Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Newsom Gives Freedom to Man Who Sexually Assaulted and Murdered a 17-year-old Boy, Woman Charged with Attempting to Murder Counterprotestors at Anti-Police Rally, and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

South LA building owner charged with job of curbing gang violence, 67 OC criminal cases dismissed in evidence scandal

 

February 2, 2021

Facebook

LA Police Commission moves forward with pilot plan to send mental health professionals to 911 calls.

ADDA Lawsuit

How to listen to live court audio in the ADDA vs. DA lawsuit

For those interested in listening to the Court proceedings in Association of Deputy District Attorneys v. George Gascón et al., on Tuesday, February 2nd, YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER IN ADVANCE

Please follow these directions.

1. Create an account with the Superior Court.

https://my.lacourt.org/remoteaudio/welcome

2. A confirmation email will be sent to you to complete registration.

3. Next - register for this specific hearing:

· Case Type: Civil

· Case No .: 20STCP04250

· Case Title: Gascon

· Courthouse: Stanley Mosk

· Department: 85

· Date: February 2, 2021

· Time: 1:30 pm

4. On the day of the proceeding, sign in with your Court ID to hear the live audio.

George Gascón: A rogue prosecutor whose extreme policies undermine the rule of law and make Los Angeles less safe

The rogue prosecutor movement, which some, mostly liberals, call the "progressive prosecutor" movement, has made significant electoral strides in the past year - in large part because of overwhelming financial backing by George Soros, Soros-affiliated organizations, and other far-left mega-donors.

The Heritage Foundation

LA prosecutors question directives of George Gascon (Video)

NBC4's Conan Nolan talks with Michele Hanisee, the President of the Association of LA County Deputy District Attorneys on why they are suing their boss - George Gascon. The association represents some 800 District attorneys in the county of Los Angeles. The hearing is set for February 2.

NBC4

California prosecutors revolt against Los Angeles DA's social justice changes

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón ran on a vow to shake up America's largest law enforcement jurisdiction. Sweeping progressive changes followed - and so has the California backlash. Within weeks of taking office, Gascón instructed prosecutors to stop seeking the death penalty and trying juveniles as adults.

Politico

Courts & Rulings

California Supreme Court upholds death sentence for man convicted of killing San Leandro policeman

The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the murder conviction and death sentence for Irving Ramirez, the Newark man who in 2007 was convicted of murdering San Leandro police Ofc. Nels "Dan" Niemi. In its 7-0 ruling, the court found that Ramirez, 38, was not denied a fair trial by the regular attendance of numerous uniformed police officers during his trial, and upheld decisions made by the trial judge about instructions read to the jury.

Bay Area News Group

Child molester must be resentenced based on L.A. Superior Court judge's remarks

A man who was found guilty by a jury on a panoply of child molestation counts and was sentenced to 330 years to life in prison will be resentenced, under a decision by Div. Six of this district's Court of Appeal, because the judge had faulted the defendant, who had confessed his crimes, for not accepting the prosecution's sentence offer and pleading guilty rather than creating the necessity of his victims, young girls, testifying.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

OC sheriff loses appeal, still on hook to reduce jail population by half because of COVID-19

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has lost his appeal of a court order forcing him to reduce the jail population by half to protect inmates from COVID-19. A three-member panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal denied the case late Tuesday, Jan. 19, leaving Barnes on the hook to release more than 1,000 inmates, either to other facilities or back into the public. Voting were Justices Kathleen O'Leary, Raymond J. Ikola and David A. Thompson.

Orange County Register

Ouster of Appellate Justice Jeffrey Johnson is upheld by Supreme Court

California's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the ouster of Justice Jeffrey Johnson, the former Los Angeles appellate court judge accused of sexually harassing numerous court employees and colleagues. A docket entry said without further comment that Johnson's appeal of the Commission on Judicial Performance's removal order in June 2020 was "denied."

