Los Angeles Law News
December 06, 2013
Woman Pleads to Vehicular Manslaughter in Death of Australian Rugby Star
A Westchester woman pleaded no contest today to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the August 2012 death of an Australian rugby star who was hit and killed while vacationing in Santa Monica with his family, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Cara Maree Cameron, 28, is scheduled to return to Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Branch, on Jan. 17 for sentencing before Judge Leslie E. Brown, said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Liu. more..
December 05, 2013
Justice obscured: California Supreme Court judges not alone when it comes to financial disclosure issues
Last December, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by a couple who had accused financial giant Wells Fargo of predatory lending.
One justice, who owned stock in the bank, recused himself from the case. But Justice Kathryn Werdegar, who owned as much as $1 million in Wells Fargo shares, participated — and shouldn’t have.more..
December 04, 2013
Ciancia to make initial appearance Wednesday from Rancho Cucamonga jail
RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Accused Los Angeles International Airport shooter Paul Anthony Ciancia will make his initial court appearance Wednesday morning from a room at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Federal authorities said Ciancia will not be asked to enter a plea to the charges at this time. more..
December 03, 2013
Compassionate, Sensitive, Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Committed to Your Cause
Look for caring, compassionate, exceptionally knowledgeable and competent family lawyers when you have family issues, their characteristics make quite a difference in the outcome.
Family law issues deal with sensitive matters related to children or issues between couples that could possibly have far reaching repercussions impacting the future of a family. Family law issues are compounded and made more complex by the emotional factor, making for tangled webs that are difficult to unravel and, in a number of cases, end in bitter acrimony. This is where the characteristics of a good family law attorney or lawyer assume center stage and could make quite a difference to the outcome. more..
December 02, 2013
Couple Arrested in High-Profile Burglary Bail Out of Jail After Alleged Hoax
A Los Angeles couple who were scheduled to testify in a high-profile burglary case — then were both arrested on suspicion of burglary in that case following the man’s strange disappearance — were out of bail Tuesday, as police said their tale was a hoax.
The strange case, involving the names of multiple celebrities, has taken many unexpected turns in the past week. more..
November 27, 2013
Prosecutors: Spaccia, Bell Officials Paid "Ridiculous Sums of Money"
Ex-assistant city manager Angela Spaccia faces 13 corruption-related felony counts
Prosecutors are challenging claims made by attorneys for Bell's former assistant city administrator as her trial on 13 corruption-related felony charges draws to a close.more..
November 26, 2013
Judge Files Complaint Against UCLA Police for Excessive Force
The Superior Court Judge claims he was pushed against a police car and handcuffed for not wearing a seat belt
A prominent Los Angeles Superior Court Judge claims UCLA police used excessive force Saturday morning when he was pushed against a patrol car, handcuffed and told he was under arrest for what ultimately amounted to a seatbelt violation citation, according to the written complaint he filed with the department. more..
November 25, 2013
Exclusive: Professor accused in 1995 murder says she’s innocent
WEST COVINA >> A college professor accused of orchestrating the brutal murder of her alleged rapist said she’s innocent of the crime and that her arrest sends a “troubling message” to rape victims around the world.
Norma Patricia Esparza, 39, gave an exclusive interview to this newspaper hours before she had her bail revoked and she was taken into custody in Orange County. Esparza, an assistant psychology professor at Webster University in Geneva, said the horrific meat cleaver slaying of a man she met while attending Pomona College in the mid-1990s was the work of a jealous and enraged former boyfriend. more..
November 23, 2013
Man Charged with Murder in Beating Death of Elderly Glendale Man
Prosecutors today charged a 21-year-old man with murder in connection with the beating death of an elderly Glendale man, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Dver of the Pasadena Branch Office said James Adrian Sanchez (dob 12/14/91) of El Cajon is charged with one count of murder in case GA091544. more..
Novemberb 22, 2013
L.A. Man Charged with Sexually Molesting Young Girl
A 55-year-old Los Angeles man was charged today with kidnapping a 3-year-old girl from a Boyle Heights party on Saturday and sexually molesting her, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Edward Lopez (dob 8-9-58) is scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA418474. He was charged with one count each of oral copulation of a child under 10, kidnapping to commit a lewd act on a child and lewd act on a child. more..
November 21, 2013
Former Irwindale police officer gets one year in jail for stealing father’s $250,000
LOS ANGELES >> A former Irwindale police officer was sentenced Monday to one year in county jail and five years probation for stealing his 89-year-old father’s life savings of $250,000.
Dennis Alva, 48, surrendered to deputies at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles where his sentencing was held, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office. more..
November 20, 2013
Austin Jeffrey Farley Guilty of Murder in DUI Crash That Took 14 y.o. Ashton Sweet's Life
Brandlin handed down the sentence today in LA, but the trial was held in Westminster, where a jury on Oct. 7 found Farley guilty of felony second degree murder and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury with a sentencing enhancement for personally inflicting and causing great bodily injury and driving with blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing bodily injury.
Farley and Rodriguez, his girlfriend at the time, drank at a bar the evening of May 28, 2011, and then left via a cab to his truck parked at a friend's home, driving off for a food run. Heading south on Culver Drive in Irvine around 1:15 in the morning, Farley made a left-hand turn against a red light, plowing into the driver's side of a Mercedes-Benz sedan that had a green light.more..
November 19, 2013
Pomona gang member pleads guilty to federal drug and weapons charges
POMONA >> A Pomona man plead guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to federal drug trafficking charges after he was arrested for possessing more than one-half pound of methamphetamine with the intent to sell.
Raymond Anthony Montanez, 24, shot himself in the leg in July 2012 at his Pomona home where police found the cache of drugs, authorities said.more..
November 18, 2013
19 arrested during Pomona gang sweep
POMONA “Whatever it takes.”
That’s what Pomona Mayor Elliot Rothman said Sunday after it was reported that 19 people were arrested during a gang sweep across the city.
“I think it’s important that the Pomona Police Department does whatever it takes to apprehend those responsible for the recent homicides that we’ve been having in the city,” Rothman said Sunday afternoon. more..
November 15, 2013
Former Miramonte teacher accused of lewd acts to plead no contest
Mark Berndt, charged with committing lewd acts against children at Miramonte Elementary School, agrees to a 25-year sentence.
The teacher charged with committing lewd acts against nearly two dozen children at Miramonte Elementary School, including feeding them cookies tainted with semen, has agreed to plead no contest, sources said Thursday.more..
November 14, 2013
Father, son arrested in alleged California exorcism kidnapping
STOCKTON — A father and son are in custody in San Joaquin County on suspicion of kidnapping the father’s ex-wife to perform an exorcism.
Sheriff’s officials say 42-year-old Jose Magana-Farias and his son, 20-year-old Victor Farias, thought the woman was possessed because her behavior had changed.more..
November 13, 2013
Known gang members charged after unsuccessful attempted robbery thwarted by veteran
FONTANA >> A juvenile suspected in the attack and attempted robbery of a military veteran Sunday night has been charged as an adult.
Court records show Ricky Legardy, 17, along with Thomas Lee Brooks, 19, both of Fontana, were charged Monday by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, attempted second degree robbery and resisting arrest. more..
November 12, 2013
Redlands police arrest man suspected of planting bomb under ex-wife’s car
REDLANDS >> A 28-year-old Victorville man attempted to kill his ex-wife by planting an explosive device under her vehicle at the Redlands area JCPenney shopping center, police say.
Redlands police arrested Steven James Sunny Monday night at a residence on the 2700 block of Pacific Street in San Bernardino around 6 p.m., according to Redlands Police Department spokesman Carl Baker.more..
November 11, 2013
Pinkberry Co-Founder Convicted of Brutally Beating Transient
The co-founder of the Pinkberry yogurt chain was found guilty today of brutally beating a transient with a tire iron two years ago, the District Attorney’s office announced.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated a little more than a day before finding Young Lee, 49, guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. The jury of six women and six men also found true the special allegation that the assault caused great bodily injury to the victim, who sustained a broken left forearm and several cuts to his head during the June 15, 2011, attack. more..
November 08, 2013
Be wary of gang injunctions
An Orange County case illustrates the dangers of government overreach in trying to combat gangs
A federal appeals court on Tuesday wisely rejected Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' misguided effort to enforce a sweeping injunction against dozens of suspected gang members, saying it violated their Constitutional right to due process. The ruling should serve as a warning to prosecutors that if they are going to draw up lists of suspected gang members in hopes of restricting their lawful everyday activities, they must first offer those suspects a meaningful opportunity to challenge the allegations against them in court.more..
November 07, 2013
District Attorney, Others Work to Protect Military Service Members from Financial Predators
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and other consumer protection advocates gathered today to address the issues of predatory business practices and deceptive advertising affecting military service members and their families.
An increase in consumer fraud and unlawful business practices in military communities – including outrageous interest rates on pay day loans, misleading used car contracts and unlawful foreclosures – prompted the daylong workshop.more..
November 06, 2013
Drayman trial delayed again
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus agreed on Monday to delay former Councilman John Drayman’s criminal trial until April, marking yet another delay in court proceedings since Drayman was indicted in May 2012.
Drayman, who allegedly embezzled at least $304,000 from a weekly farmers market he once helped run in Montrose, had tried to plead guilty in September in exchange for 300 hours of community service and a life-time ban from public service.more..
November 05, 2013
LAX gunman told police he acted alone in shooting
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The gunman charged in the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport lay bloodied and handcuffed on the floor of Terminal 3 after being gunned down by police, but he replied to critical questions that helped authorities lock down the scene.
Paul Ciancia, 23, was hauled away moments later on a stretcher and later heavily sedated for medical reasons, but not before he told investigators he had acted alone when he opened fire in the terminal, a law enforcement official who has been briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
November 04, 2013
Jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, arrested again, accused of stealing ring in Riverside County
SAN DIEGO - An 83-year-old woman considered by some to be one of the world's most notorious international jewel thieves was arrested again, this time in Riverside County.
Doris Payne is accused of stealing a $22,000 ring from a Palm Desert jewelry store, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The alleged theft happened at El Paseo Jewelers on October 21.more..
November 01, 2013
Judge set to rule on placing boy who killed neo-Nazi father
Both sides agreed that the boy was troubled, and that he had endured a lot in his 13 years -- being subjected to abuse and enveloped in a world of bigotry.
But they diverge on how to place the boy, who was found guilty of killing his father, a neo-Nazi, shooting him in the head as the man slept on a couch in the living room two years ago. more..
October 31, 2013
Bell mayor tricked into signing Rizzo, Spaccia contracts, clerk says
Bell’s former city clerk told jurors that she slipped the lucrative contracts for city administrators Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia into stacks of unrelated documents that mayors would typically sign, even though the City Council never approved them.
Sometimes, Rebecca Valdez testified Wednesday, Rizzo himself would slip the contracts into the stack of documents for the mayor to sign.more..
October 30, 2013
Former Funeral Home Employee Charged with Theft of Human Remains
A former apprentice embalmer accused of taking gold crowns from human remains at a Lancaster funeral home is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on more than two dozen felony counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Deputy District Attorney John Evans said Pete Jacob Lara, 39 (dob 12-27-73), is expected to be arraigned in Department A1 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch. Lara is charged in case MA061206.
Lara is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; removal or possession of dental gold from human remains; and grand theft by embezzlement. He also faces 23 counts of second-degree commercial burglary. Lara is a former employee of Halley-Olsen-Murphy Funeral Home in Lancaster. While working as an apprentice embalmer, the defendant allegedly took gold crowns from bodies and other items including a cremation urn box and medallions used to decorate urn boxes worth more than $1,000.more..
October 24, 2013
Inglewood man charged in fatal hit-and-run
A 38-year-old motorist was charged today in connection with an Inglewood hit-and-run case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Goldman said Jesus Cazares (dob 3/15/75) of Inglewood, is charged with one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter.more..
October 23, 2013
Singer CeeLo Green Charged
Singer-songwriter CeeLo Green was charged today with furnishing ecstasy to a female victim, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, was charged with one felony count of furnishing a controlled substance in case BA417464. He is expected to be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, sometime after 1:30 p.m. Prosecutors asked that his bail be set at $30,000.more..
October 22, 2013
Public Safety Instructor Charged in Child Sex Case
A 38-year-old public safety instructor accused of having sexual contact with an underage victim was charged today with multiple felony counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Alice Kurs said Delvon Christopher Jackson (dob 7/13/75) is charged in case GA091268 with three counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object. more..
October 21, 2013
Second Man Charged in Dry Ice Explosions
Los Angeles County prosecutors today charged a second man allegedly involved in the dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Assistant Head Deputy Phillip Stirling of the Target Crimes Division said Miguel Angel Iniguez, 41 (dob 8/24/72), is charged in case SA084368 with one felony count of possession of a destructive device near an airplane.more..
October 18, 2013
Suspect in Dry Ice Explosions to be Charged
A 28-year-old Paramount man who worked at Los Angeles International Airport is scheduled to be arraigned today on two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Dicarlo Bennett (dob 12-21-84) was arrested Tuesday by Los Angeles Police officers following an investigation into the discovery of dry ice bombs at LAX, two of which exploded. No one was injured. more..
October 17, 2013
Man Charged in Long Beach Teacher’s Killing
A 50-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing a teacher in front of her students at a park in Long Beach was charged today with capital murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Joanne Baeza, assistant head deputy of the Long Beach Branch Office, said Steven Dwayne Brown (dob 7/8/63) is expected to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. in Department 1 of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch.more..
October 16, 2013
Woman gets 4 years for embezzling $400K from Anaheim Police union
FULLERTON — The former office manager for the Anaheim Police Association has been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling $400,000 from the union.
Cindy Ann Su’a was sentenced Friday. She pleaded guilty in August to more than 100 counts of forgery, computer fraud and failing to file tax returns. more..
October 15, 2013
Wrong-Way Driver Sentenced to Prison
SANTA CLARITA - A Canyon Country man who drove the wrong way on the northbound Highway 14 freeway while under the influence of methamphetamine, injuring 13 people, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in state prison.
Rick Allen Walker was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael O’Gara almost two months after the 54-year-old pleaded no contest to four counts of DUI causing injury, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.more..
October 14, 2013
Police: Two serial rapists committed Southland crimes
Riverside police have arrested Corona man Maurice Jennings in two rape and robbery incidents that occurred in Riverside and Corona.
RIVERSIDE >> A series of rapes that occurred at massage parlors in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties between 2003 and 2009 were not committed by one person as police detectives originally thought. more..
October 11, 2013
Bell trial: Rizzo not on the witness list, but ex-police chief is
Former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams, forced from his post when a salary scandal erupted in the small, middle-class town, is listed as a potential witness in the upcoming corruption trial of Angela Spaccia, once the second in command in the city.
Adams, who was earning $457,000 when the high City Hall salaries were exposed in 2010, is among 35 people named on a witness list in Spaccia’s trial.more..
October 10, 2013
Two ordered to stand trial for slayings of USC students
Prosecutors say it was a stolen cellphone belonging to one of the victims that led investigators to the suspected shooters.
The deaths of Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two USC graduate students from China, puzzled investigators. The two had been fatally shot while sitting in Qu's parked BMW on a rainy April night in 2012, and authorities struggled to find a motive.more..
October 09, 2013
Trial Begins for Former Bell City Manager Angela Spaccia
Four days after former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo pleaded no contest to all 69 counts brought against him in a massive public corruption case, jury selection began today for the trial of his former assistant.
Angela Spaccia, the 55-year-old former assistant city manager, was charged along with Rizzo in September 2010. She faces six counts of misappropriation of public funds, four counts of conflict of interest, two counts of secretion of official records and one count of conspiracy to commit misappropriation of public funds.more..
October 08, 2013
Ex-Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo Pleads No Contest in Corruption Case
Robert Rizzo was accused of paying himself $800,000 per year in the small city of Bell
The ex-city manager was accused of misappropriating millions of dollars in public funds by paying them to himself. While Rizzo was originally denied a deal by the district attorney, he accepted responsibility after Judge Kathleen Kennedy indicated a sentence of 10 to 12 years for all 69 counts that he currently faces. Patrick Healy reports from Bell for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2013.more..
October 07, 2013
Judge Dismisses Ranger’s Claims for Dorner Reward
A judge dismissed all claims against Riverside County on Friday in a lawsuit by a camp ranger who argued he should have received $1 million in reward money linked to the apprehension of a rogue ex-Los Angeles police officer.
In May, a three-person panel of retired judges split the multi-agency reward among four people and excluded camp ranger Rick Heltebrake, who was carjacked during the final hours of a manhunt for Christopher Dorner, who died in a shootout.more..
October 04, 2013
Man Charged in Lakewood Attack
Prosecutors today filed criminal charges against a 35-year-old Long Beach man who attacked a gas station clerk, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Mark Ashen, deputy-in-charge of the Bellflower Area Office, said Kendrick Jamar Ruth (dob 11/23/77) is charged in case VA132114 with one felony count each of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and mayhem.more..
October 03, 2013
Rizzo Pleads No Contest to All Charges in Massive Public Corruption Case
District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Robert Rizzo, Bell’s former city manager, pleaded no contest today to all 69 counts and is expected to be sentenced to the longest prison term for public corruption in the Public Integrity Division’s history.
Rizzo’s no contest plea was an open plea to Judge Kathleen Kennedy and was not a negotiated settlement with prosecutors.more..
October 02, 2013
Man who shot high school soccer player gets 50 to life
A man convicted of gunning down a well-liked 17-year-old soccer player in a jealous rage was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison Tuesday morning.
Jason Alejandro Schumann, 26, was upset because he apparently had seen text messages and other communications between Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Elizabeth Ibarra, the mother of one of Schumann's children, authorities said.more..
October 01, 2013
Former Lawndale School District Director Sentenced in Kickback Scheme
A former food services director with the Lawndale School District was sentenced today to two years in state prison for accepting kickbacks from a now-defunct restaurant that sold pizza for school lunches, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Arturo Macias Nuno, 32 (dob 1/26/1981), was found guilty earlier this month of four felony counts of accepting a bribe. He was accused of requesting and taking bribes that totaled at least $10,000 from Oct. 1, 2010, to July 31, 2012.more..
September 27, 2013
Lengthy trial expected for alleged street racers charged with murder
SANTA CLARITA - Justice is expected to move slowly for two young local men accused of being “street racers” and charged with murder in the traffic death of Dakota DeMott and, as a result, the case has been transferred downtown to a courtroom in Los Angeles, court officials said.
On Wednesday, Colt Sean Doherty, 19, and Thomas Joseph Vensko, 20, both of Canyon Country, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court Room 102 - called the Complex Criminal Trial Panel - for the first time since their arrest more than a year ago. more..
September 26, 2013
Michael Jackson trial winds down; AEG team to give closing arguments
Attorneys for AEG are set to give closing arguments Wednesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial, and the case could be in the jury's hands by the end of the week.
The singer's family has sued the entertainment firm, saying the company negligently hired and supervised Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered the dose of propofol that killed the singer. AEG maintains that Murray worked for Jackson and that any money the firm was supposed to pay the doctor was an advance to the singer. more..
September 25, 2013
Los Angeles Firefighter, Mother Charged with Battery, Assault on Woman Feeding Stray Cats
An off-duty engineer with the Los Angeles Fire Department and his elderly mother have been charged with beating a 47-year-old woman who was caring for stray cats in their Los Angeles neighborhood, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced today.
Ian Justin Eulian, 37 (dob 2/22/1976), and Lonieta Antonietta Fontaine, 70 (dob 1/28/1943), were each charged in case BA416446 with one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury and one felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. Eulian also was charged with an enhancement for causing great bodily harm.more..
September 24, 2013
Orange County man arrested after girl, 15, dies of drug overdos
BUENA PARK — Police in Orange County have arrested a man suspected of providing methamphetamine to a 15-year-old girl who died after apparently suffering a fatal drug overdose.
Published reports say 45-year-old Jeffrey Peurrung of Buena Park faces felony charges including lewd acts upon a child and inducing a minor to buy or sell a controlled substance. more..
September 23, 2013
Judge rejects Drayman plea deal, says deserves prison if found guilty
A judge on Friday rejected a plea deal reached between prosecutors and a former Glendale councilman accused of embezzling at least $304,000, calling the agreement a “slap on the wrist” for someone in a position of public trust.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus said former Councilman John Drayman should go to jail if he’s found guilty of the embezzlement, perjury and tax fraud charges, rejecting a deal that would have exchanged a guilty plea for community service and restitution.more..
September 20, 2013
Monrovia man arrested in San Gabriel Valley AK-47 threats
Authorities believe that they have ended the mystery of who threatened to shoot an AK-47 assault rifle at schools and a hospital in the San Gabriel Valley.
Gerardo Cortez, 26, was arrested Tuesday afternoon as he was leaving his Monrovia home, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said. He was booked on five felony counts of making criminal threats and five counts of falsely reporting an emergency, the officials said. more..
September 19, 2013
Navy officer and NCIS agent charged in alleged bribery scheme
SAN DIEGO -- A Navy officer and a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent were charged Tuesday with being part of a bribery scheme involving an executive of a Singapore-based marine services company.
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and NCIS agent John Bertrand Beliveau II allegedly were given air travel, deluxe hotel accommodations and prostitutes in exchange for helping Leonard Francis, chief executive of the Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd.more..
September 18, 2013
Woman charged with poisoning her children asks Santa Ana judge for death
SANTA ANA — A woman charged with killing her 13-year-old autistic son and 9-year-old daughter in the midst of a custody dispute asked a judge for the death penalty Tuesday during her first court appearance since her arrest.
Looking disheveled, her head down and hands behind her back, 42-year-old Marilyn Edge appeared by video link for an arraignment on two counts of murder with special circumstances. more..
September 17, 2013
Deputy charged with 17 felonies after alleged sex with teen
A veteran Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was charged Monday with 17 felony counts related to a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, prosecutors said.
John Augustus Rose II, 43, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon on charges including lewd acts on a child, sexual penetration by a foreign object, oral copulation of a person under 16, contact with a minor for sexual offense and possession of matter showing a minor engaging in sexual conduct, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. more..
September 16, 2013
Kanye West charged with battery over 'paparrazo attack'
US rapper Kanye West has been charged with battery and attempted grand theft following an alleged altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport, a city official confirmed on Friday.
Los Angeles City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said the alleged incident took place on 19 July as several members of the paparazzi waited for Mr West to arrive at the airport.more..
September 13, 2013
Crime spree from Riverside to Covina nets man 437 years
A 47-year-old man will be spending the next 437 years in prison for a crime spree that started in Riverside and ended in the unincorporated county area near Covina.
Donell Bell of Montclair was sentenced Monday at Pomona Superior Court for committing carjackings, attempted carjackings, leading police on a chase, robbing someone, fighting a pedestrian he tried to rob plus trying to break into a home. He also accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun police said was stolen. more...
September 12, 2013
Forklift driver charged in Newport Bay bridge slaying
A 40-year-old Santa Ana forklift driver is set to be arraigned on murder charges in the gunshot-slaying of a young mother whose body was found face-down under the Newport Bay bridge on Labor Day.
Jaime Prieto Rocha appeared in court Tuesday but did not enter a plea in the death of Nancy Hammour, 28-year-old Santa Ana woman who family members said was trying to straighten out her life after battling drugs.
An autopsy determined that Hammour died of a gunshot wound, though details of her death remained sketchy. Rocha is being held on $1-million bail and will be returned to court Sept. 27.more...
September 11, 2013
S.F. sues to recoup costs for patients 'dumped' by Nevada hospital
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco city attorney on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Nevada on behalf of all California local governments where patients have allegedly been bused from a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital in recent years.
The allegations of so-called patient dumping by Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital were first brought to light in a March Sacramento Bee article about 48-year-old James Flavy Coy Brown, who was sent by the hospital on a 15-hour bus ride to Sacramento despite having never before visited there and having no friends or family members in the area.more...
September 10, 2013
U.S. opens civil rights probe of L.A. County Sheriff's Department
Federal officials will look at whether deputies have engaged in a pattern of abuse of inmates. The department is already the subject of an FBI criminal investigation.
Federal authorities have opened a civil rights probe into whether Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have engaged in a pattern of abuse of inmates, according to a letter sent to county officials this week. more...
September 09, 2013
Antelope Valley Brothers Charged with Murder in Child’s Shooting, Attempt Murders of Three Other
Prosecutors today filed murder charges against two brothers allegedly involved in a car-to-car shooting that lead to the death of a 7-year-old girl, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Chung of the Hardcore Gang Division said Jesus Alberto Peralta, 22 (dob 4/1/91), and Carlos Peralta, 19 (dob 11/22/93), both of Palmdale, are expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Department A1 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.more...
September 06, 2013
San Gabriel Valley Man Charged in Mother’s Killing
A 43-year-old Hacienda Heights man accused of killing his mother appeared in court this afternoon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Manuel Garcia said the arraignment hearing for Clifton Huang (dob 9/8/69) was delayed to Sept. 24 in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Huang is charged in case KA103010 with one count of murder in the Aug. 29, killing of Vilma Chau, 63. more...
September 05, 2013
DA: Charges won't be filed against Scottie Pippen
LOS ANGELES—Prosecutors won't file criminal charges against Scottie Pippen for fighting with an autograph seeker who authorities say was drunk and exaggerated his injuries including faking seizures after claiming the former Chicago Bulls star punched him in the face.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Tuesday there was insufficient evidence to bring assault charges against Pippen for the altercation with Camran Shafighi at Nobu, a sushi restaurant and celebrity hangout on the beach in Malibu. more...
September 04, 2013
Hawthorne Man Charged in Baby’s Death
A Hawthorne man was charged today with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 14-month-old baby, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Linda Loftfield said Julio Mejia, 44 (dob 6/18/69), is also charged with one count of assault on a child causing death. Mejia is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 144 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.more...
September 03, 2013
Missing Dana Point woman's remains found in Panama
For 21 months, Yvonne Baldelli’s family searched for the Orange County woman after she disappeared while living with her boyfriend in Panama. They negotiated foreign bureaucracies and tried to make sense of false leads. They spent days treading through swamps on the island where she was last seen.
This week they learned that skeletal remains found on that island belong to the woman. The discovery was bittersweet, said James Faust, her father. more...
September 02, 2013
'Misdirection from the truth'
Pasadena Officers Okamoto, Gomez, Broghamer cleared in most complaints of wrongdoing
Months-long investigations by the Pasadena Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of three local officers concluded that an officer made an inappropriate comment and that an officer failed to submit evidence in a timely fashion prior to the start of a trial. more...
August 29, 2013
Insurance Cheat Sentenced to State Prison, Restitution in False Pit Bull Attacks
A Los Angeles man who received more than $750,000 after falsely reporting that he and three family members had been maimed by a neighbor’s pit bull pleaded guilty today to insurance fraud, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Suehiro of the Fraud Interdiction Program said Charles Findley, 38, pleaded guilty to four counts of insurance fraud and admitted allegations that the loss exceeded $100,000. more...
August 28, 2013
Court rejects amended TSA complaint from woman who tried to carry applesauce, snacks on flight
Woman who scuffled with agents at airport also has claim against LAPD.
The woman who clashed with security officers at Bob Hope Airport while trying to board a plane with applesauce and other snacks in April 2009 is struggling to keep a civil rights claim against the Transportation Security Administration from being tossed out of federal court.
Lacking formal legal training but acting as her own attorney, Nadine Hays hit another legal roadblock this month when a U.S. District Court magistrate rejected her attempts to file an amended complaint — her fourth in two years — alleging a conspiracy to tamper with video of the scuffle and conceal the identities of the TSA agents involved.more...
August 27, 2013
Two Charged with Filing False Police Report
A former Sheriff’s deputy and a custody assistant have been charged with filing a false report allegedly to cover up another deputy’s assault on an inmate at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Karin Ann Cring, 31 (dob 4-21-82), and Jayson Daniel Ellis, 25 (dob 11-06-87), are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 21 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30. The two were released on $20,000 bail each after they were arrested Wednesday, said Deputy District Attorney Fernando Guzman with the Justice System Integrity Division.more...
August 26, 2013
Man Convicted in Estranged Wife’s Fatal Stabbing
Following a day of deliberations, jurors today convicted a man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian of the Alhambra Branch Office said Sherman Dion Dorsey, 42, of Los Angeles, was convicted of one count of second-degree murder for the Aug. 3, 2011, killing of Gina Reano, 45. Jurors found true an allegation that Dorsey personally used a knife in the murder.more...
August 23, 2013
Three Pasadena police officers cleared in six of eight allegations of wrongdoing
PASADENA - Six of eight allegations that three city police officers had beaten suspects, threatened witnesses and hidden evidence were deemed unfounded, not sustained by lack of evidence, or the officers have been “exonerated” after a review by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Pasadena Police Department said Wednesday.
Sheriff’s detectives were asked to look into the allegations by Police Chief Phillip Sanchez after the complaints were filed against the officers between April and October 2012.more...
August 22, 2013
Calif. bill to reopen window for childhood sex abuse lawsuits advances amid church opposition
SACRAMENTO, California — Some victims of childhood sexual abuse would have one more year to file civil lawsuits against private or nonprofit organizations that employed their alleged abusers under a bill that passed a key legislative committee Wednesday.
The bill already passed the Senate and is similar to a 2002 bill that passed during the height of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal. more...
August 21, 2013
Suspect Charged in Fatal Stabbing of Two Homeless Men
A Glendora man is scheduled to be arraigned today on two counts of capital murder in the fatal stabbing of two homeless men whose bodies were discovered near a Glendora car wash early Thursday, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Drew Alan Friis, 28 (dob 3-25-83) is charged in case KA102843 with two counts of murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders, said Deputy District Attorney Martin Bean. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.more...
August 20, 2013
Sex offender was ordered to avoid slain investigator
Sex offender Randy Alana was ordered to stay away from Sandra Coke as a condition of his parole, judge says. He has not been charged in her death, but is a person of interest.
OAKLAND — The high-risk sex offender named as a person of interest in the killing of federal defense investigator Sandra Coke had been ordered to stay away from her as a condition of his parole, a judge said Friday.more...
August 19, 2013
Rockefeller impostor sentenced for Calif. murder
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A small, bespectacled German immigrant who invented a glamorous life for himself in the United States by posing as an heir to the fabled Rockefeller fortune was sentenced Thursday to 27 years to life in prison for a California cold-case murder.
Representing himself after firing his lawyers, Christian Gerhartsreiter, 52, asserted that he did not commit the mid-1980s murder of John Sohus in the wealthy city of San Marino and asked to read a voluminous motion he had submitted to the court. When Superior Court Judge George Lomeli refused, he withdrew the motion. more...
August 16, 2013
Hawthorne Mayor Charged in New Perjury Case
Hawthorne Mayor Daniel “Danny” Juarez, who was indicted last year on perjury charges, has been charged with four additional counts of perjury for allegedly depositing nearly $25,000 in cash in his personal bank accounts and failing to disclose the source, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Juarez, 60, is expected to surrender today at Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Branch, in Department 144, for arraignment, said Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman, assistant head deputy of the Public Integrity Division. Juarez was charged Monday in case SA084350.more...
August 15, 2013
Three Men Charged in Military Reservist’s Death
Prosecutors today filed criminal charges against three San Gabriel Valley men for their alleged involvement in the assault and death of a military reservist, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Susan Steinfeld, assistant head deputy of the Pasadena Branch Office, said Fernando Sabino Ramirez, 25 (dob 7/31/88), Jonas Cardenas Ramos, 24 (dob 11/18/88), and Angel Christopher Moroyoqui, 21 (dob 3/27/92), are each charged with one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. more...
August 14, 2013
San Diego teacher given probation for bringing gun to school
A middle school English teacher in San Diego was sentenced Monday to three years probation and a gun safety class after pleading guilty to taking a gun and ammunition to campus.
Ned Carter Walker, 41, is the process of being fired, officials said. He has taught in the district since 2006. His lawyer said Walker brought the gun to protect his students.
Walker has been on administrative leave since being arrested in February as he walked to his classroom at Farb Middle School in the Tierrasanta neighborhood. He has been free on $50,000 bail. more...
August 13, 2013
Rethinking drug sentences
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder decries the imprisonment of too many people for too long at too high a cost for lesser drug crimes.
With an eye toward reducing what even many conservatives concede is excessive incarceration of minor drug offenders, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Monday that federal prosecutors would be directed to file charges in a way that would spare many defendants from mandatory minimum sentences. That policy is a sound and compassionate response to the fact that too many people are being imprisoned for too long, by state and federal governments alike, because of a war on drugs that has been prosecuted not wisely but too well.more...
August 12, 2013
Jury rejects PTSD defense in murder trial
Army veteran Tymarc Warren is found guilty in the 2011 stabbing death of Eileen Garnreiter. ‘This was a case of domestic violence,’ says the victim’s mother.
Eileen Garnreiter wanted to break up with her boyfriend.
She complained to her family that he was controlling. She had doubts he’d be able to provide for her and their 5-week-old daughter. She griped that he made her iron his socks and scolded her if he didn’t like what she was wearing in public. more...
August 08, 2013
Driver charged after Venice Beach rampage
Los Angeles - A man accused of ploughing his car through crowds at the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon and injuring 16 other people, was charged on Tuesday with murder and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Nathan Louis Campbell, who was also charged with 17 counts of felony hit-and-run, pleaded not guilty during a brief arraignment hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, appearing pale in blue jail garb and shackles. more..
August 07, 2013
2 accused of keeping girl in box on pot farm plead not guilty
Authorities say the runaway from Hollywood was sexually assaulted and forced to help them on the Northern California property.
Two Northern California men pleaded not guilty Friday to a federal grand jury indictment accusing them of sexually assaulting a runaway teen and keeping her in a metal box on their secluded marijuana farm.more..
August 06, 2013
LA County probation officer charged in fraud
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A probation officer was charged Friday along with five other people in a child care fraud scheme that authorities said cost taxpayers $1.6 million.
The arrest of Frank Elliot Boyd III was another blow to the troubled Los Angeles County probation department, which saw 64 employees either arrested or questioned last year in off-duty crimes ranging from burglary to attempted murder more..
August 05, 2013
Two more charged in brutal murder of Glendale man
Two more men—including the brother of a Van Nuys man already charged with capital murder—were charged Monday in the April kidnapping and brutal murder of a Glendale man whose body was dumped on a Sun Valley road, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors originally charged Hachik “Kriss” Maskovian, 29, of Van Nuys in the April 24 killing of 33-year-old Joshua West, with a hate crime allegation. But officials of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday that further probing revealed that the victim and Maskovian’s older brother, Hovanes “John” Maskovian, 34, had been in a long-term romantic relationship that had recently ended. They alleged the two brothers, along with a third man, Nazaret “Nick” Bayamdzhyan, 19, of North Hollywood planned West’s murder in order to collect on the victim’s insurance policy, officials said in a statement.more..
August 02, 2013
Eight Arrested in Mortgage Scam
Eight people were arrested Wednesday for running a fraudulent mortgage scheme that cost lenders more than $11 million.
Jose “Joe” Garcia of Camarillo, the accused leader of the conspiracy, was co-owner of New Concepts Home Loans in Oxnard. more..
August 01, 2013
Hollywood mogul won’t face charges in Dorner helicopter spat
Prosecutors have declined to file charges against a Hollywood studio head who became the focus of a criminal investigation after landing his helicopter on a Sheriff’s Department helipad during the manhunt for ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office concluded that there was no evidence that Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh knew a captain had denied him permission to land at the helipad. Prosecutors also concluded that they couldn’t prove that Kavanaugh endangered anyone’s life or property, since he landed his aircraft at a time when the sheriff’s helicopters nearby weren’t in operation.more..
