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

Garcetti Votes to Refund Police $36 million; LA County Wants Out of Homelessness Lawsuit; Youtubers Charged in Fake Bank Robberies and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

West Hollywood ranked 4th most dangerous city in California; Two teens who murdered a classmate won't be incarcerated

 

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Ninth Circuit rules carrying guns in public is not a 2nd Amendment right

Courts & Rulings

New trial required in action over death of tased suspect

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, in a 2-1 decision, reversed a judgment pursuant to a jury verdict in favor of the City of Los Angeles in an action brought by the family of a man who died after an officer used a Taser on him, holding that an initially proper order barring introduction of Police Commission findings that the officers acted unreasonably was rendered invalid in light of testimony by a defense expert.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Carrying guns in public is not a constitutional right, Ninth Circuit rules

Americans have no right to carry guns in public, a divided en banc Ninth Circuit panel ruled Wednesday, reversing a prior Ninth Circuit decision that struck down a Hawaii firearm restriction as unconstitutional. "There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment," U.S. Circuit Judge Jay Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote for the majority of an 11-judge panel in a 127-page opinion.

Courthouse News Service

University can't force professor to use students' preferred pronouns, panel rules

A public university cannot compel the "academic speech" of its professors, the Sixth Circuit ruled Friday in a decision that reinstated First Amendment claims brought by a Christian professor who ran afoul of his employer's gender identity policy. Nicholas Meriwether, an evangelical Christian who has taught at Shawnee State University since 1996, was disciplined in 2018 when he refused to call a transgender student by her preferred pronouns.

Courthouse News Service

Dog can be 'service animal' without being 'certified'

A District Court judge erred in holding that a hospital did not violate federal law by denying a woman with psychiatric disorders the companionship of her bichon-poodle mix because the animal was not a certified service dog, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday, declaring that certification is not a requirement of the act. Imposing such a requirement is "inconsistent" with the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the opinion declares.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Fourth Circuit rules against Virginia sheriff's deputies in jail death case

A Fourth Circuit panel Tuesday reversed a grant of qualified immunity to several sheriff's deputies in Virginia, ruling they failed to act on an intoxicated man's obvious medical needs before he was found dead in a jail cell. In 2016, a stranger called 911 to request medical help for David Wayne Mays, who was found by officers sitting in the cab of his pickup truck "so intoxicated that he could hardly lift his head to communicate."

Courthouse News Service

Energy firms can't dodge California gas price-fixing suit

Three energy companies must face claims that they conspired for years to jack up prices of key gasoline components in California, causing consumers to pay artificially inflated prices at the pump, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley refused to dismiss the bulk of a consumer class action against SK Trading International Co. Ltd., SK Energy Americas Inc. and Vitol Inc.

Courthouse News Service

Newsom appoints four to L.A. Superior Court

Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday announced the appointment of four government lawyers - three deputy district attorneys and one deputy public defender - to the Los Angeles Superior Court. Statewide, Newsom made 18 appointments to superior courts. The Democratic government placed on the bench 13 Democrats, four independents, and, in San Bernardino, one Republican (private practitioner Douglas Mann).

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Biden makes 1st judicial nominations, including a Supreme Court contender

President Biden announced his first judicial nominations Tuesday, including Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Court of Appeals seat vacated by Merrick Garland when he became U.S. attorney general. Jackson is considered a potential Supreme Court contender. In a statement, the White House said Biden would nominate 10 "individuals to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges, and one individual to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia."

GPB

Supreme Court leaves in place a ruling blocking Hillary Clinton deposition over private email server

The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a lower court order that blocked the conservative group Judicial Watch from deposing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her use of a private email account in a lawsuit related to the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. A federal appeals court ruled last August that Clinton cannot be compelled to appear for a deposition in a lawsuit about State Department emails, a ruling that came after a federal judge said earlier in 2020 that the former secretary must appear for a deposition in the case.

CNN

Suspended atty wants court review of Calif. bar speech rule

An attorney suspended from practicing law in California has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether a state bar may punish him for statements deemed false but also found to be harmless, arguing that the decision to suspend him places unconstitutional limits on advocacy speech from lawyers.

