Best Defender Bytes: Crime after Crime

December 30, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A speeding driver was convicted today of killing one woman and injuring another after running a red light and crashing into them in a crosswalk, fleeing the scene, and leading police on a high-speed chase. Caroline Sujin Kim, 23, Hacienda Heights, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, evading a peace officer while driving recklessly, and hit and run causing permanent injury or death, with a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene after committing vehicular manslaughter. She faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and eight months in state prison at her sentencing on Feb. 17, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 8:50 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2013, Kim drove at a high rate of speed on Whittier Boulevard in La Habra. She drove through a red light at the Rigsby Street intersection and crashed her car into two pedestrians, 38-year-old Sandra Cellabos and 43-year-old Michelle M., who were lawfully crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.

The force of the collision projected Cellabos onto the hood and roof of the vehicle before falling into the roadway. She was pronounced dead approximately one hour later due to the injuries she sustained in the crash. Michelle M. sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital the day after the crash.

After hitting the victims, Kim fled the scene, failing to stop and render aid to either victim. When police officers located the defendant, she led them on a high-speed pursuit at speeds over 80 mph for several miles. Kim drove through multiple red lights while fleeing and was eventually arrested after crashing into a parked car in Hacienda Heights.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A gang member was resentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) in state prison for committing murder and attempted murder as a juvenile. Ignacio Ruiz Jr., 25, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 3, 2010, of one felony count of special circumstances murder committed for criminal street gang purpose, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the discharge of a firearm causing death. On Aug. 30, 2010, Ruiz was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus consecutive terms of 25 years to life in state prison and life with the possibility of parole.

Ruiz filed a petition through the Central Justice Center to have his sentence vacated because since his sentencing in 2010, new factors for the court to consider have been mandated in cases addressing whether LWOP is an appropriate sentence for juveniles without violating the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The factors are age and immaturity, family and home environment, circumstances surrounding the homicide, any incompetency associated with youth, and the possibility of rehabilitation. The court uses individualized discretion to determine whether the defendant is a “rare juvenile whose crime reflects irreparable corruption” before imposing LWOP.

On June 23, 2013, Ruiz’s petition for resentencing was granted and he was returned to Orange County for a resentencing hearing. The court made an extensive record analyzing the above requisite factors. Testimony, arguments, and an impact statement by victim Abraham Sanchez’s sister, Ana Sanchez, were made prior to the defendant’s resentencing. On Dec. 20, 2016, the defendant was resentenced to LWOP.

Under the supervision of Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson, Certified Law Clerks Joe Moon and Mike Paone prosecuted this case.

Circumstances of the Case


Man to Stand Trial for Attempted Mayhem on Santa Monica Police Officer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A 28-year-old man has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly attempting to gouge a Santa Monica police officer’s eyes while resisting arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Darryl Andrew McIntosh (dob 8/30/88) of Santa Monica faces one felony count each of attempted mayhem and resisting executive officer.

Case SA094311 includes an allegation that McIntosh was convicted on May 19 of one felony count of resisting arrest.

McIntosh pleaded not guilty yesterday to the felony information and is scheduled to return on Jan. 25 in Department W80 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. McIntosh was held to answer to the charges after a preliminary hearing on Dec. 14.


December 28, 2016

Riverside Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

LOS ANGELES – A Riverside man was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography, the latest Inland Empire man to receive a substantial sentence for a child pornography offense.

Walter Klink, 42, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips to spend 240 months in prison. Following his release from custody, Klink will be on lifetime supervised release.

Klink had previously been convicted by the United States Attorney’s Office for possession of child pornography. In 2007 he was sentenced by Judge Phillips to eight years in prison.  After commencing his supervised release, law enforcement received evidence that Klink once again possessed child pornography, including pornographic images of a minor relative.

“This defendant’s criminal conduct paused only while he was in federal prison,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Therefore, the sentence in this case will help protect the children of our community for the next two decades and will ensure the defendant is under court supervision for the rest of his life.”


December 27, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:18 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Fresno man was convicted and sentenced to five years in state prison today for pimping a woman and trafficking a minor teenage girl in Costa Mesa. Marice Lavell Curry, 25, pleaded guilty to one felony count of human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of pandering a minor over 16 years old by procuring, one felony count of pimping, and one felony count of pandering. In addition to prison, Curry was sentenced to mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

Co-defendant Donald Ray Phelps Jr., 23, Fresno, pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2016, to one felony count of conspiracy to pander. He was sentenced to six years in state prison, suspended pending successful completion of five years of formal probation.

Circumstances of the Case

Between May 13, 2016, and June 4, 2016, Curry trafficked 17-year-old Jane Doe 1 and arranged for her engage in commercial sex, keeping money she received from sex purchasers for his own use. The defendants pandered Jane Doe 2 by persuading her to engage in commercial sex. Curry used money the victims received on hotel rooms and travel expenses.