July 31, 2013
Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Rape, Soliciting Bribes
A 28-year-old sheriff’s deputy arrested Monday evening on rape and other charges involving two women is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Deputy Jose Rigoberto Sanchez (dob 9-9-84) is charged in case BA414107 with 11 felony counts, including soliciting a bribe, kidnapping to commit another crime, rape by fear or duress and multiple counts of sexual assault under color of authority. He is being held on $1.45 million bail.more..
July 30, 2013
South East High Stabbing Case Given Another Pre-Trial Hearing Date
Abraham López, the man accused of fatally stabbing Cindi Santana, 17, his alleged ex-girlfriend, within South Gate’s South East High School on September 2011, will stand before another pre-trial hearing come August 30. more..
July 29, 2013
Producer pleads guilty in NY online gambling case
NEW YORK — A Hollywood producer has pleaded guilty in New York for his role in a high-stakes sports betting business run by an organized-crime enterprise.
Bryan Zuriff is executive producer of the Showtime series "Ray Donovan." He pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to accepting a financial instrument in connection with unlawful Internet gambling. more..
July 25, 2013
Fake Rockefeller loses bid for delay in sentencing
LOS ANGELES — A Rockefeller impostor convicted in a California cold-case murder appeared in court as his own lawyer Tuesday and failed to delay his sentencing.
The judge said Tuesday he saw no reason to put off Christian Gerhartsreiter's Aug. 15 sentencing date. Gerhartsreiter could be given a sentence of 27 years to life in prison.
Gerhartsreiter said he wanted to go over trial transcripts to find legal errors, but the judge said that would be "a fishing expedition.more..
July 24, 2013
Ten Charged Following Protests
One adult and nine juveniles have been charged following protests in Los Angeles on July 13 and in Hollywood on July 16, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
A 28-year-old Los Angeles man, Shareef Abdullah, was charged with attempted grand theft, robbery and making criminal threats when he allegedly tried to steal TV cameras belonging to two news crews covering demonstrations on July 13. Abdullah allegedly tried to steal a $7,000 camera belonging to Telemundo before being chased away. He returned later, grabbed the camera and ran. A TV cameraman chased him and managed to get the camera back. more..
July 23, 2013
Man Sentenced for Hacienda Heights Church Arson, Ordered to Pay Restitution
A 35-year-old man convicted of torching St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights two years ago was sentenced to prison today and ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose of the Target Crimes Division, Arson Section, said Gregory Yusuke Shiga, of Hacienda Heights, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. Judge Thomas Falls also ordered him to pay restitution for the arson fire that he started in the church’s sanctuary just after midnight on April 16, 2011.more..
July 22, 2013
Amanda Bynes lawyers putting last-minute touches on plea deal in DUI case: sources
Defense attorney Bob Wilson asked a judge to postpone a trial because of expectations that a deal could be hammered out with L.A. prosecutors. But New York is another story.
Oddball actress Amanda Bynes is close to copping a plea in a no-jail deal to avoid trial in her year-old California DUI case, sources told the Daily News.more..
July 18, 2013
Driver Sentenced in Collision That Resulted in Amputations
A Paramount man who admitted driving under the influence when he slammed his BMW into two men that resulted in each victim losing limbs was sentenced today five years and four months in state prison, the District Attorney’s Office announced. more..
July 17, 2013
Judge clears Conway of all charges, dismisses DA's case against ex-COG chief
Shapiro: 'The court feels there is no crime here, period;' COG foes may have had ax to grind
LOS ANGELES - A judge on Friday tossed out of court the Los Angeles County District Attorney's case against former San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Nick Conway, declaring him innocent -- as Conway and his attorney had maintained all along. The District Attorney had alleged Conway obtained contracts that benefitted him financially.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Norm Shapiro ruled Conway did nothing wrong and dismissed all four felony conflict-of-interest charges leveled against the former head of the 31-member planning agency.more..
July 16, 2013
Ex-Cal State San Marcos student gets prison for trying to rig election
SAN DIEGO — A 22-year-old man from Huntington Beach was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for stealing the identities and computer passwords of more than 700 students so he could rig an election and become student body president at Cal State San Marcos.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said that Matthew Weaver showed "phenomenal misjudgment" by stealing the identities and passwords and then, when caught, trying to blame other students.more..
July 15, 2013
Youth soccer coach gets 14 years in prison
Jorge Luis Dominguez must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A former youth soccer coach who pleaded guilty to sex-related counts involving a 12-year-old boy was sentenced today to 14 years and eight months in state prison. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leslie Swain also ordered Jorge Luis Dominguez, 27, of Los Angeles, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton. Dominguez pleaded guilty March 8 to 10 felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 and one felony count of possession of matter depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.more..
July 12, 2013
Armed Robbery Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder of Two LAPD Officers
An armed robbery suspect who jumped from a car and allegedly fired at police during a pursuit was charged today with attempted murder of police officers and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Kirkham Gastelum, 30 (dob 5-10-83), is awaiting arraignment this afternoon at Los Angeles Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch, in Department 100. He is charged in case LA 074633 with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, two counts of second degree robbery, one count of second degree commercial burglary and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake with the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit. The complaint includes personal use of a handgun allegation against Gastelum.more..
July 11, 2013
Man Convicted of Hacienda Heights Church Arson
A 35-year-old man was found guilty today of torching St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights in 2011, causing an estimated $9 million in damage, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose of the Target Crimes Division, Arson Section, said Gregory Yusuke Shiga, of Hacienda Heights, was convicted of all five counts, including aggravated arson, arson of a structure, arson of an inhabited structure, possession of flammable material and second-degree commercial burglary. more...
July 10, 2013
District Attorney Jackie Lacey Challenges Release of Sexually Violent Predator in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that her office will file a writ challenging a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge’s ruling to release a sexually violent predator in Los Angeles County.
In May, Judge Gilbert Brown granted serial rapist Christopher Hubbart's request for conditional release from custody and determined that Hubbart should be conditionally released to Los Angeles County, where he was born and raised.more...
July 09, 2013
Former Redlands teacher charged with 41 counts of committing sex acts with students
Prosecutors today charged a former Redlands high school teacher with 41 counts of committing sex acts with three boys while they were her students.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, of Redlands could face as much as 29 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
Whitehurst, who resigned from her job at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands following her July 1 arrest, was rearrested today, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office said in a press release. more...
July 08, 2013
World / Americas Calif teacher arrested after having student's baby
REDLANDS, Calif. - A Southern California high school teacher was arrested on unlawful sex charges two weeks after giving birth to a baby that was allegedly fathered by a student, Redlands police said Tuesday.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested Monday night for allegedly having unlawful sex with a 16-year-old, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker said. She was the boy's adviser.more...
July 05, 2013
Modesto man freed after 16 years in triple-murder arson case
A man who served 16 years in prison for a triple-murder arson walked out of jail Wednesday afternoon, weeping, hugging family members and telling reporters he just wanted to see the sun.
George Souliotes, 72, who had been sentenced to life without parole for starting a 1997 house fire that killed three of his tenants, was released under a plea agreement following a federal judge’s decision to overturn his convictions. more...
July 03, 2013
Disbarred Rancho Cucamonga defense attorney jailed
James Reiss facing 11 felony counts of grand theft and forgery
A disbarred criminal defense attorney who represented former Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez in his two public corruption trials has been arrested in connection with the theft of funds from former clients.
James Vincent Reiss, 51, of Upland, was arrested shortly before noon on June 20 by Los Angeles County district attorney investigators and booked into the Los Angeles County sheriff's station in San Dimas, where he is being held in lieu of $3.7 million bail. more..
July 02, 2013
Former Sheriff’s Sergeant Charged with Grand Theft, Embezzlement
A former sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been charged with grand theft and other counts for allegedly stealing money during a staged sting operation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Lustig of the Justice System Integrity Division said Bonnie Theodore Bryant III, 57 (dob 5/18/56), is charged with one felony count each of grand theft of personal property and embezzlement by a public or private officer. Bryant also faces a misdemeanor count of petty theft. more..
July 01, 2013
Four Charged in “Latin Lotto” Scam Targeting Elderly
Three men and a woman accused of targeting four elderly victims through a financial scam dubbed the “Latin Lotto” are expected to appear in court today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Ginna Lizeth Diaz, 25 (dob 1/28/88), and John Anderson Damian, 23 (dob 10/6/89), are due to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30.more..
June 28, 2013
Man sentenced to death in Long Beach woman's 1998 slaying
Kevin Darnell Pearson, 36, was convicted in the sexual assault, torture and beating of Penny Keprta, 43. Two other assailants are on death row.
She was a mother of three, going to the market to pick up food for a neighbor. They were "stupid drunk," a witness would later tell police: loud, rowdy and obnoxious.more..
June 27, 2013
Feds clearing decks for CalPERS fraud trial
SACRAMENTO -- Federal prosecutors appear to be clearing the legal way to speed up the trial of two former top state pension fund officials on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges.
A grand jury in March indicted Federico Buenrostro Jr. of Sacramento, the former chief executive of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and Alfred J.R. Villalobos of Reno, a former CalPERS board member and onetime deputy mayor of Los Angeles.more..
June 26, 2013
Wrong-way Driver Charged with Murder
Los Angeles County prosecutors today charged a wrong-way driver with two counts of murder and other charges after he slammed his pickup truck into oncoming traffic early Saturday morning.
Bradford Pate, 38 (dob 4-9-75), also was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury and DUI over .08 percent alcohol causing injury in case PA077323. Pate, who remains hospitalized, is expected to be arraigned sometime Thursday at Los Angeles Superior Court, San Fernando Branch, Department S.more..
June 25, 2013
Father, Son Plead to Criminal Charges in $450,000 Unauthorized Practice of Law Case
A father and son accused of stealing $450,000 from more than a dozen victims by offering unlicensed legal services pleaded no contest today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Pejman Mehdizadeh, 35, of Los Angeles, told victims he was a licensed attorney or that he worked with one and that he could provide a variety of services – including obtaining green cards, loan modifications and divorces. His father, Parvis Mehdizadeh, 78, of Calabasas, assisted. Between 2002 and 2009, they took payments from 15 victims ranging from $2,000 to $200,000.more..
June 24, 2013
Teacher Charged with Wife’s Fatal Stabbing
Prosecutors charged today a Los Angeles Unified elementary school teacher with fatally stabbing his estranged wife at a West Hills home early Saturday, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Michael Rodney Kane, 46 (dob 1-20-67), is scheduled to be arraigned in Department 100 at Los Angeles Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch, sometime after 1:30 p.m. He is charged in case LA074423 with one count of murder in the June 15 attack of his estranged wife, Michelle Kane.
He also is charged with one count of first degree burglary with a person present, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of making criminal threats.more..
June 21, 2013
16-year-old gang member gets 90 years to life for killing 1-year-old
A gang member who last year shot and killed a 1-year-old boy while the toddler was being held in his father's arms was sentenced Friday to 90 years to life in prison.
In the incident last June, Donald Ray Dokins, then 15, rode his bicycle to a home on the 10500 block of Hickory Street in Watts and opened fire, killing 14-month-old Angel Mauro Cortez Vega and injuring his father, Mauro Cortez. more..
June 20, 2013
3 men due in court in fatal stabbing at Hollywood Walk of Fame
Three men are expected to be charged Friday in connection with the stabbing death of a woman next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The three men, whom police describe as transients between 27 and 34 years old, were arrested in connection with the death of 23-year-old Christine Darlene Calderon after police said the men attacked her Tuesday night at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. more..
June 19, 2013
LAUSD teacher Michael Kane pleads not guilty to West Hills murder of wife Michelle
The man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death in West Hills over the weekend pleaded not guilty in Van Nuys Superior Court this afternoon to four counts, including murder.
Michael Rodney Kane, 46, was officially charged with murder earlier in the day, as well as with one count of first-degree burglary with a person present, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of making criminal threats, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. He is being held without bail. more..
June 18, 2013
Baldwin Park Man Charged in Toddler’s Death
A Baldwin Park man accused of killing his 21-month-old son was charged today with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.more..
June 17, 2013
Builder investigated in alleged campaign money-laundering for Noguez
Eskandar Bolour is suspected of asking two company executives to contribute $500 each to the L.A. County assessor's campaign and having his daughters reimburse them.
A Beverly Hills-based property developer is under investigation for allegedly using his daughters and two of his firm's attorneys to launder illegal campaign contributions to Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, according to a search warrant obtained by the Los Angeles Times.more..
June 14, 2013
Lawyer cites schizophrenia in LA train platform killing
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A defense attorney told a jury Thursday that a homeless woman who pushed an 84-year-old woman off a train platform to her death was an unmedicated schizophrenic who had been released from a hospital three days earlier.
The assertion by attorney Laurice Cheung came in the second trial for Jackkqueline Pogue. Her first jury deadlocked on the question of whether Pogue fully understood the consequences of her actions when she pushed Betty Sugiyama off the platform and onto the tracks.more..
June 13, 2013
Reputed Gang Members Charged in Santa Monica Shootings
Two reputed gang members were charged today with murder and attempted murder and a third man was charged with being an accessory in connection with a shooting on Tuesday near Santa Monica College, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19 (dob 6-30-93), Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23 (dob 9-26-89), and Noah Jason Farris, 32 (dob 1-22-81), are set to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. at Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Branch, Department 144.more..
June 12, 2013
Driver Pleads in Collision That Resulted in Amputations
A Paramount driver pleaded no contest today to driving under the influence after his BMW slammed into two men, the District Attorney’s Office announced. The force of the crash severed both legs of one victim and crushed the right leg of the other victim so badly it had to be amputated.
Terrence Conrad Meeks, 40, entered his plea to one count of driving under the influence causing injury before Judge Terry Bork, said Deputy District Attorney Nick Swertlow. Meeks will be sentenced to five years, four months in state prison when he returns July 17 for sentencing.more..
June 11, 2013
L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services contractor accused of improper loans and costs in the millions
A fiscal audit has raised red flags about yet another county Department of Children and Family Services contractor, this time for loaning out $2.3 million intended for the care of foster children and allegedly racking up at least $500,000 in "unallowable costs."
The agency's chief executive officer, however, countered that services to children have "never been compromised" and insisted the problems cited by the audit no longer exist. more..
June 10, 2013
Former Maywood Police Officer Sentenced to Prison
A 33-year-old former Maywood police officer was sentenced today to 19 years in state prison after pleading no contest to sexually assaulting five female victims while he was on duty in 2006 and 2007, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Ryan Allen West, who was the Maywood Police Department’s K-9 officer, earlier pleaded no contest to two counts of rape and three counts of penetration of a foreign object involving five women who ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old.more..
June 07, 2013
Saugus man arrested again for allegedly burglarizing homes of women found on dating website
SANTA CLARITA - A 39-year-old Saugus man was arrested on suspicion of burglary for the second time this year, using a popular online dating website to find female victims, mostly in the Santa Clarita Valley, authorities said Thursday.
Jeffrey Elvington was initially arrested on Feb. 14, and arrested for a second time on Tuesday on additional charges of grand theft and burglary, said Deputy Joshua Dubin of the sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley Station.
Elvington typically told women fantastical stories about himself, including implying he was a personal chef for celebrities and boasting of working for the government and special forces in the military, Dubin said. more..
June 06, 2013
Petaluma man faces 135 counts in Ponzi scheme
SANTA ROSA -- A judge has determined there is sufficient evidence to try a Petaluma real estate agent in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say bilked more than $20 million from mostly elderly investors.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://bit.ly/14vEGS8) reports 72-year-old Aldo Baccala is charged with 135 counts including grand theft, securities fraud and elder financial abuse. more..
June 05, 2013
Woman sentenced to jail for 'sweetheart scam' that targeted Campbell man
SAN JOSE -- A 30-year-old Elk Grove real estate agent was sentenced to a year in jail Friday for bilking an older Campbell man out of about $200,000 and a luxury car in what prosecutors call a "sweetheart scam."
Samantha Pham, who pleaded guilty about six weeks ago to various felonies including theft from an elder, was also given three years of probation and ordered not to practice real estate. She also must attend counseling for gambling addiction and not use Internet dating sites -- something prosecutors said she used to swindle at least six other men in Elk Grove. more..
June 04, 2013
Man in California dog mauling murder case held on more than US$1m bail
LANCASTER (California), June 1 — A Southern California dog-owner arrested after four pit bulls attacked and killed a woman near her home was ordered held on US$1.05 million (RM3.15 million) bail yesterday after being charged with second-degree murder.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Samantha Macdonald said that since January authorities had received at least three other reports of Jackson’s pit bulls attacking people. — AFP picAlex Donald Jackson, 29, was charged on Thursday in what legal experts said was an unusual instance of prosecutors accusing a dog owner of murder in a fatal mauling, especially when the owner may not have been present during the attack. more..
June 03, 2013
Judge comes close to dismissing conflict-of-interest charges against Nick Conway
LOS ANGELES -A judge Thursday came close to dismissing the criminal conflict-of-interest charges against former San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Nick Conway, but instead gave Conway's attorney the opportunity to file an argument that may grant Conway a waiver from law.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Norm Shapiro, clearly troubled by the evidence before him, suggested that a waiver motion could be filed that recognizes inherent conflicts in Conway acting as the SGVCOG's executive director while chasing contracts that boosted his management firm, Arroyo Associates. more..
May 31, 2013
Disneyland employee jailed on suspicion of planting bomb in park trash can
A 22-year-old Disneyland employee was behind bars today on suspicion of dropping a dry-ice bomb into a theme park trash can, forcing the evacuation of Mickey’s Toontown but causing no injuries.
Long Beach resident Christian Barnes, who works as an “outdoor vending cast member,” was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said. more..
May 30, 2013
L.A. County to probe handling of abuse case involving slain boy
Supervisor Michael Antonovich wants to know why the boy was not removed from his home. His mother and her boyfriend have been charged with murder and torture.
A woman and her boyfriend have been charged with one count each of murder and a special circumstance of torture in the death of the woman's 8-year-old son, Gabriel. more..
May 29, 2013
Man Charged in Child’s Stabbing Death
Prosecutors today charged a 26-year-old Los Angeles man with the stabbing death of his girlfriend’s young son, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Rineson Curtis Adams (dob 9/22/86) is charged with one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder with a special allegation of personal use of a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife. Adams also faces one count of felony child abuse. more..
May 28, 2013
Former KPMG partner to plead guilty in insider trading case
A former senior partner at accounting firm KPMG's Los Angeles office has agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud for passing inside information about the firm's clients to a friend, who used it to make more than $1 million in profitable stock trades.
Scott London, 50, who supervised more than 500 KPMG auditors, agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to the single felony charge. The date he will enter the guilty plea has not yet been scheduled.more..
May 24, 2013
LAPD reviewing Manson follower tapes in hunt for new clues
After a lengthy battle, Los Angeles Police Department detectives and prosecutors have decades-old audiotapes that could shed new light on other cases potentially connected to the Charles Manson killing spree.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department's elite Robbery Homicide Division, along with Los Angeles County prosecutors, are starting to review those tapes of conversations between one of Charles Manson's most fervent followers and his late attorney to see whether it can help solve more cases from that period.more..
May 23, 2013
Officer Charged With Sexually Molesting 14-Year-Old Girl
LOS ANGELES – A 41-year-old police officer assigned to the Metropolitan State Hospital was charged today with a dozen counts of sexual molestation involving a 14-year-old girl, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Mario Uribe Estrada (dob 5-8-72) is scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, said Deputy District Attorney Rosa Alarcon with the Justice System Integrity Division. She will ask that his bail be set at $535,000.more..
May 22, 2013
LAPD Officer Charged With Child Molestation
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles police officer was charged today with molesting two young girls he allegedly lured to his home on Saturday, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Sparagna with the Justice System Integrity Division said Miguel Angel Schiappapietra Jr., 28 (dob 5-12-85), is scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30. He is charged in case BA411464 with two felony counts of lewd act on a child under 14 years of age.more..
May 21, 2013
Trial set for two men charged in worst mass killing in Long Beach history
After several delays in court proceedings, trial will likely begin later this year for two known gang members accused of murder and kidnapping in one of the worst mass killings in Long Beach history.
The two defendants, Max Elisio Rafael, 26, and David Cruz Ponce, 32, were in Los Angeles Superior Court Friday after previously pleading not guilty to the 2008 killings at a homeless camp. The men were arrested in 2012, and are eligible for the death penalty. more..
May 20, 2013
Suit accuses Compton school district of abuse, racial profiling
A group of parents and students have sued the Compton school district, alleging a pattern of abuse and racial profiling of Latinos by school police.
A group of parents and students have filed a federal lawsuit against the Compton school district alleging a pattern of abuse and racial profiling of Latinos by school police.more..
May 17, 2013
Casino owner Sheldon Adelson hit with $70-million verdict
This post has been corrected and updated, as indicated below.
LAS VEGAS – A Hong Kong businessman hit a $70-million court-awarded jackpot Tuesday when a jury agreed that he had helped the casino empire run by billionaire Sheldon Adelson get a gambling foothold in China.more..
May 16, 2013
FBI to probe fatal beating by Kern County deputies
The sheriff requests federal assistance amid charges of tampering with video of assault captured on cellphones.
BAKERSFIELD — The FBI launched an investigation Tuesday into the death of a man who was beaten by authorities amid questions over whether officials tampered with cellphone videos confiscated from witnesses.more..
May 15, 2013
Kern County man dies after alleged beating by deputies
Sheriff seizes witnesses' phones with video of the incident, bringing accusations of a coverup. Bakersfield police will assist with the investigation.
The sharp cracks echoing from the East Bakersfield street were loud enough to jolt Ruben Ceballos from a midnight slumber. Then he heard screams.more..
May 14, 2013
'Girls Gone Wild' creator guilty of false imprisonment, assault
"Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis faces up to five years in Los Angeles County jail after a jury convicted him Monday of nearly half a dozen misdemeanor counts in connection with assaults on three women.
Francis, 40, was found guilty after a two-week jury trial on five charges -- three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting and one count of assault causing great bodily injury -- stemming from the Jan. 29, 2011, incident.more..
May 13, 2013
Teen guilty in murder of mother, stepfather
Jury deliberates three hours in the murder trial of Cynthia Alvarez, 16, for her role in her parents' slayings in Compton in 2011.
A 16-year-old girl was found guilty Friday of murdering her mother and stepfather, capping a two-week trial in which the teen admitted driving to buy party supplies while her mother's decomposing body was in the back of her vehicle.
May 10, 2013
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Suit Against JPMorgan Chase for Fraudulent and Unlawful Debt-Collection Practices
LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed an enforcement action against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) alleging that the bank engaged in fraudulent and unlawful debt-collection practices against tens of thousands of Californians.
The suit alleges that Chase engaged in widespread, illegal robo-signing, among other unlawful practices, to commit debt-collection abuses against approximately 100,000 California credit card borrowers over at least a three-year period.more..
May 08, 2013
Girl testifies she didn't kill mother, stepfather
Cynthia Alvarez, 16, tells Compton jury she did not kill Gloria Villalta and Jose Lara, but admits writing incriminating notes to her boyfriend and handing him a knife during one of the slayings.
A 16-year-old girl charged with murdering her mother and stepfather tearfully told a Compton jury on Monday that she did not kill them but admitted writing incriminating notes to her boyfriend and handing him a knife during one of the slayings. more..
May 06, 2013
New indictment filed in Downey triple-murder case
Jade Harris arraigned on 10 counts, including three murders.
LOS ANGELES -- A man accused of one of the worst mass killings in Downey history was arraigned Friday under a grand jury indictment in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Jade Douglas Harris, 30, had already been arraigned and pleaded not guilty in November in Downey Superior Court in a triple-murder that grew out of a dispute about the sale of a used car. more..
May 03, 2013
Retired CHP Officer Charged in Child Porn Case
LOS ANGELES – A retired California Highway Patrol officer accused of creating a phony user profile on a social networking site to allegedly bait youth has been charged with half a dozen felony counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Samer Hathout of the High Tech Crime Division said Edward John Hofer, 53 (dob 10/10/59), is charged with two counts each of sending harmful matter to a minor, possession of child pornography and contact with a minor for sexual offense. more..
May 02, 2013
Ex-L.A. County sheriff's employee sentenced in child porn case
A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in federal prison for seeking to have sex with children and distributing child pornography, authorities said.
Mark Robin Rainwater, 46, was arrested on Oct. 12 at Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., with sex toys and children's toys in his luggage after he had arrived from California to meet two boys, according to federal authorities.more..
May 01, 2013
Professor Ordered To Stand Trial In UCLA Lab Fire Case
LOS ANGELES – A UCLA chemistry professor was ordered to stand trial today on felony charges related to a 2008 laboratory fire at UCLA that claimed the life of a 23-year-old staff research assistant, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Judge Lisa Lench ordered Patrick Harran to stand trial on three felony counts of violating occupational health and safety standards that caused the death of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji. more..
April 30, 2013
Los Angeles: Teacher accused of ordering child porn to face judge today
A former fifth-grade teacher at a Sun Valley elementary school was due in court today to be arraigned on a charge of possessing child pornography.
Douglas Randolph Collins was scheduled to enter a plea in Los Angeles Superior Court to one felony count of possession of matter depicting a minor in sexual conduct, according to the District Attorney’s Office.more..
April 26, 2013
Main Northridge kidnapping suspect charged with 37 felonies, bail set at $19M
The main suspect in a Northridge burglary and kidnapping case appeared in court for the first time but did not enter a plea.
Tobias Dustin Summers, 30, walked into Los Angeles Superior Court San Fernando Branch courtroom on Thursday afternoon with his head down, wearing a black hoodie.more..
April 25, 2013
Magician Blackstone apprentice, actor charged with rape, torture of teen
YUCCA VALLEY -- Forcible rape and torture charges have been filed against an actor who was an apprentice to master magician Harry Blackstone Jr.
Robert Allen Coffie, 42, of Yucca Valley was arrested Monday at a home in the 5000 block of Lomita Lane in Yucca Valley after an investigation into the allegations stemming from an April 17 incident. more..
April 24, 2013
San Jose: Eight face felony charges in fraudulent moving company case
SAN JOSE -- Eight people face felony theft and fraud charges in a case involving a company that used a bait-and-switch tactic to swindle customers who believed they were getting a good deal on moving services, prosecutors said.more..
April 23, 2013
Current, former LAPD officers acquitted on perjury charges
Phillip Walters and Craig Allen are found not guilty on charges that they lied about a drunk-driving arrest in September 2010. Allen is also cleared on an allegation of filing a false police report.
A jury Friday acquitted a Los Angeles police officer and a former officer on charges that they lied about a drunk-driving arrest.more..
April 22, 2013
South L.A. residents decry closing of juvenile court, other cuts
Marcus Bell knows how important Los Angeles County courts are for at-risk youth.
Bell, a gang intervention and prevention worker in South Los Angeles, has worked hard with young people, trying to get them to not run from police. He's worked with them to get into the courts when they have legal issues, to deal with them responsibly instead of not showing up and having warrants issued at a young age.
On Saturday, Bell said he worries about the Los Angeles County Superior Court's cost-cutting plan that includes the closure of the Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center. In the coming months, the juvenile court will be one of eight regional courthouses closing as the court system struggles to close an $85-million budget shortfall by July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.more..
April 19, 2013
Woman faces life in prison for allegedly severing husband's penis
Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of a Garden Grove woman accused of lacing her husband's dinner with drugs, cutting off his penis and tossing it in a garbage disposal.
A woman could be sentenced to life in prison for allegedly cutting off her husband’s penis and throwing it into the garbage disposal, Orange County prosecutors said.more..
April 18, 2013
Man Pleads To Fatal Beating, Sentenced to 11 Years State Prison
LOS ANGELES – A man who fled to Guatemala for years after fatally beating another man to death with a pipe pleaded no contest today to voluntary manslaughter, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Sergio Giovanny Ruano, 37, was sentenced to 11 years in state prison by Judge Drew Edwards, said Deputy District Attorney Ian Phan. In exchange for his plea, two other counts were dismissed.more..
April 17, 2013
Sheriff's Deputy Charged With Assaulting Inmate
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was charged with assaulting a 19-year-old inmate in the back seat of a patrol car, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Matthew John Funicello, 31 (dob 12/19/1981), is accused of striking an inmate several times with his fist on July 22, 2011. The inmate was being transported from the sheriff's Palmdale Station to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles.more..
April 16, 2013
Transient pleads not guilty to setting Long Beach man on fire
A man has died after he and his SUV were set on fire outside a 7-Eleven in Long Beach. (KTLA / April 12, 2013)
A 38-year-old homeless man suspected of fatally setting a man on fire outside a Long Beach 7-Eleven has pleaded not guilty to capital murder.more..
April 15, 2013
Attorney Charged For Trying to Smuggle Heroin Into LA Jail
Los Angeles, CA - (CNS) A lawyer charged with trying to smuggle heroin into a Los Angeles County Jail near Castaic is scheduled to be arraigned May 1.
Stephen Beecher, 61, of Sherman Oaks, is charged with bringing drugs into jail, transportation of heroin and bringing a firearm into a jail, along with two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, according to the District Attorney's Office.more..
April 11, 2013
Updated: Jurors say guilty verdict for phony Rockefeller was in the bag
Gerhartsreiter faces a sentence of 27 years to life in prison
LOS ANGELES -- A con 28 years in the making came to an abrupt end Wednesday morning when a six-woman, six-man jury found a Rockefeller imposter guilty of murdering a San Marino man in 1985 and burying his trisected corpse in the backyard of his Lorain Road home.
Suspect Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller, wore a blue blazer, gray slacks, a white shirt opened at the neck and slip-on shoes in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom. He stood silently and listened to the court clerk read the guilty verdict on one count of first-degree murder, with an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon.
He faces 27 years to life in prison when sentenced June 26 by Judge George Lomeli in Los Angeles Superior Court. The jurors did not look at Gerhartsreiter as the verdict was read. But they each affirmed to Lomeli and attorneys on both sides that they believed Gerhartsreiter was guilty of bludgeoning John Sohus, a 28-year-old computer nerd, to death.more..
April 10, 2013How To Present Yourself In Front of the Courthouse
No matter what reason you might have to be heading to court, there are certain rules to your appearance that you need to keep in mind. Presenting yourself in the right light to those that you are appearing before can really help you out, whether you believe that or not. Take a few simple guidelines to how you look before you head in, and you will be on your way towards a positive outcome.
How you dress is crucial for your court appearance. No matter what your reason for being there, you need to show that you respect the court enough to look presentable. While this does not necessarily imply that you need to go buy an expensive looking suit to wear, it does mean that you should at the very least dress in what is considered business casual. Jeans, shorts and t shirts are generally not good ideas to wear to court because they show a subtle disrespect for the court in general. It is important to show respect even in the subtlest of ways.more..
April 09, 2013
Prosecutor urges jury to convict Rockefeller impostor in killing
In closing arguments, Deputy Dist. Atty. Habib Balian calls Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter a 'master manipulator,' while defense counters that he was merely a con man and not a killer.
A prosecutor urged jurors Monday to find a man who pretended to be a member of the Rockefeller family guilty of murder, saying he was a "master manipulator" who buried the victim's body in a San Marino backyard nearly three decades ago.more..
April 08, 2013
Cold case arrest prompts cross-country probe
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Los Angeles cold case detectives caught up with Samuel Little this past fall, he was living in a Christian shelter in Kentucky, his latest arrest a few months earlier for alleged possession of a crack pipe. But the LA investigators wanted him on far more serious charges: The slayings of two women in 1989, both found strangled and nude below the waist — victims of what police concluded had been sexually motivated strangulations.
Little's name came up, police said, after DNA evidence collected at old crime scenes matched samples of his stored in a criminal database. After detectives say they found yet another match, a third murder charge was soon added against Little.more..
April 05, 2013
Doctor to plead guilty to selling prescriptions at coffeehouses
An Orange County doctor has agreed to serve at least eight years in federal prison for illegally selling prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other drugs out of Starbucks coffeehouses, according to court records.more..
April 04, 2013
Should Criminals Lose Their Human Rights?
Whether or not criminals should lose their human rights is a huge question, and there are supporters who are strongly in favor of both perspectives. Before you make a final decision as to where you stand regarding this issue, there are a few points that you need to consider. This is especially important if you don't have the means to travel abroad and witness human rights issues first-hand.
Severity of Crime
Crimes come in all shapes and sizes. Should a person who puts graffiti on a wall be treated the same way as an individual who has murdered someone? You likely don't think that they should be. Perhaps you'll support the remaining of human rights for those who have committed smaller crimes but the taking away for those who have committed great atrocities. more..
April 03, 2013
Former soccer coach sentenced to 225 years for sexually assaulting young boys in L.A.
A former youth soccer coach who was convicted of committing lewd acts on six boys he coached was sentenced today to 225 years to life in state prison.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Henry Hall imposed the term on Jose Duarte, 44, who was convicted Feb. 14 of 20 felony counts of lewd acts with a child and five felony counts of showing harmful material to a minor.more..
April 01, 2013
Mistrial declared in 5-year-old's Halloween killing in 2010
Jury is deadlocked. Prosecutors plan to retry the defendant, who they say was a gang member going into rivals' territory looking to shoot someone.
A judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of an alleged gang member accused of fatally shooting a 5-year-old boy who was in a Spider-Man costume on Halloween.more..
March 28, 2013
LAPD can have Manson-related tapes, judge rules
Manson follower Charles 'Tex' Watson waived attorney-client privilege over the decades-old taped conversations with his lawyer when he allowed them to be sold to a writer, judge rules.
A federal judge has ruled that the Los Angeles Police Department can have 40-year-old taped conversations between one of Charles Manson's most fervent followers and his late attorney to see if they can help solve more murders.more..
March 27, 2013
Former LAPD officer who sexually assaulted teen while on duty has conviction upheld
A state appeals court panel today upheld the conviction of a former Los Angeles police officer for sexually assaulting a woman and soliciting sex from another woman — both while he was on duty.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected an appeal filed on behalf of Russell Mecano, who was convicted in March 2011 of one felony count each of sexual battery by restraint, sexual penetration by force or duress and sexual penetration under threat along with one misdemeanor count of solicitation of prostitution.more..
March 26, 2013
Los Angeles chef who boiled wife’s remains sentenced today
A Lomita restaurateur who told sheriff’s detectives he had bound his wife with duct tape, panicked when he awoke to find her dead and “cooked” her body for four days to get rid of her remains was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison.
David Robert Viens, 49, was convicted Sept. 27 of second-degree murder for the October 2009 slaying of his wife, Dawn.more..
March 25, 2013
Mistrial declared in Bell corruption case for remaining counts after 'all hell' breaks loose
LOS ANGELES - Saying she feared "all hell" had broken loose among jurors, a judge declared a mistrial Thursday on dozens of remaining counts against five former elected officials who had been convicted the day before of looting the working-class city of Bell.
Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy took the action after the 12-member panel struggled to decide 42 counts against the former mayor and four former members of the Bell City Council. more..
March 22, 2013
Judicial officials say it's time to restore California court funding
As many California lawmakers herald a budget proposal that appears to restore fiscal stability to the state, some court officials have a different message: It's not enough.
Under Gov. Jerry Brown's blueprint, the court system would be compelled to transfer $200 million from a special construction fund to keep its operating budget at the same level as last year. The budget would also have trial courts draw their reserves down to 1 percent, depleting them to a level that critics say leaves the courts vulnerable.more..
March 21, 2013
'Innocent' man released after 13 years: 'I feel good'
Daniel Larsen grinned ear to ear.
"I feel good, feel blessed," Larsen said Tuesday as he rode the elevator down to the main floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by friends and family.
After 13 years and appeals at nearly every level of the state and federal court system, Judge Suzanne Segal ordered Larsen's release from prison Tuesday, finding that he was "actually innocent" of carrying a concealed knife during a 1998 bar fight in Northridge.more..
