Defense Attorney, Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:27 pm

LOS ANGELES – A murder charge was filed by the District Attorney’s Family Violence Division today against a 36-year-old Los Angeles man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife last week.

Deputy District Attorney Nancy Yaghoubian recommended $2 million bail for Gilberto Corrales (dob 10-18-1976). The defendant is scheduled to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 30 in the downtown Criminal Justice Center.

Corrales is charged in case No. BA 404982 with one count of murder. The complaint alleges the defendant personally used a handgun to commit the crime. If convicted, the defendant faces a state prison term of life with the possibility of parole.

The victim, identified in the complaint only as Gretchen C., was found seat belted in her car on Nov. 16 at Long Beach Avenue and Martin Luther Boulevard in Los Angeles. She was shot in the head.

Los Angeles police arrested Corrales the next day and he has remained in custody.

November 12, 2012

Man Charged with Killing His Brother and Brother’s Friend

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:48 pm

LOS ANGELES — A 25-year-old man was charged today with the shotgun murder of his brother and another man at their Boyle Heights residence on Tuesday, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Israel Lopez, (dob 5-19-87), was charged with two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murder, making him eligible for the death penalty. The complaint also alleges Lopez personally and intentionally discharged a shotgun.

Lopez will be held without bail, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Gargiulo with the Family Violence Division.

Lopez is charged with fatally shooting his 29-year-old brother, Gustavo, and his brother’s friend, Rafael Aguilar, who had just arrived at the residence in the 3300 block of Hunter Street. The double shooting occurred about 4 p.m.

Authorities said the fatal shooting allegedly involved a family dispute between the brothers.

Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA 404552.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

November 10, 2012

Canyon Country Man Convicted of Murdering Neighbor

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:05 am

SAN FERNANDO – A 52-year-old Canyon Country man was convicted today of the first-degree shotgun murder of his next door neighbor last year, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury found Lennie Paul Tracey guilty of the first-degree murder and assault with a firearm of his neighbor, Anthony Jay Davis.

Jurors found Tracey personally and intentionally discharged the firearm that killed his 51-year-old neighbor on Sept. 24, 2011. Jurors also convicted Tracey of assault with a firearm and personally using a firearm against the victim’s wife, although he did not fire the weapon at her.

An ongoing feud between Tracey and Davis escalated when the defendant installed infrared lights on his property and pointed them in the direction of the victim’s residence, causing a technical disruption to Davis’ video surveillance system, according to authorities.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Tracey after the fatal shooting. He has remained in custody since his arrest.

Tracey returns to court on Jan. 11 for sentencing by trial Judge David Gelfound in San Fernando Superior Court.

November 6, 2012

MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILTY OF PAROLE FOR EXECUTION-STYLE MURDER OF EX-WIFE AND HER FATHER OVER CUSTODY OF 7-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:03 pm

SANTA ANA - A disgruntled man was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole today for murdering his ex-wife and her father by waiting in his home with a firearm and shooting them when they arrived to take court-ordered custody of the former couple’s 7-year-old daughter. Robert Allan Lehmann, 37, Costa Mesa, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of special circumstances murder with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon, multiple murders, and lying in wait.

On May 3, 2011, a family court judge ruled in favor of Lehmann’s ex-wife, 32-year-old Emily Ford, regarding custody of their 7-year-old daughter, who has special needs. Emily Ford was to pick up the little girl from Lehmann’s Costa Mesa home that evening. She arranged for her 62-year-old father Russell Ford to go with her.

Shortly before the victims’ arrival to pick up the 7-year-old girl, Lehmann sent the child out of the home with his current wife for ice cream and armed himself with a firearm to wait for the victims.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., Emily Ford and Russell Ford arrived at Lehmann’s home for the custody pick-up. Emily Ford left her new baby, who is not Lehmann’s child, in a car seat in her car and did not bring the baby to the door. When the defendant opened the door, he immediately shot at the victims. Emily and Russell Ford attempted to turn and run away, and Lehmann pursued them outside and continued to shoot. Both victims were shot several times in the back and fell to the ground.