Law360

Trump appeal rejected in NY defamation case, ex-'Apprentice' contestant's lawsuit can move forward

New York's highest court Tuesday dismissed Donald Trump's appeal of a defamation case against him by a former contestant on his reality TV show "The Apprentice," on the grounds that Trump's arguments are no longer valid since he is not president anymore. The decision from the New York Court of Appeals puts back in motion the lawsuit from Summer Zervos, who says Trump defamed her in 2016 when he called her a liar after she accused him of sexually assaulting her years earlier.

CNBC

Supreme Court backs Facebook in California lawsuit over unwanted text alerts

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday barred a proposed class action lawsuit accusing Facebook of violating a federal anti-robocall law, sparing the social media company from a potentially costly fight over unwanted text messages. The justices, in a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, sided with Facebook in its appeal of a lower court ruling that revived the lawsuit alleging that the text messages violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Times of San Diego

Policy/Legal

CA leaders raise concerns over proposed bill that would reduce jail time for some robberies

A coalition of district attorneys, business leaders, and members of law enforcement who oppose Senate Bill 82 met Tuesday to express their concerns. "SB-82 is painful and dangerous and must be rejected," said Frank Lee, President of the Organization for Justice and Equality. Lee is among other California leaders joining together to express concerns over Senate Bill 82.

KSBY

Bar exams may soon be easier to pass, as states eye changes

Several states say they could make their bar exams easier to pass as a way to address racial diversity problems and access-to-justice issues entrenched in the legal profession. Their statements coincide with the first data from California, which permanently lowered its "cut score" last summer just incrementally - but saw significant changes in the racial make-up of those passing the test to become its newest lawyers.

Bloomberg Law

DHS weighing major changes to fight domestic violent extremism, say officials

NBC News reports The Department of Homeland Security, created after the 9/11 attacks to protect the country from international terrorism, is moving toward a sweeping set of policy changes aimed at detecting and stopping what intelligence officials say is now a top threat to the homeland: domestic violent extremism.

NBC4

Prosecutors

LA County DA Gascón limiting charges against MS-13 gang member in brutal attack, deputy DA claims

An alleged MS-13 gang member has been charged in a brutal assault against a transgender woman last week in a Los Angeles park. But the deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the case claims he was blocked from charging the suspect with a gang enhancement under orders from his boss, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Fox News

California man accused of killing mom, uncle during Zoom call

Carol Brown, co-coordinator of Pasadena City College's Black STEM program had worked there for more than 14 years. A 32-year-old California man has been accused of killing his mother and uncle during a Zoom call. "This is a horrific case," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón wrote in a press statement, "in which the mother's work colleagues witnessed part of the attack while on a Zoom call and called the authorities."

The Grio

Prosecutors double down on 'Restorative Justice' - despite skyrocketing violence

Despite a record surge in violence in 2020 many prosecutors that have implemented "restorative justice" programs still believe they will reduce crime. But with another spike in violent crime so far in 2021, it seems these prosecutors are gambling with public safety in their respective communities. For example, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has no plans to change course, despite the obvious fact that her city is becoming the most dangerous in the nation.

Law Officer

Convicted sex offender accused of molesting 3 girls he met in program at Santa Ana school

A convicted sex offender is now accused of molesting three other youths he met through an elementary school literacy program in Santa Ana and faces new criminal charges. Miguel Angel Pineda, 25, of Huntington Beach was charged earlier this month with nine felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child involving three children who were 7 or 8 years old who he met while working with the Boys & Girls Club, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Orange County Register

Artichoke Joe's Casino agrees to pay record $5.3M penalty for misleading gambling regulators

One of California's more profitable card rooms agreed Thursday to a record $5.3 million penalty for misleading gambling regulators and violating a federal law designed to deter money laundering, the state attorney general's office said. Artichoke Joe's Casino in San Bruno, south of San Francisco, failed to properly report an investigation by the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, leading to the largest agreed-upon penalty in the history of California gambling regulation, officials said.