March 20, 2013
Rockefeller impostor on trial for murder
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County prosecutor has told jurors he will prove that a man who impersonated a number of people including a Rockefeller murdered one of his neighbors a quarter-century ago.
The prosecutor outlined a highly circumstantial case Monday against Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (GAYR’-hahrtz-ry-tur) which he said will prove the killing of a man who vanished in 1985. more..
March 19, 2013
Bell jury has been out nearly as long as corruption trial itself
The amount of time jurors in the Bell corruption case have spent behind closed doors is approaching the length of the criminal trial for the six former council members accused in the case.
Tuesday marks the 17th day of juror deliberations, and there has been no indication that a verdict is near.more..
March 18, 2013
Attorney Sentenced on Conspiracy, Drug Charges
LOS ANGELES – A now-suspended attorney who tried to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine to his client in the downtown Criminal Justice Center, then a month later was arrested at the Antelope Valley courthouse for possessing rock cocaine, was sentenced to jail today.
Deputy District Attorney Rosa Alarcon of the Justice System Integrity Division said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Fred Wapner sentenced 49-year-old Kenneth Roger Markman to a year in county jail and to a one-year residential treatment program as part of three years of supervised probation. A report on Markman’s progress was scheduled for Oct. 15.more..
March 15, 2013
Paramount man charged in DUI crash
LOS ANGELES -- A Paramount man who was behind the wheel of a BMW that crashed into two men standing in front of a parked car outside a Los Angeles strip club, causing them to lose limbs, was charged this week with drunken driving.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba ordered Terrence Conrad Meeks, 40, held on $160,000 bail while he awaits arraignment March 25 on one felony count each of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury, along with allegations of great bodily injury and injury to more than one person.more..
March 14, 2013
Convicted rapist Andrew Luster's 124-year sentence vacated
Judge calls for a hearing to set a new prison term for the great-grandson of Max Factor. Luster has already served 10 years.
A judge Monday vacated the 124-year sentence received by convicted rapist Andrew Luster in 2003 and ordered an April 4 hearing to determine a new sentence.more..
March 13, 2013
Edward Furlong Sentenced: 6 Months in Jail for Violating Probation
Edward Furlong has been sentenced to six months in jail for violating his probation from a 2010 case, court records have revealed.
The actor, most famous for his role as John Connor in Terminator 2, was charged with disobeying the terms of his probation from a 2010 domestic violence case. In that case he was convicted of violating a restraining order previously handed down by the court.more..
March 12, 2013
Los Angeles: Jury selection begins in Rockefeller impersonator murder case
Dozens of potential jurors filled out questionnaires today in preparation for the trial of a man who allegedly posed as a member of the Rockefeller family and murdered his landlord, whose remains were found buried in his San Marino backyard.
Christian Gerhartsreiter, 52, is accused of the February 1985 slaying of John Sohus, 27, whose bones were found nearly a decade later.more..
March 11, 2013
LA County Assessor John Noguez makes bail
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, in jail on charges of corruption since October 2012, made bail on Friday. Mr. Noguez stands accused of taking $185,000 in bribes from Ramin Salari, a prominent property-tax consultant and generous Noguez campaign fundraiser. Mr. Noguez is alleged to have lowered property-tax bills for some of Salari’s wealthy clients in exchange for those donations.
The Assessor has been collecting his salary of $197,000 a year since his incarceration, but has had difficulty proving that any money he puts forward to pay his $1.16 million bail did not come to him through illicit means. “We’re alleging that he received bribes, so his salary was linked to his criminal conduct,” said Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman.more..
March 08, 2013
Man charged with raping teenage girl at Tustin park
A 21-year-old Orange County man has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a Tustin park last October after authorities said they linked the man to the crime through DNA evidence.
Chase Jeffrey White, a Tustin resident, faces a maximum of nine years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration if convicted, authorities said.more..
March 07, 2013
Identity hearing set for suspect in Oakland rapper slaying
LOS ANGELES -- A man named as the suspect in a deadly shooting and fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip made his first appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday and the judge scheduled a March 14 hearing to establish his identity.
The hearing will require officials from Nevada to present evidence that he is the person being sought by authorities in that state. Such a hearing is often a part of the extradition procedure.more..
March 06, 2013
Los Angeles: Cop killing gang member sentenced to life in prison
A gang member was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for giving a gun to a cohort who used it to kill an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in Cypress Park as he prepared to leave for work at the Men’s Central Jail.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen handed down the maximum possible sentence of life without the possibility of parole, plus 65 years, for Jose Renteria, who was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen, was convicted of first-degree murder in Deputy Juan Abel Escalante’s Aug. 2, 2008, shooting death, and of attempted murder in the unrelated May 15, 2007, shooting of Luis Piche, who survived. more..
March 05, 2013
Hearing Set for Las Vegas Strip Shootout Suspect
Ammar Harris was expected to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man accused of firing gunshots that left a man dead and led to a deadly, fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip faces extradition from California to Nevada. more..
March 04, 2013
National Lampoon accuses ex-CEO Tim Durham of embezzling $1M
West Hollywood-based National Lampoon is suing its former CEO Tim Durham, accusing him of taking more than $1 million to pay for a criminal defense attorney.
National Lampoon is also suing that attorney, John Tompkins, and his firm, Brown Tompkins, Lory and Mastrain. more..
March 01, 2013
Lindsay Lohan's attorney begs judge for mercy
Lindsay Lohan's new attorney asked a judge for mercy and compassion Friday as the actress faces criminal charges that she lied about not driving a Porsche that crashed into a truck on Pacific Coast Highway.
But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Dabney offered a warning for the actress and said if she proceeded with her New York attorney, Mark Heller, as her sole legal counsel, Dabney would require her to sign a waiver stating that Heller was not competent in California law.more..
February 28, 2013
Daughter Charged With Mother’s Murder
VAN NUYS – A 24-year-old woman who was arrested in Oregon last week after she allegedly fatally shot her mother in Woodland Hills is awaiting arraignment on one count of murder, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.
Laura L. Purviance (dob 4-29-88) is charged with the Feb. 13 murder of Caroline Purviance, 61. Her mother’s body was discovered in the 5600 block of Mason Avenue, where the younger woman lived. The felony complaint for arrest warrant, filed Feb. 19, alleges Purviance personally and intentionally discharged a handgun. more..
February 27, 2013
Day-care owner charged with abuse was accused as early as 2008
A day-care center owner charged this week with molesting children at his Boyle Heights operation had been investigated twice before -- but never arrested -- in connection with similar allegations several years ago, according to law enforcement officials and state records.
Parents reported accusations of molestation in 2008 and 2009 to the LAPD, but Ramos continued to operate Cano & Ramos Family Child Care. more..
February 26, 2013
Lohan Ordered to Appear for Deposition in Beverly Hills
Lindsay Lohan was ordered today to appear for an April 8 deposition in a lawsuit by a paparazzo who alleges the actress is partially responsible for injuries he claims he received when he was struck by a car in which Lohan was a passenger.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian also sanctioned Lohan $1,000 to compensate plaintiff Grigor Balyan’s lawyer, Neil Steiner, for his expenses in preparing the motion to compel her deposition.more..
February 25, 2013
Judge denies injunction; Whittier oil drilling may proceed for now
LOS ANGELES - A judge ruled Thursday the Whittier Hills oil drilling project can proceed as planned because the first phase will not cause "irreparable harm" to the environment.
The ruling favors the city of Whittier and its partners, Matrix Oil Corp. and Clayton Williams Energy, Inc., who can begin drilling test oil wells on a 7-acre site of the nature preserve. The drill site is located on the northeast edge of the Friendly Hills neighborhood within a 960-acre portion of the preserve. more..
February 22, 2013
Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty, Sent to Prison for Sex Crimes with Minors
LOS ANGELES – A former Long Beach police officer pleaded guilty today to sex crimes involving minor girls and was immediately sentenced to 11 years and eight months in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Natalie Adomian of the Justice System Integrity Division said Noe Yanez, 40, pleaded guilty to six counts during a preliminary hearing of the evidence against him. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen, who was conducting the preliminary hearing, also ordered that Yanez register as a sex offender.more..
February 21, 2013
Former High School Coach Pleads to Molesting Teenage Girl Over Five-Year Period
NORWALK – A former Bellflower High School track and girls’ basketball coach pleaded no contest today to molesting a teenage girl over a five-year period starting when she was 13.
Bryan E. Shepherd, 49, entered the plea before Norwalk Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, who scheduled March 25 for sentencing. Deputy District Attorney Jessica Tillson said that under terms of a negotiated settlement of the case, Shepherd will be sentenced to 28 years in state prison.more..
February 20, 2013
Two More Charged With Murder Outside a Church
LOS ANGELES – Two more reputed gang members, including the alleged shooter and a woman who allegedly drove the getaway car, are scheduled to be arraigned today on murder and other charges in connection with a Nov. 4 fatal shooting outside a Westlake district church, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Pedro Martinez, 24 (dob 1-24-89), the suspected shooter, and Ivy Navarrete, 31 (dob 11-14-81), are due at the Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, today for arraignment in case BA404685.more..
February 19, 2013
Gang Member Convicted of Murdering Deputy Escalante
LOS ANGELES – A jury deliberated less than a day before finding the third of six defendants guilty of the first-degree murder of off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Abel Escalante in 2008.
The jury of eight men and four women also found Jose Renteria, now 22, guilty of the attempted murder of another man in 2007. Jurors found true a special circumstance that Renteria committed the murder to further a criminal street gang along with all gun and gang allegations. Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty again Renteria.more..
February 18, 2013
Youth Soccer Coach Convicted of Child Molestation
LOS ANGELES – A youth soccer coach was convicted by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury today of molesting six boys in 2010 and 2011.
Jurors returned verdicts against Jose Duarte on his 44th birthday. The six men and six women on the jury deliberated less than a day before finding Duarte guilty of 20 counts of child molestation and five counts of sending harmful material.more..
February 15, 2013
Appellate Court To Consider Paparazzi Law
LOS ANGELES - A judge has declined to reconsider his ruling dismissing charges filed under California's anti-paparazzi law, triggering a full appeal before a panel of judges who have indicated that they believe the law is constitutional.
Court records show Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson issued a notice on Monday declining to reconsider his decision to dismiss two charges against photographer Paul Raef. more..
February 14, 2013
Nick Conway ordered to stand trial on charges of conflict of interest for work with SGVCOG
Nick Conway, the former executive director of San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, was ordered to stand trial Thursday for felony conflict of interest.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria ruled there was enough evidence to suggest Conway was guilty of the charges. more..
February 13, 2013
Two Charged With Murder After Body Found in Angeles National Forest
PASADENA — Two Burbank men were charged today with the murder of a Glendale man whose remains were found in a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest in January, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Erik Thomas Pearson, 21 (dob 2-25-91), and Donald Thurman, 26 (dob 9-5-86), are awaiting arraignment at Los Angeles Superior Court, Pasadena, in Department D. They were charged in case GA088935 with one count each of capital murder with the special circumstances of robbery and lying in wait.more..
February 12, 2013
Juvenile Charged in Two Swatting Incidents
LOS ANGELES – A 12-year-old boy who allegedly made prank calls to police that sent officers to Ashton Kutcher’s home and a bank in October was charged today with making false bomb threats and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
The juvenile, (dob 4-22-2000) whose name is being withheld because of his age, is due in Eastlake Juvenile Court on Friday for arraignment on two felony counts each of making false bomb threats and computer intrusion, said Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Fairtlough, deputy in charge of the Eastlake Juvenile branch. The case No. is FJ51120.more..
February 11, 2013
US singer back in court for alleged sentence breach
LOS ANGELES: A judge ordered a probation report Wednesday into allegations that US singer Chris Brown has breached the terms of a sentence imposed for his notorious 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Brandlin said Brown must appear in court again on April 5, and ordered him to contact his probation officer within 48 hours, following the prosecution allegations this week.more..
February 08, 2013
Oxycodone Trafficker Sentenced To 10 Years
SAN FRANCISCO - Ella Mae Simpson, 55, of Hayward, Calif., was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone, and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
On May 18, 2012, before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston, Simpson pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. § 846; three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); and one count of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C). Simpson admitted that, between April 5, 2011, and June 9, 2011, she conspired with others to possess with intent to distribute and she conspired to distribute oxycodone. Simpson further admitted that on three separate dates between April 5, 2011, and June 8, 2011, she distributed oxycodone and that on June 9, 2011, she possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute it, all in the Northern District of California. On June 9, 2011, law enforcement officers seized $235,524 along with a firearm from Simpson’s residence. There was no plea agreement. more..
February 07, 2013
Board of Supervisors Opposes Closure of 10 Courthouses, Including Beverly Hills
The Board of Supervisors agreed today to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, “expressing strong opposition” to proposed reductions in funding for trial courts.
Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who recommended the letter, said funding for trial courts statewide has been cut by more than $475 million over the last five years. The Los Angeles Superior Court has already decreased costs by more than $110 million through layoffs and attrition, but is facing a deficit next year of between $56 million and $85 million, according to Antonovich.more..
February 06, 2013
Police to review Los Angeles clergy abuse files
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives will review recently released clergy abuse files from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to see if there's evidence of criminal activity by church authorities, including failure to report child abuse to law enforcement, police officials said Tuesday.
Investigators will focus on the cases of about a dozen previously investigated priests and are auditing those past probes to make sure nothing was missed, said Cmdr. Andrew Smith. The department will also look at the files for all 122 priests that were made public Thursday by court order after the archdiocese fought for five years to keep them sealed, he said.more..
February 05, 2013
Physician Sentenced for Evading Taxes on Fraudulent Medicare Billings
NORWALK -- A physician accused of fraudulently billing Medicare in 2003 and 2004 was ordered today to pay California more than a half-million dollars in back taxes as part of a probationary sentence.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Suehiro of the Fraud Interdiction Unit of the Healthcare Fraud Division said Norwalk Superior Court Judge Patrick T. Meyers also placed Thomas Evans Mitchell Jr., 65, on five years of formal probation and ordered him to perform 350 hours of community service.more..
February 04, 2013
Cardinal Mahony rebuked as more 'brutal' priest abuse files released
The Los Angeles Archdiocese has released tens of thousands of pages of previously secret personnel files for 122 priests accused of molesting children and took the extraordinary step of publicly censuring Cardinal Roger M. Mahony for mishandling the incidents.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that he had relieved his predecessor, Mahony, of all public duties.more..
February 01, 2013
Bell corruption trial: Second witness takes the stand
Bell's former director of administrative services -- one of the former employees raking in a high salary -- will take the stand Thursday in the trial of six former council members accused in the corruption trial.
Lourdes Garcia earned $422,000 a year, among the highest salaries in the country for her position. Like City Clerk Rebecca Valdez, who spent three days on the witness stand, Garcia will be testifying under a grant of partial immunity.more..
January 30, 2013
Actor Pleas, Sentenced in Domestic Violence Case
BEVERLY HILLS – Actor Lane Garrison was ordered today to undergo 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and Alcoholic Anonymous meetings as part of three years probation on his plea of no contest to misdemeanor battery on a former girlfriend last year.
Deputy District Attorney Joy Sumabat-Graff said Garrison, 32, also must perform eight hours of community service and pay $400 to the Domestic Violence Fund. Although sentenced to 74 days in jail, Garrison was given credit for the time that already was served, the prosecutor said.more..
January 29, 2013
98-year-old accused of murdering 80-year-old wife in Sepulveda Boulevard apartment
LOS ANGELES -- A 98-year-old man accused of murdering his 80-year- old wife is expected to stand trial based on a judge's ruling today.
Milton Weiss appeared for a preliminary hearing before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano, who determined prosecutors had sufficient evidence to try Weiss on the charge. more..
January 28, 2013
LAUSD principal failed to report alleged molestation by teacher
The De la Torre Elementary principal first heard accusations of sexual misconduct a decade before the instructor's arrest this week, the L.A. schools chief says.
A now-retired principal twice failed to report accusations of sexual misconduct by a teacher who this week was charged with molesting 12 students at a Wilmington elementary school, officials said.more..
January 25, 2013
Opening statements set in Bell trial
LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES (AP) - A prosecutor and lawyers for six former Bell city officials are prepared to give opening statements in a massive city corruption trial.
The former mayor and vice mayor and four former city council members are charged with misappropriation of public funds in a plot to line their own pockets at the expense of citizens. Prosecutors claim the city treasury was looted to the tune of $5.5 million and the modest blue collar suburb was driven to the brink of bankruptcy.more..
January 24, 2013
Three Men Charged with Hate Crime for Attack on African American Woman and White Man in California
Billy James Hammett, 28, and Perry Sylvester Jackson, 27, were arrested today in Yuba County, Calif., on federal hate crime charges for their racially motivated attack on an African American woman and white man in Marysville, Calif., on April 18, 2011. A third defendant, Anthony Merrell Tyler, 32, has turned himself in to authorities in Sacramento, Calif.
The defendants were charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of California and unsealed today. They are charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Shepard-Byrd Act criminalizes certain acts of physical violence causing bodily injury motivated by any person’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. more..
January 23, 2013
Man Charged in Northridge Quadruple Murder Case
SAN FERNANDO – A 31-year-old felon was charged today with capital murder in the fatal shooting of two women and two men outside a Northridge residence on Dec. 2, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Ka Pasasouk (dob 8-28-81), who has remained in custody since his Dec. 3 arrest in Las Vegas, was charged with the special circumstance murders of Teofilo Navales, Robert Calabia, Amanda Ghossein and Jennifer Kim outside the home in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street, said Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon with the Major Crimes Division. more..
January 22, 2013
Court grants reduced sentence to juvenile lifer
A Riverside County judge on Friday granted a new sentence to Sara Kruzan, originally sentenced to life without parole for murdering the man for whom she worked for three years as a prostitute. She was 16 at the time.
Kruzan's case was cited repeatedly by politicians seeking to overturn California's law allowing juvenile offenders to be sentenced to life without possibility of parole. However, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011 reduced her sentence to 25 years to life. more..
January 21, 2013
10 days after Long Beach police shooting, man's family still in dark about his condition
Yorn Eng and her husband Heng Hean are frantic to learn the condition of their son, Sokha Hor, who was hospitalized and in custody after being shot by police Jan. 7. (Greg Mellen / Press-Telegram)Latest: Family of Long Beach man shot by police finally granted access after 10 days
LONG BEACH — As the memories flood back for Yorn Eng, she struggles to remain composed as her emotions yaw between sadness and anger. more..
January 17, 2013
Son of 'Barney' co-creator arrested on attempted murder charge
The son of a co-creator of the long-running PBS children's show "Barney and Friends" has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting a neighbor in the chest during a dispute, L.A. County sheriff's officials said Thursday.
Patrick Leach, 27, of Malibu was booked on suspicion of attempted murder after he shot the unidentified neighbor in the chest with a large-caliber handgun Jan. 9, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.more..
January 16, 2013
Two healthcare administrators get prison for insurance fraud
Two healthcare administrators were sentenced Monday to state prison for their roles in a $154-million medical insurance fraud scheme in which thousands of healthy patients were recruited to undergo unnecessary surgeries to bill insurance providers, Orange County prosecutors said.
Dee Francis, 63, and Rosalinda Rodriguez Landon, 67, were both sentenced after they pleaded guilty in court last week to conspiracy, grand theft, insurance fraud and other felony charges, the Orange County district attorney's office said.more..
January 15, 2013
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Nurse Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for “Convenience Drugging” Elder Patients
BAKERSFIELD -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the sentencing of the former Director of Nursing of a Kern Valley Healthcare District hospital with a skilled nursing facility, a rare case in which a medical professional has been criminally charged and sentenced under elder abuse laws for the illegal chemical restraint of patients.
Gwen D. Hughes, 59, the former Director of Nursing, was sentenced to three years in state prison Wednesday in Kern County Superior Court. Hughes pled no contest on October 11, 2012 to one felony count of elder abuse with a special allegation that the abuse contributed to the victim’s death.more..
January 14, 2013
Oxnard man worries clergy scandal will fade from public memory
More than 30 years after he claims an Oxnard priest molested him, 11 years after terrorist attacks unearthed buried memories, five years after a $660 million settlement brought a church promise to release clergy abuse files, and one day before a court hearing on those still-unreleased files, Manny Vega worries about the truth.
"Are we any closer today than we were 10 years ago?" he said in a work office decorated with Marine posters. "I don't know. I don't think so."
On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias is expected to rule on an earlier decision to redact the names of cardinals, bishops and other Catholic Church leaders in files that may show what they knew about molesting priests and when they knew it.more..
January 11, 2013
Fake Rockefeller to stand trial in 1985 killing
LOS ANGELES - A German man who had masqueraded as a Rockefeller heir will stand trial starting March 11 in the 1985 killing of a San Marino man.
Attorneys for Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 51, aka Clark Rockefeller, said Wednesday they plan to build their case around the possibility that the dead man's wife was the culprit. more..
January 10, 2013
Third Man Charged in Connection With Christmas Day Murder of a Neighborhood Coach
PASADENA – A third reputed gang member was charged today with capital murder in the Dec. 25 fatal shooting of a neighborhood athletics coach who was caught in the line of fire during a car-to-car shooting, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Jerron Donald Harris, 25 (dob 10-5-87), is charged in case GA088554 with one count of murder with the special circumstances of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and murder to further a criminal street gang. He’s also charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and possession of a firearm by a felon, charges that include personal discharge of a handgun. more..
January 09, 2013
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's wife gets stay-away order against homeless woman
LOS ANGELES - The wife of Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck today was granted a three-year stay-away order against a homeless woman accused of threatening to kill her.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson issued the order on behalf of Cindy Beck, who maintained in court papers filed last month that Veronica Roberts called her cell phone numerous times, claiming the police chief was following her and harassing her and that she wanted it to stop.more..
January 08, 2013
Scouts and Church Leaders Lose Court Fights to Obscure Abuse Files
California courts have not been very accommodating to the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America this past week, refusing to let them shield their files on child abusers in their midst from public scrutiny.
Last Thursday, the California Supreme Court cleared a path for release of two decades worth of confidential child molester files when it refused to overturn a Santa Barbara County Superior Court decision that was upheld by an appellate court in December. The files contain information on volunteers and employees who have been expelled by the Scouts for suspected sexual abuse. The files were maintained for internal use and rarely shared with the public. more..
January 07, 2013
Legislators vow to change law on rape by impersonation
The reversal of a conviction based on an 1870s state statute prompts the promise. The Assembly speaker says the issue will be a top priority.
California legislators and the state's top prosecutor said Friday that they would work to overhaul a law that makes it a crime to obtain sex by impersonating another only if the victim is a married woman.more..
January 04, 2013
Man charged with attempted murder in torching of homeless woman
Prosecutors on Monday charged a man suspected of setting a homeless woman on fire in Van Nuys with attempted murder.
Dennis Petillo, 24, of Van Nuys is accused of dousing the homeless woman with rubbing alcohol while she slept on a bus bench and setting her ablaze early Thursday near Van Nuys Boulevard and Sherman Way. more..
January 03, 2013
Comedian Katt Williams could face stolen-firearms charges
Comedian Katt Williams' could face new charges -- including allegations of illegal gun possession -- after his arrest Friday.
Williams was released on bail and is awaiting the decision of L.A. prosecutors on whether charges will be filed. more..
January 02, 2013
Tennis umpire's husband had superficial head wound, report says
When prosecutors decided to drop a murder charge against professional tennis umpire Lois Goodman, they gave no explanation.
But a defense team pathology report by a former New York medical examiner reveals the head wound authorities had portrayed as deadly was, in fact, superficial.more..
December 28, 2012
Judge oversees courts for the down, but not out
A visitor walking through the doors of Judge Michael Tynan's courtroom might mistake it for a church of repentant sinners seeking salvation from a man in a black robe.
Members of this congregation come with criminal records and confessions of hard times when drugs, alcohol and mental illness sent their lives spiraling. Some arrive in their best clothes ready for redemption; others are escorted in handcuffs and jail uniforms that show they have not yet found the light.more..
December 27, 2012
Man Charged in Temple Bomb Threat Case
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man accused of calling in bomb threats to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with making malicious false bomb reports and vandalism of religious property. The charges were alleged to hate crimes.
The streets around the temple at 3663 Wilshire Blvd. were shut down for several hours early yesterday after reports were telephoned in that there were bombs in a police car parked next to the temple. No bombs were found, but anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on a wooden construction wall on temple property. more..
December 26, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown issues 79 pardons
Among those receiving pardons are Leonard Wilson-Banks, who served time for robbery in Alameda County. He's now a prison chaplain in Arkansas.
Prison chaplain Leonard Wilson-Banks often tells the inmates he counsels to heed his life and the successes he accomplished after serving time behind bars.more..
December 21, 2012
County to keep paying jailed assessor’s $197,000 salary – for now
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday to discuss the fate of Assessor John Noguez, but did not remove him from office and will allow him to continue receiving his $197,000 salary while he's in jail.
Noguez has been in jail since mid-October. He is charged with taking $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant — and campaign fundraiser — to lower property taxes for his clients. more..
December 20, 2012
Los Angeles-area Church Pastor Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering and Conspiring with Doctors, Others to Defraud Medicare of More Than $11 Million
WASHINGTON — A Los Angeles-area church pastor pleaded guilty today to conspiring with doctors, the operators of fraudulent medical clinics, street-level patient recruiters and others to defraud Medicare of more than $11 million, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California; Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Bill L. Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Joseph Fendrick, Special Agent in Charge of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
Charles Agbu, 58, of Carson, Calif., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge George Wu in the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of money laundering.more..
December 19, 2012
Helping children cope with Connecticut shooting
Understanding Friday's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school might not be possible, experts said, but parents can help their children with the fear and insecurity that shootings evoke, whether they experienced the incident firsthand or through media accounts.
According to a guide published by the Lucy Daniels Center, a mental health agency based in North Carolina, if children learn of a disturbing event, parents should assume that their children will be shaken, even if there are no obvious signs.more..
December 18, 2012
Parents of students allegedly killed by actor demand justice
Clinging to keepsakes and memories more than two years after their children were killed, the parents of two slain Orange Coast College students say the pain of reliving the details of their deaths in court can't match their desire for justice.
On Thursday, the families of Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, and Samuel Herr, 26, sat in Orange County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing to determine whether prosecutors could move forward with charges of accessory after the fact against Rachel Buffett, 25, the then-fiancee of alleged killer Daniel Patrick Wozniak. Buffett is accused of helping Wozniak by lying to police after the crime.more..
December 17, 2012
'Bling Ring' defendent pleads no contest in burglaries that included home of Paris Hilton
LOS ANGELES -- The sixth and final defendant charged in the so- called "bling ring" that targeted celebrities' homes pleaded no contest today to a felony charge.
Courtney Leigh Ames, 22, pleaded no contest to one count of receiving stolen property.
Three other counts against her -- conspiracy, a residential burglary charge involving Paris Hilton's home and a second count of receiving stolen property -- are expected to be dismissed. more..
December 15, 2012
California state employees involved in bribery, theft, auditor reports
A bribery scam executed by two California state workers cost the Franchise Tax Board and the secretary of state's office hundreds of thousands of dollars, one of nine instances of employee fraud, abuse or poor management exposed by whistle-blowers in a new state report.
Employees at the Los Angeles field offices of both agencies received thousands of dollars of payments between 2006 and 2008 from a private courier who in turn received hundreds of official letters for his clients without paying document fees of $15 to $20 per letter.more..
December 14, 2012
Lindsay Lohan's probation revoked, no jail time ordered -- yet
Actress Lindsay Lohan's probation for jewelry theft was revoked Wednesday by a judge after prosecutors charged her with three misdemeanor counts accusing her of lying to Santa Monica police about whether she was driving a Porsche that collided with a dump truck on Pacific Coast Highway.
The revocation came as Lohan's attorney, Shawn Holley, appeared before a judge Wednesday at the Airport Court on behalf of the 26-year-old actress. The case will return to court Jan. 15, when a date will be set for the revocation hearing and arraignment on the new charges. more..
December 13, 2012
Man accused of murders got rehab instead of prison
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County district attorney's office admitted Monday that prosecutors made a mistake when they let a man now accused in the fatal shootings of four people receive drug treatment instead of serving prison time when his case was heard in September.
Ka Pasasouk is accused of gunning down four people at a seedy boarding house in the San Fernando Valley. He was arrested this fall for drug possession while on probation.more..
December 12, 2012
Dealer who sold Ferraris, Rolls-Royces charged in $3-million scam
An Orange County man has been charged in a $3-million car embezzlement scheme in which he allegedly defrauded owners of such luxury cars as Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Rolls-Royces trying to sell their vehicles on consignment through his Costa Mesa dealership, law enforcement officials said.
Farhad Ebadat, 37, faces 15 felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary trust, 15 felony counts of money-laundering and 11 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses, according to a joint statement by the Orange County district attorney's office and the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force. more..
December 11, 2012
Comedian Katt Williams arrested after motorcycle chase
Comedian Katt Williams was arrested in connection with a bizarre police pursuit last month in which he was driving a three-wheel motorcycle in Sacramento.
Williams was arrested Friday night north of Sacramento on a felony warrant related to the November chase, according to the Sacramento Bee. He was released on bail by Saturday night.more..
December 10, 2012
Newhall Land, judge trade salvos
Company officials attempt to remove Ann I. Jones from further rulings on Newhall Ranch development
The dispute over environmental effects of the proposed Newhall Ranch development has focused on a fight between the developer and the judge who ruled more environmental studies were required before bulldozers could move in.more..
December 08, 2012
LAPD officer arrested in off-duty altercation at family gathering
A Los Angeles police officer is facing criminal prosecution for allegedly breaking a man's jaw during an off-duty altercation, the L.A. County district attorney's office said.
Officer Donald Peko, 35, was charged with a single count of battery with serious bodily injury -- a felony -- for the July 2011 incident, according to a statement from the D.A.'s office. more..
December 07, 2012
San Francisco wants to be reimbursed $1.2M for Dodgers beating victim Bryan Stow
LOS ANGELES - Lawyers for San Francisco want a judge to order that any judgment Bryan Stow may obtain against the Dodgers for his 2011 beating outside Dodger Stadium also include a $1.2 million reimbursement for medical care at a hospital in the Northern California city.
Stow was treated at city-owned San Francisco General Hospital from May 16, 2011, to Oct. 11, 2011. Attorneys for the Tax Collector of the City and County of San Francisco have sent a notice of a hospital lien for services to lawyers for the Dodgers and attached a copy to court papers filed Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan. more..
December 06, 2012
Northridge Slaying Suspects Waive Extradition
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Four people arrested in connection with the weekend slayings of two women and two men outside a Northridge boarding house agreed today to be extradited from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
The suspects, who were arrested Monday at the Silverton hotel and casino near the Las Vegas Strip, have not yet been charged with any crimes stemming from the quadruple slaying that occurred around 4:30 a.m. Sunday in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street.more..
December 05, 2012
Rossmoor 'acid bombs' probed as hate crime by human rights group
Authorities are investigating "acid bombs" -- small explosives made from a compound of household chemicals -- left on the lawn of an African American woman living in Rossmoor, Orange County sheriff's officials said.
A woman called law enforcement shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday to report that she had found several plastic bottles containing a blue liquid near the driveway of her home on the 3000 block of Mainway Drive. more..
December 04, 2012
Former Long Beach Police officer charged with more than 40 sex-related crimes to wait until 2013 for prelim
Noe Yanez is charged with sexually assaulting more than a dozen underage girls.
LOS ANGELES -- A preliminary hearing was canceled Thursday for a Long Beach police officer charged with more than 40 sex-related crimes involving more than a dozen underage girls and three young women. more..
December 03, 2012
LAUSD, teachers union make a deal on performance evaluations
Facing a Tuesday deadline to come up with a deal, Los Angeles Unified and its teachers union announced Friday that they'd hammered out a tentative agreement to begin using student test data in evaluating the district's educators.
It took more than five months and the intervention of a mediator to craft an evaluation that factors in standardized test scores, as well as Academic Growth Over Time, a controversial mathematical formula used to measure student progress. more..
November 30, 2012
Lindsay Lohan's day goes from bad to worse with 3 more charges
Lindsay Lohan's very bad day got very much worse Thursday when law enforcement on the West Coast finally charged her with three misdemeanor counts related to a June car accident on PCH in Santa Monica.
At the heart of the newest charges, according to L.A. Now: Lying to Santa Monica police about who was driving the car. (Lindsay said it wasn't her, but ...)more..
November 29, 2012
New Jersey Stock Trader Pleads Guilty to Conspiring with San Diego CEO in $28 Million Securities Fraud
Conspirators pull off fraud by exploiting a little-known provision of the securities laws allowing companies to issue unregistered shares of stock to settle Abona fide@ debts
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY - November 20, 2012
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that New Jersey-based stock trader Mark Allen Lefkowitz pled guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge William McCurine, Jr., and admitted conspiring with the Chief Executive Officer of a San Diego-based company to defraud the company=s own shareholders. Court documents refer to the Chief Executive Officer simply as ACEO@ and his company as ACompany A@ because neither has been charged with a crime to date. The plea is subject to final acceptance by United States District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez.more..
November 28, 2012
Addiction counselor charged with murder in DUI
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — The convertible hit Phillip Moreno so hard it knocked him out of his shoes and lodged him in the windshield.
As he lay dying on the hood, police said, Sherri Lynn Wilkins kept going another two miles until other motorists swarmed her car at a traffic light and grabbed her keys.
Wilkins, who was charged Tuesday with murder and driving drunk, told police she struck the man after leaving work and panicked. Police said her blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.more..
November 27, 2012
Neighbors of men accused of terrorist plot speak out
Neighbors of an Upland man arrested Friday on suspicions of terrorism said he would speak with neighborhood kids about Islam and going to Afghanistan.
Miguel Santana, who lived with his parents and younger sister in the 1300 block of Primrose Street, would "speak menace" to the kids in the neighborhood and talked about going to Afghanistan, said Manuel Gomez, who frequently visited family in the Upland neighborhood. more..
November 26, 2012
Military court to revisit statute criminalizing suicide attempts
Lawyers for Lazzaric T. Caldwell, a discharged Marine from Oceanside, will argue it is wrong for the military to punish troops whose mental problems cause them to attempt suicide.
In a case involving a discharged Marine from Oceanside, a military court next week will consider the decades-old military statute that makes it a crime to attempt suicide.more..
November 24, 2012
More fallout expected from L.A. County court cuts
The Los Angeles Superior Court recently announced plans to cut spending by $30 million this fiscal year - the most significant reduction of services in its history.
But in the coming fiscal year, officials are preparing to tackle an even large number - possibly up to $85 million - in an effort to stay afloat. more..
November 23, 2012
Inland Empire men charged in terrorist plot were "textbook" recruits, expert says
Miguel Alejandro Santana confided to an undercover FBI agent that while growing up he was always easily influenced by people and longed to fit in, which is what attracted him to street gangs.
And it was why he converted to Islam, not knowing anything about it "besides it being the truth," according to an indictment filed Nov. 16 in U.S. District Court. more..
November 22, 2012
Judge: NCAA investigation of ex-USC assistant in Bush case 'malicious'
LOS ANGELES – The NCAA was "malicious" in its investigation of a former USC assistant football coach who was linked in a report to a scandal surrounding Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush, a judge said Wednesday.
The NCAA's report on ethical breaches by Todd McNair was flawed, and the former coach has shown a probability he can win his defamation claims, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller said.more..
November 21, 2012
Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Off-Duty Murder
LOS ANGELES – A 41-year-old Sheriff’s deputy was charged by the District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) today with murdering a neighbor who fought with the defendant’s 20-year-old son outside the family home in Sylmar last summer.
