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November 8, 2012

Arcadia Man Arraigned in Cold Case Murder of His Wife

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 6:25 am

Arcadia Man Arraigned in Cold Case Murder of His Wife

PASADENA – An Arcadia man was arraigned today on a charge that he murdered his wife in 2001, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Deputy District Attorney John Lewin of the Major Crimes Division said Richard Keith Cole, 72 (dob 8-19-1940), appeared before Pasadena Superior Court Judge Terry Smerling, who ordered the defendant held on the $1 million bail recommended by the prosecution. Cole, who pleaded not guilty, is due back in court on Jan. 15 for the scheduling of a preliminary hearing.

Case No. GA 088028 was filed on Oct. 30 as a felony complaint for arrest warrant. Cole was charged with one count of murder with the allegation that he used a knife to commit the crime. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.

The body of Charlotte Cole, 50, was found behind an Arcadia restaurant on Sept. 1, 2001. She was stabbed repeatedly.

October 16, 2012

Man Pleads Guilty in Santa Clarita Valley Crime Spree

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:00 pm

SAN FERNANDO – A 31-year-old Chatsworth man pleaded guilty today to multiple felony charges including assault, carjacking, assault on a peace officer and kidnapping in connection with a string of crimes that started with the stabbing of his mother in December 2010.

San Fernando Superior Court Judge David Gelfound found the defendant, Aaron Clay Tanner, to be insane when the crimes were committed. The judge is expected formally commit the defendant to a state mental hospital on Nov. 9. Tanner’s sentence will be 40 years and eight months, said Deputy District Attorney Richard Quinones, who prosecuted the case.

Tanner was charged on Dec. 21, 2010, in connection with the crime spree that started on the 14 Freeway near Sylmar and continued on into the Santa Clarita Valley.

The first incident was the non-fatal stabbing of Tanner’s mother, who was pushed from the car. Other incidents included crashing into vehicles, carjacking and crashing a mini SUV with a then 4-year-old child inside. Tanner abandoned his car and fled in the mini SUV with the child inside. He left the boy’s mother behind.

The child, the mother and several Sheriff’s deputies were treated for injuries following the melee. Tanner admitted great bodily injury allegations in four of the 14 charges to which he pleaded guilty.

The defendant, arrested by Sheriff’s deputies after a chase, has remained in custody since his arrest on Dec. 17, 2010.

October 11, 2012

Restaurant Brawl Suspect Charged

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:21 pm

ALHAMBRA – A 22-year-old Bakersfield man was charged today with fatally stabbing a Monterey Park man during a brawl Saturday that allegedly erupted between rival Pop Warner Football fans.

Jose De Jesus Ruiz, (dob 12-6-89), is scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. at Alhambra Superior Court, Division 5. He was charged in case GA087785 with one count of murder with the special allegation that he personally used a deadly weapon, a knife. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $1.02 million.

Ruiz attended a Pop Warner Football game in Bell Gardens Saturday before going to a Shakey’s restaurant in Monterey Park. A group of fans with a rival team were also at the restaurant at 1955 S. Atlantic Blvd. shortly after 7 p.m. A verbal argument escalated into a physical fight. During the fight, Ruiz allegedly fatally stabbed 25-year-old Patrick Raymond Ortega.

If convicted, Ruiz is facing 26 years to life in prison.

October 8, 2012

Man Convicted of Trousdale Estates Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:50 pm

BEVERLY HILLS – A Beverly Hills jury deliberated three hours today before convicting a 25-year-old man of murdering the son of Japanese filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida in July 2010.

Deputy District Attorney Linda Loftfield, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter, said Scott Joseph Barker was convicted of one count of first-degree murder. The jury found true the special circumstance of lying in wait. The jury also found that Barker personally used a knife to commit the crime.

The District Attorney’s Office opted prior to trial not to seek the death penalty and Barker will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, who presided over the trial, scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9.

Barker and Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, 22, were charged in the case. Coggins Johnson pleaded no contest last year to assault with a deadly weapon and testified against Barker at trial. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.

Katsutoshi Tony Takazato, the filmmaker’s son, was fatally stabbed on July 20, 2010. His body was found outside his father’s Trousdale Estates home in the 1800 block of Carla Ridge.

Coggins Johnson had dated Takazato, but began dating Barker. Both were arrested by Beverly Hills police and charged. Barker has remained in custody since his arrest.

September 27, 2012

Man Gets Potential Life Prison Term in Stabbing Attack

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 3:15 am

SAN FERNANDO – A 52-year-old man was sentenced to 26 years to life plus 10 years in state prison today for the stabbing attack on his girlfriend last year.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Knight Jackson said Francisco Solis was convicted by a jury in June of one count each of assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem and burglary in connection with the July 2011 attack on the woman after breaking into her home in Sylmar. The victim, who survived, was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver.

San Fernando Superior Court Judge Delila Corral Lyons sentenced Solis, who was arrested shortly after the attack and has remained in custody. The victim was not named in the felony criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office against Solis on Aug. 2, 2011.

September 18, 2012


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:18 pm

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend by stabbing her on her way to work. Ruben Retana Perez, 34, Whittier, was found guilty by a jury Aug. 1, 2011, of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Beginning in 1996, Perez had an on and off 5-year romantic relationship with 29-year-old Rocio Leon. Perez and Leon had a baby boy in 1999. Following their son’s birth, Perez became abusive toward Leon and her child from a previous relationship.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on April 18, 2001, Perez got in Leon’s truck and drove with the victim to take her to work at an Orange County Register newspaper distribution center in Garden Grove. While driving to Leon’s work, Perez got out of the car and murdered Leon by slitting the victim’s throat using a kitchen knife and stabbing her two times in the chest. The defendant got back into the car and ran over Leon’s body before fleeing the scene.