The Recorder

Judicial misconduct in bolstering case for prosecution requires reversing conviction

The First District Court of Appeal has reversed a conviction for first degree residential burglary that was predicated on virtually nothing other than fingerprint evidence because the trial judge furthered the People's case by effectively communicating to jurors, through his questioning of the prosecution's fingerprint expert, that they should read something into the fact that the defense did not call its own expert to contradict her conclusions.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Restitution in criminal case can include attorney fees

The Court of Appeal for this district has affirmed a $221,140.40 award to the financial services giant Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. under the Penal Code's restitution statute based on moneys it paid to its lawyers in establishing that an independent investment advisor with whom it had contracted, then stopped doing business with, was contacting its employees, in violation of a restraining order.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

US judge in decade-long struggle affirms First Amendment right to access 'on receipt'

On the counter in Ventura Superior Court sat the ghost of access past, a white, plastic press box. It came from the days of old when new cases were filed in paper and the local press was strong. But in 2011, when Courthouse News first challenged the Ventura court clerk on First Amendment grounds, it sat useless on the counter.

Courthouse News Service

California union ordered to stop trying to read public employee emails

A California local government union inappropriately used records requests to monitor members' email correspondence, an administrative law judge for the Public Employment Relations Board ruled in a recent decision. The union, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 3, represents employees of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District.

Sacramento Bee

Supreme Court Justice orders Governor Newsom to respond in Pasadena Harvest Rock Church case

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan has ordered Gov. Gavin Newsom to respond by 5 p.m. Friday to an injunction filed by a local church opposed to Newsom's orders in fighting COVID-19. Lawyers for Harvest Rock Church filed for an injunction with the High Court to prevent the state and the city of Pasadena from enforcing health orders preventing church members from meeting in person in an enclosed space.

Pasadena Now

COVID-19 & Justice System

California Judicial Council disburses pandemic funds for court backlogs

Aiming to relieve some of the pressure on courts overwhelmed by case backlogs, California's Judicial Council voted to allocate a second round of Covid-19 court funding at its meeting on Friday, where it also heard an update on a pilot project to lower traffic fines and help residents pay their tickets online.

Courthouse News Service

California's courts get $25M to help unclog COVID-19 backlog

California's courts will get another $25 million to tackle COVID-19 case delays, the state's Judicial Council announced Friday. The infusion is the second half of a $50 million package courts administrators rolled out as part of the state's 2020 Budget Act as local courts large and small navigate the seismic impacts of the pandemic on its daily operations.

Fresno Bee

Courts urged to do more to protect workers as virus ravages LA County

In the last weeks of 2020, the Covid-19 case count in Los Angeles County skyrocketed with an average of 13,000 new cases each day. As the new year dawned, daily deaths topped 200 and the county has become the U.S. epicenter for the virus with nearly 1 million cases since the pandemic began a year ago.

Courthouse News Service

Judge asks for help to speed up COVID-19 vaccine for court employees

Los Angeles County's presiding judge has asked the county's public health director for help in speeding up COVID-19 vaccinations for employees who work daily in the court system, the court announced Tuesday. Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor made the request to Barbara Ferrer asking for assistance to re-prioritize vaccinations to get inoculations for 5,000 court employees and judicial officers, along with 2,500 other "justice partners."

CBS LA

LA District Attorney's Office

Widow of slain LASD Sergeant says Gascón 'doesn't understand how much he's hurting the victims'

LA County DA George Gascón promised criminal justice reform but some say he's gone too far, only caring about the defendants and not the victims or their families. "I'm furious that Mr. Gascón just doesn't understand how much he's hurting the victims," says Tania Owen. She's the widow of LASD Sgt. Steven Owen, who was killed execution-style on October 5, 2016, in Lancaster.

Fox11

LA County Sheriff reveals stunning consequences of Soros-backed district attorney's justice reform on child porn case

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed the stunning consequences of new progressive justice reform policies on a case involving a suspect allegedly caught in possession of child pornography. Villanueva published the incident on his official social media account on Thursday. "#LASD Special Victims Bureau investigated a male for possession of child pornography with a previous sex crime conviction. Yesterday, the defendant pled "no contest" to the charges," he tweeted.

The Blaze

Supervisor Barger lectures Gascón on constitutional responsibilities

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has taken issue with one of District Attorney George Gascón's "special directives," under which no prosecutor will be present at the parole hearing on March 11 for Ruben Beltran, who was convicted in 2009 of aggravated sexual assault of a young boy and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

CA prosecutors slam LA DA's progressive policies (Video)

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer argues 'progressive politics that have taken over many' inner cities, like Los Angeles, are putting them 'at risk.'