Francisco Gamez II (dob 4-23-1971) was arrested by Los Angeles police yesterday. He was charged today in case No. BA404719. Bail was recommended at $4 million. The defendant is expected to appear for arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 30 after 8:30 a.m. today. more..
November 20, 2012
Ariel Winter to remain in sister's care until trial, judge rules
Ariel Winter of "Modern Family" will continue to be under the guardianship of her older sister until a trial is held that will ultimately decide the 14-year-old's custodial fate, a judge has decided.
The young actress' allegations of emotional abuse by her mother, Chrisoula Workman, were determined to be substantiated, according to a Department of Children and Family Services report that was reviewed Tuesday at a hearing in Los Angeles, L.A. Now reported.more..
November 19, 2012
Charges in 1st paparazzi-law case tossed COURTS
A California law aiming to crack down on reckless paparazzi has failed in its first legal test, as a judge threw out two charges against a photographer accused of chasing Justin Bieber on Highway 101 through the San Fernando Valley.
Paul Raef was the first person charged under the 2010 law, which Judge Thomas Rubinson of Los Angeles County Superior Court said was overly broad.more..
November 18, 2012
Bobby Brown pleads not guilty to drink driving
LOS ANGELES - A lawyer for Bobby Brown has entered not guilty pleas to drunken driving and other charges faced by the R&B singer after his arrest last month in Los Angeles.
City attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan says the pleas were entered Friday. Brown's case is scheduled for its next hearing on Dec. 13.more..
November 15, 2012
Former Law Firm Partner of Santa Monica Convicted of Obstructing Justice in SEC Investigation
(Source: FBI) - LOS ANGELES—A federal district judge today convicted a former partner of Nixon Peabody LLP for obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) investigation into whether one of the law firm’s former clients was running a Ponzi scheme.
Following a two-week bench trial, attorney David Tamman, 45, of Santa Monica, was convicted on all 10 counts on which he was tried: one count of conspiring to obstruct justice, five counts of altering documents, one count of being an accessory after the fact to co-defendant John Farahi’s mail and securities fraud crimes, and three counts of aiding and abetting Farahi’s false testimony before the SEC. “A case like this reveals the lengths to which those committing frauds will go to conceal their criminal deeds,” said United States Attorney Andre´ Birotte Jr., whose office prosecuted the case. “It also demonstrates that we will go to equal lengths to overcome these efforts at concealment and cast a bright light on fraudulent schemes that threaten investors and others in today’s difficult financial environment.”more..
November 14, 2012
LAPD officers lied under oath in drug probe, jury finds
Two Los Angeles Police Department officers lied under oath during a drug possession case five years ago, a jury found Tuesday.
Officer Richard Amio and former Officer Evan Samuel were each found guilty of perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice.more..
November 13, 2012
Nevada judge sets May hearing in OJ freedom bid
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge set the stage Friday for former football star O.J. Simpson to testify for the first time in the Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnapping case that resulted in his conviction and lengthy prison sentence.
Simpson appeals lawyers Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo said following a brief date-setting hearing in Las Vegas that they anticipate Simpson will take the stand to testify that he was so poorly represented by his trial attorneys that he should be freed and get a new trial.more..
November 12, 2012
Tennis referee's DNA not found on presumed murder weapon: lawyer
(Reuters) - Investigators have found no DNA link between a professional tennis referee charged with killing her husband and the coffee mug police say she used to bludgeon him to death, the woman's attorney said on Thursday.
Lois Goodman, 70, was arrested in August while she was preparing to officiate at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and accused of killing her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman, at their home in Los Angeles on April 17.more..
November 08, 2012
Three teenagers charged with sex crimes in alleged La Puente High School hazing
Prosecutors Tuesday filed charges against three teenage boys accused of sexually assaulting four fellow students as part of a hazing ritual among soccer players at La Puente High School, authorities said.
The two 17-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy, whose names are not being released due to their ages, are being charged with assault, sexual battery and hazing. more..
November 07, 2012
Reputed gang member charged in USC shootings
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A reputed gang member pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of attempted murder for allegedly opening fire outside a Halloween party on the University of Southern California campus.
Brandon Spencer of Inglewood made a brief court appearance and was ordered held on $2.4 million bail. The 22-year-old was named in a complaint filed Monday by Los Angeles County prosecutors. more..
November 06, 2012
$40,000 allegedly embezzled from O.C. marching band
Costa Mesa High School's marching band and its supporters are reeling from allegations that more than $40,000 was embezzled from the Band Boosters Club.
Mesa's marching band and color guard were stunned to learn that club treasurer Jennifer Border-Piatti, 50, was arrested Oct. 25 on suspicion of embezzling from the club, said band member Jennifer Bernal, 17, who is also a color guard co-captain.more..
November 05, 2012
Many death row inmates oppose bid to halt executions
If Proposition 34 passed, such prisoners would be given less legal assistance than they have now. Many would rather gamble on being executed.
Police and death row inmates agree on one thing, a law enforcement group told its members: They both oppose next week's ballot measure to replace the death penalty with life without parole.more..
October 27, 2012
Imprisoned detective may pose risk to star clients
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four years after a private eye went to prison for wiretapping phones of the rich and famous on behalf of celebrities and Hollywood heavyweights, his clients are facing hefty bills for his skullduggery.
In the first of more than a dozen lawsuits against Anthony Pellicano's well-heeled clients, a jury last week ruled against the ex-wife of a billionaire philanthropist, awarding $4 million to his three adult children and former personal assistant after she violated their privacy.more..
October 26, 2012
Ryan O’Neil Warhol Painting Case May Head to Jury
A judge today sounded inclined to allow a jury to determine whether Ryan O’Neal should have to hand over an Andy Warhol portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett to her alma mater, the University of Texas, but reserved a final ruling until later in the week.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis, at the end of a hearing on a motion by the actor to dismiss the university’s case, may have tipped her hand when she said, “I do expect to see you all at trial.”more..
October 25, 2012
LA district attorney won’t charge 911 caller with manslaughter in deadly police shooting
LOS ANGELES — A man Pasadena police blamed for a deadly shooting after he falsely claimed robbery suspects were armed will not be charged with involuntary manslaughter, Los Angeles County prosecutors said Tuesday.
The potential case against Oscar Felipe Carrillo was referred to Pasadena city prosecutors for consideration of a misdemeanor charge of false report of a criminal offense.more..
October 24, 2012
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez staying in jail
John Noguez Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez will remain behind bars after a judge set his bail Monday at $1.16million, an amount his lawyer conceded was beyond his reach at this time.
"We're not going to able to make that bail amount," defense attorney Michael Proctor told Judge Shelly Torrealba. more..
October 23, 2012
Juliana Redding: Actress Murdered By Female “James Bond”?
Juliana Redding was a model and aspiring actress, appearing briefly in the 2005 film “Kathy T” and gracing the pages of Maxim before she was strangled to death in 2008. Now, new evidence has come to light that seems to suggest she was killed by a woman, who is nicknamed “James Bond” for her strong-arming ways.
After a business deal between Redding’s father and a Lebanese physician, Munir Uwaydah, went sour, Uwaydah allegedly sent Kelly Soo Park–on the books as his real estate agent and financial assistant–to Redding’s home to “threaten and intimidate” her. Forensic evidence ties Park to Redding’s home, but she has pleaded not guilty to the crime of murdering the young model. more..
October 22, 2012
Assessor John Noguez, tax advisor plead not guilty to bribes
John Noguez and consultant Ramin Salari will be back in court Monday in hopes of lowering their $1-million bail.
Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and the tax consultant accused of bribing him, Ramin Salari, pleaded not guilty to a long list of corruption charges Thursday. more..
October 19, 2012
Felony complaint alleges assessor John Noguez, two accomplices orchestrated massive scam
Embattled Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and two of his associates were arrested Wednesday for alleged roles in an elaborate bribery scheme to reduce the property tax bills of wealthy campaign contributors.
The scam allegedly cost the county more than $1.16 million in lost property tax revenue, and Noguez is accused of accepting $185,000 in bribes, officials said Wednesday. more..
October 18, 2012
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, Daughter Of Mexican Drug Lord Joaquin Guzman, Arrested In San Diego
SAN DIEGO — The daughter of one of the world's most sought-after drug lords has been charged with trying to enter the United States on someone else's passport, U.S. officials said Monday.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, 31, was arrested Friday at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry and charged with fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents.more..
October 17, 2012
Beverly Hills Billionaire Eavesdropping Case Back in News
The son of a late billionaire testified today that he did not know until May 2007 that his father’s then-wife allegedly hired disgraced private eye Anthony Pellicano to wiretap telephone lines in the couple’s Beverly Hills residence nearly a decade earlier.
Richard W. Colburn told a Los Angeles Superior Court jury that he was unaware that someone had been listening to what he thought were private conversations when someone emailed him a story from The New York Times about Pellicano’s eavesdropping victims. Jacqueline Colburn allegedly sought Pellicano’s help in getting an edge in her divorce proceedings against Richard D. Colburn, according to the story.more..
October 16, 2012
Details of slayings recalled at football player's hearing
Former Raider Anthony Wayne Smith is charged in the slayings of four men, including three torture deaths. A judge rules that he must face trial.
Anthony Wayne Smith, right, a former Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders football player, appeared in the Antelope Valley Courthouse Tuesday. with his attorney Michael S. Evans. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / October 9, 2012) more..
October 15, 2012
Judge denies bail to man arrested after weapons cache found at Los Angeles airport
Judge denies bail in LA airport weapons case
A federal magistrate has denied bail to a man arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities found he was carrying a suitcase full of weapons.
U.S. Magistrate Paul Abrams denied a defense request Friday that Yongda Huang Harris be released on bond on a charge of transporting hazardous materials.more..
October 12, 2012
Yongda Huang Harris Arrested With Smoke Grenade, Weapons In Luggage At LAX: Cops
LOS ANGELES — A man dressed in a bulletproof vest and fire-resistant pants was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after a smoke grenade, gas mask, leg irons and weapons were discovered in his luggage, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Boston-bound Yongda Huang Harris, 28, was arrested Friday on suspicion of transporting hazardous materials on a flight from Japan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.more..
October 11, 2012
Tennis umpire accused of killing husband passes lie-detector test
The test was administered privately by a former FBI examiner hired by umpire Lois Goodman's attorneys. Police say she refused to take official lie-detector tests.
Tennis umpire Lois Goodman, charged with bludgeoning and stabbing to death her 80-year-old husband in April with a coffee mug, has passed a lie-detector test administered by a former FBI examiner in which she denied killing her husband, her attorneys said Tuesday.more..
October 10, 2012
2 men sentenced in teen's 'text-message' death
Zareh Manjikian gets 50 years to life and Vahagn Jurian gets 25 years to life for the 2009 shooting death of a man over an insulting text message sent by the victim to his girlfriend.
Decrying "how much was lost for so little," a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Friday sentenced two men to lengthy prison terms for killing a teenager three years ago over an insulting text message.more..
October 08, 2012
4 in alleged soccer team hazing file claims against school district
The four La Puente High School students say they were sexually assaulted by older team members and that the attacks were videotaped. They also say a coach knew about the hazing.
Four teenagers who say they were sexually hazed by soccer players at La Puente High School filed legal claims against the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District on Thursday.more..
October 05, 2012
Panel recommends parole for Manson family member
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for 40 years in a double murder engineered by Manson won a recommendation of parole Thursday in his 27th appearance before a parole board panel.
Bruce Davis, convicted with Manson and another man in the killings of a musician and a stuntman, was not involved in the infamous Sharon Tate murders in 1969.more..
October 04, 2012
Hearing for COG director Nick Conway delayed again
LOS ANGELES - Nick Conway, the executive officer of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments charged with four felony counts of conflict of interest relating to his work with the COG, received a second postponement in court Thursday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba gave Conway, who was represented by his attorney, Kenneth White, until Nov. 14 to come back to court and set a date for a preliminary hearing.more..
October 03, 2012
Anti-Islam filmmaker arrested in LA
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged filmmaker behind the video that sparked protests across the Muslim world, was arrested on Thursday, the Los Angeles district attorney's office said.
The alleged director or producer of Innocence of Muslims was ordered to appear in court in downtown LA, reportedly for a probation violation, local media reported.more..
October 02, 2012
Woman whose SUV flipped on O.C. freeway, killing 3, faces charges
A Downey woman will appear in a Fullerton courtroom Monday in connection with charges that she killed three passengers in her SUV when she lost control of the vehicle.
Ruth Nava Torres, 43, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail.more..
October 01, 2012
Johnny Lewis Dead: 'Sons Of Anarchy' Actor Allegedly Attacked Neighbors, High On 'Smiles' Before Death
Johnny Lewis, the "Sons of Anarchy" actor who allegedly killed his landlady and her cat before falling off a roof to his death, reportedly attacked two neighbors and a painter and may have been high on a drug dubbed "Smiles."
Lewis was found dead outside a Los Feliz home on Wednesday following an altercation in which he fatally bludgeoned his 81-year-old landlady Catherine Davis. The bizarre altercation was the culmination of mounting problems for Lewis, who was arrested three times this year, abused drugs and had mental health issues. more..
September 28, 2012
Pair sentenced in plot to extort $5 million from Stevie Wonder
A man and woman charged with trying to extort $5 million from Motown legend Stevie Wonder were sentenced Monday to 292 days in jail after pleading no contest to the charge. But, because of jail credits they accumulated, the pair was eligible to be released.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Alpha Lorenzo Walker, 38, and his girlfriend, Tamara Eileen Diaz, also 38, were arrested May 2 during a sting operation involving detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department. more..
September 27, 2012
Jury deliberations continue in chef’s murder trial
The jury deciding the fate of David Viens, the chef who told authorities he cooked his wife's dead body to dispose of it, failed to reach a verdict Wednesday and will continue deliberations Thursday morning.
The panel has spent about 4 1/2 hours over two days weighing whether Viens is guilty of first-degree murder. Jurors, who could convict him of second-degree murder or manslaughter instead, asked Wednesday for the definition of second-degree murder. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rand S. Rubin referred them to the jury instructions. more..
September 26, 2012
Fed crackdown on pot dispensaries extends to LA
LOS ANGELES -- Nearly a year after U.S. attorneys in California pledged to crack down on medical marijuana, federal prosecutors filed three lawsuits Tuesday against properties in Los Angeles that house pot shops and sent 68 letters warning other sites to close or face possible charges.
The move came as the nation's second-largest city struggles to regulate clinics that have proliferated in recent years. Los Angeles could soon face a possible referendum targeting a ban approved by the City Council on pot shops.more..
September 25, 2012
Judge won't restart executions at San Quentin
An attempt on Monday by a So-Cal lawyer to get San Quentin's death row back in business was put down by a Los Angeles judge.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley made a play to skirt the 6-year-old state moratorium on executions by suggesting that the controversial three-drug cocktail--which led to the moratorium due to criticisms that its alleged painfulness constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment"--was no longer available for death-penalty use, and therefore the moratorium should be lifted.more..
September 24, 2012
Judge seeks more review of Chris Brown's probation
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2012 file photo, Chris Brown accepts the award for best R&B album for "F.A.M.E." during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. A judge in Los Angeles ordered a further review of Brown's community service on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 and set another hearing to determine whether the singer is in compliance with the terms of his probation for the 2009 beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A judge has ordered a deeper review of Chris Brown's probation amid questions about his travel and how many community service hours he has completed.more..
September 21, 2012
Lawyer: Man in violent online posts just `dumb'
LOS ANGELES — A 21-year-old man whose alleged Internet rant about killing children alarmed law enforcement authorities, leading them to knock down his door and arrest him, is being described by his own attorney as "just a dumb kid."
Authorities said they considered several factors in the case against Eric Yee, who was arrested this week after commenting about a story on ESPN's website about the cost of new Nike sneakers named after LeBron James.more..
September 20, 2012
Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Alice Yardum-Hunter Paves the Way for Green Card Approval That Likely Impacts Immigration Policy
In a legal move that could change the way the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) processes travel permits for applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence ("Green Card"), Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Alice Yardum-Hunter prevailed on a Canadian's appeal for U.S. permanent residency, citing a new published opinion on August 16, 2012. That ruling by the U.S. Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) prevents CIS from denying permanent residency, based on applicants' travel outside the country, while their Green Card applications are pending. Yardum-Hunter's case applied the published ruling to a different group of applicants and together, they rebuke limitations on travel which resulted from the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 with its unregulated approach to issuing travel permits.more..
September 19, 2012
Chef Accused in Wife's Murder Won't Testify in his Defense
The chef who told authorities he accidentally killed his wife and then cooked her body to dispose of it, said Wednesday he will not testify in his defense.
David Viens, 49, has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife, Dawn, who was 39 when she vanished in October 2009.more..
September 18, 2012
Los Angeles Sheriff: Feds interview California filmmaker
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff's station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Don Walker said.more..
September 17, 2012
Man Tied to Anti-Islam Film Has Criminal Fraud, Drug Record
U.S. authorities are examining whether a California man associated with the online movie clip that sparked protests across the Middle East violated the terms of his parole.
The U.S. Probation Office in Los Angeles is looking into Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s role in the film “Innocence of the Muslims,” according to Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the administrative office of the U.S. courts.more..
September 14, 2012
It's time to dump California's death penalty by passing Prop. 34
The state's death penalty already effectively has been abolished. The question now is whether we should keep throwing away tax money on a broken system.
SACRAMENTO — Officially, Proposition 34 is about whether to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life in prison. But that's not the pertinent question.more..
September 13, 2012
Forum Explores Major Cases Solved with DNA Evidence
LOS ANGELES – District Attorney Steve Cooley today will discuss the evolution of DNA evidence and highlight how it was used to prosecute nine serial rapists and murderers charged in recent years with brutalizing or killing more than 80 women and girls in Los Angeles County.
The District Attorney will open the 11th Annual DNA Awareness Educational Forum & Awards Luncheon with his presentation “DNA’s Evolving Profile: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We’re Going.” The forum begins at 8 a.m., at California State University Los Angeles, Golden Eagle Ballroom, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles.more..
September 12, 2012
D.A. seeks funds to investigate public officials in O.C.
Following the arrest of a prominent Orange County civic leader on suspicion of sexual assault, county prosecutors have requested extra staffing to form a public integrity unit that would focus on possible corruption and wrongdoing by elected leaders.
The county's Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday whether to provide the funds to create a unit that would pursue such cases as illegal or inappropriate use of public funds, bribery, election and campaign violations, conflict of interest and malfeasance in office, according to the proposal.more..
September 11, 2012
LA judge refuses to order one-drug executions
A judge has turned down the Los Angeles County district attorney's bid to immediately execute two death row prisoners by a new single-drug injection method.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled Monday he did not have jurisdiction to order use of the procedure, which has never been used in California.more..
September 10, 2012
Two prosecutors try to jump-start California executions
With California voters readying to consider whether to retain the death penalty, two prominent district attorneys, including San Mateo County's, are mounting a rebel legal campaign to kick-start executions in San Quentin's long-dormant death chamber.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has been heading the charge, moving in recent months to sidestep legal obstacles that have put executions on hold for nearly seven years and secure execution dates for condemned killers Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox.more..
September 08, 2012
DNA match leads to arrest in 1980 Oxnard slaying
Stacy Knappenberger, 15, was found beaten and stabbed multiple times in her home. Crime scene evidence was matched to an Alabama man who had been arrested in a sex assault case in Illinois.
When 15-year-old Stacy Knappenberger was killed in 1980, Oxnard investigators were at a loss.more..
September 07, 2012
Oceanside police chief's wife gets 15 years for O.C. standoff
The wife of the Oceanside police chief was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Friday for shooting at officers during a 2010 standoff outside her Orange County home.
Brinda Sue McCoy, 49, was convicted in June on five felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer and one felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence with sentencing enhancements. more..
September 06, 2012
Nadia Lockyer 'recognizes her error' after meth arrest, lawyer says
Former Alameda County supervisor Nadia Lockyer is scheduled to be in Orange County court next Monday for a pre-trial hearing after being arrested last week on suspicion on child endangerment and drug use.
Lockyer, the estranged wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, was arrested by the Orange Police Department on Aug. 28, after law enforcement received a call from a tipster saying she was in possession of drugs, according to officials. more..
September 05, 2012
Career criminal Doris Thompson, 82, charged in new burglaries
An 82-year-old woman was charged Tuesday on new burglary allegations.
Los Angeles County prosecutors said Doris Thompson would face seven counts of burglary and attempted burglary.
Torrance Police Sgt. Robert Watt said Thompson targeted doctors' offices. He said she would enter an office, hide until closing and search for keys to the cash box. He said she stole about $17,000.more..
September 04, 2012
L.A. Violates Your Due-Process Rights
How residents unearthed 200,000 words of phony findings City Hall used to illegally approve a skyscraper at Hollywood and Gower
In May 2011, at a final public hearing over whether to approve the tallest skyscraper in Hollywood history, the Department of Planning unveiled 231 pages of surprise "supplemental findings" backing the developer's plan.more..
August 31, 2012
California lawmakers approve medical parole for county jail inmates
With county jails packed to bursting throughout California, state lawmakers gave final legislative approval Thursday to a measure allowing inmates to be released early if they are medically incapacitated.
The "compassionate release" bill sent to the governor was requested by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and was modeled after a state program that releases inmates from prison if they are deemed to be so ill or injured that they are not a threat to public safety.more..
August 30, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arraignment of Individuals in $3.2 million Real Estate Investment Scam
SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arraignment of two Sacramento men who stole more than $3.2 million from investors who were told their money was being invested in a real estate venture to buy and re-sell foreclosed homes.
“These individuals fraudulently represented themselves as a legitimate business but had no intentions of carrying out what they promised,” said Attorney General Harris. “They will be held accountable for the damage they inflicted on trusting investors.”more..
August 29, 2012
Lois Ann Goodman, US Open Tennis Referee, Incapable Of Murdering Husband Alan Goodman: Lawyer
LOS ANGELES — A professional tennis referee accused of beating her 80-year-old husband to death has had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement and couldn't have carried out the killing, her lawyer wrote in a court filing.
Lois Ann Goodman also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, hearing loss and constant spinal pain that's controlled by an electronic device implanted in her spine and is awaiting another shoulder replacement, attorney Alison Triessl said in the filing late Monday.more..
August 28, 2012
Former Long Beach employee pleads guilty to embezzlement
LONG BEACH — A former Long Beach city employee who handled cash transactions for the city's Animal Care Services Bureau pleaded guilty today to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds.
Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani of the District Attorney's Public Integrity Division said that Jongluck Mutrais, 59, of Orange, is expected to be sentenced to three years in state prison on Sept. 12 as part of a negotiated plea.more..
August 27, 2012
Allegations that LAPD officers resold weapons for profit probed
A report released Friday by the Los Angeles Police Department's independent watchdog raised serious questions about the possible resale of handguns by officers.
The allegations, if true, could be a violation of federal firearm laws and city ethics regulations. more..
August 24, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Charges in Online World War II Nickel Scam
LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that Abraham Lew Berlin has been charged with nine counts of grand theft for selling counterfeit rare coins on an Internet auction site.
In September and October 2011, Berlin, 63, of Culver City, used his eBay account to list 13 sealed bags supposedly containing Silver War Nickels dated between 1942 and 1945. Berlin then began receiving payments from several customers believing they were purchasing the Silver War Nickels.more..
August 23, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Charges in Online World War II Nickel Scam
LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that Abraham Lew Berlin has been charged with nine counts of grand theft for selling counterfeit rare coins on an Internet auction site.
In September and October 2011, Berlin, 63, of Culver City, used his eBay account to list 13 sealed bags supposedly containing Silver War Nickels dated between 1942 and 1945. Berlin then began receiving payments from several customers believing they were purchasing the Silver War Nickels.more..
August 21, 2012
Daniel Larsen, Found Innocent By Federal Judge, Has Been In Prison For 13 Years
A young man who has spent 13 years in prison was declared innocent by a federal judge two years ago. And yet, he's still incarcerated.
Daniel Larsen's supporters delivered more than 90,000 signatures to the California Attorney General Kamala Harris' office Monday calling for his release, NBC reports. Christina Combs, Larsen's fiancée, and Bryan Banks, the NFL hopeful exonerated earlier this year after spending five years in prison, were among the group.more..
August 20, 2012
Charges dropped vs. sheriff's captain
Murray must do poll work, write letters of regret.
Criminal charges against a sheriff's captain accused of illegally soliciting campaign contributions for Sheriff Mike Carona will be dismissed if she explains her actions to fellow employees and works at a polling place.
Capt. Christine Murray faced 16 misdemeanor counts after she allegedly called other employees and asked for money for Carona's re-election campaign.more..
August 16, 2012
Court employee leaked classified documents, FBI alleges
A federal court employee in Los Angeles was charged with leaking confidential court files, the FBI said Tuesday.
Nune Gevorkyan, 35, was accused of accessing sealed court documents and giving the information to defendants before they were arrested, officials said. Gevorkyan and her husband, Oganes Koshkaryan, were arrested Tuesday. They are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice.more..
August 15, 2012
Gregory Powell, 'Onion Field' killer, dies at 79
Gregory Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith killed an LAPD officer in an onion field near Bakersfield in 1963. The story was made famous in Joseph Wambaugh's book. Powell spent the rest of his life in prison.
Gregory Ulas Powell, one of the notorious "Onion Field" murderers whose 1963 slaying of a Los Angeles police officer shattered the image of the invincible cop and changed police practices, has died. He was 79.more..
August 14, 2012
Ryan O’Neal Battles Against University of Texas Over Farrah Fawcett Portrait
Ryan O’Neal, in a declaration filed in response to a lawsuit aimed at forcing the actor to hand over an Andy Warhol portrait of the late Farrah Fawcett to her alma mater, the University of Texas, denies any wrongdoing.
“I am shocked and appalled that the University of Texas has alleged that I (stole) the Warhol portrait, which was a gift from my good friend, the late Andy Warhol,” O’Neal says in the sworn declaration filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.more..
August 13, 2012
Border Patrol agents guilty of human smuggling
Two former U.S. Border Patrol agents face a maximum of 50 years in prison after being found guilty Friday of multiple counts of conspiracy, bribery and human smuggling.
The conviction ends a long-running case that became an example of the pernicious reach of corruption into Border Patrol ranks. Raul Villarreal, 42, was once the face of the agency in the San Diego area, making frequent appearances on Spanish-language television newscasts as a media liaison.more..
August 10, 2012
Insurers must pay for hazardous waste site cleanup, court rules
The state of California will be able to collect tens of millions of dollars from insurance companies for cleanup of the Stringfellow Acid Pits hazardous waste site, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In a unanimous decision, the state high court said consecutive insurance policies by various companies required them to pay up to their policy limits for damage caused by the waste site. The companies wanted to restrict liability to just a share of the damage that occurred during the time each insurer’s policy was in effect.more..
August 09, 2012
Charges dropped against UC regents in lab assistant death
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced Friday that a settlement had been reached with the UC Board of Regents in a criminal case regarding a 2008 fire in a UCLA chemistry laboratory that left a 23-year-old research assistant dead from burn injuries.
The UC Board of Regents, which was originally facing felony charges in the case on three counts of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards causing death, reached a settlement that includes taking “comprehensive corrective safety measures.” The settlement also involves the establishment of a $500,000 scholarship in the name of the late research assistant, Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, for UC Berkeley School of Law students to study environmental law.more..
August 08, 2012
Culture of "abuse" continues after Bustamante arrest, women say
In the wake of the Carlos Bustamante sex scandal, a group of women is calling on the state attorney general to conduct an independent investigation into what they allege is Orange County’s continuing failure to protect employees.
The allegations were contained in a letter sent Tuesday to Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris.more..
August 07, 2012
As Sacramento dawdles, district attorneys revolt
California's death penalty has been in limbo since 2006, when a federal judge stayed the execution of Michael Morales, who was sentenced to death for the brutal 1981 murder and rape of 17-year-old Terri Winchell. The judge was fearful lest the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol would cause Morales undue pain. Since then, a number of states have switched to a one-drug protocol. Why hasn't California? The answer could be that Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris don't want the death penalty to work.
Brown and Harris are personally opposed to the death penalty, but when they campaigned for office in 2010, both pledged to carry out the law. They're not exactly knocking themselves out to do so.more..
August 06, 2012
DNA links Florida prison escapee to four California killings
Fugitive Larry D. Hubbard was arrested and returned to Florida in 2007, 30 years after he escaped, and died months later. The LAPD believes he killed at least four women during his years on the run.
A man who escaped a Florida prison in 1977 only to be recaptured three decades later in the Inland Empire is now suspected of killing at least four women in Southern California during his years on the run.more..
August 02, 2012
Ex-Raider pleads not guilty to four murder charges
Former Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he murdered four men over the span of a decade.
Smith, 45, who was arraigned inside the Antelope Valley courtroom of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Steven D. Ogden, also faces special-circumstance allegations of torture and multiple murder, along with several counts of kidnapping and robbery, according to a criminal complaint filed on July 2.more..
August 01, 2012
UC Irvine professor charged with arson, plans for mass slayings
SANTA ANA, Calif. —
A college professor charged with arson for allegedly setting a series of fires at an Orange County high school his son once attended was plotting to kill students and teachers, then burn down the campus after his son committed suicide, authorities said Tuesday.
Rainer Reinscheid, 48, was expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon after he was charged with five counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing a police officer. If convicted, he faces up to nearly 13 years in prison. more..
July 31, 2012
UCLA chemistry professor still faces criminal charges over fatal lab fire
LOS ANGELES - Criminal charges were dismissed today against the Regents of the University of California as the result of an "enforcement agreement" that calls for corrective measures in connection with a December 2008 laboratory fire that caused the death of a staff research assistant.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba dismissed the case against the UC regents at the prosecution's request, based upon a 38-page document that calls on the regents to comply with a half-dozen conditions. more..
July 30, 2012
Orange County releases copy of official's controversial letter
The letter was written by a top administrator who went on leave a week after sexual assault charges were announced against Carlos Bustamante, a former executive in a department she oversaw.
Orange County on Friday released a redacted copy of a controversial letter written by a top administrator who went on medical leave a week after multiple sexual assault and battery charges were announced against Carlos Bustamante, a former executive in a department she oversaw.more..
July 27, 2012
Criminal charges filed against two LAPD officers
A Los Angeles Police Department officer and a former officer surrendered Wednesday on charges of perjury and filing a false police report in connection with the stop of a motorist at a DUI checkpoint in September 2010.
Craig Eugene Allen, 39, and Phillip Anthony Walters, 56, turned themselves in at the Criminal Courts Building and went before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba, who ordered the two freed on their own recognizance, according to Deputy District Attorney Renee Chang.more..
July 26, 2012
Justin Bieber: Paparazzo in chase first to face charges under law
A paparazzo who allegedly pursued teen pop star Justin Bieber in a high-speed chase along the 101 Freeway will face criminal charges, the L.A. city attorney's office announced Wednesday, marking the first case filed under the state's harsher anti-paparazzi law.
Paul Raef, 30, a freelance photographer, was charged with reckless driving, failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer, two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said in a statement.more..
July 25, 2012
Dog X-ray used in arrest of doctor in prescription probe
Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga is accused of improperly prescribing addictive medications after an undercover deputy showed him a dog X-ray to get Roxicodone.
The undercover sheriff's deputy pretending to be a patient in pain presented a Glendora physician with an X-ray to accompany her tale of an injured back and neck.more..
July 24, 2012
Former Long Beach employee charged with embezzling back in court
Jongluck "Lucky" Mutrais, 59, accused of stealing more than $250,000 from Animal Care Services Bureau.
LOS ANGELES -- A preliminary hearing was postponed Tuesday for a 59-year-old former Long Beach city employee accused of stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from the Animal Care Bureau. more..
July 23, 2012
For Palm Springs man, grief and anger over an end-of-life decision
And so Bentinck went home to an empty house to deal with both his grief about his wife's death and his anger at the way he was treated. There have been no apologies from police, nor any explanations of why he was arrested.
Sgt. Mike Kovaleff, a Palm Springs police spokesman, told me the case is technically still open pending toxicology results. He said the arrest was made because of unspecified "statements" and "evidence," but he added that, barring unexpected developments, police do not expect to re-arrest Bentinck.more..
July 21, 2012
Woodland Hills broker sentenced for loan modification scam
A Woodland Hills loan broker has been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to bilking victims out of thousands of dollars in a loan modification scam, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced Friday
Carlo Hamrahi, 40, of Glendale, was ordered Thursday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco to begin a 180-day sentence for five misdemeanor counts of grand theft and identity theft. more..
July 19, 2012
LA prosecutor calls US Bank a slumlord in lawsuit
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles city attorney's office has renewed its call to blame mortgage lenders for urban blight sparked by the collapsed housing market, saying in a lawsuit that US Bank is a slumlord that illegally evicted homeowners and then neglected the abandoned properties.
The suit filed Monday marks the second time in just over a year that prosecutors have brought such a claim, mirroring a similar complaint against Deutsche Bank.more..
July 17, 2012
Lee Baca, LA County Sheriff, Faces Mounting Legal Problems
LOS ANGELES -- Jail commanders condoning the beating of inmates. Evidence withheld from inmates accused of attacking guards. A photo of a woman wearing an official-looking badge while brandishing handguns at a nightclub.
Allegations and litigation continue to dog Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who has acknowledged being out of touch about problems in his jails and failing to reform his massive department that oversees the largest county jail system in the nation.more..
July 16, 2012
Courtney Love sued by ex-aide who alleges unpaid wages, unethical acts
Former assistant claims the Hole frontwoman stiffed her, asked her to forge legal documents
Courtney Love’s former assistant is adding herself to the list of people who have taken legal action against the troubled rocker by filing a lawsuit claiming the singer failed to pay her monies due and made a number of unethical requests, including asking her to forge legal documents.more..
July 13, 2012
Defense for fake Rockefeller may rest with unknown fate of missing woman
LOS ANGELES - Did Linda Sohus, a San Marino resident who has been missing for 27 years, participate in the 1985 slaying of her husband John?
That's a question jurors in next year's trial of a German national who calls himself Clark Rockefeller may have to consider. more..
July 12, 2012
L.A. County law enforcers accused of withholding key evidence
Suit alleges L.A. County prosecutors and sheriff's officials have for years concealed complaints about deputy misconduct and other important evidence in criminal cases
Los Angeles County prosecutors and sheriff's officials have for years concealed complaints about law enforcement misconduct and other important evidence from defendants in criminal cases, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by civil rights attorneys and legal scholars.more..
July 11, 2012
Officer charged in Kelly Thomas' death leaves police force
One of the Fullerton police officers charged in the beating death of Kelly Thomas is no longer employed by the city.
Officer Manuel Ramos, who is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of the homeless man, left the city's employment July 3, Fullerton Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Stuart confirmed Tuesday.more..
July 10, 2012
Long Beach Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder of Police Officers
LONG BEACH — A 51-year-old Long Beach man suspected of shooting a Long Beach city code enforcement inspector in the face before launching a seven-hour standoff with police was charged today with attempted murder of police officers and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Anthony Glen Gorospe, (dob 4-14-61), is scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. at Long Beach Superior Court, Department J. more..
July 09, 2012
Natalie Wood death investigation remains open, officials say
Nearly eight months after the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened its investigation into the 1981 death of actress Natalie Wood, officials said the case remains an "open and ongoing investigation."
Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker released the statement on Friday, citing "many calls from the news media" asking about the status of the investigation. He declined to release further details. more..
July 06, 2012
Man who attacked priest in revenge is not guilty of felonies
William Lynch, who beat the Catholic priest he said molested him as a child, is acquitted on elder abuse and felony assault charges. He may be retried on a misdemeanor assault charge.
SAN JOSE — A jury has found a San Francisco man not guilty of felony assault and felony elder abuse, despite his admission that he attacked the priest accused of molesting him nearly four decades ago.more..