AP

Former Texas deputies charged with manslaughter in death of Black motorist

Two former Austin-area sheriff deputies were indicted Tuesday for manslaughter in the death of Black motorist Javier Ambler in 2019. A Travis County grand jury charged former Williamson County sheriff deputies James Johnson and Zach Camden with second-degree manslaughter. Each defendant posted $150,000 in bail and they were released from the Travis County jail on Tuesday.

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles District Attorney

Family, friends seek justice in Lamborghini crash involving teen driver that killed Monique Munoz (Video)

Grieving family and friends calling for the arrest of a teenager reportedly driving more than 100 miles per hour in his Lamborghini when he struck and killed 32-year-old Monique Munoz.

Fox11

DA Gascón and CDCR releasing inmates on flimsy 'COVID' medical requests

There is upheaval within the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, and it appears treacherous. The Globe has reported extensively on LA District Attorney George Gascón, who moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles to run for DA in 2020, and spent more than $2.5 million of billionaire oligarch George Soros' money to win.

California Globe

Gascón to downsize, rename LA County DA Hardcore Gangs unit, sources confirm

Two weeks after FOX 11 reported on major changes possibly coming to the way Los Angeles prosecutes gang-related crimes, sources confirm to Bill Melugin that George Gascón will downsize the County DA Office's Hardcore Gangs unit. Sources in the LA County DA Office's Hardcore Gangs told Melugin that they were informed by the office's upper management Wednesday evening that their unit will be downsized.

Fox11

Fury at plan to scrap Los Angeles' specialist Hardcore Gang unit after 42 years because it is 'offensive to the community' in move branded a 'suicide pact' by police

The Los Angeles specialist Hardcore Gang unit has been disbanded because it is 'offensive to the community' in a move branded a 'suicide pact' amid rising homicide rates in the city. For over four decades the Hardcore Gang Investigation Unit has been tasked with prosecuting the city's most serious and violent gang-related crimes.

Daily Mail

Los Angeles County/City

Murder suspect released from LA jail by mistake recaptured

Detectives have recaptured a man charged with murder who was mistakenly released from jail earlier this month. Steven Manzo was captured during a traffic stop in Orange County earlier Monday. NBC4's I-Team has been following the bizarre story about how a man accused of a killing managed to walk away. The arrest Monday was the result of an exhaustive effort by the U.S Marshals fugitive task force for the western states.

NBC4

Los Angeles agency votes for $36M police funding boost as crime surges

Officials in Los Angeles voted this week to re-fund their police amid an upswing in crime. Less than a year after "defund the police" fervor swept across major cities from coast to coast, Los Angeles County Metro, the region's public transportation agency, voted Thursday to boost police funding by $36 million. The vote passed 12-0, including a "yea" from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a major advocate of defund the police measures, who chairs the board.

New York Post

West Hollywood ranked as fourth most dangerous city in state according to another home safety blog

On the heels of one recent blog listing West Hollywood as the sixth most dangerous city in California, another blog is listing WeHo as the fourth most dangerous city in California. The SafeWise home safety information website blog lists the safest cities in the Golden State and West Hollywood comes in near the bottom of the list. Of 229 California cities listed by the SafeWise blog as safest, West Hollywood ranked #226.

WehoVille

LA County could close Men's Central Jail within 2 years, report says

The time-ravaged Los Angeles County Men's Central could close within two years, officials said Tuesday, March 30, in an exhaustive, long-awaited report. The plan relies on reducing the overall jail population by thousands and requires "significant resources" at a time when the coronavirus continues to blanket the county and some of the recommended alternatives to incarceration are not yet fully developed.

Los Angeles Daily News

LA parking tickets are back after a pandemic hiatus. Here's what you need to know.

For Angelenos, parking is always top of mind in the classic how-do-I-interpret-this-compicated-parking-sign-in-way-that-will-spare-me-a-$100-ticket way. The pandemic initially had the potential to compound all of this, as residents not deemed essential workers were (and still are) urged to work and stay at home. To help, the city and county offered some relief, by suspending ticketing, making it easier for all the folks staying at home, to park at home without getting a stack of dreaded envelopes on their windshields.