Fox News

Justice system in California in chaos as prosecutors rebel against Soros-created DA

George Soros's organizations have given tens of millions of dollars not to politicians running for legislative office but to local district attorney candidates who all have similar ideas about the justice system in America. Kim Foxx in Cook County. Ill .; Kimberly Gardner in St. Louis; Larry Krasner in Philadelphia; and district attorneys in Dallas County, Texas; Baltimore; and Bexar County, Texas, all received funding from Soros's Justice and Public Safety super PAC.

PJ Media

Los Angeles District Attorney faces resistance over justice reforms

Newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is moving quickly to change how youth are prosecuted and held accountable for crimes - hiring a public defender to overhaul long-standing juvenile justice policies, ending the practice of trying children in adult court and halting the prosecution of truancy cases. Among other sweeping changes to how adults are prosecuted, he has said his office will not file charges against foster youth with behavioral issues or minors who commit most misdemeanors.

The Imprint

Los Angeles' new DA redefines what 'people's lawyer' does (Q&A)

George Gascón's honeymoon period as Los Angeles County's district attorney lasted all of 24 hours. On the day of his swearing-in last month, he announced several new policies for the office, eliminating the use of cash bail for nonviolent offenses and banning prosecutors from seeking sentencing enhancements in most cases.

The Christian Science Monitor

Gascón reforms divide California prosecutors; some rank-and-file lawyers revolt

New Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón's effort to push through sweeping criminal justice reforms has sparked an unprecedented revolt. Rank-and-file Los Angeles prosecutors have sought to block their new boss in court and district attorneys elsewhere in California have said they will not share cases with him, reports Politico.

The Crime Report

LA's new district attorney earns pushback and praise over justice reforms

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST: Los Angeles County has a new top prosecutor. In the November election, George Gascon campaigned as a progressive reformer. He unseated LA's incumbent district attorney. Even though he's been in office for just a few weeks, he's upending how the nation's largest local prosecutor's office administers justice. NPR's Adrian Florido reports.

NPR

Prosecutors

Special circumstance charges dropped against accused gang member and double murderer under Gascón reforms

As part of his new reforms, District Attorney George Gascón has dropped gang enhancements and special circumstance allegations against a Baldwin Park gang member charged with murdering two young men at his home, then carjacking a vehicle to transport their bodies to the desert, where he dumped them. As a result, Raymond "Danger" Gonzalez will be eligible for parole after 20 years of confinement, even if he's convicted of the two murders.

Fox11

Ventura councilman gets district attorney's job over Totten's choice

Erik Nasarenko, a senior prosecutor who also serves as a city councilman in Ventura, has been appointed as the new district attorney for Ventura County. Voting 5-0 Tuesday, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors chose Nasarenko over six other candidates. Included was Chief Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Temple, who was strongly supported by former District Attorney Greg Totten.

Ventura County Star

California DA blasts Newsom for taking 'no action' to stop release of convicted killer who tortured teen

A man convicted of torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering a 17-year-old boy in 2001 will walk free because California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom took "no action" to prevent his release, according to the prosecutors who locked him up. Gerardo Zavala, 48, and six other Hispanic men allegedly lured Eric Jones, who was Black, to a house in Delano before beating, sodomizing and electrocuting him almost exactly 20 years ago, according to Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward's office.

Fox News

Woman facing charges after allegedly beating 2 men with rod at Seal Beach protest; 5 others charged in Yorba Linda protest she organized

A Long Beach woman is facing charges for allegedly using a deadly weapon to attack two men at a protest in Seal Beach in August, after already being charged with attempted murder for allegedly running over counterprotesters at a rally against police brutality the following month in Yorba Linda, officials said. Tatiana Rita Turner, 40, faces a a total of 13 felonies in connection with the two protests that took place a month apart over the summer, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

KTLA5

South LA building owners sued for allegedly failing to curb gang violence

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Monday that his office is suing the owners of a South Los Angeles apartment building that has been the scene of several arrests and two consecutive gang-related homicides in December. The six-unit complex, in the 900 block of East 91st Street, is 450 feet away from KIPP Academy Elementary School and "has been the epicenter of gun violence in a neighborhood where no one should have to live this way," Feuer said.