July 05, 2012
Former Oakland Raider faces three more murder charges
Anthony Wayne Smith, already awaiting retrial for his alleged role in a 2008 slaying, has been accused of three more killings that took place in 1999 and 2001.
Anthony Wayne Smith, a former Oakland Raiders defensive end who is awaiting a retrial for his alleged role in the 2008 murder of a Lancaster man, has been charged with three additional murders, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office confirmed Wednesday.more..
July 03, 2012
Judge dismisses suit in child’s death at Staples Center
A Superior Court judge has tossed out a wrongful-death suit filed by a family whose 2-year-old boy died after plunging from a luxury box at Staples Center.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in May 2011, named Staples Center owner AEG and the operator of the arena, L.A. Arena Co., as defendants in connection with the death of Lucas Tang, who fell from the box in November 2010 after a Lakers game. The family had alleged that a poorly designed barrier led to Tang’s death.more..
July 02, 2012
Head of San Gabriel Valley government agency charged with four felonies
The executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments surrendered to a judge Friday after prosecutors charged him with four felonies for obtaining grants that benefited a private firm he operates.
Nicholas Conway, 60, the agency's longtime head and a former Pasadena City Council candidate, was placed on leave last week by the agency and released on $100,000 bail Friday by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba.more..
June 29, 2012
Four held in 2001 slaying of Whittier girl
Eleven years after a 13-year-old Whittier girl was abducted, molested and shot to death in Los Angeles, four suspected gang members are awaiting trial for the crime, officials announced Wednesday.
Jorge Palacios, 34, Santos Grimaldi, 29, Rogelio Contreras, 34, and Melvin Sandoval, 33, all alleged members of the MS-13 street gang, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of kidnapping and murder, Los Angeles County District Attorney's officials said in a written statement. more..
June 28, 2012
Mortgage Fraud Grand Jury Bill Passes out of Assembly Public Safety Committee
SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed an important piece of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights that aims to protect California homeowners from fraud and scams.
Senate Bill 1474 (Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley) would allow Attorney General Harris to convene a special grand jury to investigate and indict the perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in more than one county, as well as crimes conducted by a single defendant or multiple defendants who worked together. The bill passed unanimously with bipartisan support.more..
June 27, 2012
USC denies responsibility for shooting deaths of two Chinese graduate students near campus
LOS ANGELES -- USC is asking a judge to toss a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of two USC graduate students from China who were slain near the campus.
Wanzhi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, the father and mother of Ming Qu, and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Ying Wu, filed the suit May 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Wu and Qu, both 23-year-old electrical engineering students, were shot during a downpour about 1 a.m. April 11 while sitting in Qu's recently purchased 2003 BMW, which was double-parked off-campus in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue. more..
June 26, 2012
Questions of safety surround use of 'sleeper hold' by El Monte police on schizophrenic man
During their encounter with schizophrenic El Monte resident Khoa Le last week, police used a controversial neck hold known as the carotid restraint, as well as other suppression tactics.
A short time later, Le was dead.
Though the carotid restraint has a long history of controversy - it has been banned by at least one major metropolitan police department and was part of a Supreme Court case in the 1980s - it is still in use in most local police departments.more..
June 25, 2012
Attorneys seek mistrial over priest's testimony
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Attorneys representing a California man charged with assaulting a priest who he claims raped him decades ago demanded a mistrial late Friday.
The attorneys have said that a prosecutor committed misconduct in handling the priest's testimony. The defense attorneys accuse the prosecutor of knowingly allowing false testimony, known as "suborning perjury."more..
June 22, 2012
Irvine pair charged in framing case aren't the usual suspects
Lawyer couple face charges of framing a volunteer at their son's school, Irvine's Plaza Vista, over a two-year dispute.
The tip was an unusual one, especially in a city often ranked as the safest in the nation.
The caller, who identified himself as a concerned parent, told an Irvine police dispatcher that he had seen a woman driving erratically, parking at Plaza Vista School, and hiding drugs in her car's back seat. more..
June 21, 2012
Can a Sidewalk be Used for Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
The sidewalk, when used improperly, can be a deadly weapon.
The Second Appellate District Court upheld a juvenile offender’s conviction for assault with a deadly weapon this week, finding that the defendant didn’t actually have to touch the sidewalk to use the sidewalk as a deadly weapon. (Here, the defendant allegedly punched, stomped, and kicked the victim’s face while the victim was lying on the sidewalk.) more..
June 20, 2012
Church abuse victim faces trial for beating priest
LOS ANGELES — Opening statements were scheduled to begin Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of beating an aging Jesuit priest who he says molested him and his younger brother more than 35 years ago.
William Lynch has said the priest abused him and his brother during a camping trip in Northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains. Now 44, Lynch will get his longtime wish to face the Rev. Jerold Lindner in court for the first time.more..
June 19, 2012
Three men arrested in connection with distressed property schemes
The schemes in which the Southern California men were allegedly involved caused more than $10 million in losses for homeowners, lenders and real estate investors.
Federal agents have arrested three Southern California men in connection with a variety of schemes that caused more than $10 million in losses for homeowners, lenders and real estate investors who wanted to buy distressed property, authorities said.more..
June 18, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Crackdown on ATM “Skimming” and Identity Theft Cases
SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the outcomes of two cases investigated by her office’s eCrime Unit in which defendants “skimmed” credit card information of Chase Bank customers across the state.
Both cases involved a type of crime frequently referred to as a “skimmer operation.” In both cases, the defendants, organized as “crews,” replaced the card readers at Chase Bank ATM vestibules with ones that allowed them to retrieve customers’ card information. Additionally, both crews installed micro cameras to capture the card holders’ PIN entry. With this information, they created bogus ATM access cards.more..
June 15, 2012
U.S. Attorney Sends Notices to Malibu Cannabis 'Pharmacies'
• All County Establishments Targeted
Last week, the U.S. Attorney's office announced federal enforcement actions against commercial marijuana operations with warning letters and civil lawsuits targeting storefronts in Los Angeles County.
Among those informed were the two medical marijuana pharmacies in Malibu.more..
June 14, 2012
Whitey Bulger's girlfriend sentenced to 8 years in prison
A federal judge sentenced the longtime girlfriend of reputed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to eight years in prison Tuesday and fined her $150,000 for helping “someone accused of the most serious crimes imaginable.”
Catherine Greig, 61, showed no emotion in the courtroom as U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock told her she had plenty of time during her 16 years in hiding to understand the seriousness of her actions, according to the Associated Press.more..
June 13, 2012
Judge dismisses 1984 murder case against man who proclaims innocence
The criminal case against a former Glendora High School football star who spent 27 years behind bars for a murder he insists he did not commit was dismissed Monday, ending a nearly three-decade legal saga that saw his conviction thrown out.
"I’m just as happy as can be. It's finally over," Frank O'Connell said in a phone interview following the hearing in Pasadena court. "I walked into that courtroom 27 years ago thinking I was walking out, and I walked out today for sure a free man. There's a weight off my shoulders."more..
June 12, 2012
Boy Scouts' ban on gays is fought from the inside
LOS ANGELES -- For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has weathered anger, petitions and lawsuits over a long-standing policy that bans gay Scouts and troop leaders.
But the dissent that erupted last week is different. It's coming from a group that's exclusively its own.more..
June 11, 2012
Lindsay Lohan crash: No signs of intoxication, police say
Santa Monica police said there was no immediate evidence of wrongdoing in an accident that sent actress Lindsay Lohan to the hospital.
Officials said Lohan's Porsche collided with a big rig Friday morning on Pacific Coast Highway. They said she was behind the wheel but showed no signs of intoxication and was not cited before going to the hospital. more..
June 08, 2012
Students vs. Status Quo
California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules.
When politics fails, reformers turn to the courts. California’s Democrat-controlled state legislature has resisted reforms that threaten teacher-union power. Now two class-action lawsuits could undo the state’s longstanding seniority and tenure rules. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge heard arguments from attorneys representing six families who say the nation’s second-largest school district has ignored the 40-year-old Stull Act, which requires the use of student performance in teacher evaluations. If successful, the lawsuit, filed last November, would require every school district in the Golden State to establish its own method of evaluating teachers—but all would need to use evidence of student learning based on standardized tests, just as 23 other states currently do. more..
June 07, 2012
Physician Suspected in Three More Deaths
A prosecutor has identified three men they fear could be additional victims of a Rowland Heights osteopathic physician accused of murder.
A prosecutor Monday identified three men as additional alleged victims of a Rowland Heights osteopathic physician accused of murder in the prescription-drug overdose deaths of three patients. more..
June 06, 2012
Brothers sentenced in scheme to defraud L.A. housing authority
Bennett and Diego Taracena each get a year and nine months stemming from a bribery case involving their older brother, a former housing authority official who's now a fugitive.
Two brothers who took part in a sophisticated scheme to defraud the beleaguered Los Angeles housing authority of money earmarked for the disabled were sentenced Monday to one year and nine months in prison. more..
June 05, 2012
Report: Feds launch criminal investigation into Frank McCourt
They're looking at possible tax evasion and other financial misconduct when McCourt owned the Dodgers and associated companies, the Daily Journal is reporting, citing sources. The investigation, which is said to be in the early stages, has been turned over to prosecutors in the tax division of the Los Angeles U.S. attorney's office. They've been sending subpoena letters over the past several months. From the Daily Journal:
Numerous questions involving Dodger-related finances arose during the McCourts' closely watched divorce proceedings. Testimony during the case revealed that companies controlled by the McCourts paid two adult sons, Travis and Drew, a combined $600,000 annually despite one son working at Goldman Sachs in New York and the other attending Stanford University full-time. Jeff Ingram, one of Frank McCourt's financial advisors, testified that the couple used the Dodgers and other businesses as a "credit card." more..
June 04, 2012
Board of Supervisors Could Replace L.A. County Assessor
Officials have called for John Noguez's resignation following allegations his office reduced property values in Beverly Hills and elsewhere in exchange for campaign contributions.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors confirmed this week that it has the authority to appoint a new assessor if John Noguez resigns, is recalled or is convicted of malfeasance.more..
May 31, 2012
Justin Bieber assault claim hinges on self-defense, expert says
s Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives probe an altercation between pop star Justin Bieber and a photographer Sunday at a Calabasas shopping mall, one legal experts said a key issue is whether Bieber acted in self-defense.
Dmitry Gorin, a former deputy district attorney and now a criminal defense lawyer, said Bieber is the latest celebrity to fall into what he called the “paparazzi trap” in which the star gets into a scene with a photographer who he or she feels has gotten too close. more..
May 30, 2012
Detectives plan to interview Justin Bieber in assault case
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives have interviewed a photographer who alleges he was attacked by pop star Justin Bieber at a Calabasas shopping mall Sunday, but authorities continue to seek additional witnesses.
In a statement, the Sheriff's Department said the investigation was continuing and that detectives "are planning to interview Mr. Bieber."more..
May 29, 2012
US steps up deportation efforts for criminal immigrants
WASHINGTON — In an aggressive effort to boost deportations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun to increase by nearly 25 percent the number of agents tasked with finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records, pulling 150 officers from desks and backroom jobs to add extra fugitive search teams around the country.
The plan was launched when the number of deportations slumped after several years of growth, partly due to the drop in illegal immigration along the Southwest border. But critics, including some inside ICE, denounced the effort as politically inspired to help President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.more..
May 25, 2012
Pipeline company to pay L.A. $1.75 million for oil spill
A pipeline company will pay $1.75 million to end a criminal case filed over a 2010 oil spill at the Port of Los Angeles, according to lawyers for City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.
Crimson Pipeline Management and its affiliated companies will make the payment to resolve allegations they allowed petroleum to wash into the Dominguez Channel and, eventually, the harbor. more..
May 24, 2012
More officials call for Noguez to go
With the arrest of a deputy assessor accused of lowering property values in exchange for campaign contributions to Assessor John Noguez, two city officials called Tuesday for an independent review of the property rolls.
Also, Councilmen Dennis Zine and Paul Krekorian said Noguez, who was elected in 2010, should temporarily step aside as assessor until a District Attorney's investigation is completed. more..
May 23, 2012
Disbarred Lawyer Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison for $9.5 Million Investment Scam
LOS ANGELES—A Beverly Hills man was sentenced this morning to 135 months in federal prison for running an investment scheme that collected more than $9.5 million from victims who were falsely promised huge profits through investments in various oil companies and oil ventures.
Mark Roy Anderson, 57, who was disbarred from the practice of law in Nevada, received the prison sentence this morning from United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who also ordered the defendant to pay more than $9.5 million in restitution, which represents the total amount of losses from Anderson’s fraudulent scheme. more..
May 22, 2012
National study tracks number of people falsely convicted of crime
A new national report on the number of people falsely convicted of a serious crime reveals a baffling statistic about the Bay Area -- 10 people have been exonerated in Santa Clara County since 1989, while none have in Alameda County.
Does that mean Alameda County, with a higher crime rate, has never thrown the wrong person in prison, or at least hasn't admitted it? more..
May 21, 2012
Forensic evidence key in USC grad student killings arrests
LAPD officials said forensic evidence was key in the arrests of two men in the slayings of two USC graduate students.
"Forensic evidence recovered at the scene linked them to two other attempted homicides," Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference. more..
May 17, 2012
Protesters rally for Alhambra Chicano activist Carlos Montes on first day of trial
LOS ANGELES - Protesters gathered outside the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center Tuesday to rally in support of Carlos Montes, a longtime Chicano activist who was set to begin the first day of his criminal trial.
Judge Patricia Schnegg postponed Montes' trial until June 20. more..
May 16, 2012
Occupy LA Cost Increases To $4.7 Million In Taxpayer Money, Reigniting Occupy Debate
A new report saying that Occupy Los Angeles cost taxpayers $4.7 million -- almost double the estimate reported in February -- has reignited the Occupy debate.
In response to the new figure, two-thirds of which was spent policing the protest, Councilman Mitchel Englander suggested that maybe his colleagues should not have approved the encampment as they did through a resolution in October. "For every resolution or position the city might take, there's a cost,'' Englander said, the Los Angeles Times reports. more..
May 15, 2012
Lawyer for Coachella Valley Indian Tribe and Three Others Charged in Bribery Scheme Related to Projects at Spotlight 29 Casino
LOS ANGELES—An attorney for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is among four people who have been indicted on federal bribery and money laundering charges for allegedly participating in scheme in which associates of the lawyer hired to provide assistance to the tribe paid kickbacks to the attorney.
The 48-count grand jury indictment returned yesterday afternoon names: more..
May 14, 2012
LAPD detective sentenced to 27 years to life in prison after killing love rival who married her ex-boyfriend
Stephanie Lazarus, 52, was found guilty of murdering Sherri Rasmussen last month
Beat and shot dead Sherri Rasmussen, 29, in 1986
Cold case reopened 20 years later after new DNA evidence concluded killer was a woman
A former Los Angeles police detective has been sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for murdering the wife of her former lover in a jealous fit of rage 26 years ago. more..
May 11, 2012
Johannes Mehserle appeals manslaughter conviction
BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle made a "colossal and tragic and horrible error" in mistaking his gun for a Taser but did not act with the criminal negligence required for manslaughter, Mehserle's lawyer told a state appeals court Wednesday in challenging his conviction for fatally shooting unarmed passenger Oscar Grant.more..
May 10, 2012
Japanese diplomat charged with domestic abuse in US
LOS ANGELES - A Japanese diplomat posted in California has been charged with domestic violence against his wife and could face up to 20 years in jail, the local district attorney said Tuesday.
Yoshiaki Nagaya, vice-consul at Japan's consulate in San Francisco, is accused of 17 felony offenses, 14 of domestic violence and three of assault, including stabbing her with a screwdriver and knocking a tooth out.more..
May 09, 2012
Man falsely accused in Dodger Stadium beating tells how it changed his life
Giovanni Ramirez is a bald man with tattoos.
He was jailed after being falsely accused of beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on opening day at Dodger Stadium last year.
People know this.
When Ramirez attended the Dodgers' first home game this season on April 10, strangers greeted him with "You're the guy..." more..
May 07, 2012
Prosecutors Failed to Disclose Coroner's 'Unreasonable' Findings
Reporter tells attorneys for 7 people convicted in murder case about contradictory autopsy report
After a Vallejo man’s body was discovered four years ago in a Solano County ditch, seven people were sent to prison for their roles in his death — based in part on an autopsy performed by Dr. Thomas Gill, then the county’s forensic pathologist.
But during the case, the accused men and their lawyers were unaware of one crucial fact: Another pathologist had reviewed Gill’s work for the county sheriff and declared his conclusion “unreasonable.”more..
May 04, 2012
107 charged in Medicare fraud crackdown
The latest Medicare fraud crackdown involves bogus claims totaling $452 million, officials say. Arrests are made in seven cities, including Los Angeles.
WASHINGTON — Doctors, nurses and social workers from across the country, 107 in all, were charged in what federal officials in Washington called a "nationwide takedown" of medical professionals accused of fraudulently billing Medicare out of nearly half a billion dollars.more..
May 03, 2012
Casting director testifies he didn't use alias to hide kidnapping
Jason James Murphy is being tried on a charge of failing to comply with sex offender registry laws. As Jason James, he had cast children in films like 'Super 8' and 'The Three Stooges.'
A Hollywood casting director charged with failing to comply with sex offender registry laws testified Tuesday that his use of a professional alias was not an attempt to hide his criminal past.more..
May 02, 2012
California's biggest pension -- $540,000 -- likely to be cut
State pension officials said they will probably move to cut California's biggest public pension -- and others -- after finding that the city of Vernon improperly boosted the benefits of nearly two dozen employees
The CalPERS audit will be released Tuesday, nearly two years after The Times reported on the lucrative pensions awarded to top officials in Vernon, including some who had been charged with public corruption. The state's highest public pension -- roughly $540,000 a year -- is now received by a former Vernon city administrator, Bruce Malkenhorst, who pleaded guilty to misappropriation of public funds last year.more..
May 01, 2012
Housing scam brings up to life sentence under three-strikes law
An Orange County man who swindled elderly people out of their homes is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison under California's three-strikes law, which is typically applied in violent crime cases
An Orange County man who swindled elderly people out of their homes after promising to help them avoid foreclosure was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison under California's tough three-strikes law.more..
April 30, 2012
Jury selection begins in trial of slain South LA teen
Pedro Espinoza sat silently in court wearing a brown suit, glasses, and sporting a fresh crew-cut. He kept his eyes focused on his lawyers, asking them questions periodically. Directly behind him in the first row, sat the Shaw family. While the defense questioned potential jurors, Jamiel Shaw Sr. watched Espinoza, the man he believes gunned down his son. 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. was shot March 2, 2008 while he was just three doors away from home.
"He was a good kid, never been in any trouble, never been arrested, never been suspended from school," said Shaw.more..
April 26, 2012
Battle lines drawn on California death penalty ban
Battle lines are already being drawn over a ballot measure in November to repeal the death penalty in California, The Times' Maura Dolan reported.
Backing the new measure are Ron Briggs, who ran the 1978 campaign for a successful ballot initiative that expanded the reach of California's death penalty; Donald J. Heller, an ex-prosecutor who wrote the 1978 initiative; Jeanne Woodford, a former warden of San Quentin State Prison who oversaw four executions; and former L.A. County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, who said his experience as D.A. helped change his mind about the fairness of the system.more..
April 25, 2012
SEC suit says two former CalPERS officials defrauded equity firm
Former CEO Federico Buenrostro Jr. and former director Alfred J.R. Villalobos fabricated documents to dupe Apollo Global Management into paying $20 million in fees to secure investments from the public pension giant, the suit alleges.
SACRAMENTO — Federal securities regulators sued a former chief executive and a former director of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, accusing them of scheming to defraud an investment firm of $20 million.more..
April 24, 2012
L.A. jail confronted by allegations of abuse
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said this week he may close at least part of the L.A. County Men's Central Jail -- the country's largest jail -- in the face of allegations of abuse. CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy has the details. We caution you some of the images may be difficult to watch.
"I'm gasping for air telling them, 'Stop, I can't breathe,'" recalls Gabriel Carillo.more..
April 23, 2012
Stand Up Against Debt Collector Harassment
You don't have to tolerate unscrupulous debt collectors, an attorney can help put a stop to harassment.
People dealing with debt issues may have a number of stressful issues they are trying to resolve. They shouldn't have to deal with unscrupulous debt collectors too. Unfortunately, there are a number of agencies that will ignore the law while trying to collect. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission received 140,036 complaints regarding debt collectors in 2010, which accounted for 27 percent of all complaints the agency received across all industries. more..
April 20, 2012
Supreme Court told unfair crack sentences may number in thousands
A Justice Department lawyer tells the Supreme Court that a law repealed in 2010 as racially biased should not be applied for crack cocaine convicts not yet sentenced when the rule was stricken.
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department lawyer warned the Supreme Court on Tuesday there may be thousands of crack cocaine defendants sentenced to long prison terms under a law that Congress repealed two years ago as racially biased and unfair.more..
April 19, 2012
Corruption can leave cities with enormous legal bills
The costs can continue years after the accused have been ousted. And in some cases, the expenses exceed the amount of city money that officials are accused of stealing or squandering in the first place.
In 2005, former Lynwood Mayor Paul Richards was convicted of funneling about $500,000 in city contracts to a company he secretly controlled. Two years later, five more then-current and former elected officials were charged with siphoning off hundreds of thousands of public dollars to boost their salaries and pay for personal expenses.more..
April 18, 2012
Two Former Executives of California Valve Company Plead Guilty to Foreign Bribery Offenses
WASHINGTON – Stuart Carson, the former president of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based valve company Control Components Inc. (CCI), and Hong “Rose” Carson, the former CCI director of sales for China and Taiwan, have pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), announced the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The Carsons, who are married and reside in San Clemente, Calif., each pleaded guilty late yesterday before U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., to separate one-count superseding informations charging them with making a corrupt payment to a foreign government official in violation of the FCPA. According to court documents, CCI designed and manufactured service control valves for use in the nuclear, oil and gas, and power generation industries worldwide. At sentencing, Stuart Carson, 73, faces up to 10 months in prison. Rose Carson, 48, faces a sentence of three years probation, which may include up to six months of home confinement. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 15, 2012.more..
April 17, 2012
Disbarred Lawyer Charged in Theft Case
LOS ANGELES – A disbarred attorney accused of practicing law while ineligible and unlawfully receiving client fees from multiple victims is expected to be arraigned this afternoon, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Gerard Lionel Garcia-Barron, 46 (dob 11/29/65), of La Mirada is charged in case No. BA396435 with 17 felony counts including grand theft of personal property, obtaining money, labor or property by false pretenses and unauthorized practice of law. more..
April 16, 2012
Leonard Cohen's former business manager found guilty of harassing singer
A jury convicted Leonard Cohen's former business manager Thursday of harassing the singer-songwriter and repeatedly violating a court order to stop contacting him.
The panel reached its verdict within hours of receiving the case that featured Cohen testifying that the tone of Kelley Lynch's e-mails and calls left him annoyed and at times scared.more..
April 13, 2012
Lawsuits for School Reform: Villaraigosa Joins Families in L.A. Unified Teacher Quality Suit
Back in October and November, Dropout Nation reported on the lawsuit filed by a group of Southern California families organized by activist Alice Callaghan (with backing from the school reform group EdVoice) against the Los Angeles Unified School District, charging that the district had continually violated its obligations under the state’s Stull Act to adequately evaluate teachers and demanding the district to reform its teacher evaluation system. In the months since then, L.A. Unified has struck a deal with the American Federation of Teachers’ local that would allow traditional district schools to operate similarly to charter schools, with autonomy from district policies and the ability to use student test score data in evaluations. This deal, largely driven by the union regaining control of L.A. Unified’s board, came in exchange for essentially ending the effort to expand school choice and embrace the Hollywood Model of Education undertaken by current Superintendent John Deasy’s predecessor, Ramon Cortines. But the deal did not satisfy the Callaghan families’ demands (or even Deasy’s own push for overhauling teacher evaluations).
Which is why the families filed a Writ of Mandate petition last week in California superior court demanding that L.A. Unified immediately comply with the Stull Act — including making specific recommendations to teachers on their performance. Basing its argument off of information it gleaned from Deasy during a deposition, the Callaghan parents argue that the district has systematically evaded its obligation to evaluate teachers using student performance data — or to conduct proper evaluations altogether — under California’s Stull Act, which governs how L.A. Unified and other districts are supposed to handle teacher evaluations and performance management.more..
April 12, 2012
Former State Employee Sentenced to 14 Years State Prison for Massive Public Assistance Fraud
LOS ANGELES – A former state employee convicted of masterminding a massive child care fraud was sentenced today to 14 years in state prison and ordered to make full restitution of more than $1.4 million, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Tamia Hope of the Public Assistance Fraud Division said Demetrius Eugene of Palmdale was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Melissa Widdifield.more..
April 11, 2012
Experts: Utah police likely had enough on Powell
Recently released documents show the evidence against Josh Powell was mounting. The blood in the house. The midnight winter camping trip. A generator, gas can, tarps and shovel in his van.
Legal experts say it was enough to convict Powell of his wife's murder - even if prosecutors didn't have her body as evidence. After all, it's happened hundreds of times before. more..
April 10, 2012
'She didn't have a single drink': Amanda Bynes father insists his daughter was not drunk on night of arrest
Amanda Bynes' father has angrily denied his daughter was under the influence on the night she arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Rick Bynes claims his fomer Nickelodeon star daughter had not had a drop of alcohol when she was pulled over after allegedly passing a cop car and sideswiping the vehicle. more..
April 09, 2012
Jerry Brown Shows Mercy to Shirley Ree Smith
The governor does the right thing in a doubly tragic shaken baby case.
Gov. Jerry Brown of California picked today—Good Friday and the eve of Passover—to do the right thing. He commuted the sentence of Shirley Ree Smith, a grandmother who spent a decade in prison for a crime she probably did not commit, involving the death of her grandson.more..
April 06, 2012
Former drug kingpin Arellano Felix gets 25-year prison term
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge sentenced Benjamin Arellano Felix to 25 years in prison Monday, rejecting a last-ditch plea by the former Mexican drug kingpin to reduce a punishment that has already been criticized as too lenient.
Arellano Felix's rambling statement in federal court provided an unexpected climax to a historic case that targeted the cartel that bears his family name, once Mexico's most powerful organized crime group. Arellano Felix admitted in a plea agreement in January that he headed the cartel that terrorized rivals and turned Tijuana into a major drug-trafficking corridor into the United States.more..
April 05, 2012
Teen charged in fatal Meiners Oaks stabbing to have competency hearing
A judge ruled a 17-year-old boy who is accused of killing another teen will have a hearing to determine whether he is competent to stand trial in the first-degree murder case.
Lawyers for Alex Medina, of Miramonte, have argued in court that the district attorney withheld evidence favorable to him. They say a third party, identified in court as "Witness X" by defendants, told prosecutors someone else killed 16-year-old Seth Scarminach of Ojai in 2009.more..
April 04, 2012
Wife's death haunts a Beverly Hills man
LOS ANGELES - Rina Pakula Klein, 41, trim, fit and dancing at a wedding days earlier, lay immobile and hooked up to tubes on a hospital bed.
She had arrived by ambulance at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center a day earlier after feeling "a pop" in her head. Persistent seizures followed, leaving her brain-dead.more..
April 03, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces 14 Arrests and Seizure of 1,300 Pounds of Marijuana in Multi-State Illegal Drug Trafficking Ring
SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrests of 14 individuals across three states and the seizure of 1,300 pounds of processed marijuana as part of a multi-state illegal drug trafficking ring.
The operation also resulted in the seizure of 8 firearms, $415,855 in cash, $35,000 in gold bars and silver coins and three generators valued at $20,000. more..
April 02, 2012
Review of evidence challenges conviction in baby's death
Coroner's office examiners and a pediatrician question autopsy findings in the conviction of Shirley Ree Smith as she seeks clemency for her sentence in alleged fatal shaking of grandson.
New findings by the Los Angeles County coroner's office and a prominent UCLA pediatrician "undermine and contradict" the evidence and expert testimony used to convict a woman of shaking her 7-week-old grandson to death 15 years ago, her attorneys have argued in a recent clemency petition to the governor.more..
March 30, 2012
Former General Manager Charged in Coliseum Scandal Pleads Guilty
LOS ANGELES – The former general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – indicted last week on charges of conspiracy and embezzlement for allegedly stealing from the stadium – pleaded guilty today and agreed to pay the alleged loss of $385,000 by May 14.
Patrick Lynch, 55, pleaded to one felony count of conflict of interest. more..
March 29, 2012
Tangled financial web emerges in fraud case against Kinde Durkee
In defrauding at least 50 politicians and others of more than $7 million, campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee spun a tangled financial web to cover her business payroll and mortgage payments and try to stay ahead of investigators, while also paying for Disneyland tickets and other amenities, federal prosecutors allege.
Durkee is scheduled to appear in federal court this week to face five counts of mail fraud. Court papers filed Tuesday, which are typically submitted when a plea bargain is in the works, provide the most extensive details yet of an alleged scheme to take money from the campaigns of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) and other politicians.more..
March 28, 2012
D.A. Announces Six Indicted in Coliseum Scandal
LOS ANGELES – District Attorney Steve Cooley announced today that six people, including three former top managers for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have been indicted on conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery charges for allegedly stealing millions from the historic stadium.
Cooley said a criminal Grand Jury returned the 29-count felony indictment late Tuesday, charging former Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch, former events manager Todd DeStefano, former technical manager Leopold Caudillo Jr., music and event promoters Pasquale Rotella and Reza Gerami, and janitorial contractor Antonio (Tony) Estrada.more..
March 27, 2012
2 former execs of LA Coliseum, promoter charged
A long simmering dispute about operation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum erupted Thursday with criminal charges against two former Coliseum executives and the owner of a music promotion company.
The men were taken into custody on a grand jury indictment that was not immediately unsealed, but attorneys said they understood the suspects were charged with various conspiracy counts related to operation of the venue.more..
March 26, 2012
ACLU is critical of state prison realignment
Sending prisoners and funding to county authorities risks continuing the state's over-dependence on incarceration, the group contends. But the head of the state sheriffs association says local facilities should be upgraded
Reporting from Sacramento—
California risks repeating past mistakes as it doles out hundreds of millions of dollars to help county jails house inmates who once would have ended up in state prisons, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report released Wednesday.more..
March 23, 2012
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Wal-Mart to pay $2.1 Million for Failing to Stop Overcharging Customers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $2.1 million for overcharging consumers in violation of a 2008 judgment against the retail chain.
Today's modified judgment is the result of Wal-Mart's failure to comply with a 2008 judgment that required the retail chain to resolve errors in pricing at checkout stands. more..
March 22, 2012
California inmates petition UN to monitor prisons
An attorney for hundreds of California inmates held in solitary confinement because of their gang ties on Tuesday petitioned the United Nations to intervene to stop the practice and investigate living conditions and prisoners' health.
The petition, sent to the UN's working group on arbitrary detention, comes after about 6,000 inmates at 13 prisons statewide went on a hunger strike last summer in the nation's largest prison system. They have since staged smaller and more intermittent strikes to protest what they call inhumane and torturous conditions in the so-called segregation housing units, or SHUs.more..
March 21, 2012
Suspect in 'instant message' killings faces second murder trial
Three months after jurors failed to reach a verdict on his guilt, a 27-year-old Mission Hills man accused of participating in a brutal double-murder will go on trial again this week.
Charles Anthony Murphy is accused of taking part in the May 2007 slayings of Jaypraykash Dhanak, 56, and Karishma Dhanak, 20, and the attempted murder of Leela Dhanak, 54, of Anaheim Hills.more..
March 20, 2012
USC professor at the intersection of children and justice
Thomas Lyon, who holds a rare dual professorship in law and psychology at USC, is a leader in the field of interviewing children for abuse and criminal cases.
The interview begins on a cheerful note. USC law professor Thomas Lyon asks a 4-year-old to tell him about her last birthday. She says she took ice cream, chocolate and cake, "mixed it up and ate it." Then she shared some with her brothers.more..
March 19, 2012
Orange County man convicted of tax fraud
Ronald L. Brekke got $14 million in illegal refunds for his clients by exploiting a common tax myth. He faces up to 65 years in prison.
An Orange County man who exploited a common tax myth and scored $14 million in illegal refunds for his clients was convicted Thursday of conspiracy and wire fraud.more..
March 16, 2012
District paid $10,000 for lawyer to watch superintendent's trial
School officials in Newport Beach paid about $10,000 to have a legal representative attend the criminal trial of their former superintendent and report back on the proceedings.
Jeffrey Hubbard was superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District when he was charged with misappropriating funds while working at his previous superintendent job at the Beverly Hills Unified School District. He was convicted in January on two felony counts of misappropriating school money and served a brief jail term.more..
March 14, 2012
Murder trial of ex-Raiders player begins
Anthony Wayne Smith, who played football with the L.A. and Oakland Raiders, and two other men are charged with murdering a Lancaster mechanic. 'There is no evidence' Smith was there, his lawyer says.
Anthony Wayne Smith, a former defensive end for the Oakland Raiders, lured a Lancaster mechanic to a remote stretch of desert highway and together with two accomplices murdered the man, prosecutors told a jury Monday at the Antelope Valley Courthouse.more..
March 13, 2012
Influential L.A.-area wine collector accused of fraud
Rudy Kurniawan, whose purchases drove up rare wine prices worldwide, is charged with trying to sell $1.3 million in counterfeit French Burgundy at auction.
A Los Angeles-area wine collector who became so influential in the rare vintage market that he drove up prices worldwide has been charged by federal authorities with fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans and attempting to sell $1.3 million in counterfeit French Burgundy.more..
March 10, 2012
Jury finds former LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus guilty of first-degree murder
After deliberating less than eight hours, a jury on Thursday found former LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus guilty of first degree murder for killing her ex-boyfriend's wife in 1986.
Lazarus faces 27 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder plus a gun enhancement imposed by the L.A. Superior Court jury, with sentencing scheduled for May 4.more..
March 09, 2012
Mistrial declared in L.A. fetish film producer's obscenity case
A mistrial has been declared in the federal obscenity trial of Los Angeles fetish film producer and distributor Ira Isaacs after jurors deadlocked on charges that he produced, sold and transported obscene material.
The panel deliberated for about a day after watching four films created or distributed by Isaacs, whose Internet-based business specialized in a niche of the pornography industry that included scatology and bestiality. The films, two of which Isaacs directed and appeared in, made up the bulk of the three-day trial last week,more..
March 08, 2012
Lenny Dykstra gets 3 years in Calif. prison
SAN FERNANDO, Calif.—Disgraced ex-New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra on Monday was sentenced to three years in a California state prison after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw his plea and said the scam to lease high-end automobiles from dealerships by providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business showed sophistication and extensive planning.more..
March 06, 2012
Detective accused of murder was driven by jealousy, D.A. says
Attorneys in the murder trial of former LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus made their closing arguments today, leaving jurors to mull over their conflicting interpretations of the testimony and evidence on which the once-respected officer’s fate hinges.
Deputy Dis. Atty. Paul Nunez led the jury steadily through what he called “the overwhelming evidence of guilt” against Lazarus, accused of the 1986 beating and shooting death of Sherri Rasmussen, the wife of a man Lazarus had dated. Nunez was followed by Lazarus’ attorney Mark Overland, who told jurors they must disregard the prosecution’s main piece of evidence and dismissed the rest of the case against Lazarus as “fluff and filler.” By late afternoon, Overland was yet to finish and indicated he might need to continue on Tuesday.more..