On the night of June 4, 2016, Curry drove Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 to an area of Costa Mesa known for prostitution and human trafficking to solicit sex purchasers. The defendants parked their vehicle in a motel parking lot, and Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officers contacted Jane Doe 2 in a motel room. Officers located the defendants and Jane Doe 1 inside the vehicle a short time later and arrested Curry and Phelps.


Man Pleads Guilty to Triple Murder in Pasadena

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:15 am

A 46-year-old man pleaded guilty today to murdering three people and trying to kill another during a 2014 shooting rampage in Pasadena, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Izeal Smith entered his plea to two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of seconddegree murder, attempted murder and assault with an assault weapon on a peace officer. He is scheduled to be sentenced to 181 years to life in state prison on Feb. 1.

Deputy District Attorneys Garrett Dameron and Geoff Lewin of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section prosecuted the case.

On July 12, 2014, Smith got into a domestic altercation with 59-year-old Maria Aguiar, grabbed an assault rifle and opened fire. Aguiar was killed along with her elderly father, Luis Aguiar. Smith then turned the weapon on neighbors, killing Jose Hernandez Iribe.

Smith barricaded himself inside a home in the 1700 block of North Summit Avenue and called police. He shot at multiple people, including a Pasadena police officer, but nobody was wounded.


Man Sentenced to Prison for Robbing Casino Guests

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:12 am

A 27-year-old man was sentenced today to eight years and eight months in state prison for following casino patrons to their homes and robbing them, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Oct. 31, a jury found Dominick Blair Roberson (dob 6/30/89) of Paramount guilty of five felony counts in case NA103012: four counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second degree robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Kang, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the crime the defendant was an aspiring professional poker player.

On Oct. 8, 2015, Roberson targeted a 42-year-old man at the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and followed him to his Westminster home. While there, the defendant attempted to rob the man in his driveway, but the victim was able to get away, the prosecutor said.


December 26, 2016

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Opens Investigations into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department for Potential Civil Rights Violations

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:22 am

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today opened separate civil pattern or practice investigations into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.  California Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys and investigators will focus on allegations involving police practices and accountability, among other related issues, within both the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.  The Attorney General’s decision to investigate the two law enforcement agencies was informed by complaints by individuals and community organizations, as well as by media reports, which allege use of excessive force and other serious misconduct. Publically available data sources concerning officer-involved shootings and deaths in custody were also reviewed and considered over the course of more than a year.

The DOJ Civil Rights Enforcement Section will conduct the investigations with the assistance of DOJ’s Division of Law Enforcement.  Pattern or practice investigations are civil, not criminal investigations.  During the course of the investigations, DOJ attorneys and investigators will consider all relevant information from all affected parties, including the investigated law enforcement agencies, individual officers, local officials, prosecutors, public defenders and other criminal defense attorneys, community members, and other stakeholders.

“Excessive use of force and police misconduct erode and undermine the public’s trust in our law enforcement agencies,” said Attorney General Harris. “These investigations will objectively, impartially, and thoroughly examine whether the Kern County Sheriff’s Office or the Bakersfield Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force or other civil rights violations. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department, as well as with the community, to address any civil rights violations or other issues that we may find during these investigations.”

The Attorney General’s office welcomes the views of anyone with relevant information concerning either agency.  Such individuals may contact the Civil Rights Enforcement Section by emailing,


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces New Criminal Charges Against Executives for Money Laundering and Pimping

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:17 am

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that her office has filed new criminal charges against Carl Ferrer, Chief Executive Officer of online advertising website, and Michael Lacey and James Larkin, controlling shareholders of Backpage.

Following the uncovering of new evidence, charges include 26 counts of money laundering and the complaint alleges that the defendants created multiple corporate entities to launder money and circumvent the refusal of financial institutions to process Backpage transactions because of overtly sexual material. Defendants are also charged with 13 counts of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping.  In seven of the pimping counts, the victims are children. Additionally, the complaint alleges that the defendants created other sites to increase the company’s prostitution-related revenue and developed content for those sites by using victim’s photographs or information without their knowledge.

“By creating an online brothel– a hotbed of illicit and exploitative activity– Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin preyed on vulnerable victims, including children, and profited from their exploitation,” said Attorney General Harris.  “My office will not turn a blind eye to this criminal behavior simply because the defendants are exploiting and pimping victims on the Internet rather than on a street corner.”

Defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the new felony charges on January 11, 2017 in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Anyone who was a victim of trafficking via Backpage is encouraged to file a report with the California Department of Justice by emailing


Lennox Man Charged with Woman’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:14 am

A 34-year-old man has been charged today with killing a woman with a hammer and burying her body in a backyard, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jackie Jerome Rogers (dob 10/10/82) of Lennox has been charged with one count of murder in case YA095374. The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a hammer, during the commission of the crime.

Rogers is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Inglewood Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $2.02 million.

Prosecutors allege that on Dec. 18 Rogers fatally beat victim Lisa Marie Naegle with a hammer. Two days later, the defendant was arrested in connection with the killing.

If convicted as charged, Rogers faces a maximum possible sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.


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