LAist

LA County asks to be dismissed from high-profile homelessness lawsuit

Los Angeles County sought on Monday, March 29, to be dismissed from a lawsuit brought by a coalition of downtown businesses and residents seeking to force the city and county to step up their response to the rising number of homeless encampments on local streets and near freeways. The county contends in its motion, filed in Los Angeles federal court, that it already spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on the homelessness crisis and has quickened its pace in recent years.

City News Service

Public Safety/Crime

Violent robbery victims fight to reclaim prized watch from pawn shop (Video)

The family had trouble getting the watch back due to a California law. Eric Leonard reported on NBC4 News on Monday, March 29, 2021.

NBC4

Good Samaritan helped deputy who was critically wounded in Hesperia shooting, sheriff says

A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy remained hospitalized on Thursday, days after being shot in a confrontation with a suspect in Hesperia. "Deputy Dustin Whitson remains in critical condition in ICU at an area hospital. He is surrounded by his family and friends and is receiving excellent medical care," said Sheriff John McMahon during a press conference. The incident happened Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a shopping center near Bear Valley Road and Jacaranda Avenue.

ABC7

This is the American city with the most robberies

Although robbery is a crime that can happen anywhere, your chances of becoming a victim go up depending on which city, town, village or Census designated place you may be in. Robbery is "taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or putting the victim in fear," according to the FBI. This crime can occur in a person's home or anyplace a person might go, like stores, bus stops, sidewalks, schools, parks or offices.

24/7 Wall St

International crime ring suspected to be involved in recent SCV thefts

An international crime ring based in Chile may be responsible for a number of burglaries within the Santa Clarita Valley, investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported this week. On Thursday, Sgt. Michael Maher of the LASD Major Crimes Unit said his department is involved in an ongoing investigation that involves young men, often in their late teens or early 20s, flying in from other countries to burglarize affluent neighborhoods throughout the country.

The Signal

Man accused in mass shooting in Orange charged in assault case 6 years ago

The man accused of carrying out a massacre at an office building in Orange Wednesday evening, leaving four people including a child dead, was charged in an assault case six years ago. Records from the Orange County Superior Court show Aminadab Gonzalez-Gaxiola faced four misdemeanor charges of child abuse and endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon other than a gun, dissuading a witness, and battery for an incident that occurred on March 31, 2015.

NBC4

Man found dead after fatal stabbing at Beverly Grove home

A man was stabbed to death at a backyard of a Beverly Grove home, and another man was found dead of an apparent suicide at a nearby residence Monday evening. Los Angeles police stopped short of calling the man who died from a self-inflicted wound a suspect, but said investigators are not searching for anyone else in connection to the fatal stabbing.

ABC7

Most wanted fugitive who escaped in 1973 now sought in Los Angeles area

Authorities say they are now closing in on one of the most wanted fugitives in the United States after he escaped from an Ohio prison in 1973. Lester Eubanks, 77, is believed to be in the Los Angeles area, an official with the U.S. Marshals Service said on Saturday. His case received renewed attention when it was the subject of a recent episode of true crime documentary series "Unsolved Mysteries," released on Netflix in October.

NBC News

Santa Monica Police arrest three burglary suspects

Police recently arrested three suspects believed to be responsible for a string of burglaries in Santa Monica. According to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), on March 26 around 11:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to a trespassing call in the 500 block of Wilshire Blvd. "As officers were investigating, they observed three subjects emerge from the building in question. Upon seeing the officers, the suspects immediately fled on foot, while trying to discard stolen property," said SMPD Lieutenant Rudy Flores.

Santa Monica Mirror

LA city vehicles hit with catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic converter thefts are now hitting taxpayer's wallets. Thieves are stealing them off City of Los Angeles vehicles. Investigative reporter David Goldstein says it seems the city can't stop it. Despite increased security, we've learned thieves have stolen pricey catalytic converters off more than 100 city vehicles. And we found it's happening while they're locked up inside the city yard.