March 05, 2012
Gigi Gordon's Death Matters
Losing a DNA lawyer who freed the wrongly imprisoned
Something was wrong. It was just after sundown in mid-January and Madelynn Kopple knew that her longtime friend, colleague and, most recently, housemate, famed Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Gigi Gordon, should have returned home from running errands hours ago.
When Gordon, who had been battling multiple sclerosis for more than a decade and whose condition was worsening, didn't answer her cellphone, Kopple and her husband rushed to their car and drove around the Westside searching for her.more..
March 02, 2012
Sean Young’s arrest at Academy Awards party will be reviewed by L.A. prosecutors
The Los Angeles city attorney's office is planning to review any criminal accusations related to actress Sean Young's arrest Sunday after the Academy Awards.
Young was involved in a "physical altercation" and taken into custody by the person she was fighting with, police said. Police sources said it was a security guard at the Governors Ball who made the arrest.more..
March 01, 2012
Adelanto parent-trigger supporters claim fraud
Parents seeking to improve Desert Trails Elementary say opponents altered documents in an effort to defeat the petition to force change at the campus.
Parents battling to improve their struggling Mojave Desert school charged Tuesday that opponents had illegally altered documents in a campaign to defeat their petition to transform the campus into a charter school.more..
February 29, 2012
Former Beverly Hills Superintendent Sentenced for Misappropriation
LOS ANGELES – The former superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District was sentenced today to 60 days in jail and ordered to pay nearly $23,500 in restitution to the Beverly Hills School District for giving a female former facilities director unauthorized gifts, the District Attorney’s office announced.
Judge Stephen Marcus said Jeffrey Hubbard violated a position of public trust and ordered him to complete 280 hours of community service and to pay a $6,000 fine in addition to jail time and restitution. Hubbard, 55, was taken into immediate custody.more..
February 28, 2012
Los Angeles pastor gets 3 years for Medicare fraud
LOS ANGELES—A Los Angeles pastor was sentenced to three years in federal prison Monday for her role in defrauding Medicare out of more than $14 million with her husband and fellow pastor, who had already been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Connie Ikpoh, 49, a pastor at the now-defunct Arms of Grace Christian Center who also worked as a nurse at two hospitals, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release after her prison term and ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement. more..
February 24, 2012
Goldline agrees to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers
In a settlement with the Santa Monica city attorney's office, precious metals dealer Goldline International also agrees to an injunction that requires it to change its sales practices.
Santa Monica precious metals dealer Goldline International Inc., one of the nation's largest gold retailers, has resolved a criminal prosecution by agreeing to refund as much as $4.5 million to former customers.more..
February 23, 2012
Prosecutors oppose Murray's request for release while awaiting appeal
In opposing a request by Michael Jackson’s personal physician to be freed from jail while he appeals his involuntary manslaughter conviction, prosecutors argued in court papers released Tuesday that the doctor is a flight risk.
A hearing is set Friday before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who sentenced Dr. Conrad Murray on Nov. 29 to four years in county jail for his role in the singer’s June 2009 death from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. more..
February 22, 2012
Man faces possible life sentence if convicted of housing scam
Timothy Barnett, suspected of tricking desperate L.A. County residents into selling him their homes at steep discounts, could face life in prison under California's three-strikes law.
A man accused of defrauding desperate Los Angeles County homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars is scheduled to stand trial this week on charges that carry an unusual sentence for a white-collar fraud case. more..
February 21, 2012
Ex-con gets life for robbing gay men in Hermosa Beach he lured with Craigslist
An ex-convict sentenced Friday to spend the rest of his life in prison for robbing gay men during a violent spree in Hermosa Beach and three other cities committed the crimes because he believed he was saving society from pedophiles, his attorney said.
Angel Pena Ayala, 26, of Los Angeles sat quietly, occasionally looking and smiling at friends in a Torrance courtroom, as Judge Alan Honeycutt imposed a prison sentence of 80 years to life - plus another 58 years, nine months - for his 2010 crimes. more..
February 17, 2012
Our View: Munnecke case: Why were charges filed?
WHEN a law-enforcement agency as sophisticated and large as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopens a cold case that's eight years old, spends more than a year and a half investigating it, comes up with what it says is irrefutable DNA evidence and then arrests a suspect and holds him in lieu of $1 million in bail, you would think sheriff's brass would be more than a little sure they had their man.
When that man charged is a prominent member of the community, a deacon of his church and in myriad other ways a most unlikely felon, that goes double. more..
February 16, 2012
Ex-mayor of Rosemead admits guilt in bribery case
John Tran, 36, admits to shaking down a developer for more than $10,000 while on the City Council. He also resigns from the school board and withdraws from an Assembly race.
A former Rosemead city official who made a run for state Assembly has agreed to plead guilty to soliciting and accepting more than $10,000 in bribes from a developer.more..
February 15, 2012
Maximum Sentence for Man Convicted in Father's Bludgeoning Death
LOS ANGELES – A Hollywood man convicted of bludgeoning his father to death at an Irwindale storage facility was sentenced today to 30 years to life in state prison, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Jonathan Martinez Pedraza, 26, was sentenced at a morning hearing by Judge Mike Camacho. Following a day-and-a-half trial and about two hours of deliberations, a West Covina Superior Court jury convicted Pedraza on Feb. 3 of one count each of first-degree murder and felony vandalism, and two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving.more..
February 14, 2012
California's death penalty law: It simply does not work
We believed the Briggs initiative — the death penalty measure we wrote in 1977 — would bring greater justice. We were wrong.
In 1977, my dad, former state Sen. John Briggs, my brother-in-law and I got together to discuss California's death penalty. We agreed it was ineffective and decided a ballot initiative was needed to expand the number of murder categories eligible for capital punishment. We felt such changes would give prosecutors better tools for meting out just punishments, and that a broadened statute would serve as a warning to all California evildoers that the state would deliver swift and final justice.more..
February 13, 2012
Ex-LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus' DNA matched sample from Van Nuys murder victim's bite mark, testifies criminalist
LOS ANGELES - DNA taken from the mouth of a former police detective so closely matched saliva from a bite mark on the arm of a murdered woman that no one else could have produced that genetic similarity, a criminalist told jurors Friday.
Los Angeles Police Department scientist Jennifer Francis, who analyzed evidence in the 26-year-old murder case, offered a conclusion that bolstered prosecution claims that defendant Stephanie Lazarus murdered her romantic rival. more..
February 10, 2012
Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 77 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud Scheme Resulting in More Than $18.9 Million in Fraudulent Claims to Medicare
WASHINGTON—A Los Angeles-area man was sentenced yesterday to 77 months in prison for organizing and leading a medical clinic fraud scheme that used the stolen identities of physicians to submit more than $18.9 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
Eduard Aslanyan, 38, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall in the Central District of California. In addition to his prison term, Aslanyan was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $10.8 million in restitution.more..
February 09, 2012
Bite mark key in trial of detective in romantic rival’s death
Opening arguments are set to begin Monday in the case of Los Angeles Police Department Det. Stephanie Lazarus, who is accused of killing a romantic rival more than two decades ago. A bite mark, saliva and DNA evidence are expected to play central roles in the trial.
Lazarus was arrested 2½ years ago. Opening arguments begin today, and the case is expected to last a month.more..
February 08, 2012
Teacher arrests show 'complete failure' at L.A. school, attorney says
Accusations by a student at Miramonte Elementary School that she was a victim of two teachers accused of abuse raises troubling questions about oversight at the school, the attorney for her family said.
“Based on my experience, it appears to show a complete failure of the system,” attorney Matthew McNicholas said. “Schools act in place of the parent. … Schools are where kids are supposed to be safe.”more..
February 07, 2012
LAPD sergeant charged in second burglary case
SAN BERNARDINO - LAPD Sergeant Lucien Daigle has been charged in a second case of burglary after his arrest last week in Highland.
Daigle's lawyer, Pasadena-based Ira Salzman, said Friday evening that his client plans to resign from the Los Angeles Police Department.more..
February 06, 2012
Lance Armstrong doping investigation is dropped
Federal prosecutors will not file charges against the seven-time Tour de France winner and his cycling team
Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they have closed a two-year inquiry without filing criminal charges in a case that sources said related to doping allegations involving seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and his cycling team. more..
February 03, 2012
Los Angeles teacher charged with lewd acts
Allegations against a veteran Miramonte Elementary instructor leave many parents shocked and angry. The probe that led to 23 counts involving kids 7 to 10 began after disturbing photos were reported.
In the fall of 2010, a drugstore photo technician was running a batch of 35-millimeter film when a disturbing image tumbled out of the machine — a child, blindfolded with a white cloth and gagged with clear packing tape. From that first photograph, detectives spent the next year following a trail that led them to a South Los Angeles elementary school. more..
February 02, 2012
Coliseum officials made $1 million in cash payments to union
Bundles of cash were used to pay wages of IATSE members for concerts and other productions, with no controls on disbursement. The U.S. Labor Department is investigating.
For at least five years, officials with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum passed bundles of cash totaling more than $1 million to a union representative, sometimes in a suitcase packed with $100 bills.more..
February 01, 2012
Pinkberry co-founder pleads not guilty to tire iron assault
Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee pleaded not guilty Monday to felony assault for allegedly beating a homeless man with a tire iron over a sexually explicit tattoo.
Lee, who remains free on $60,000 bail, was granted a one-time dispensation by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra allowing him to travel to South Korea.more..
January 31, 2012
'Barefoot Bandit' gets federal sentence
A judge gives Colton Harris-Moore 6 1/2 years in prison for the theft of airplanes, boats and guns. 'I'm lucky to be alive,' the 20-year-old says in his first public statement since his arrest.
Reporting from Seattle— Colton Harris-Moore's nearly four-year odyssey as the "Barefoot Bandit" came to a conclusion Friday when a federal judge sentenced him to 61/2 years in prison for the theft of airplanes, boats and guns in an audacious swath of crime that stretched from Washington state to the Bahamas.more..
January 27, 2012
Suspected Mexican Mafia, gang members held in San Diego
Street gangs are targeted as authorities make more than 100 arrests in a wide-ranging investigation into alleged racketeering, firearms trafficking and drug distribution.
Authorities arrested more than 100 suspected gang members and associates throughout San Diego County on Wednesday morning as part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged racketeering, firearms trafficking and drug distribution coordinated by the Mexican Mafia.more..
January 26, 2012
Serial arson suspect faces 100 counts related to 49 fires
When Harry Burkhart, the suspect in a string of serial arsons, appears in court Tuesday afternoon, he will be facing 100 counts related to 49 fires set during a four-day fire spree that left the Los Angeles area on edge.
Burkhart has now been tied by prosecutors to 49 of 51 blazes set earlier this month from Hollywood to Burbank in the largest arson spree in decades, officials said.more..
January 25, 2012
Campus, professor lawyer up to fight criminal negligence charges following lab death
Note: This story has been changed to clarify that a jury convicted Lori Drew of three misdemeanors and hung on a fourth count, and that the judge later threw out the convictions.
A chemistry professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who faces felony charges following a student's death in a lab accident has retained Thomas O'Brien, the former U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. more..
January 24, 2012
CHP officer found guilty of murdering her husband
California Highway Patrol officer Tomiekia Johnson was convicted Monday of murdering her husband more than two years ago.
As the verdict was read, Johnson collapsed and fell below the desk where she was sitting with her attorney. Her condition was unknown, but paramedics were called and a stretcher was brought to Judge Robert Perry's ninth-floor courtroom, which was cleared.more..
January 23, 2012
Jail probe panel can't promise anonymity to deputies who testify
A court could compel the panel, which is looking into allegations of deputy brutality against inmates, to reveal the identities of those who provide testimony, the panel's lawyer
A commission investigating allegations of deputy brutality inside Los Angeles County jails cannot guarantee confidentiality for deputies who want to testify, dealing a blow to efforts to combat what has been described as a code of silence among some jail guards.more..
January 20, 2012
Two men charged in '08 deaths at homeless camp
The gang members killed one man near the 405 and 710 freeways in Long Beach over a drug debt, then shot the others to ensure that there were no witnesses, police say.
In November 2008, police say, two gang members entered a secluded homeless encampment covered by brush and trees near the intersection of the 405 and 710 freeways in Long Beach.more..
January 19, 2012
Pinkberry founder Young Lee felt ‘threatened,’ attorney says
The Pinkberry co-founder accused of beating up a homeless man with a tire iron felt "at risk" and "threatened" before the assault, his attorney told The Times.
Young Lee, co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a June 2011 assault on a transient on a 101 Freeway off-ramp.more..
January 18, 2012
Long Beach officer charged in domestic violence case
A Long Beach police officer was charged with multiple counts of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with nearly half a dozen incidents, authorities said Tuesday afternoon.
Brandon Preciado, 29, was charged with 21 counts in five incidents dating back to Sept. 18, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. They include 10 counts of corporal injury to a spouse, nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of making a criminal threat.more..
January 17, 2012
U.S. troops need better training on laws of war, experts say
Commanders must do a better job of translating the rules for modern circumstances, experts say. A court-martial over the killing of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, highlights the issue.
The court-martial of Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich at Camp Pendleton for his role in two dozen civilian deaths in the Iraqi village of Haditha has highlighted a legal peril for modern military personnel: determining who is the enemy.more..
January 16, 2012
1st charge filed in FBI probe of L.A. sheriff's deputy misconduct
The case involves former Deputy Gilbert Michel, who admitted smuggling a cellphone and other contraband into Men's Central Jail for an inmate who promised him $20,000.
Federal prosecutors filed their first criminal charge in the ongoing investigation of deputy misconduct in the Los Angeles County jails, saying that an ex-guard has agreed to plead guilty to felony bribery and is cooperating with the FBI.more..
January 13, 2012
Deputy allegedly smuggled drugs in a burrito into courthouse jail
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged in connection with allegations that he smuggled heroin stuffed inside a burrito into a courthouse jail, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Henry Marin, 27, surrendered to fellow deputies Wednesday morning at the sheriff’s South Los Angeles station. He pleaded not guilty to charges of bringing drugs into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime.more..
January 12, 2012
Trial begins in former CHP officer's slaying of husband
At Tomiekia Johnson's murder trial, the prosecution says the 2009 killing on the side of a road in Compton was intentional. The defense says it was self-defense.
No one disputes that former California Highway Patrol Officer Tomiekia Johnson had a tumultuous relationship with her husband. What's in question is whether she fatally shot him in the head two years ago by accident or in cold blood.more..
January 11, 2012
California Supreme Court voids death penalty in 1998 killing
Justices rule that a juror was improperly removed because she was uncertain about her views on the death penalty.
The California Supreme Court, which upholds the vast majority of capital sentences it reviews, decided unanimously Monday to overturn the death penalty for a convicted Long Beach murderer because a prospective juror was improperly removed for having ambivalent views on capital punishment.more..
January 10, 2012
Assembly member pleads no contest to shoplifting charge
Mary Hayashi is fined and sentenced to probation. Her lawyer says a benign brain tumor may have affected her behavior.
Reporting from Sacramento -- A California legislator pleaded no contest Friday to charges that she tried to shoplift $2,500 in clothes from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco.more..
January 06, 2012
Former drug kingpin pleads guilty to racketeering, conspiracy
The leader of Mexico's Arellano Felix drug cartel avoids life term under a plea agreement that baffles many legal observers and law enforcement officials.
Reporting from San Diego -- Former drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal racketeering and money-laundering conspiracy charges, marking the end of a decade-old case that targeted what once was Mexico's most powerful organized crime group.more..
January 05, 2012
L.A.-area arson suspect 'motivated by rage against Americans'
Hollywood arson suspect Harry Burkhart was "motivated by rage against Americans" and sought to terrorize as many people as possible when he torched dozens of Los Angeles-area cars, homes and garages over New Year's weekend, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in charging documents filed Wednesday.
Prosecutors said they filed 37 felony counts against the 24-year-old German national -- 28 for alleged attacks on property and nine involving inhabited structures -- and that further charges could be forthcoming as investigators continue their work on the arson spree.more..
January 04, 2012
Fallout From a Lab Tragedy
Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, a 23-year-old University of California at Los Angeles staff research assistant, died three years ago after suffering massive second- and third-degree burns when a chemical she was handling caught fire. After her death, UCLA beefed up its policies on compound handling and training for laboratory work. UCLA itself issued several new requirements to rectify some of the lapses in safety that resulted in a state agency fining the university nearly $32,000.
Now, a new development in the case is likely to reinvigorate the training and safety discussion not just at UCLA, but at any college or university where chemical work is performed: prosecutors last week filed felony charges against the UC regents and the chemistry professor who oversaw the lab, Patrick Harran, marking what researchers believe is the first criminal indictment stemming from an accident in the history of American academe. more..
January 03, 2012
Charges Brought In UCLA lab Death
Lab Safety: UC system, professor face felony counts in death of Sheri Sangji
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against the University of California and UC Los Angeles chemistry professor Patrick Harran on Dec. 27, 2011, for felony violations of California labor laws in the death of a staff research assistant three years ago.
Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji, 23, died on Jan. 16, 2009, from injuries sustained in a fire 18 days earlier in a UCLA chemistry laboratory. Working with tert-butyllithium, which ignites spontaneously in air, she was drawing the chemical from a bottle into a syringe when the plunger came out of the syringe barrel (C&EN, Aug. 3, 2009, page 29). Sangji was not wearing a lab coat, and the chemical splashed onto her clothes and set them on fire. Sangji was burned on her torso, arms, and hands. more..
January 02, 2012
Long Beach pipeline company charged in oil spill
A Long Beach pipeline company has been charged with causing a massive oil spill that polluted the Dominguez Channel and Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Crimson Pipeline Management Inc. faces a 61 misdemeanor count complaint that alleges the company and its operators "unlawfully caused, allowed, permitted, and contributed to the discharge of large quantities of oil into the city's storm drain system," Los Angeles City Attorney's Office spokesman Frank Mateljan said. more..
December 30, 2011
California Courts Will See a Raft of New Judges
SACRAMENTO (CN) - Gov. Jerry Brown went on a judge-appointing rampage this week, naming a dozen new judges to benches throughout the state, including six in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles' six new Superior Court judges are Kerry Bensinger, 51, of San Marino; Michelle Williams Court, 45, of Los Angeles; Holly Fujie, 56, of Los Angeles; Michael Garcia, 54, of Alhambra; Roberto Longoria, 48, of Pasadena; and Michael Raphael, 43, of Los Angeles.more..
December 29, 2011
Felony charges filed against UC and a UCLA chemistry professor after fatal laboratory fire
A research assistant was fatally burned when chemicals burst into flame. Her death three years ago has focused attention on safety issues.
Felony charges have been filed against the University of California and a UCLA chemistry professor in connection with a laboratory fire that killed a staff research assistant three years ago.more..
December 28, 2011
Man charged with forcing girl into prostitution
Michael Vincent Pree is freed on $50,000 bond for allegedly pimping and sexually assaulting a minor.
A Los Angeles man faces several criminal charges stemming from his arrest last week on suspicion of forcing a child into prostitution and sexually assaulting her, police said.more..
December 27, 2011
ID errors put hundreds in L.A. County jails
Wrongful incarcerations totaled 1,480 in the last five years, a Times inquiry finds.
Hundreds of people have been wrongly imprisoned inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jails in recent years, with some spending weeks behind bars before authorities realized those arrested were mistaken for wanted criminals, a Times investigation has found.more..
December 23, 2011
Some Occupy L.A. protesters may get a lesson in free speech
Prosecutors say they can avoid court trials by paying $355 to a private company for an educational program. The irony is not lost on the anti-corporate activists, who see it as patronizing.
Many Occupy L.A. protesters arrested during demonstrations in recent months are being offered a unique chance to avoid court trials: pay $355 to a private company for a lesson in free speech.more..
December 22, 2011
USDOJ: Attorney Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Stock Fraud
WASHINGTON – An attorney for a South Carolina health care device company, Signalife, was arrested on December 18, 2011, at Los Angeles International Airport on charges related to his alleged role in a multi-million dollar market manipulation fraud scheme, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today.
An indictment unsealed yesterday in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida charges attorney Mitchell J. Stein, 53, of Hidden Hills, Calif ., and Boca Raton, Fla ., with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of securities fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of the offenses. more..
December 21, 2011
Former Santa Clarita Building Inspector Pleads Guilty
LOS ANGELES – A former Santa Clarita building inspector pleaded guilty today to accepting more than $30,000 in bribes while issuing and signing off on building permits, the District Attorney’s office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett with the Public Integrity Division said Craig Allen Ingraham, 59, was immediately sentenced by Superior Court Judge David Horwitz to two years in state prison, which was suspended. Ingraham also was placed on five years probation, ordered to pay $32,000 in restitution and to complete 750 hours of community service.more..
December 20, 2011
Concealing of evidence highlighted in Texas wrongful conviction
Activists say the case of Michael Morton, exonerated of murder after 25 years in prison, underscores a problem of prosecutors withholding material that could help defendants.
Reporting from Houston and Washington— The case of a grocery store clerk wrongly convicted of murdering his wife has rocked the legal system across Texas, and not just because an innocent man served 25 years of a life sentence.more..
December 19, 2011
Lawyers for Rizzo, Spaccia ask judge to dismiss charges
Attorneys for ex-Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo and his former assistant asked a judge Wednesday to throw out charges of misappropriation of public funds and other counts, but the judge did not immediately rule on the request.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she wanted time to mull over the issues before deciding whether prosecutors can move forward with their cases against Rizzo and Angela Spaccia, who were indicted in March on charges of misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and hiding and falsifying official records. more..
December 15, 2011
Conrad Murray: I'm broke and need a court-appointed attorney
Surrounded by a team of lawyers and experts during his closely watched trial, Michael Jackson’s former doctor is on his own for his appeal.
Dr. Conrad Murray filed papers this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court saying he is broke and needs the government to pay for a lawyer to handle the appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction. more..
December 14, 2011
DANGEROUS JAILS: THE PRINCE
Six years ago, (Los Angeles) Men’s Central Jail commanding officer Captain John Clark had had enough.
Plagued by a spate of bad press over some high-profile incidents, plus calls for reform from the ACLU and the County Board of Supervisors over the dangerous conditions inside his jail, Clark sent his operations lieutenant, Casey Bald—second in command in the jail behind the captain himself—to read his supervisors the riot act.more..
December 13, 2011
Molester who worked in casting held on offender registry charges
Officials say Jason James Murphy failed to file a name change and change of address, felonies that could lead to three years in prison. His lawyer says he had been in compliance with state rules.
A convicted child molester who spent recent years helping cast Hollywood movies under an alias was arrested Friday on suspicion of violating sex offender registry laws, a move his attorney decried as an injustice born out of nationwide outrage over pedophilia scandals.more..
December 12, 2011
Should the feds have more power to seize domain names?
Before Congress gives the Justice Department more power to seize domain names, maybe it should consider what the government does with the power it already has.
Lawmakers are considering bills in the House and Senate that would authorize the DOJ to seek court orders seizing the domain names of online piracy hotbeds based outside the United States. One concern about the measures is that they don't do enough to protect the due-process rights of site operators.more..
December 09, 2011
Lawyer for Lakers' Devin Ebanks denies sex assault allegations
The attorney for the Lakers' Devin Ebanks on Wednesday strongly denied allegations that the player sexually assaulted a woman and said his client was a target after prosecutors announced they would not seek criminal charges in the case.
"Everyone in this city knows that high-profile people are often targets for those seeking money or attention," said attorney Jeff Rubenstein, who is representing Ebanks. "There is nothing here, This is not a case, end of story." more..
December 08, 2011
California and Nevada join forces in mortgage probe
The two states' attorneys general announce plans to jointly investigate misconduct and fraud in the mortgage business.
An alliance by California and Nevada to jointly investigate misconduct and fraud in the mortgage business further divides efforts by the nation's attorneys general to bring the home-lending industry to account for improper foreclosure practices.
The two states, which are at ground zero of the nation's housing bust, will join forces to probe allegations of foreclosure fraud and other wrongdoing in the mortgage markets, including the packaging and selling of mortgage-backed securities by Wall Street players and scams by smaller players offering to help troubled borrowers. more..
December 07, 2011
Mueller enlists Sheen's lawyer in Aspen cocaine case
ASPEN — Aspen criminal-defense attorney Richard Cummins on Monday entered his appearance for celebrity Brooke Mueller, who was arrested outside of a downtown nightclub Saturday on cocaine and assault charges. Cummins also was a member of actor Charlie Sheen's defense team for his Christmas Day 2009 domestic violence case involving Mueller, who was his wife at the time of the incident.
Cummins said Mueller, 34, waived any potential conflict concerning his representation of Sheen. more..
December 06, 2011
D.A. in the dark on jail probes
L.A. County Sheriff's Department does not always share with prosecutors the results of investigations of possible inmate abuse.
Even as a sergeant shouted, "Stop hitting him! Stop hitting him!," Deputy Marcos Stout continued punching an inmate in the head. Then, with the inmate on the concrete floor, Stout landed his knee on the man's skull.more..
December 05, 2011
Ousted L.A. Housing Authority chief leaves with $1.2 million
Critics see Rudolf Montiel's departure pay as a symbol of misplaced priorities and poor management at the agency. The authority's board chief says the deal was in the agency's best interests.
Rudolf Montiel seemed remarkably sanguine last spring, sitting in a meeting room at the Los Angeles Housing Authority headquarters as he was publicly castigated by tenants just before being fired as the head of the largest public housing operation west of the Mississippi.more..
December 02, 2011
Manager of young actors arrested in molestation case
Martin Weiss of Santa Monica is held on suspicion of sexually assaulting a boy over a three-year period. Police believe there may be other alleged victims.
A Hollywood manager who specializes in representing young actors has been arrested on suspicion of molesting one of his clients, and police suspect there may be other possible victims.more..
December 01, 2011
Wal-Mart pepper-spray attack caused 'total pandemonium,' says LAPD
Los Angeles police detectives described a chaotic scene when a woman pepper-sprayed 20 shoppers during a Wal-Mart Black Friday sale.
Authorities said they received a call around 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night to report that someone had discharged pepper spray at a videogame display at the Porter Ranch Wal-Mart, where the store was offering games at half their normal $60 price.more..
November 30, 2011
Conrad Murray gets four years for role in Michael Jackson's death
The judge voices shock at Dr. Conrad Murray's lack of remorse and criticizes the physician for recent comments suggesting Michael Jackson 'entrapped' him.
The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray in the drug overdose death of Michael Jackson ended with a resounding rebuke from the trial judge, who lambasted his treatment as "money for medicine madness."more..
November 29, 2011
Criminal defendants find an unlikely friend in Justice Scalia
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has led the charge in reversing convictions, citing the 6th Amendment and the right to challenge witnesses. For him there are no shades of gray.
Reporting from Washington— Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most outspoken and combative conservative, is not often described as friendly to criminals. more..
November 28, 2011
The hidden impact of three strikes
State law is widely used to coerce plea bargains
Across California, hundreds of criminals convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual crimes last month were no longer sent to prison under the state's massive inmate realignment — but this group of "low level" offenders does not include more than 2,200 inmates currently imprisoned for the exact same crimes.
They are serving life sentences under California's three-strikes law. more..
November 23, 2011
Ex-Beverly Hills school official convicted
A former Beverly Hills School District official was convicted Monday of conflict-of-interest charges for taking more than $1.3 million through a contract she steered to herself, authorities said.
Karen Anne Christiansen, 53, the district's former facilities director, encouraged school officials to borrow money for a building campaign while she planned to direct the management contract to herself, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.more..
November 22, 2011
Riverside County to make inmates pay jail costs
A judge will decide whether and how much each convict is able to pay. Riverside County officials say the state probably won't cover the costs of putting inmates in county jails instead of state prisons.
Struggling with an $80-million budget shortfall and an influx of thousands of felons to local jails, Riverside County is turning to a captive audience to raise some much-needed cash: Convicts. more..
November 21, 2011
Discord Over Strategy on Dr. Conrad Murray's Defense Team
The lawyers representing Dr. Conrad Murray in Los Angeles Superior Court had no reason to cheer on Nov. 8, but it wasn't just the guilty verdict that created tension on the trial team.
For much of the trial, discord dominated relations between Houston lawyer Ed Chernoff, who led the criminal-defense team for Murray, and his co-counsel J. Michael Flanagan of Glendale, Calif.'s Flanagan Unger Grover & McCool. Neither lawyer plans to represent Murray on appeal.more..
November 18, 2011
Charles Manson's 'right hand man' seeks parole for 14th time after becoming a born-again Christian in prison - and gets denied
Charles 'Tex' Watson appeared before a parole board in California to seek release after being denied over a dozen times before - and was denied again.
Watson, 65, made a plea for his freedom yet again during a hearing Wednesday at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, 50 miles southeast of Sacramento.more..
November 17, 2011
Former Bell council members seek dismissal of corruption charges
Six ex-lawmakers contend Bell's status as a charter city allowed them to exceed state regulations on salaries
Six former Bell council members are asking a Superior Court judge to dismiss corruption charges against them, arguing that voters in the small Los Angeles County city gave them the authority to draw the annual salaries of nearly $100,000 that prosecutors say amounted to thievery.more..
November 16, 2011
Wilberle Vereus: US Resident Deported To Haiti, Reveals Brutal Conditions And Severe Health Risks In Jail
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – When longtime Los Angeles resident Wilberle Vereus arrived in Haiti after being deported from the United States, he was taken to the Petionville jail above Port-au-Prince and placed in a 20-by-10-foot cell along with three other deportees and a group of Haitian prisoners.
Vereus, 22, had committed no crime in Haiti.
"We walked into the jail, and the first thing I smelled was urine," Vereus said. "They threw us in a jail that had no beds, no toilets, no shower, nothing but just concrete. It had a little toilet bowl that didn't work that had urine and trash and all that stuff up in there."more..
November 15, 2011
Attorney's Apology for Flouting Court Order Can't Support Sanction Absent Actual Breach
An attorney's immediate apology after a judge sustained an objection against him for violating a pretrial evidentiary order in his summation could not support a sanctions order when a careful review of the transcript showed no actual violation of the order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Oct. 27 (Miller v. Los Angeles, 9th Cir., No. 10-55235, 10/27/11).
In an excessive force case involving a Los Angeles police officer, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said the city's attorney could not have acted in bad faith—a prerequisite for a sanction based on the district court's inherent power—if he did not violate the court's order.more..
November 14, 2011
For teen program's chief, tough love may have turned criminal
The operator of a Pasadena 'boot camp' aimed at turning around troubled lives with military-type discipline faces trial on charges of kidnapping and extortion for his treatment of a girl and her family.
The surprise visit to Alberto Ruiz's house was swift.more..
November 11, 2011
Michael Jackson family's civil trial blames AEG in singer's death
Mother and children allege that the entertainment giant heartlessly pressured the star to deliver a comeback tour he was in no shape to take on.
With the conviction this week of Michael Jackson's doctor on an involuntary manslaughter charge, the question of blame in the pop star's death shifts to a new and much wealthier defendant: Los Angeles entertainment behemoth Anschutz Entertainment Group. more..
November 10, 2011
Ex-Oregon congressman pleads guilty to federal tax charge
Wester Cooley had been charged with seven felonies surrounding the sale of more than $10 million of private stock in Tujunga-based Bidbay.com and related companies from 2000 to 2003.
Former Oregon Rep. Wester Cooley pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to a tax charge related to the allegedly fraudulent sale of stock in an online auction site.more..
November 09, 2011
Phone hacking scandal puts James Murdoch's career on the line
James Murdoch, the News Corp. heir apparent, will return to Parliament on Thursday for more questions about his role in the phone hacking case. He might lose his place as Rupert Murdoch's successor.
James Murdoch is fighting for his professional life, as a growing scandal engulfs his family and the media conglomerate they control.more..
November 08, 2011
Conrad Murray guilty in death of Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's personal physician has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for causing the pop icon's 2009 death by a powerful surgical anesthetic.
The verdict against Dr. Conrad Murray comes after a jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about nine hours over two days. The 58-year-old cardiologist, who was charged with the lowest possible homicide offense, faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison and a minimum sentence of probation.more..
November 07, 2011
Family calls for federal probe in fatal police shooting
His family stood quietly during a Friday afternoon news conference outside the Long Beach Police Department, holding signs that read, "Justice for Douglas Zerby!" and "Jail Killers Ortiz and Shurtleff."
They listened as their attorney, Brian Claypool, called for a federal probe into last year's fatal police shooting of Zerby, 35, because, Claypool said, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office had mishandled its own investigation.more..
November 04, 2011
Defense calls Conrad Murray a victim as case goes to jury
A defense attorney for Michael Jackson’s personal physician told jurors Thursday that his client would never have been put on trial were it not for the pop star’s celebrity.
“Somebody’s got to say it: If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, if it were anybody else, would this doctor be here today?” defense attorney Ed Chernoff told jurors during closing arguments in Dr. Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial.more..
November 03, 2011
Conrad Murray's defense ends without him taking the stand
Michael Jackson's personal physician declines to testify in his own defense as both sides wrap up their cases, setting the stage for closing arguments.
Testimony drew to a close in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician Tuesday as the doctor announced he will not testify in his own defense.more..
November 02, 2011
Robert Rizzo sues Bell, says city had no 'cause' to fire him
Robert Rizzo, the former city administrator whose generous salary launched the city of Bell to notoriety last year, is suing the city, alleging breach of contract.
Rizzo, who was ousted from his post last year over revelations that he was collecting a salary of nearly $800,000 to oversee the day-to-day operations of the small, working-class community in southeast Los Angeles County, accused the city of breach of contract in a suit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is representing himself in the suit.more..
November 01, 2011
Medical pot backers' suit seeks end of U.S. raids, threats
In suing U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and the top federal prosecutor in Northern California, Americans for Safe Access accuses the Obama administration of using coercive tactics to interfere with powers delegated to the states.
Medical marijuana advocates want a federal court to halt the recent raids and threats of prosecution that have significantly stepped up the Obama administration's assault on dispensaries and growers.more..
October 31, 2011
Raw-food crackdown went too far, defense attorneys say
A one-year investigation into allegedly illegal trafficking of raw dairy products by a Ventura County farmer, her assistant and a Venice store operator included hundreds of hours of manpower by 10 law enforcement and regulatory agencies using hidden video cameras and undercover agents to make covert buys, attorneys say.
The bust had all the makings of a major criminal investigation.more..
October 30, 2011
Police link 6 more slayings to Grim Sleeper suspect
The new allegations bring to 16 the killings linked to Lonnie Franklin Jr. But officials do not plan to seek criminal charges now in the new cases, fearing that would slow progress toward a trial.
Los Angeles police detectives have linked six more slayings to the suspect in the Grim Sleeper serial killings after reviewing hundreds of unsolved homicide cases and missing person reports, as well as a cache of photos of unidentified women found at the man's home.more..
October 28, 2011
Innocent man freed after 17 years in prison for nothing
LOS ANGELES — After serving 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Obie Anthony walked out of a Los Angeles County Jail Oct. 4 and joined the ranks of many men and women across the U.S., who were incarcerated on the basis of flawed or false eyewitness testimony.
“It's really overwhelming at this point. It's going to take a couple of days before everything really sets all the way in but the fact of the matter is, like I said, I never lost faith. I knew that this day would come so I just stood fast in that and I knew that it would happen,” Anthony told the throng of supporters and media that greeted him during an early celebration immediately after he was released.more..
October 27, 2011
Montebello lawyer and former L.A. County Superior Court commissioner sentenced to federal prison
LOS ANGELES — A former Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner and Montebello attorney was sentenced to one year of federal prison Monday in a scheme to avoid paying taxes.
Anthony Luna, 72, pleaded guilty on March 22 to one count of conspiracy to structure cash transactions and one count of subscribing to a false tax return, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a written statement. more..