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September 24, 2012

18-YEAR-OLD TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF RIVAL 17-YEAR-OLD

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:52 pm

WESTMINSTER - An 18-year-old man will be arraigned tomorrow for the shooting-murder of a rival 17-year-old. Reda Hassan Safieddine, 18, Fountain Valley, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. Safieddine is out of custody on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Sept. 21, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. Department W-2, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At the time of the crime, the defendant and victim are accused of being members of rival tagging crews. A few hours before the shooting on Aug. 13, 2012, the defendant is accused of running into the victim and arguing with him in a residential neighborhood near Cubbon Street and Mohawk Drive in Fountain Valley. After the verbal confrontation, the two went their separate ways.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. the defendant is accused of driving and parking his car in a convenience store parking lot. The defendant is accused of grabbing a shotgun from the backseat of his car upon seeing the victim drive into the parking lot.

The defendant is accused of standing outside his car as the unarmed victim walked towards the defendant’s vehicle. The defendant is accused of murdering the victim by firing one round from his shotgun and hitting the victim’s neck. The victim died at the scene.

Fountain Valley Police Department (FVPD) officers arrived to the scene and arrested the defendant.

August 6, 2012

Convictions in 2009 North Hollywood “Texting” Murder

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 3:52 pm

LOS ANGELES – Two men were convicted of murder and conspiracy and two other defendants of conspiracy today in the 2009 fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Granada Hills man over a text message.

Deputy District Attorney Ed Nison said a Superior Court jury in Van Nuys deliberated two days before returning verdicts against Zareh Manjikian, 25; Vahagn Jurian, 25; Hovik Dzhuryan, 20; and Khatun Vardanian, 23. Manjikian and Jurian were convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. The other two defendants were convicted of conspiracy.

The jury found true the allegation that Manjikian used a handgun to kill the victim. Jurors also found true the principal armed allegations for the other defendants.

Trial Judge Greg Dohi scheduled Aug. 29 for sentencing. He also ordered Dzhuryan and Vardanian, who had been free on bail, into custody. Manjikian and Jurian have been in custody since their arrests. All four were indicted a year ago by the Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

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July 25, 2012

Life Sentence for Man in Murder of Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 1:40 pm

LOS ANGELES – The man charged in the murder of Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka and the attempted murder of another officer was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to all counts in connection with the 2003 killing.

Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry accepted the plea of David A. Garcia, 28, (dob 1-6-84) and imposed the sentence at a hearing this morning. Garcia pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Officer Pavelka and the attempted willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder of Officer Gregory Campbell. Garcia also pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of methamphetamine, two counts each of possession of a machine gun and possession of an assault weapon and one count of possession of a silencer.

In addition, Garcia admitted two special circumstance allegations: the murder victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his duties; and the murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest. Garcia was indicted in 2004.

“We are pleased the defendant has admitted responsibility for these heinous crimes,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said today. “We hope this resolution provides some measure of justice for the brutal murder of Officer Matthew Pavelka and the attempted murder of Officer Gregory Campbell.”

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July 13, 2012

MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF GIRLFRIEND DURING CONFRONTATION

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 4:53 am

SANTA ANA - A man will be arraigned today for the shooting-murder of his live-in girlfriend during a confrontation. Thomas Michael Wilhelm, 48, Costa Mesa, is facing one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. Wilhelm is being held on $1 million bail and will be arraigned today, July 10, 2012, in Department CJ-1 Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At approximately 6:25 p.m. on July 8, 2012, Wilhelm is accused of entering a neighbor’s home on Redwood Avenue in Costa Mesa to retrieve a handgun without the neighbor’s permission to enter his home or use the handgun. The defendant is accused of returning back to his own home to confront his live-in girlfriend of several years, 45-year-old Christine Murray. The defendant is accused of pulling out the firearm and shooting the victim several times until he ran out of ammunition. He is then accused of returning back to his neighbor’s home, where he found a shotgun and fired one round into the ground.

Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officers, who investigated this case, arrived at the defendant’s home minutes after the initial gunshot in response to third party 911 calls. CMPD officers found the victim with gunshot wounds to her chest. She was rushed to Western Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. CMPD officers recovered the firearm at the scene and arrested the defendant as he was walking back home.

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