Later that morning, Perez went to his work and requested a $1,000 cash pay advance. Perez never returned to work and abandoned the victim’s car in Stanton before fleeing the state. After further investigation linking Perez to the murder, a warrant was issued for his arrest, Dec. 17, 2002.

Approximately five years later, on July 19, 2008, Perez was arrested by police in Arkansas under the alias of Yovani Cortez for driving under the influence of alcohol. Arkansas authorities learned of the defendant’s true identity and the Orange County warrant for Leon’s murder. In September 2008, Perez was extradited back to Orange County to face the murder charges.

August 23, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:15 pm

SANTA ANA - A gang member was found today by a jury today to have been legally sane when he murdered the mother of his two young children by stabbing her 20 times. Miguel Alexander Vargas, 28, Placentia, was found guilty by the same jury Aug. 13, 2012, of one felony count of first degree murder and one felony count of carjacking. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Aug. 31, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

As Vargas entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. The first phase was the guilt phase, during which jurors heard evidence about the crime and the prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of that crime. In the second phase, the sanity phase, the same jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime; Vargas was found to be sane. When a defendant pleads “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the burden is on the defense to prove that the defendant was more likely than not legally insane when he committed the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense must prove that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime and that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.

Vargas is a documented gang member and was deemed an active gang member who was being monitored by the TARGET Unit prior to the incident. TARGET teams up police officers, probation officers, prosecutors, and Orange County District Attorney Investigators in police departments throughout the County to focus on gang leaders and the most violent, repeat criminal street gang offenders. TARGET successfully reduces gang crime by incapacitating the most active, hardcore gang offenders and preventing them from committing further violent acts in the community.

Between Feb. 4, 2009 and Feb. 5, 2009, Vargas repeatedly called his former girlfriend Angelina Alvarado, a week after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Alvarado was the mother of their two children, who were then 4 and 6 years old.


July 9, 2012


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

SANTA ANA - A fugitive wanted for murder in Santa Cruz County has been charged with the stabbing murder of a 67-year-old man following a robbery on the 4th of July. Felipe Jesus Delgado, 21, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and in the commission of a robbery, and one felony count of robbery. If convicted, the defendant faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty. Delgado is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned today, Friday, July 6, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

The defendant has a homicide warrant for his arrest in Santa Cruz County.

On the night of July 4, 2012, Delgado is accused of approaching 67-year-old Daniel Rowlett outside of a business on Olive Street in Anaheim. The defendant is accused of robbing the victim of his wallet and then stabbing him over a dozen times in the legs and chest before fleeing the scene on foot.

At approximately 10:45 p.m., the Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated this case, responded to the scene after receiving a call regarding a possible traffic accident. Rowlett was found by officers bleeding in the driver’s seat of his truck and was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Delgado is accused of leaving a trail of blood from the crime scene to his home on Julianna Street in Anaheim, which APD officers followed to locate the defendant. When contacted at the home by officers, Delgado is accused of wearing bloody socks, having bloody clothes on the bedroom floor, and having a fresh cut on his hand. The defendant is accused of being in possession of the murder weapon, a folding knife, which was hidden under his bed.

June 12, 2012

Courageous Citizens Lauded for Valor

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 12:10 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Hawthorne teen who tackled and stopped a knife-wielding assailant from repeatedly stabbing a female classmate will be honored by District Attorney Steve Cooley today.

Three others also will be recognized at a Courageous Citizen Awards luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport Hotel, 5985 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles. The event will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Westchester.

Louis Gaskin-Blackwell, 19, will receive a Courageous Citizen Award for his assistance in restraining the assailant during an April 20, 2011, attack in a classroom at West High School in Torrance. The assailant, a student, taunted his teacher, set a roll of paper towels on fire and threw it at her. The student then turned his attention to a girl in class. He pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the chest repeatedly, even after the knife’s blade broke.

Gaskin-Blackwell tackled the defendant and held him down until campus security arrived.

The victim survived the attack. The defendant pleaded no contest to one count of assault with a deadly weapon and bringing a weapon on school grounds. He was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.


June 7, 2012

North Hollywood Man Charged in Roommate’s Killing

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 12:40 pm

VAN NUYS – A 21-year-old man accused of killing his roommate over the weekend was charged with murder today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Manuel Garcia (dob 10/09/90), charged in case No. LA071103, is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 100 of Van Nuys Superior Court.

The murder charge includes special allegations that Garcia personally used deadly and dangerous weapons, a knife and a pot, in the commission of the offense. Garcia is additionally charged with one count of corporal injury to a cohabitant.

The defendant allegedly killed Jorge Hortencio Valladares, 67, on June 2 at an apartment in the 12000 block of Van Owen Street in North Hollywood. The two men shared the apartment with several other roommates including the defendant’s live-in girlfriend.

Just before the murder, Garcia allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. The victim was killed when he attempted to intervene, authorities said.

Garcia allegedly stabbed the victim and repeatedly struck him over the head with a cooking pot.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Bail for Garcia is recommended at $1.080 million. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum prison term of 27 years to life.

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