October 26, 2011
Conrad Murray trial: Defense to begin its case
Dr. Conrad Murray's attorneys are expected to begin their case Monday, a task legal experts say will be a big damage-control job if they hope to keep Michael Jackson's physician from being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
The prosecution's four-week case will wrap up after cross-examination and redirect of key medical witness Dr. Steven Shafer. Shafer has repeatedly attacked Murray's account of how Jackson died. The propofol expert testified that almost nothing about the quantity of drugs Murray said he administered matched up with what was later found in Jackson's blood.more..
October 25, 2011
Alaska corruption case clouded by prosecution's missteps
One of the Justice Department's most ambitious anti-corruption operations of the last decade ended modestly Friday after several reversed convictions and retrials. After two years, an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct continues.
Reporting from Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska— The scene captured by a hidden FBI camera in Suite 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau has become one of the most famous in a state well-versed since the gold rush days in what happens when money, ambition and alcohol intersect.more..
October 24, 2011
Attorney arrested on suspicion of bringing drugs to jailed client
Acting on jailhouse intelligence, Los Angeles sheriff's deputies Friday arrested an attorney they say tried to smuggle 26 balloons of heroin and methamphetamine to a gang member in custody at the downtown courthouse.
Attorney Kenneth Markman, 47, was arrested on the 11th floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center when he tried to meet with his client in lockup. Deputies used a drug-sniffing dog to locate the narcotics wrapped in tape, said Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.more..
October 21, 2011
L.A. County jail probe includes claim that deputies beat visitor
Gabriel Carrillo, visiting his brother at Men's Central Jail, suffered bruises and cuts in an altercation with sheriff's deputies. Carrillo says he was attacked; deputies say he was resisting.
The FBI probe into the Los Angeles County jails has expanded to include allegations of a man who says he was beaten and pepper sprayed by deputies while handcuffed during a visit to see his incarcerated brother.more..
October 18, 2011
ACLU files suit over alleged racial profiling of students
The civil rights group alleges that about 55 Latino students at Glendale's Hoover High School were illegally detained, searched and interrogated.
The ACLU of Southern California filed suit Thursday against Glendale Unified administrators and three law enforcement agencies, alleging that about 55 Latino high school students were illegally detained, searched and interrogated in what the civil rights organization called "a textbook case of racial profiling."more..
October 17, 2011
Another city employee found preying on immigrants
A woman working in the Los Angeles Housing Department collected payoffs from Korean Americans, authorities say. She received a sentence and could face more penalties.
Glen Lim and his mother were anxious to find someone who could explain how their apartment building in Mid-Wilshire had gotten into so much trouble with Los Angeles housing inspectors — and what they could do to fix the problem.more..
October 14, 2011
30 jailers punished for inmate beatings, report says
Sheriff's Department watchdog releases study on inmate abuse. Sheriff Baca plans to install more video cameras in jail to document misconduct.
In the last two years, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials have disciplined more than 30 jail employees for beating inmates or covering up the abuse, according to a report from the agency's watchdog obtained by The Times.more..
October 13, 2011
'Austin Powers' actor allegedly kills sex offender in prison
An "Austin Powers" actor convicted of torturing a woman in Orange County is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central Valley prison, authorities said Tuesday.
Joseph Hyungmin Son, 40, allegedly killed his 50-year-old cellmate, who was found dead Monday afternoon at Wasco State Prison Reception Center in Kern County.more..
October 12, 2011
Former Bell chief wants strapped city to pay his legal fees
Randy G. Adams' lawyer says the expenses total hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Former Bell Police Chief Randy G. Adams is requesting that a judge order Bell to pay legal expenses he incurred while defending himself in a civil lawsuit and corruption investigations.more..
October 11, 2011
Ex-deputy says he, others used improper force on inmates, Baca says
Sheriff Lee Baca says in a letter that the information led him to create a task force to examine a growing number of allegations of deputy misconduct in the jails.
A former sheriff's deputy at the center of an FBI probe inside the L.A. County jail system implicated himself and other jail employees in four cases of improper force against inmates, according to a letter written by Sheriff Lee Baca.more..
October 10, 2011
Open L.A. County's jails — to scrutiny
For the sake of the public, the Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Lee Baca himself, a thorough investigation into reports of abuse at L.A. County's jails is crucial.
Last week, I added my name to a letter to Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. asking for a federal investigation into disturbing reports of assaults on inmates by L.A. County sheriff's deputies in jails.more..
October 07, 2011
Judge overturns murder conviction in 1994 slaying
Jurist criticizes prosecutors for not revealing that the main witness received leniency in return for his testimony implicating Obie Anthony in a case featured in the LAPD book 'The Killing Season.'
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday overturned the murder conviction of a man who has spent 17 years behind bars for a killing outside a South L.A. brothel — a slaying that was prominently featured in a book about two LAPD homicide detectives.more..
October 06, 2011
D.A. opens investigation of Los Angeles Community College District
At issue are allegations of irregularities in the selection of a watchdog for the district's troubled $5.7-billion construction program.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations of irregularities in the Los Angeles Community College District's choice of a watchdog for its troubled $5.7-billion construction program.more..
October 05, 2011
Judge reprimands Fullerton police
Seven women had accused Officer Albert Rincon of sexually harassing them or groping them during arrests. Two of them filed suit, and a judge has refused to throw out their case.
The Fullerton Police Department, already reeling from criminal charges filed against two officers in the death of a homeless man, has been reprimanded by a federal judge for allowing a police officer to return to patrol after he was accused of groping women.more..
October 04, 2011
Doctor acquitted of coverup in misallocated liver transplant
The former head of the transplant program at St. Vincent Medical Center is exonerated of violating rules that prompted the hospital to stop the surgeries.
Dr. Richard R. Lopez Jr., who once ran the liver transplant program at St. Vincent Medical Center, was acquitted by a federal jury Friday on charges that he led a conspiracy to cover up the misallocation of an organ in 2003.more..
October 03, 2011
Conrad Murray case: Judge rips attorney for 'Today Show' interview
A judge barred attorneys at the trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician Friday from speaking publicly about the case after a Texas attorney associated with the defense criticized a witness and discussed trial strategy on the "Today Show."
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said he found the television appearance by Matthew Alford, a law partner of the lead defense attorney, “shocking,” given his previous entreaties not to try Dr. Conrad Murray’s case in the media.more..
September 30, 2011
Attorney: Antelope Valley corruption prompted firing of deputy, who should get $8.5 million
LOS ANGELES -- A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy is entitled to up to $8.5 million for exposing alleged corruption within his department and getting fired as a result, his attorney told a jury today.
Lawyer Richard Love said his client -- honored for his work in fighting drug dealers in the Antelope Valley -- lost his job because he told his boss that another deputy, Richard Engels, was possibly linked to both narcotics activity and to the disappearance of one of their colleagues, Jonathan Aujay. more..
September 29, 2011
Sheriff, U.S. Attorney to discuss FBI probe of LA County jails
Sheriff Lee Baca is expected to meet today with the U.S attorney in Los Angeles amid growing tension between his department and the FBI over a new FBI probe of alleged deputy misconduct in the Los Angeles County jail system, the nation's largest.
FBI agents orchestrated an undercover sting in which they paid about $1,500 to a sheriff's deputy to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate, sources told a Los Angeles newspaper. The inmate turned out to be an FBI informant. more..
September 28, 2011
L.A. city controller to audit Coliseum finances
L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel's audit of the Coliseum's books comes on top of a criminal investigation by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel is dispatching a team of auditors to pore over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum's books because of a financial scandal that is already the subject of a criminal investigation.more..
September 27, 2011
FBI probing reports of beatings in L.A. County jails
Federal agents sneaked a cellphone into Men's Central Jail as part of their investigation of misconduct, sources say.
Federal authorities are investigating allegations of inmate beatings and other misconduct by deputies in Los Angeles County jails, with FBI agents going so far as to sneak a cellphone to an inmate to get reports from inside, according to law enforcement sources.more..
September 26, 2011
Students guilty of disrupting speech in 'Irvine 11' case
Ten Muslim students get three years of probation for disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine. Charges against another student were dismissed pending completion of community service.
In an emotional conclusion to a case that generated national debate over free speech rights, an Orange County jury has found 10 Muslim students guilty of criminal charges for disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on the UC Irvine campus last year.more..
September 24, 2011
Michael Jackson: Jury selected in Conrad Murray case
Lawyers have finalized a jury to hear evidence against Michael Jackson's personal physician.
The panel seated Friday afternoon in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray includes one man who had a brief encounter with Jackson three decades ago. The juror said he was introduced to the singer in the early 1980s while they both were working on the Disney lot.more..
September 23, 2011
Kelly Thomas death: Councilman 'sickened' by beating details
A Fullerton city councilman who was police chief when the two officers charged in the Kelly Thomas case were hired expressed sorrow and remorse after hearing details of the beating that preceded Thomas' death.
"I am absolutely sickened and my heart is just bleeding for the city, the Thomas family and the Police Department," Pat McKinley said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I just don't understand how those officers could do what they did."more..
September 22, 2011
Coroner's report completed in Kelly Thomas' death
The findings are not made public, but the Orange County district attorney is set to announce whether criminal charges will be filed against six Fullerton police officers in the homeless man's beating.
The Orange County district attorney is set to announce Wednesday whether criminal charges will be filed against six Fullerton police officers involved in a violent confrontation that led to the death of a mentally ill homeless man.more..
September 21, 2011
'Irvine 11' accused of censorship
In closing arguments, prosecutor says that Muslim students interfered with Israeli ambassador's right to free speech. Defense argues that courtesy isn't necessary in a university setting.
Ten Muslim students who are on trial for disrupting Israeli ambassador Michael Oren during an appearance at UC Irvine in effect acted as censors, a prosecutor argued in closing statements Monday.more..
September 20, 2011
Jurors question deputies' testimony
Panelists' concerns over what they see as 'fabrications' spur an internal affairs investigation into law enforcement actions and testimony in a Compton weapons case
When Compton jurors recently deliberated the fate of a man charged with possessing a concealed firearm, they thought the evidence was overwhelming — not that the man was guilty but that the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who testified against him had lied.more..
September 19, 2011
Democrats ignored red flags on Durkee, records show
Kinde Durkee, now accused in federal fraud case, continued to work as a campaign treasurer for Democratic lawmakers despite numerous fines and audits.
When state Sen. Ted Lieu (D- Torrance) learned a few months ago that a state audit had found irregularities in his campaign finances, staffers immediately called Lieu's longtime treasurer, Kinde Durkee. more..
September 16, 2011
More veterans are using PTSD as defense in criminal cases
As awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder grows, veterans' lawyers are finding juries sympathetic. But the case of Joshua Stepp, who killed his infant stepdaughter, is testing how far that defense can go.
Reporting from Raleigh, N.C.— He killed her, Joshua Stepp admitted. He slammed the face of his 10-month-old stepdaughter into a carpeted floor, roughed her up as he changed her diaper, stuffed wet toilet paper down her throat, and soon she was dead.more..
September 14, 2011
LAUSD police officer convicted of faking his own shooting near El Camino Real High School
VAN NUYS - A Los Angeles school police officer was convicted today of faking his own shooting near El Camino Real High School, prompting a 10-hour police dragnet of an eight-square-mile area of the San Fernando Valley.
Jeff Stenroos, 31, was convicted in a non-jury trial of five of the six counts against him. Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Richard N. Kirschner took the sixth count -- filing a false police report -- under submission.more..
September 13, 2011
The unlikely lawyer in Conrad Murray's corner
A little known but well-regarded Texas attorney is representing the doctor facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of Michael Jackson.
As his trial in the death of Michael Jackson approached, Dr. Conrad Murray found himself with an unlikely new cardiology patient — his own attorney. A battery of tests determined that the chest pains Ed Chernoff was experiencing were symptoms of anxiety, a diagnosis that the patient, a medium-time Texas lawyer about to try the biggest-time of cases, could not dispute.more..
September 12, 2011
Hollywood producer Drew Levin pleads guilty to fraud
A Hollywood producer and businessman pleaded guilty Thursday in Los Angeles to federal charges of stock fraud and bilking an investor.
Drew Savitch Levin, 57, of Pacific Palisades, conspired to inflate the revenue and stock price of Team Communications Group, Inc., a West Los Angeles-based company that Levin founded and for which he served as CEO until early 2001, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.more..
September 09, 2011
FBI: Treasurer used $677k in campaign funds to pay personal bills
Kinde Durkee, the Democratic campaign treasurer who was arrested by the FBI on Friday, used the campaign funds of Orange County Assemblyman Jose Solorio to pay business expenses, credit card bills and for her mother's assisted living care, according to a criminal complaint released Tuesday.
In all, Durkee is alleged to have defrauded the assemblyman out of more than $677,000 in campaign contributions, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint. And there could be more. Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento, said the investigation continues and could expand to more of Durkee's clients, who include U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, five U.S. representatives, six members of the state Legislature and local officials.more..
September 08, 2011
Doctor's trial may avoid Michael Jackson's past
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's former doctor faces a tough challenge clearing himself of involuntary manslaughter charges in the pop star's death as his trial, which promises to avoid many dark aspects of Jackson's life, begins with jury selection due this week.
While it is Dr. Conrad Murray, who will be on trial when attorneys are expected to start selecting a panel on Thursday, the "Thriller" singer's infamy will loom large over the proceedings.more..
September 07, 2011
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Plea Deal in Identity Theft Conspiracy
SAN FRANCISCO --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today that a Vallejo man has entered into a plea for a four-year prison sentence for participating in an identity theft ring that defraud at least 29 victims in the Bay Area of at least $180,000.
Nick Luu, 30, of Vallejo, pled guilty in San Francisco Superior Court on August 24, 2011 to three counts of identity theft and admitted to participating in a conspiracy with five other defendants. more..
September 06, 2011
Elected officials notified of possible campaign fund fraud
Several clients of Kinde Durkee, a prominent campaign treasurer who was arrested Friday on a federal fraud charge, have reported that they were contacted by the FBI or U.S. attorney’s office about the criminal investigation.
Durkee was arrested from the office of her business, Durkee & Associates, in Burbank on one charge of mail fraud and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had served as campaign treasurers on hundreds of political campaigns over the years, working for federal, state and local candidates.more..
September 05, 2011
Jackson doc's trial ready to go
LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson's sad and perplexing final days of life will be laid bare as the involuntary manslaughter trial of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, begins on Thursday with jury selection.
Details of how the King of Pop, who'd been apparently suffering for years from debilitating insomnia, was addicted to a powerful anesthetic approved only for use in surgery and, more importantly, how he obtained it, is at the core of the case Los Angeles prosecutors will present in the televised trial, which is tentatively set to begin with opening statements on Tuesday, Sept. 27.more..
August 31, 2011
Former LA prosecutor backs ending CA death penalty
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—A former Los Angeles County district attorney joined an effort to end California's death penalty Monday, backing an initiative proposed for the November 2012 ballot that would replace capital punishment with life prison terms.
"The death penalty in California is broken and it is unfixable," Gil Garcetti said at a news conference held to release details of the proposed ballot measure. "It is more likely that the convicted murderer will die in prison before execution is imposed."more..
August 30, 2011
Suspect Indicted in Quadruple Hollywood Homicide
LOS ANGELES – A superceding Grand Jury indictment unsealed today charges Alberd Tersargsyan with the murders of three family members and a woman not related to the family, the District Attorney’s office announced.
Tersargsyan, 65 (7-7-46), pleaded not guilty before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli in case BA 382886. Tersargsyan, who was ordered held without bail, returns to court on Oct. 17 for a pretrial hearing in Department 100, said Deputy District Attorneys Alan Jackson and Amy Ashvanian.more..
August 29, 2011
Pedophile ex-priest faces court date
Michael Stephen Baker, a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting two boys, will be arraigned Friday as part of a motion filed by L.A. County prosecutors to have Baker committed to a state hospital indefinitely after completing his prison sentence.
Baker, who has served more than five years of a 10-year prison sentence for his 2007 conviction, was scheduled to be released Aug. 18. The petition, filed the same day with L.A. County Mental Health Court, means he will continue to be held while a judge reviews the case, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Tracy Watson.more..
August 28, 2011
Judge denies Hubbard's motion for dismissal
Superintendent's attorney requests Beverly Hills Unified to provide emails that he says could clear Hubbard of wrongdoing.
LOS ANGELES — A judge on Friday denied a request to drop the felony criminal charges filed against the Newport-Mesa Unified schools chief.
An attorney for Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard had argued that Hubbard was only following procedure when, in his last job as superintendent for the Beverly Hills Unified School District, he wrote memos to subordinates requiring them to make payments to Beverly Hills' former facilities director, Karen Anne Christiansen, 53.more..
August 24, 2011
Relief delayed for prisoners deemed wrongfully convicted
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson failed for years to rule on a number of eligible habeas corpus petitions. In one case, the prisoner died in the sixth year of the judge's inaction.
Justice delayed was justice denied for Omer Harland Gallion. He died in prison in his sixth year of waiting for U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to act on a decision that he had been wrongfully convicted and should be released or retried.more..
August 19, 2011
Plea bargains a painful but necessary tool for the criminal justice system
The two men charged with gunning down 3-year-old Carlos Fernando Nava in a failed attempt to kill two rivals were free to walk the streets despite violent pasts.
Both had been in the grip of law enforcement for previous crimes but, through plea bargains, were able to escape prolonged prison terms.more..
August 18, 2011
Homeless man's death: Fullerton approves probe by police watchdog
The Fullerton City Council late Tuesday gave the go-ahead for an independent review of the city's embattled Police Department and to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a homeless man after a violent encounter with six officers.
Michael Gennaco, who oversees Los Angeles County's Office of Independent Review and scrutinizes the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's actions, said the two contracts approved by the Fullerton council allow him to review Kelly Thomas' death and conduct a separate extensive review of department policies and procedures.more..
August 17, 2011
L.A. physician convicted of sexual assault
Dr. Kevin Brown, the son of a former premier of Bermuda, is found guilty on 21 charges related to sexual assaults on nine female patients, including a 15-year-old and an undercover police officer.
Dr. Kevin Brown, a South Los Angeles physician and son of a former premier of Bermuda, was found guilty Monday on 21 charges related to sexual assaults on nine female patients, including a 15-year-old and an undercover police officer.more..
August 16, 2011
Frank McCourt, Dodgers try to limit scope of Stow family suit
Attorneys for the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt have asked a judge not to allow the children of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was beaten at Dodger Stadium, to sue over their father's injuries.
The attorneys also asked that references to drinking at the stadium and to McCourt's wealth be thrown out, saying they were irrelevant to the case. McCourt's legal team also wants descriptions of the March 31 beating as "brutal and vicious" removed. The lawyers are trying to significantly reduce the scope of the lawsuit.more..
August 15, 2011
Rapper's Twitter prank on sheriff's station may lead to charges
The Compton sheriff''s station was flooded with calls Friday night after The Game gave 580,000 followers a number to call for an internship. Officials may charge him with disrupting law enforcement.
The calls started without warning. Every line on every phone in the Compton sheriff's station lighted up at once, hundreds of calls pouring in for hours.more..
August 12, 2011
Fullerton death focuses attention on mental health
Federal, county and city authorities investigate the beating as Orange County supervisors look into implementing state's Laura's Law.
In the wake of the death of a schizophrenic man in Fullerton after a violent altercation with police, Orange County supervisors took an initial step Tuesday toward implementing a state law that would allow people with severe mental illness to be placed in court-mandated outpatient treatment.more..
August 11, 2011
Ex-official ordered to pay Irwindale for Broadway shows, ballgames
A retired Irwindale city manager convicted of misappropriating public funds paid $20,000 in restitution and fines for using city money to attend Broadway plays and Yankees and Mets games on trips to New York.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Villar de Longoria sentenced Steve Blancarte, 56, to pay $5,303 in restitution and an additional $14,700 in fines and penalties. After he paid the fines, the judge agreed to dismiss another four counts of misappropriation of public funds against the ex-city official. more..
August 10, 2011
Defense Decries 'Flagrant' Misconduct in FCPA Prosecution
In an attempt to salvage a criminal investigation devoid of sufficient evidence, federal prosecutors resorted to misconduct to win a high-profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case, defense lawyers argued in a court document.
The document, filed on July 25, supplemented a motion to dismiss based on prosecutorial misconduct that lawyers for Lindsey Manufacturing Co. and two of its executives filed one day before a jury verdict went against their clients. The case is one of the few verdicts the government has won under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits individuals and businesses from bribing foreign officials to secure work. more..
August 09, 2011
Hundreds protest Fullerton man's death, call for release of video
Council members, bloggers and others urge Fullerton's police chief to resign in the wake of Kelly Thomas' death. A video shows six officers struggling with the homeless man, but key elements are obscured, a source says.
As hundreds of people on Saturday protested the death of a homeless man during an altercation with Fullerton police, it was looking less likely that a videotape at the center of the case would provide a full answer as to what happened. more..
August 08, 2011
Overturned case dropped
Father of four spent nine years in prison
ONTARIO - Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a man whose attempted murder conviction was overturned on appeal after he spent nine years in state prison.
Ontario resident Rafael Madrigal was released from prison two years ago when his conviction was set aside, but he faced the prospect of a new trial on charges that he participated in a shooting in 2000 in East Los Angeles. more..
August 05, 2011
Top prosecutors in Mexico resign en masse
Senior federal prosecutors in 21 of the country's 31 states and federal district step down, and it's not clear if they were forced out or quit in rebellion.
Reporting from Mexico City— In a major upheaval in Mexico's troubled attorney general's office, top prosecutors in 21 of the country's 31 states and federal district have abruptly quit, officials announced Monday.
Specific reasons were not given for the en masse resignations, but they come amid a widening purge of the agency by Atty. Gen. Marisela Morales, who took office in April and has seen several high-profile drug-trafficking prosecutions fall apart.more..
August 04, 2011
Prosecutor in Jaycee Dugard case attacks parole system
District attorney releases video taken by Phillip Garrido to bolster charges that the justice system relied too much on psychiatrists' opinions in freeing the convicted rapist and kidnapper.
Reporting from Sacramento -- El Dorado County Dist. Atty. Vern Pierson, who prosecuted the man convicted of abducting Jaycee Lee Dugard and holding her for nearly two decades, on Tuesday blasted the criminal justice system that let onetime parolee Phillip Garrido previously go free.more..
August 03, 2011
Los Angeles County judge acquitted of elections code violation
Judge Harvey Silberman had been accused of offering to pay a rival to drop out of a 2008 vote.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge was acquitted Monday of the charge that he had offered to pay an opponent to drop out of a 2008 election.more..
August 02, 2011
California may curb use of unsupported jailhouse testimony
A bill passed by the state Legislature earlier this month would prohibit convictions based solely on the testimony of jailhouse informants, who often have something to gain by lying.
No blood, fingerprints, weapon or other physical evidence was ever found to link Thomas L. Goldstein to the 1979 shotgun murder of John McGinest, a Long Beach neighbor he had never met. more..
August 01, 2011
Judge indicted in bribery case faces rare criminal prosecution
Jury is deliberating charges that Harvey Silberman tried to bribe his opponent to drop out of 2008 Superior Court race. His two political consultants pleaded no contest to conspiracy charges.
With the clock ticking on a deadline to file for judicial elections in 2008, Deputy Dist. Atty. Serena Murillo got a phone call with an unexpected offer.more..
July 28, 2011
Beverly Hills psychiatrist accused of misconduct
LOS ANGELES—A Beverly Hills psychiatrist who treated Anna Nicole Smith in the days before her death is accused of misconduct by the state's medical licensing agency.
In a July 13 filing, the Medical Board of California accuses Khristine Eroshevich of signing off on two workers' compensation and disability claims without actually examining the patients.more..
July 27, 2011
Arraignment for Two Suspects in Stow Beating Postponed
Two men charged with assault and mayhem in Brian Stow attack now to be arraigned on Aug. 10.
Two new suspects in the beating of Santa Cruz man Bryan Stow were in Los Angeles court Monday morning and were scheduled to be arraigned, but the arraignment has been postponed until August, a district attorney spokesman said.more..
July 26, 2011
ACLU/SC Calls on DA Cooley to Stop Parker Prosecution
In a letter sent today, the ACLU of Southern California is calling on Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to stop the criminal prosecution of a Los Angeles County jail inmate whom two sheriff’s deputies brutally attacked in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on January 24, 2011.
Both the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department and the FBI are conducting separate criminal investigations into the attack on James Parker, but have not yet completed their findings. While conducting a routine inspection of the jail, ACLU/SC Jails Project Coordinator Esther Lim witnessed deputies kicking and tasering Parker repeatedly. She witnessed the two deputies shouting “Stop resisting!” and “Stop fighting!” while he lay limp on the floor.more..
July 25, 2011
How the case against Dodger Stadium beating suspect unraveled
LAPD chief says investigators may have been overselling their findings in the attack on Bryan Stow, but it's his job to see through that. Source calls witness IDs of Giovanni Ramirez 'weak.'
On a Sunday afternoon in late May, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck stood before a horde of television cameras in the sprawling parking lot at Dodger Stadium. His voice wavering with emotion, Beck told a riveted city he was confident his detectives had caught one of the men responsible for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in that same lot weeks before.more..
July 24, 2011
Prosecutor seeks to quash 'gay panic' defense in Oxnard slaying
Judge will be asked to invoke a state law that allows jurors to be instructed to disregard a victim's sexuality.
The trial of an Oxnard teenager accused of gunning down a gay classmate he thought was flirting with him marks the first test of a state law allowing judges to admonish jurors that a victim's sexual orientation should not influence deliberations.more..
July 22, 2011
L.A. Council to look at use of lawyers other than City Attorney
Posing a direct challenge to Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to seek a report on other ways of obtaining legal services at City Hall.
On a 13 to 0 vote, the council asked for an analysis of how other cities across the nation hire their legal teams –- and of the possibility of separating the city’s misdemeanor criminal prosecutions from the work of crafting legislation and representing the city in lawsuits.more..
July 21, 2011
The Death Penalty is Prohibitively Expensive
A new study released this week puts the cost of maintaining the death penalty in California higher than it has ever been estimated in the past. Ninth Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell, the study's authors, calculated that California taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion since capital punishment was reinstated in 1978, and estimate the annual cost of pursuing executions to be $184 million more than pursuing life without parole.
The report, facilitated by previously unavailable records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, details exactly where and why seeking the death penalty costs so much more than life, as in the extra $200,000 spent per capital case on jury selection, the upwards of $300,000 spent on attorneys representing each inmate on appeal, and the more than $100,000 extra it costs to incarcerate a death row inmate within more secure housing (though other states have had success in "mainstreaming" death row inmates with the general population).more..
July 20, 2011
McFarland case delayed until August
Keith McFarland PASADENA - Police in Pasadena have failed to turn over vital evidence in the Kelvin "Sgt. Mac" McFarland case, causing two delays this week in the criminal court proceedings, according to the suspect's attorney.
McFarland, 40, is a Pasadena juvenile boot camp operator accused of kidnapping, child abuse, false imprisonment, extortion and unlawful use of badge.more..
July 18, 2011
Ex-Vernon leader pleads guilty in public corruption case
Former Vernon City Administrator Donal O’Callaghan pleaded guilty Friday to felony conflict-of-interest charges related to the hiring of his wife as a city contractor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
The contracts awarded to O’Callaghan’s wife, Kimberly McBride O'Callaghan, were first reported by The Times last year as part of a series of stories on high salaries and benefits paid to the city’s top officials. O’Callaghan -- who had made as much as $785,000 in total compensation in 2009 -- was indicted in October and resigned from his position at Vernon City Hall.more..
July 16, 2011
Suspect in L.A. text-message slaying surrenders
The man, who had been tracked to Puerto Rico but got out on bail, appears at the Van Nuys courthouse with his lawyer. He is accused of shooting a 19-year-old man to death in North Hollywood in 2009.
For 18 months, the suspect in the shooting death of a teenager in a North Hollywood parking lot evaded police. Even after federal marshals hunted him down in Puerto Rico, Zareh Manjikian managed to bail out and flee again.more..
July 15, 2011
LAPD memo criticizes man who says Shaquille O'Neal orchestrated his kidnapping
A detective says Robert Ross was an 'undesirable informant' who had a 'vendetta' against fellow gang members and adds that the accusations were attempted extortion.
The music producer and former gang member who accused Shaquille O'Neal of being behind an alleged kidnapping by a criminal street gang was classified as an "undesirable informant" by the LAPD in early 2010, according to internal police records reviewed by The Times.more..
July 14, 2011
Fugitive Pleads Guilty, Sent to Prison in 2000 Attack on Sheriff’s Deputy
NORWALK – A man who fled to Mexico after shooting and wounding a Sheriff’s deputy a decade ago pleaded guilty today to assault on a peace officer and was sentenced to 25 years in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Frank Tavelman of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section (CAPOS) said Emigdio Preciado Jr., 41, was sentenced by Norwalk Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza after the deputy who was wounded and others told the court how the crimes had affected their lives.more..
July 13, 2011
Armenian criminal boss pleads guilty
Federal Attorney of the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara informed that 47-year-old Kazarian headed a criminal group, which functioned in Los Angeles and New York.
“Voice of America” informs that the group was defeated in October, 2010, when over 50 members of the criminal syndicate – mainly of Armenian origin and citizens of that country - were arrested. They were accused of stealing personal data of thousands of doctors and patients, which were used by the criminals in order to extort millions of dollars from Medicare system, which exists for rendering medical aid to elderly people. more..
July 12, 2011
In Casey Anthony's case, the law worked
Many are upset at the verdict. But the system worked.
After Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter Caylee this week, a disturbing spectacle unfolded outside the Florida courthouse where the trial took place. The crowd outside, convinced that Anthony should have been convicted, began chanting "Appeal! Appeal!" The spontaneous demonstration revealed how little many Americans know about the justice system.more..
July 8, 2011
CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL REVERSES CONVICTION IN ONE-STRIKE 32 YEARS TO LIFE SENTENCE
Court finds trial attorney to be ineffective by failing to present medical experts.
Filed 6/30/11 P. v. Clarke CA2/1
A jury convicted Daniel Ricardo Clarke of rape, burglary, and related charges. Clarke appealed and filed a simultaneous petition for writ of habeas corpus on numerous grounds, including ineffective assistance of counsel. We granted a limited form of relief on the habeas petition, directing the superior court to conduct an evidentiary hearing and rule on the ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The superior court held the hearing and ruled against Clarke, who then filed a new habeas petition in this court. We issued an order to show cause and ordered that the petition be heard concurrently with Clarke's still-pending appeal. We now conclude that Clarke's ineffective assistance of counsel claim has merit and that Clarke was prejudiced by counsel's deficient performance. We accordingly grant the petition and vacate the judgment. more..
July 08, 2011
PTA moms who allegedly ran Ponzi scheme charged with multiple felonies
Three former Diamond Bar elementary school PTA members were charged Wednesday with nearly two dozen criminal counts in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 40 people out of $1 million.
Maricela Barajas, 41, Juliana Celeste Menefee, 50, and Eva Perez, 51, face 22 felony counts each of grand theft of personal property and securities fraud, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.more..
July 07, 2011
No criminal charges in brawl by L.A. County sheriff's deputies
Prosecutors have declined to file criminal charges against a group of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies accused of assaulting three fellow deputies at a Christmas party last year.
The violence that broke out at a department party in Montebello drew widespread attention after those involved were described as being part of an aggressive deputies’ clique at Men's Central Jail known to throw gang-like hand signs.more..
July 06, 2011
Casey Anthony acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter
ORLANDO, Fla.— Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a case that captivated the U.S. as it played out on national television from the moment the toddler was reported missing three years ago.
Anthony, 25, wept after the clerk read the verdict, which jurors reached after less than 11 hours of deliberation over two days. She was charged with first-degree murder, which could have brought the death penalty if she had been convicted.more..
July 05, 2011
California 'three-strike' sentences used less often 15 years later
Fifteen years after passage of the state's landmark "three strikes" sentencing law, prosecutors in Sacramento and throughout California have become far more selective in applying the full force of the statute, reducing the number of lifetime prison terms being sought for third strikers to a relative trickle.
While it used to obtain the maximum sentences anywhere from 50 to nearly 100 times a year, the Sacramento District Attorney's Office now asks for life terms for third strikers fewer than 20 times a year, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The office obtained 16 such sentences in 2010 compared with a high of 94 in 1996.more..
July 01, 2011
Hubbard to stand trial in August on 2 felony counts
Date could change, pending length of a related trial.
LOS ANGELES — Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard was ordered Wednesday to stand trial in mid-August on criminal charges stemming from his former job as Beverly Hills schools chief.
At a pre-trial hearing, L.A. Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus tentatively set Hubbard's trial date for Aug. 15. more..
June 30, 2011
James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Arrested With $800,000, Seeks Taxpayer-Paid Lawyer
James “Whitey” Bulger, the accused Boston mobster arrested in California with $800,000, was given three days to show why a lawyer should be appointed to represent him at taxpayer expense.
Bulger, 81, and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, made initial appearances in federal court in Boston yesterday after a trip from California. Bulger, who was a fugitive for 16 years, didn’t oppose his continued detention while awaiting arraignment. Wearing jeans and a white hooded sweatshirt, he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs by U.S. Marshals. more..
June 29, 2011
US Supremes to hear warrantless GPS tracking case
Surveillance in the digital age
The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide if the US Constitution requires police to obtain a search warrant before secretly monitoring location-tracking devices planted on the vehicles of suspects
Monday's agreement to decide whether the Fourth Amendment bars warrantless GPS tracking of criminal suspects came at the urging of the Obama Administration.more..
June 28, 2011
Get Smart on Reporting Prison Costs: A View From Inside
A recent story by Bill Boyarsky, the political correspondent for Truthdig and former city editor, columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Los Angeles Times was headlined: “Are reporters missing the real story about our criminal justice system?”
Two paragraphs later he wrote, “I’m wondering if I’ve already lost some of my readers. Who cares about criminals? Some of the journalists I met last week said they get the same reaction from their editors”more..
June 24, 2011
Whitey Bulger arrest: 'He’s a very evil man,' victim’s family says
While Angelenos may only know notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger through the Jack Nicholson character he inspired in "The Departed," in Boston, everybody knows his name.
Bulger, now 81, has been on the run since 1994, when he fled Boston as federal agents were preparing to arrest him in connection with at least 19 killings, racketeering offenses and other crimes from the early 1970s to mid-1980s.more..
June 23, 2011
MLB notes: Roger Clemens seeks to limit teammates' testimony
WASHINGTON — Roger Clemens and the prosecutors who have accused him of lying about using performance-enhancing drugs submitted a flurry of motions Tuesday ahead of next month's criminal trial, with the baseball star trying to limit his former teammates' testimony about drug use and the government trying to block revelations about his chief accuser's investigation for sexual assault.
The filings revolved around the prosecution's leading witness — former Clemens trainer Brian McNamee, who says he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens has steadfastly disavowed using drugs and is scheduled to go on trial July 6 on charges that he lied when he made those denials during congressional testimony.more..
June 22, 2011
Dodger Stadium beating suspect ordered back to prison on parole violation
The suspect in the Dodger Stadium beating was ordered back to prison Monday to serve 10 months on a parole violation.
After an hours-long hearing, Deputy Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam ruled that Giovanni Ramirez, 31, violated the terms of his parole by being a felon with access to a weapon. Police found the gun during a search warrant served as part of the investigation into the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.more..
June 21, 2011
Death penalty costs California $184 million a year, study says
A senior judge and law professor examine rising costs of the program. Without major reforms, they conclude, capital punishment will continue to exist mostly in theory while exacting an untenable cost.
Taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in 1978, or about $308 million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then, according to a comprehensive analysis of the death penalty's costs.more..