The Bulletin

San Fernando Valley real estate developer charged with concealing assets and making false statements in bankruptcy proceeding

A Calabasas-based real estate developer has been indicted in a bankruptcy fraud case that also alleges he laundered funds through shell companies in order to hide them from his creditors. Mark Handel, 66, was charged in a nine-count indictment unsealed today with one count of making a false statement in a bankruptcy case, two counts of concealing assets belonging to a bankruptcy estate, one count of falsely testifying under oath at a bankruptcy proceeding, and five counts of money laundering.

Department of Justice News Release

Todd Spitzer upholds due process after evidence scandal

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has dismissed or reduced charges in 67 criminal cases following a troubling scandal in which sheriff's deputies mishandled crucial evidence in criminal cases. Spitzer's decision is not only the right one, but speaks well of his office's commitment to upholding the fundamental right of due process.

Orange County Register

OC EDD Fraud: Garden Grove storefront created in 1 case, convicted murderers recruited to file bogus claims in 2 others

Ten people, including two convicted murderers and four other California state prisoners, have been charged in fraudulent unemployment claim schemes that netted nearly half a million in cash, according to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," Spitzer said. "There was a human need for this money, a real human need, and instead this money went to six state prisoners including two convicted murderers."

CBS LA

No violation in council vote for top posts, DA says

The Los Angeles County District Attorney has found that any Brown Act violation in selecting a new mayor and vice mayor on December 8 was "cured and corrected" when a new vote was taken this month. In a letter to community activist Zurawska last week, DA George Gascón said the Brown Act did not require Councilmember Kristin McCowan to recuse herself when the Council voted to reselect her as mayor pro tem and Sue Himmelrich as Mayor on January 12.

Santa Monica Lookout

Policy/Legal Issues

SF lawmaker's bill would make it easier to challenge expert testimony as science advances

For nearly three decades, JoAnn Parks was imprisoned for killing her three children in a house fire that she said she did not set. Even after advances in scientific understanding of fire behavior undermined investigators' conclusion that she had committed arson, Parks was unable to win a new trial - which critics argue exemplifies a fundamental flaw in how expert testimony is treated.

San Francisco Chronicle

State bar backs away from prosecutors' proposal to bar police campaign donations

California state bar leaders will not act immediately to bar prosecutors from taking campaign money from law enforcement, choosing instead to work with lawmakers on related legislation. The bar's board of trustees on Friday voted to offer technical help to Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, as he crafts a promised bill that would force district attorneys who take police union contributions to recuse themselves from investigations and prosecutions of law enforcement officers.

The Recorder

Will reducing criminal penalties reduce crime?

California is conducting an immense sociological experiment, testing whether reducing prison time for criminal acts will, in the long run, mean less crime. Over the last decade, politicians and voters have lowered penalties for dozens of serious and minor crimes, reduced state prison populations by about 40% and adopted multiple programs to treat underlying conditions, such as drug use and lack of education, to deter offenders from committing new crimes.

CalMatters

LACBA nears filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The Los Angeles County Bar Association, which has not paid rent on its two floors of office space since March and owes more than $1.3 million, will go into bankruptcy if it can't work out a deal with its present landlord, the Council of Sections, a watchdog group, announced yesterday. An email sent to 119 persons also disclosed that LACBA will move its offices next week to what it termed "the Met News building."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Los Angeles County/City

Little girl rape 'seven to 15 times a night': Fully fund war on human trafficking

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday unanimously voted to recommend that the City Council fully fund the Los Angeles Police Department's Human Trafficking Task Forces amid department budget cuts. Human trafficking victims spoke to the board during Tuesday's meeting about their harrowing experiences.

MyNewsLA

California launches civil rights investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday announced a state civil rights investigation of the perpetually troubled Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after allegations of excessive force. The state will investigate a possible pattern of unconstitutional law enforcement, the attorney general's office said in a statement

NBC News

LASD watchdog pushes for coroner's inquests in all deputy shootings

Los Angeles County civilian oversight commissioners Thursday pressed the coroner to set a policy to conduct inquests into all deaths involving deputy shootings, a matter he said would not be decided until sometime after an upcoming hearing. In November, Los Angeles County held its first inquest in more than 30 years involving the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado, who was fatally shot by a deputy near Gardena.