CBS LA

Consumer

A new lawsuit could change how Amazon does business with 3rd-party sellers forever

Amazon's e-commerce empire relies on third-party sellers, but the company has long held that it is not responsible when products from these independent merchants turn up counterfeit, defective, or even dangerous. But a brewing lawsuit may change all that, and alter how Amazon and other e-commerce players do business forever. In Amazon's most recent Prime Day - postponed to October 2020 due to the coronavirus - the significance of third-party sales shone through.

Business Insider India

Amazon undeterred by lawsuits exposing its nefarious business practices

Amazon continues to destroy the retail economy, retail workers, and related services despite hundreds of lawsuits that expose its dangerous business practices. Undeterred by pending legislation, executive orders, and just plain common sense and ethics, the website grabs the retail dollars previously injected into local economies and support trades and turns them into higher salaries for Amazon management and inestimable wealth for CEO Jeff Bezos.

The Counterfeit Report

California/National

3 Montana residents arrested in connection with CA double murder

Three Missoula residents have been arrested in connection with two murders in Mono County, California. Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun says arrest warrants were issued for Bradley Kohorst, 35 years old; Cory Spurlock, 33; and Orit Oged, 32, in connection with a double homicide in Bridgeport, California, about 120 miles south of Reno. Two bodies were found by a snowplow driver on November 9, 2020, on the shoulder of Highway 395, approximately 10 miles north of Bridgeport.

KRTV

NYC gives another gift to criminals and a slap at law-abiding Gothamites

Serious crime continues to rise in Gotham. As of March 21, compared with last year, the NYPD has reported eight more homicides (a 12 percent increase) and 63 more shooting incidents (a 40 percent increase) that wounded 69 more people (a 39 percent increase). These numbers are particularly discouraging, because, at this time in 2020, homicides were down almost 12 percent, and shootings were up just 17 percent compared with 2019.

New York Post

Two officers take Trump to court over Capitol riot

Two Capitol Police officers are asking a federal judge to hold former President Donald Trump responsible for injuries they sustained during the Jan. 6 riot. While the evidence detailed in the complaint filed late Tuesday in Washington federal court paints a sordid picture of a desperate leader using lies to sway his base, the U.S. Constitution could be Trump's saving grace.

Courthouse News Service

After crime plummeted in 2020, Baltimore will stop drug, sex prosecutions

Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot.

Washington Post

New charges for accused Epstein sex-ring recruiter

The associate of the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with helping him recruit victims into a sex ring faces new charges in Manhattan federal court that include sex trafficking a minor and sex-trafficking conspiracy. Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, now faces eight counts, up from the previous six, related to her alleged involvement in a sex ring run by Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, that included victims as young as 14 years old.

Courthouse News Service

"VC Lives Matter": Silicon Valley investors want to oust San Francisco's reformist DA

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was at home cooking dinner on a Thursday evening in January when he opened a new app called Clubhouse that lets people drop into virtual "rooms" and listen to live, unrecorded conversations. Someone had messaged Boudin to let him know that tech investors were hosting an "interesting" conversation about the "Future of SF."

Mother Jones

California bill would lift restrictions on who can run for sheriff

For decades, only those with law enforcement credentials have been allowed to run for sheriff in all California counties including San Francisco. But a proposed state law would open the post to all registered voters in a move Sen. Scott Wiener calls an "important step forward in our efforts at police accountability and criminal justice reform."

San Francisco Examiner

Ventura County Sheriff sued over alleged violations of public records laws

The First Amendment Coalition on Tuesday sued the Ventura County Sheriff over alleged violations of the California Public Records Act. The Northern California nonprofit organization filed the complaint in Ventura County Superior Court after it received multiple denials and delays from the sheriff's office for public records related to police misconduct and serious use of force.

Ventura County Star

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

California man convicted of "execution" of sheriff's deputy

A Northern California man was convicted Monday of first-degree murder for shooting a Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy in what investigators termed an execution-style shooting in 2016. A jury deliberated for less than a day before convicting David Machado, 42, of Keyes. Prosecutors said Machado planned the shooting but his attorney argued it wasn't premeditated and Machado should be found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder, the Modesto Bee reported.