June 20, 2011
Former DWP plumbing supervisor pleads guilty in fraud case
LOS ANGELES - A former Department of Water and Power plumbing supervisor pleaded guilty today to four felony counts that stemmed from allegations that he and two others were involved in a plot to divert public funds.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz immediately sentenced Anthony Mark Carone, 49, to three years in prison.more..
June 17, 2011
Suspect charged in slaying of MTV music coordinator
One of three co-defendants tied to a series of robberies that included the shotgun slayings of an MTV music coordinator and another man have been charged with capital murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 26, had been charged in connection with four robberies, but Wednesday prosecutors said the criminal complaint was amended to include the murders of Gabriel Ben-Meir and Marcelo Aragon.more..
June 16, 2011
Group seeks initiative to reform California's Three Strikes Law
A coalition led by a group of Stanford University lawyers intends to put an initiative on the November 2012 ballot to reform California's Three Strikes Law, the harshest such sentencing law in the nation.
The group has secured at least one major financial backer, David W. Mills, a former investment banker and Stanford Law School professor. It also hired San Francisco political consultant Averell "Ace" Smith to lead what is expected to be a fiery campaign. more..
June 15, 2011
Former Army officer pleads guilty to bribery
A retired U.S. Army major from Moreno Valley pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a bribery scheme involving bottled water deliveries for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, federal prosecutors said.
Derrick L. Shoemake, 49, went before a federal judge in Los Angeles to plead guilty to a pair of bribery charge. He admitted accepting $250,000 to help fix contracts to supply bottled water, said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.more..
June 14, 2011
Bloodstained jersey is not linked to Dodger Stadium beating case, sources say
aw enforcement sources on Saturday denied a television news report that said Los Angeles police had obtained a bloodstained Dodgers jersey that matched DNA from the Giants fan who was attacked outside Dodger Stadium.
KNBC-TV reported that the jersey had been dropped off at a cleaning establishment, which then notified law enforcement.more..
June 13, 2011
Before charges are even filed in the Dodger Stadium beating case, the defense goes public
The prosecution case is rooted in eyewitness identifications, so as police search for evidence, Giovanni Ramirez's defense attorney takes an aggressive stance. Unusual circumstances give both sides plenty of time.
In the three weeks since the arrest of a man accused of beating a baseball fan outside Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles police have scoured thousands of stadium surveillance photographs, run DNA tests and reviewed mobile phone records and financial transactions in search of hard evidence to bolster a case that authorities concede is largely based on eyewitness identifications.more..
June 11, 2011
NEWS ALERT: Judge orders Mehserle’s release from jail
BART Shooting top story, breaking news, bulletin, Fruitvale BART, Johannes Mehserle, manslaughter, Oscar Grant, release, Robert Perry
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ordered that former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant New Year’s Day 2009, be released Monday, after serving just over 11 months of his two-year sentence.more..
June 10, 2011
Extras are the center of attention in crackdown on casting company fees
Background actors have long complained about the upfront fees that casting companies charge them to find jobs. State and L.A. officials have taken their cue and ordered an end to the practice.
They are the anonymous hotel clerks, courtroom jurors and store patrons who populate countless movies, TV shows and commercials.more..
June 09, 2011
Mexico authorities return former mayor to Tijuana to face arms charges
Jorge Hank Rhon, a controversial casino magnate seen by many critics as an emblem of impunity in Mexico, and 10 other suspects were moved from the capital to a prison in the border city of Tecate.
Reporting from Mexico City— Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon returned to Baja California on Wednesday as a federal prisoner facing weapons charges.more..
June 07, 2011
Lenny Dykstra faces felony fraud, drug charges
The former Mets star is accused in a fraudulent scheme to obtain luxury cars using credit from a company that doesn't exist; possession of cocaine, human growth hormone and ecstasy; and identity theft.
New Yorker magazine once touted former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra as "baseball's most improbable post-career success story." He transformed himself into a financial guru and ace stock picker, drove a Maybach and bought Wayne Gretzky's palatial estate near the Sherwood Country Club.more..
June 06, 2011
Georgia immigration law taken to court
The ACLU and other civil rights groups file suit against legislation that allows law enforcement to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.
Several civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to halt Georgia's stringent new immigration law that would allow law enforcement to check the legal status of criminal suspects and force many businesses to do the same with potential employees.more..
June 02, 2011
Oakland braces for Ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle’s release
After serving eleven months of his 2-year sentence for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day, 2009, former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle is expected to walk out of Los Angeles County Jail a free man within the next few weeks.
The website of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department lists Monday, June 13th as the next court date for Mehserle, who is currently incarcerated in the Men’s Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles. The hearing will begin at 8:30 AM. more..
June 01, 2011
Man fired while wrongfully jailed part of suit against county Locked up 9 days — and innocent
A case of mistaken identity landed a Port Hueneme man in the Ventura County jail for nine days last year, despite his repeated protests to a number of officers and a judge that they had the wrong man.
Charles Velasquez, 28, was a victim of identity theft by a man who already had been convicted in Ventura County in 2009 for falsely impersonating him and sentenced to prison.more..
May 31, 2011
Creator of 'Phonehenge West' to testify in code enforcement case
Acton man faces possible time behind bars if convicted in the trial over his home, built partly of utility poles.
Lawyers for an Acton property owner accused of building code violations will seek to defend his elaborate home expansion project as a work of art in a trial in Lancaster slated to wrap up this week.more..
May 30, 2011
Crime and punishment: When young offenders end up in adult court
A 14-year-old Rosemead girl accused with her older boyfriend of slaying her grandparents. A 16-year-old Pico Rivera boy charged with fatally shooting a woman who tried to stop his friend from tagging. A 14-year-old boy who allegedly shot a store employee in the head during a robbery in Pico Rivera.
The three teenagers have one thing in common: All are being tried as adults in Los Angeles County.more..
May 27, 2011
John Edwards 'did not break the law,' attorney says
The government is nearing a decision on whether to indict the former senator on criminal campaign finance violations in connection with his affair with Rielle Hunter.
As the government neared a decision on whether to indict former Sen. John Edwards on criminal campaign finance violations in connection with a sex scandal, his attorney furiously denied Wednesday that he had broken the law, or even that any law applied to the situation.more..
May 26, 2011
Prosecutors file additional charge in case of slain NBCUniversal executive
Prosecutors filed a second felony charge Tuesday against a Chatsworth man accused of fatally shooting an NBCUniversal executive.
David Andrew Armstrong already had been charged with murder in the St. Patrick's Day shooting that left Brian Russell Kaplon dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.more..
May 25, 2011
Judge disqualifies drug kingpin's lead attorney
Prosecutors allege that lawyer Jan Ronis, who represents Benjamin Arellano Felix, once worked on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel. The judge says the allegations could create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Reporting from San Diego— A federal judge on Monday disqualified the lead attorney for Mexican drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix, ruling that his participation in the high-profile case was marred by potential conflicts of interests that could force him to take the witness stand.more..
May 24, 2011
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei faces tax evasion charges
The official New China News Agency reports that Ai Weiwei's company 'intentionally destroyed accounting records' and committed other criminal acts. The internationally known artist was arrested last month at Beijing airport.
Reporting from Beijing— Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist whose arrest has prompted an international outcry, is being charged with evading "huge amounts" of taxes, Chinese state media reported late Friday.more..
May 23, 2011
Pico Rivera home to latest teen court in county
PICO RIVERA - Kids who commit a minor offense for the first time will have the option of being judged by a jury of their own peers here.
Starting May 31, the county's latest teen court will be based in Pico Rivera. The council chambers at City Hall, 6615 Passons Blvd., will serve as the de facto courtroom. more..
May 21, 2011
Prosecutors seek to oust Tijuana drug kingpin's lead attorney
Jan Ronis, lawyer for Benjamin Arellano Felix, committed an ethical breach in an earlier case, they say, and also has a conflict of interest.
Reporting from San Diego -- Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to disqualify the lead defense attorney for Mexican drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix, saying the lawyer once worked on behalf of the Arellano Felix drug cartel to dissuade a witness from cooperating with U.S. law enforcement.more..
May 20, 2011
Lindsay Lohan expected to serve jail term at home
Actress Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to four months in jail after changing her plea and effectively admitting stealing a $2,500 gold necklace from a Los Angeles store.
But Lohan, who was not in court last Wednesday during the sentencing, will likely serve just 16-17 days of her sentence -- most likely under house arrest, officials said.more..
May 19, 2011
Former LAPD officer suspected of bilking at least $2 million from fellow cops, other investors
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
A former Los Angeles police officer charged with defrauding a handful of San Bernardino County people in an investment scam had been running real estate investment schemes for years and is suspected of bilking at least $2 million from fellow LAPD officers and other investors, authorities said.
Darcey Greenfield, 39, surrendered Wednesday to investigators from the San Bernardino County district attorney's real estate fraud unit, according to Mike Leibrich, the unit's senior investigator. She faces several felony charges, including the sale of false investment securities, the sale of securities without a license, and grand theft.more..
May 17, 2011
LAUSD officer pleads not guilty to faking his own shooting
Jeffrey Stenroos faces five felony charges in the January incident that triggered a massive manhunt and lockdown in Woodland Hills. The city and schools want him to pay restitution.
A Los Angeles Unified school police officer charged with faking his own shooting, triggering a massive manhunt and schools lockdown, pleaded not guilty Friday after a six-count grand jury indictment was unsealed.more..
May 16, 2011
Woman charged in killing of MTV music coordinator
A woman was charged Friday in the shotgun slayings of an MTV music coordinator and another man, while two men were charged in a string of related robberies.
Destiny Young, 29 of Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday in connection with a string of robberies in which the attackers were armed with a shotgun, the same type of weapon used in the killing of Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir, 30. She was charged in Ben-Meir's slaying.more..
May 13, 2011
Probation means Lindsay Lohan must behave to stay out of jail, legal experts say
Even though actress Lindsay Lohan may not end up serving jail time for her latest run-in with authorities, she's going to have to remain on her best behavior.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner placed Lohan on three years' probation. Any violations could land her in jail.more..
May 11, 2011
Man gets 25 years in missile-smuggling case
Yi Qing Chen, 49, of Rosemead was convicted in October of trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes, distributing drugs and conspiring to import missiles. He was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison under a 2004 anti-terrorism statute.
Yi Qing Chen was convicted last October of trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes, distributing drugs and conspiring to import missiles. He was sentenced Monday to 25 years in federal prison.more..
May 10, 2011
State to double crime searches using family DNA
California's success in using 'familial searching' spurs Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to increase funding for the controversial genetic sleuthing technique in rape, murder and cold cases.
A young man followed a woman into a coffee shop as she prepared to open for business at 6 a.m. He put a knife to her throat, sexually assaulted her, barricaded her in a walk-in refrigerator and grabbed cash from the register before vanishing.more..
May 06, 2011
9th Circuit rules, for third time, that Thai teen's confession in slayings was invalid
The Supreme Court had asked the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to review its previous decisions in the case of a Thai teenager who confessed to killing nine worshipers at a Buddhist temple near Phoenix in 1991.
For the third time, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a Thai teenager's confession to the 1991 slayings of nine worshipers at a Buddhist temple near Phoenix was coerced and invalid.more..
May 05, 2011
Baca has raked in $120,000 in gifts since becoming sheriff
The gifts to L.A. county's sheriff have included some from donors that sought business with his agency and others who got special treatment. In a three-year span, he accepted more presents than all the state's other sheriffs combined.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has accepted gifts from executives seeking his agency's business, individuals who later received special treatment from him, and even a pair of felons implicated in a massive money-laundering and fraud scheme, according to a Times review of disclosure records.more..
May 04, 2011
Mexico extradites drug kingpin to the U.S.
Benjamin Arellano Felix, the former leader of one of Mexico's most feared organized crime groups, had been incarcerated since his 2002 arrest. He is flown to San Diego to face racketeering and drug conspiracy charges.
Reporting from San Diego and Mexico City -- The Mexican government Friday extradited to the United States drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix, the former leader of one of Mexico's most feared and powerful organized crime groups, whose ruthless reign transformed northern Baja California into a major drug trafficking corridor into the U.S.more..
May 03, 2011
Former Temple City mayor takes the stand in her bribery and perjury trial
LOS ANGELES - Taking the stand in her own defense former Temple City mayor Cathe Wilson said Friday money she took from a developer and his agent didn't constitute bribery, but was rather an expression of friendship.
Never turning to look at the seven-woman, five-man jury, Wilson painted herself as a motherly protector of developer agent Jay Liyanage, and in turn he provided her with cash, a car rental and funds for her political friends. more..
May 02, 2011
2 accused of illegal contributions to Antonio Villaraigosa, Jack Weiss campaigns
Koreatown developer Alexander Hugh and escrow company executive Annette Lee are charged with giving $26,000 to the mayor and the former councilman, who was running for city attorney.
A campaign fundraiser for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been charged with illegally funneling $26,000 in contributions to the mayor and former City Councilman Jack Weiss, according to a five-count grand jury indictment unsealed Friday.more..
April 29, 2011
Former project manager details who he paid bribes for ex-Mayor Cathe Wilson
LOS ANGELES - A key witness broke down three times as he recounted in court Wednesday how he rented a car for former Temple City mayor Cathe Wilson and delivered campaign funds to other officials out of fear that a development he was spearheading would not get built.
The $75-million Piazza mall project was in fact never built, said project manager Jay Liyanage, even though he paid city officials $30,000 cash on behalf of his boss, Randy Wang, the developer. more..
April 28, 2011
Low-income housing developer at center of fraud probe is set to lose its court-appointed overseer
Couple call off divorce, forcing judge to end the receivership that uncovered alleged fraud, misuse of public funds and other problems in their company, ADI.
The couple whose low-income housing business is now at the center of a federal fraud investigation convinced a judge Tuesday that they no longer want a divorce, setting the stage for the removal of the independent receiver appointed to oversee the company.more..
April 27, 2011
Jury selection goes underway in former Temple City Mayor corruption case
LOS ANGELES - Jury selection began Monday in the corruption trial of former Temple City Mayor Cathe Wilson.
A pool of 50 potential jurors were screened by the defense and prosecution to determine if they could fairly deliver a verdict in the case.
Opening arguments are set to begin today at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. more..
April 26, 2011
Jurors Recommend Death for Whittier Man Convicted in 2004 Triple Murder, One Other Killing
NORWALK – Following less than two days of deliberations, a Norwalk jury today recommended that a Whittier man be put to death for luring would-be used car buyers to his home, then fatally shooting and robbing the men.
Norwalk Superior Court Judge Dewey Falcone said Cimarron Bernard Bell, 37, will be formally sentenced on June 21. more..
April 25, 2011
Lindsay Lohan free after posting $75,000 bail hours after judge delivers 120-day in jail sentence
LOS ANGELES - Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 120 days in jail Friday for violating her probation by waltzing out of a jewelry store with a necklace.
Within hours, the troubled starlet was set free after posting $75,000 bail, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.more..
April 23, 2011
Los Angeles building inspector agrees to plead guilty to bribery charge
A Los Angeles building inspector who was arrested in a government sting operation for allegedly taking cash to sign off on development projects has agreed to plead guilty to a bribery charge in federal court.
Raoul Joseph Germain, 59, of Altadena, was one of two inspectors arrested this month on suspicion of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from an FBI informant and an undercover FBI agent in exchange for signing off on building inspections that never took place.more..
April 22, 2011
Judges orders geographically largest gang injunction in county history for the La Puente area
A Superior Court judge ordered the most wide-ranging gang injunction in Los Angeles County history Tuesday, ruling that rival La Puente area street gangs pose a public nuisance.
Judge James Chalfant granted the injunction that targets about 1,300 members of the rival street gangs Puente 13 and Bassett Grande. more..
April 20, 2011
Lenny Dykstra Accused of Bankruptcy Fraud
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former Major League ballplayer Lenny Dykstra is accused of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate: selling and destroying more than $400,000 worth of stuff from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Dykstra, 48, of Encino, played for the Mets and Phillies. He later "gained notoriety as a stock picker," the U.S. attorney said in a statement announcing Dykstra's arrest on unrelated charges, which the U.S. attorney did not elaborate.more..
April 19, 2011
Attorney barred from photographing man's injuries in alleged jail beating
Defense attorney says a beating by deputies was so severe that he couldn't recognize his client. Officials say the inmate was dangerous and was being kept in an area where civilians and cameras are banned.
Despite a judge's order, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has refused to allow an attorney to take photographs of a client he said was beaten so badly by jail deputies that he was unrecognizable.more..
April 18, 2011
Erin Runnion joins dead teen's family in protest
Friends, relatives and supporters of an Orange County woman who disappeared in 2007 protested Friday in front of the Los Angeles courthouse where they say the man responsible received a "slap on the wrist."
John Steven Burgess told investigators that 19-year-old Donna Jou attended a party at his Los Angeles home in June 2007, and that he gave her cocaine, heroin and alcohol. After agreeing to plead guilty, he admitted in court that he found her lifeless body in a chair the following day, panicked, and dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean.more..
April 15, 2011
City attorney files criminal charges against Hollywood talent manager
The Los Angeles city attorney's office has charged a veteran Hollywood talent manager with multiple counts of violating the state's talent-scam prevention law.
Patrick W. O'Brien, 51, operator of Pat O'Brien Talent Management and Talent Marketing and Promotions Inc., was charged this week with six criminal counts, including grand theft, false advertising, operating an advance-fee talent representation service and failing to file a $50,000 bond with the state Labor Commission.more..
April 14, 2011
Sheriff shifting policy on deputy discipline
Sheriff Lee Baca is taking a tougher stand against deputies accused of breaking the law.
In a recent policy shift, Baca no longer will wait until the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office completes its investigations of deputy misconduct before his department launches its own internal probes of the allegations, his spokesman said. more..
April 13, 2011
Alleged gang member convicted of murder in 49th Street Massacre
After two deadlocked murder trials, a third jury convicted an alleged gang member Monday of murdering three people, including a 10-year-old boy, on a South L.A. street in what became known as the 49th Street Massacre.
Ryan T. Moore, 37, was convicted of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy in the 2006 attack, which shocked the city and was part of a series of high-profile interracial gang crimes that stoked fears of a possible race war.more..
April 12, 2011
L.A. Building Inspector Ensnared in FBI Bribery Sting
Hugo Joel Gonzaleza, a Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety inspector, was arrested Friday morning on federal bribery charges
Two building inspectors employed by the City of Los Angeles, one of whom resides in Eagle Rock, were arrested on federal bribery charges Friday morning after being snared in an FBI sting operation. more..
April 11, 2011
JGC to Pay $218.8 Million to Resolve Foreign Bribery Charges
JGC Corp. (1963), a Tokyo-based construction and engineering company, agreed to pay a $218.8 million criminal penalty to avoid prosecution on charges it bribed Nigerian officials for contracts on natural gas projects.
The U.S. Justice Department today charged JGC in Houston with one count of conspiracy and one count of aiding and abetting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in what it called a decade-long bribery scheme. The department agreed to defer prosecution for two years and dismiss the charges if JGC improves its programs to comply with the law. more..
April 08, 2011
Studio City Talent Manager Faces Criminal Charges
Prosecutors from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office yesterday announced that charges have been filed against a Studio City-based talent manager for allegedly operating an advance-fee talent scheme that placed several minors at risk of harm.
Nicholas Roses, 21, and his company, Roses Entertainment Group, face seven misdemeanor counts, including three counts of operating an advance fee talent representation service, one count of failing to file the proper $50,000 bond with the State Labor Commission, and one count of failing to use written artist contracts. more..
April 07, 2011
Might a military jury deny 9/11 suspect's death wish?
Under military commission rules, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed cannot plead guilty to a crime that carries the death penalty, even though he wants it. And a military jury might be less likely than a civilian one to grant his wish.
His words leave little doubt about his role. It is his punishment that remains uncertain.more..
April 06, 2011
Judge dismisses murder charges against man who spent more than 20 years in prison
The action brings to an end a two-decade legal saga in which five of the six witnesses who identified Francisco "Franky" Carrillo in court as the gunman in a drive-by shooting recanted their testimony last month.
A Los Angeles County judge dismissed criminal charges Monday against a man who spent more than 20 years behind bars for a murder he insists he did not commit.more..
April 05, 2011
Report details prosecutorial misconduct, pushes for transparency
The Northern California Innocence Project finds 102 California cases, and 31 from Los Angeles County, in which prosecutors engaged in misconduct. The group, based at the Santa Clara University School of Law, is advocating more transparency in how misconduct is addressed.
California courts last year found that Los Angeles County prosecutors withheld evidence, intentionally misled jurors or committed other types of misconduct in 31 criminal cases, according to an Innocence Project report released last week.more..
April 04, 2011
Supreme Court rejects damages for innocent man who spent 14 years on death row
In a 5-4 ruling, justices overturn a jury verdict awarding $14 million to John Thompson, who had sued then-New Orleans Dist. Atty. Harry Connick Sr. because prosecutors hid a blood test that would have proved his innocence in a murder case.
Reporting from Washington— A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a jury verdict won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on death row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence.more..
March 31, 2011
Lindsay Lohan won't face charges in Betty Ford altercation
Riverside County prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file battery charges against Lindsay Lohan related to an alleged altercation with a technician at a Betty Ford Center housing complex in Palm Desert last year over whether the actress should take an alcohol test.
The decision comes after local police told prosecutors they believed there was enough evidence to charge Lohan.more..
March 30, 2011
Five Plead Guilty to Taking More Than $1 Million Dollars From Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES – Three former employees of Tristar, a third-party administrator of workers’ compensation claims for Los Angeles County, and their wives pleaded guilty today to multiple counts of grand theft and claims adjuster fraud.
Deputy District Attorney Samer Hathout of the Healthcare Fraud Division said Christian Ramirez, 24, a former claims examiner for Tristar, pleaded guilty to one count each of false and fraudulent claim and claims adjuster fraud. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz immediately sentenced the defendant to two years in state prison.more..
March 29, 2011
Authorities move to revoke license of doctor linked to overdose deaths
The Osteopathic Medical Board of California has accused Lisa Tseng of Rowland Heights of prescribing unsafe amounts of powerful narcotics to several patients. Since 2007 at least eight of her patients have died from overdoses of the same kind of drugs she prescribed.
Medical authorities have moved to revoke the license of a Rowland Heights physician whose practice was linked in a Times investigation to eight patient overdose deaths.more..
March 25, 2011
Lindsay Lohan Apparently Won't Take Plea Deal
Prosecutors said today Lindsay Lohan's lawyer notified them the actress would not be in court Friday, the deadline set by a judge to accept a plea deal to settle a charge of stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz told the 24-year-old actress at a March 10 hearing that she would only have to appear in court this week if she wanted to "plead guilty or no contest."more..
March 24, 2011
Former U.S. immigration attorney sentenced for taking more than $400,000 in bribes to help illegal immigrants
A former federal immigration attorney from Rancho Cucamonga was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison for accepting more than $400,000 in bribes in exchange for helping illegal immigrants remain in the United States.
Constantine Peter Kallas, 40, was convicted last year of three dozen felony counts, including bribery, obstruction of justice, fraud, identity theft and tax evasion..more..
March 22, 2011
Former L.A. fire captain convicted of murdering woman
Jennifer Flores' body was found in the middle of a street. A trail of blood and tissue led to David Del Toro's Eagle Rock home. The jury rejects a first-degree murder verdict in favor of second-degree.
A former Los Angeles Fire Department captain was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for the death of a woman whose naked and brutalized body was found in the middle of a street about a mile from his Eagle Rock home.more..
March 21, 2011
Judge deals setback to attorney general's case against Bell officials
L.A. County Judge Ralph W. Dau, in a tentative ruling, said lawmakers cannot be sued for passing ordinances that award them high salaries. The ruling has no effect on the criminal case against current and former city officials.
A Los Angeles County judge on Thursday dealt a potentially lethal blow to a far-reaching civil lawsuit the attorney general filed last year as part of an effort to recover money from eight Bell city officials who drew some of the highest municipal salaries in the state.more..
March 18, 2011
Man goes free after murder conviction is overturned
Friends and supporters greet Francisco Carrillo, who was imprisoned for 20 years after he was convicted of a drive-by slaying, as he leaves L.A. County Jail. 'I'm, personally, not angry,' he said. 'I don't want to carry that heavy load.'
For two decades, Francisco "Franky" Carrillo insisted he was innocent.more..
March 17, 2011
LAPD braces for protests after Police Commission's finding in fatal shooting
A Los Angeles police officer acted within department rules when he fatally shot a Guatemalan day laborer armed with a knife last year in an encounter that triggered days of unrest, the LAPD’s oversight body ruled Tuesday.
Bracing for the possibility that the decision by the Los Angeles Police Commission could ignite another round of violent protests in the Westlake neighborhood where the man was shot, LAPD officials preemptively dispatched a large contingent of officers to the area before the decision was announced. In the hours after the commission’s finding, however, the streets around the shooting site were calm.more..
March 14, 2011
Mel Gibson pleads no contest in domestic abuse
Actor is sentenced to community service and three years probation in incident involving ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Mel Gibson walked a gantlet of paparazzi and stood before a courtroom packed with reporters and wired with video cameras streaming online coverage Friday to agree formally to a plea deal in a domestic violence case that has dogged him for nearly a year.more..
March 11, 2011
Bell's all-new, all-novice council faces nasty choices
With the city on the edge of insolvency, immediate budget cuts — including possible closure of the Police Department — will be needed.
Now that arrests, resignations and voter ballots have scythed away Bell's entire City Council, the incoming leaders of the beleaguered little city — all first-time officeholders — will confront a budget in disarray, a citizenry expecting quick reforms and a long list of nasty choices.more..
March 10, 2011
Councilwoman asks D.A.'s Office to intervene in Montebello Bethania Palma
MONTEBELLO - A city councilwoman has asked the District Attorney's Office to intervene in what she called illegal activities relating to two recently discovered off-the-books bank accounts.
In her March 3 letter to Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, Councilwoman Christina Cortez said "all criminal actions" relating to two off-the- books bank accounts should be prosecuted. more..
March 09, 2011
Former NFL Defense End, Two Others Charged in Lancaster Murder
LANCASTER – Former Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith and two purported associates have been charged with murdering a 31-year-old man in Lancaster more than two years ago, the District Attorney’s office announced today with the arrest of all three defendants.
Smith, 43 (dob 6-20-1967), of Fontana; Charles Eric Honest, 41 (dob 12-7-1969), of Los Angeles; and Dewann Wesley White, 32 (dob 6-2-1978), of Bloomington, were charged last month with murdering 31-year-old Maurilio Ponce on Oct. 7, 2008. They were arrested earlier this week.more..
March 08, 2011
O.C. Islamic leaders call for district attorney to drop charges against student protesters
Eleven students from UC Irvine and UC Riverside who disrupted a talk by Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, have been charged with misdemeanors.
Orange County Islamic leaders gathered in Anaheim over the weekend to show support for a group of college students facing criminal charges for interrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States.more..
March 07, 2011
Former Bell city attorney denies signing Rizzo's contracts
Lawyer's signature appears on 2008 paperwork raising base salary to $703,248 but he says he didn't approve any contracts after 2002.
Bell's former city attorney testified Friday that while his signature appeared on several of the contracts that gave Robert Rizzo his increasingly lucrative salary, he didn't sign any of them.more..
March 05, 2011
Phil Spector, attorney Robert Shapiro settle dispute
There will be no courtroom showdown between imprisoned music producer Phil Spector and Robert Shapiro, the noted criminal lawyer he first tapped to defend him from murder charges.
Spector settled a lawsuit demanding that Shapiro return a $1-million retainer fee Thursday, just three days before the matter was to go to trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.more..
March 04, 2011
Extradited to L.A., the Abergils Get Ready To Face the Music
Los Angeles — Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Israel’s first national poet, defined Zionism’s aspiration to make the Jews a normal people via statehood: “We will be a normal state only when we have the first Jewish prostitute, the first Hebrew thief, and the first Hebrew policeman.”
But in the 21st century, it’s not enough to be a local thief; you have to go global. And the upcoming Los Angeles trial of Itzhak and Meir Abergil promises to update Israel’s “normalization” when it comes to crime in a way that befits the times.more..
March 02, 2011
Judge Threatens to Sanction Attorneys In Michael Jackson Case
Saying he was concerned about the sharing of evidence among attorneys, a Los Angeles judge today threatened to penalize lawyers in the criminal case against Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with singer Michael Jackson's death.
During a pretrial hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor told defense attorneys and prosecutors he was disappointed in persistent complaints from both sides about lawyers failing to share evidence.more..
March 01, 2011
Armenian Power Organized Crime Group Targeted in Federal Indictments
LOS ANGELES (Combined Sources) — As a result of two federal indictments and state cases that charge a total of 99 defendants with a wide range of crimes — including kidnapping, extortion, bank fraud and narcotics trafficking — law enforcement authorities on February 16 arrested 74 members and associates of the Armenian Power organized crime group.
The majority of the defendants arrested are named in two federal indictments that charge a total of 88 defendants linked to Armenian Power, which is commonly called AP. AP is an international organized crime group that started as a street gang in East Hollywood in the 1980s. While members often identify themselves with tattoos, graffiti and gang clothing, the organization is less concerned with controlling “turf” than traditional street gangs and has long maintained a presence in several communities in the Hollywood area and the San Fernando Valley. more..
February 28, 2011
Judge says he can't force lawyers to produce imprisoned Spector to testify in civil lawsuit
LOS ANGELES - A judge refused Friday to direct Phil Spector's lawyer to make sure the music producer and convicted murderer is brought from prison to court for the trial of his civil lawsuit seeking to force attorney Robert Shapiro to refund a $1 million retainer fee.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey said there were too many security problems associated with getting Spector from Corcoran State Prison in Kings County between Bakersfield and Fresno. more..
February 25, 2011
Ethics panel clears Councilman Richard Alarcón in alleged bid to aid wife
LOS ANGELES - Councilman Richard Alarcón was cleared in an Ethics Commission investigation that delved into whether he misused his position to benefit his then-fiancée, it was revealed Wednesday.
Alarcón had filed a motion in 2007 calling for a one-block stretch of Wakefield Avenue in Panorama City to be downgraded from a busy highway to a "collector" street. more..
February 24, 2011
Judge tells Lohan day of reckoning coming soon
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge on Wednesday gave Lindsay Lohan roughly two weeks to decide if she will fight or take a plea deal in a felony grand theft case, but either decision could send the troubled starlet back behind bars.
Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz told Lohan he would sentence her to jail if she accepted a plea deal involving the theft of a $2,500 necklace from an upscale jewelry store.more..
February 22, 2011
California Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Fay Arfa achieves a Conviction Overturned in Child Molestation Case
A jury convicted defendant Kamal Ahmad Khan of two counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)), but failed to reach a verdict on a third count of the same offense (which the court subsequently dismissed on the People‟s motion).1 The jury found true the special allegation defendant committed these offenses against more than one victim. (§ 1203.066, subd. (a)(7).) The court sentenced defendant to eight years in prison. more..
February 21, 2011
Fighting the 'Power'
They are a people who have long endured repression and reigns of terror across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Even here, in the Promised Land where so many Armenians are thriving, they still are victimized.
Sometimes it's the pain of prejudice that every wave of immigrants has felt when their numbers threaten the way things were.more..
February 19, 2011
Los Angeles judge finds confession was coerced, frees murder defendant
The jurist says 'it wasn't even a close call' whether LAPD detectives coerced the man, 19 at the time, into changing his story, his lawyer reports. The teen had denied involvement dozens of times.
man on trial for murder was set free this week after a judge found that Los Angeles police had coerced him into confessing.more..
February 18, 2011
Judge urged to throw out plea bargain in sex assaults of disabled women
Advocates for the disabled say a proposed 8-year sentence for Juan Fernando Flores, who confessed to sexually assaulting three mentally disabled women, is an injustice.
Advocates for the disabled are urging a Los Angeles County judge to throw out a plea bargain for an employee of an El Monte day care center who confessed to sexually assaulting three mentally disabled clients, saying his eight-year-sentence was an injustice.more..
February 17, 2011
Judge questions Conrad Murray's hiring of lawyer who once worked for Michael Jackson defense team [Updated]
The judge handling the trial of Michael Jackson’s physician expressed concern Tuesday that the doctor recently hired a lawyer who once worked for a firm that defended the pop star from child molestation charges.
[Updated at 3:19 p.m.: Dr. Conrad Murray added attorney Nareg Gourjian to his defense team for the involuntary manslaughter trial set to begin next month. Gourjian formerly worked for Mark Geragos, who was Jackson’s attorney about seven years ago in the runup to a molestation trial in Santa Maria.]more..
February 16, 2011
Beverly Hills attorney pleads no contest to smuggling black tar heroin into courthouse
A Beverly Hills attorney who tried to smuggle heroin into a secure area of the downtown L.A. criminal courts building pleaded no contest Monday to a single count of taking drugs into jail.
Michael H. Inman was originally charged with four criminal counts of drug possession and sales in connection with his June 2010 arrest.more..
February 15, 2011
Bell mayor says death threats keep him from council meetings
Oscar Hernandez complains that police dislike him because he favors eliminating their department, and won't give him protection. Captain defends his officers.
Bell's mayor, whose absence from council meetings has made it difficult for the city to deal with its fiscal crisis, said he has withdrawn from civic duties because of death threats that make him fear for his life. more..
February 14, 2011
Seal Beach Woman Arrested for Impersonating FBI Agents by Altering Voice and Using Telephonic ‘Spoofing’ Technology
A Seal Beach woman was arrested today for allegedly used "spoofing" technology to impersonate FBI agents in phone calls to business clients who believed she was running a fraud scheme, announced Steven Martinez, Assistant Director of the FBI in Los Angeles, and United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.
Karen Elaine Hanover, 44, was arrested this morning without incident at Fashion Island in Newport Beach by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hanover was charged with impersonating a federal agent in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in United District Court in Santa Ana.more..
February 13, 2011
Legal Action Being Taken Against Lindsay Lohan's Lawyer
An attorney representing a former client of lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley said today he will file an amended malpractice suit next week against the woman currently known for representing Lindsay Lohan.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin ruled Feb. 3 that there were insufficient details in portions of Heather Hillier's complaint against Holley and the law firm where she works, Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump & Aldisert.more..
February 11, 2011
DA offers limited immunity to Bell city clerk in public corruption case
Prosecutors on Wednesday offered Bell's city clerk "use immunity" as she prepared to testify in ongoing corruption hearings.
The offer to City Clerk Rebecca Valdez would mean her testimony cannot be used against her by the Los Angeles County district attorney. The deal would not necessarily shield her if another agency filed charges. more..
February 10, 2011
Lindsay Lohan to be charged in necklace theft
Actress Lindsay Lohan, who is on probation and faces a criminal investigation related to her stay at the Betty Ford Center, is to be charged in the case of a missing necklace.
Los Angeles County prosecutors said Tuesday they plan to file charges against actress Lindsay Lohan for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry store. more..
February 09, 2011
Two Bell, California, Officials Decline Plea Deals, County Prosecutor Says
Two of the eight former and current Bell, California, officials facing accusations of misappropriating public funds rejected plea deals they were offered after contacting the Los Angeles County District Attorney, a prosecutor said.
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Snyder, in a phone interview yesterday, declined to identify the two defendants and to disclose the terms of the plea bargains they were offered. She said it wasn’t uncommon for defendants to approach prosecutors to inquire about a possible deal. more..
February 08, 2011
Ralphs faces fines for overcharging customers
The Ralphs grocery chain pleads no contest to 62 criminal counts of overcharging on prepackaged and weighed products. It was fined for similar violations in 2008 and 2009.
Sentencing for supermarket giant Ralphs Grocery Co. was set for next Wednesday on 62 criminal counts of overcharging customers, false advertising and false labeling at more than a dozen stores in Los Angeles County. more..