City News Service

Los Angeles saw overall crime drop in 2020, but homicides increased 36%

In a year unlike any other, which makes it difficult to know whether 2020 crime statistics are trends or anomalies, the city of Los Angeles saw an overall reduction in crime by 9%, but a 36% jump in homicides and 41% jump in victims shot. "The isolation, sense of hopelessness and the inability to quell disputes and ready access to firearms, along with a justice system that has been severely impacted has removed many levers that over the last decade has been effective in the reduction of homicides and shooting violence," said LAPD Chief Michael Moore.

ABC7

Thousands of LAPD officers waiting to get vaccinated; chief says supply is 'severely' limited

At least eight Los Angeles Police Department employees are currently in the hospital suffering from COVID-19, the city's police chief said, as the department waits to start mass vaccinations of officers in earnest. Chief Michel Moore said on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at least three of those hospitalized employees are in "very critical condition." So far, six LAPD employees, including four officers, have died from COVID-19. Moore announced the sixth death, Officer Philip Sudario, on Monday.

Los Angeles Daily News

LA Police Commission approves sending mental health teams to answer some emergency calls

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners moved forward Tuesday on a plan to have mental health professionals respond to certain 911 calls as part of a one-year pilot program. The board voted unanimously to authorized Police Chief Michel Moore to execute an agreement with Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services to have their psychiatric professionals respond to some nonviolent calls. The pilot program was adopted in a motion by the City Council on Dec. 8 and approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti on Dec. 15

City News Service

As LA moves toward closing Men's Central Jail, County supes vote to move toward building a Restorative Justice Village

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion from Supervisor Hilda Solis to get to work on creating a Restorative Justice Village in furtherance of the board's efforts to shutter the decrepit Men's Central Jail and replace it with community services and supports.

Witness LA

LA County Board of Supervisors hears options for removing sheriff but isn't ready to take action

Los Angeles County supervisors were briefed Tuesday on four legal options for removing Sheriff Alex Villaneuva from his elected post, but it was not clear if the board is ready to take action. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas first called on county attorneys in October to spell out their options for playing hardball with the sheriff.

WEHOville

Public Safety/Crime

'Truly disturbing': Man charged after fatal beating of mother, stepfather in Hacienda Heights; victims identified

A 44-year-old man faces several charges after allegedly fatally beating his mother and stepfather with a baseball bat and injuring his brother in Hacienda Heights earlier this month, officials said. Nelson Fermin Garibay has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of "willful, deliberate and premeditated" attempted murder for the Jan. 11 attack, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

KTLA5

33 missing children recovered in joint Los Angeles-based operation

Almost three dozen missing children, including eight who were being sexually exploited at the time of recovery, have been found in Southern California during a recent operation, the FBI announced Friday. During January, which was Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the FBI worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and more than two dozen law enforcement and non-governmental partners to identify, locate and recover 33 missing children, said Kristi K. Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office.

City News Service

Gun violence, property crime increased in Long Beach in 2020

Long Beach saw an increase in gun violence and property crime last year compared to 2019, but overall violent crime was down about 14% compared to the past five years, police data released this week showed. Last year, there were 36 homicides, two more than in 2019, but not significantly more compared to recent years, end-of-year crime statistics showed.

Long Beach Press-Telegram

LAPD sees dramatic spike in number of shooting cases, mostly in South Los Angeles

Police are seeing a shocking increase in the number of shooting incidents in Los Angeles, especially in South L.A. "I was just walking home and someone robbed - stole my phone with a handgun," said Michael Sadri, who lives in South L.A. Sadri took to social media to vent his anger over what he says is the rise in violent crime in his neighborhood.

ABC7

California man accused of threatening to bomb state Capitol

A Napa man committed to Donald Trump and believed the false claims that the election was stolen from the former president was charged Tuesday with possessing five pipe bombs and allegedly threatening to bomb the state Capitol, Democrats and social media companies, the FBI announced Wednesday.

Courthouse News Service

West L.A. man arrested in federal stalking case alleging longtime harassment of female doctors at VA medical facilities

A man who recently moved to an apartment only blocks from the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center was arrested this morning on a federal stalking charge that alleges a longtime harassment campaign targeting two female doctors at the hospital, as well as three other victims who work at the VA's Loma Linda facility.

Department of Justice

Death in a crosswalk: The killing of a 4-year-old shows LA's failure to stop traffic violence

Alessa Fajardo is 4 years old and a superstar. It says so on the badge her mother pins to her clothes as she gets ready for school. It's a high honor for the preschooler, who's been chosen to lead her class that week at Mariposa-Nabi Primary Center in Koreatown. It's Oct. 16, 2019, a Wednesday morning. Alessa's mom, Erica Fajardo, packs her daughter's lunch bag. It has a rainbow on it - Alessa says it's her "favorite color," since she can't decide among the others.

LAist

California/National

DHS uses federal alert system for 1st time in a year to warn of domestic terrorist threat

Using a federal system designed to warn all Americans about terrorist threats to the U.S. homeland, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that anger "fueled by false narratives," especially unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election, could lead some inside the country to launch attacks in the coming weeks.

ABC News

California sees suspicious surge in unemployment claims

California is reporting a surge in coronavirus unemployment claims last week for independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed - the category of benefits blamed for much of the state's fraudulent payments. The state last week received more than 110,800 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, an increase of more than 77,00 from the week before.

AP

Federal death penalty: What happens under Joe Biden?

Joe Biden is the first president in U.S. history to openly campaign on abolishing the death penalty and win. Now that he's in the White House, pressure is already mounting from activists and lawmakers for him to fulfill that promise. Pointing to the more than 160 Americans who've been exonerated from death sentences since 1973, Biden pledged on the campaign trail to work to pass legislation eliminating the federal death penalty and "incentivize states to follow."

Time

LA County DA urges President Biden to end federal death penalty

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon - who has issued a directive against seeking the death penalty against defendants in murder cases being prosecuted in the county - is among more than 100 people to call on President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of all federal death row inmates.

City News Service

Biden's DOJ nominee repeatedly posted misinformation about Breonna Taylor's death on social media

President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has repeatedly posted misinformation online about the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman fatally shot by police in her Kentucky home last March. Kristen Clarke is among several blue-check marks on Twitter that amplified the false claim that Ms. Taylor was lying in her bed when she was slain by police during the deadly raid.

The Daily Wire

Capitol Riots

Judge frees Pa. woman accused of helping steal Pelosi laptop

A Pennsylvania woman facing charges that she helped steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attack on the U.S. Capitol will be released from jail, a federal judge decided Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson directed that Riley June Williams be released into the custody of her mother, with travel restrictions, and instructed her to appear Monday in federal court in Washington to continue her case.

AP

FAA employee from Beaumont charged with taking part in Capitol siege

A Beaumont man and Federal Aviation Administration employee who subscribed to the QAnon conspiracy theory is facing federal charges after allegedly confessing to taking part in the U.S. Capitol breech, according to court documents. In an interview with FBI agents last week, Kevin Strong, 44, reportedly confessed to being inside the Capitol and taking a selfie in front of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Jan. 6, providing agents with photos and videos he took that day, according to a recently unsealed affidavit.

City News Service

The acting Capitol Police chief's tough task

Yogananda Pittman, acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief, has one of the nation's most important jobs. And she's held it for less than a week. Her task is multipronged: Restore the dignity of the Capitol Police department in the wake of last week's riots. Ready it for the threat of another potential domestic terror attack. And regain the trust of a shell shocked corps of more than 1,200 officers - the vast majority of whom look nothing like her.

Politico

Insurrection? Sedition? Unpacking the legal issues from the Capitol riot

In the days since President Donald Trump's supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol, resulting in five deaths, prosecutors have been talking about potential charges that to many Americans sound arcane, such as seditious conspiracy and insurrection. Lawmakers meanwhile voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection. The legal terminology around the unprecedented events that shocked Americans and the rest of the world require some unpacking.

Bloomberg

What if the Capitol rioters had been Democrats and Ashli Babbitt a Black woman?

Isn't it remarkable how well order can be maintained when a clear desire to have it so is manifested? President Biden's inauguration went off without even a hint of the violence seen a week earlier, when zealous but misguided Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in what has been widely but erroneously, often hysterically, described as an "insurrection."

PJ Media

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Former LA Councilman Mitch Englander sentenced to 14 months in prison

A federal judge sentenced former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander to 14 months in prison after Englander admitted that he obstructed justice as FBI agents were investigating reports of corruption and bribery inside City Hall. U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter rejected Englander's request for home confinement, and said Monday that Englander's conduct required a, "substantial custodial sentence."

NBC4

Ex-therapist in Pasadena sentenced to 4 years for sexually battering 7 patients

A former marriage and family therapist was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison for sexually battering seven female patients. Edgar Gustavo Villamarin, 66, of Pasadena, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Villamarin - who pleaded no contest Sept. 23 to seven counts of sexual battery by fraud - surrendered after the hearing to begin serving his term.

City News Service

Attorney guilty in multimillion-dollar fraud scheme sentenced to one day behind bars

A San Gabriel-based attorney who pleaded guilty to taking part in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme that sold temporary green cards to foreign investors was sentenced Friday to one day behind bars and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service. Victoria Chan, 38, of El Monte, pleaded guilty in November 2018 to conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and international money laundering.

City News Service

San Bernardino County man who extorted sexually explicit images from women on Facebook sentenced to 18 months in federal prison

A San Bernardino County man was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for blackmailing female friends and acquaintances on Facebook by threatening to publish nude photographs and videos of them unless they complied with his demands of sending him additional sexually explicit images.

Department of Justice News Release

Corrections & Parole

Parole recommended for ex-Manson follower convicted in two killings

A state parole board panel Friday recommended parole for Bruce Davis, a one-time Manson Family follower who was convicted in two killings in 1969. Davis, now 78, has been found suitable for parole six previous times, with three different governors reversing the recommendation for parole. Most recently, Gov. Gavin Newsom blocked Davis' release in November 2019. Former governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger had also reversed the parole board's recommendation.

City News Service

Death row inmate convicted of multiple murders found dead in cell

A man who was sentenced to death more than 20 years ago for multiple killings has died after being found unresponsive in his prison cell Sunday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The cause of death of Louis Peoples, 58, will be determined by the Marin County Coroner's Office, according to CDCR. Peoples was sentenced to death Aug. 4, 2000, for three counts of first-degree murder with the use of a firearm.

KGET

Closing 5 California prisons would free up money to house former inmates, Democrat says

A California Democrat wants to keep former inmates off the streets by using money saved from closing several California prisons in the next four years to fund re-entry housing. California's prison population currently hovers around 94,000, a number the Legislative Analyst's Office predicts will hold steady for the next several years due to recent efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

Sacramento Bee

Articles of Interest

California keeps key virus data out of public sight

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has from the start said his coronavirus policy decisions would be driven by data shared with the public to provide maximum transparency. But with the state starting to emerge from its worst surge, his administration won't disclose key information that will help determine when his latest stay-at-home order is lifted.

AP

Reflections on four weird years fact checking every word from Donald Trump

I had to email the Boy Scouts to find out if the President had invented a nonexistent phone call from the head of the organization. (He had.) I had to email a Babe Ruth museum to find out if the President had made a bunch of false claims about the baseball legend while awarding him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. (He had.)

CNN

California's bill for fighting Trump in court? $41 million so far

California has spent $41 million over the past four years fighting the Trump administration over its regulations and rollbacks involving climate change, immigration, consumer rights and more. During Donald Trump's presidency, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed lawsuit after lawsuit, challenging the various federal agencies that set new national policies.

CalMatters

Election technology company Dominion sues Giuliani for $1.3 billion over 'Big Lie' about election fraud

An election technology company that has been the focus of consistent conspiracy theories by Donald Trump and his allies has sued the former President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani for defamation after he pushed the "Big Lie" about election fraud on his podcast and TV appearances. Dominion Voting Systems is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages.

CNN

Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims as president. Nearly half came in his final year.

He overstated the "carnage" he was inheriting, then later exaggerated his "massive" crowd and claimed, despite clear evidence to the contrary, that it had not rained during his address. He repeated the rain claim the next day, along with the fabricated notion that he held the "all-time record" for appearing on the cover of Time magazine. And so it went, day after day, week after week, claim after claim, from the most mundane of topics to the most pressing issues.

Washington Post

Pension

Litigation to open up the pension books

Watchdog group Transparent California is fighting to force the California Public Employees' Retirement System to release records showing which retirees are collecting disability pensions. This important lawsuit has broad implications for transparency and accountability throughout government. Several appellate rulings in 2011 established that the public has the right to know the salaries and pensions paid to public employees, but when Transparent California made a public records request to CalPERS for the disclosure of data about disability pensions, the pension agency refused.

Orange County Register

 

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