AP

Teens who beat 13-year-old Moreno Valley classmate to death won't go to jail, judge rules

Two 14-year-old Southern California boys who beat a fellow student in 2019, causing his death, won't go to jail but must undergo anger management therapy, a judge ruled. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Roger A. Luebs imposed the therapy as a probation condition before releasing the teenagers to their parents on Thursday, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Friday.

AP

San Diego woman sentenced for nearly $400M Ponzi scheme

A San Diego businesswoman whose Ponzi scheme bilked hundreds of people out of nearly $400 million was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison. Gina Champion-Cain, 57, received more than the sentence recommended by prosecutors. At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns noted that some victims were friends she had known for years, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. "This went on for seven years. This wasn't just strangers hoping to get rich," Burns said.

AP

Man convicted in torturous killing of Long Beach mother in 1998 is sentenced to life in prison after death penalty reversal

A man convicted of torturing and killing a Long Beach mother more than two decades ago was re-sentenced to life without parole in prison on Tuesday, March 30, after his previous death sentence was overturned by the California Supreme Court. Jamelle Armstrong, who was 18 at the time of the murder, was one of three men convicted and sentenced to death for the killing of Penny Stigler, 43, on the night of Dec. 29, 1998.

Long Beach Press-Telegram

Confused strangling horror of 81-year-old Newport Beach man: money, dementia and lie

A 62-year-old Carson City, Nevada, man will be sentenced April 28 for the strangling of a Newport Beach octogenarian in the victim's home in a tangled murder mystery involving money, dementia and lies. Anthony Thomas Garcia was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder, but jurors rejected a special circumstances allegation of murder for financial gain. Garcia, who is scheduled to be sentenced April 28, faces 25 years to life in prison instead of life without the possibility of parole.

MyNewsLA

Lake Elsinore man pleads guilty to criminal charge for bagman role in conspiracy to defraud elderly by posing as federal agents

A Riverside County man pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge that he participated in an international conspiracy where he helped collect more than $500,000 in cash conned out of elderly victims by other co-conspirators pretending to be federal agents threatening the victims with arrest on bogus warrants. Anuj Mahendrabhai Patel, 31, a.k.a. "Mike" and "Indio," of Lake Elsinore, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Department of Justice News Release

YouTube stars plead guilty in bank robbery prank case

Twin brothers who run a popular YouTube channel that features their pranks on the unsuspecting public pleaded guilty to reduced charges connected to fake bank robberies, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Alan and Alex Stokes, 23, of Irvine, were each charged in August 2020 with one felony count of false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency.

The Hollywood Reporter

Corrections & Parole

San Quentin death row inmate dies of unknown causes

An inmate on California's death row died Thursday of unknown causes at San Quentin State Prison, corrections officials said. Lumord Johnson, 56, was found unresponsive in his cell around 6:30 a.m., the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. He was pronounced dead a short time later. The Marin County Coroner's Office will determine the cause of death. Johnson was sentenced in 2002 after being convicted of first- and second-degree murder, the statement said.

AP

Parole granted for man convicted of 1994 Visalia bar murder

A California parole board has granted parole for Jon Gregorich, 46, who was convicted of murdering a young man outside of a Visalia bar in 1994, according to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office. In the early hours of May 5, 1994, outside of the former Shagnasty's bar in Visalia, Gregorich and two other men, Leo Sisco and Rocky Rodrigues, beat an 18-year-old man to death after a brief scuffle. A friend of the victim said he was unrecognizable after the beating.

KSEE/KGPE

Articles of Interest

Poland plans pensions for dogs, horses in state employment

They locate survivors in collapsed buildings, track down fugitives, foil drugs and explosives smugglers and help control rowdy crowds. All in exchange for food and lodging - and an occasional pat on the head. But when retirement time comes, state care ends for the dogs and horses that serve in Poland's Police, Border Guard and Fire Service. They are given away, with no safeguards for their future welfare.

AP

Celebrity trainer's row with Greenberg Traurig revived

A California appellate panel revived a legal malpractice suit against Greenberg Traurig LLP and one of its partners brought by celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, who alleges the attorney botched contract negotiations for her dietary supplement ad campaign and cost her millions of dollars. The three-judge panel found Friday that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young erred when he granted summary adjudication to Greenberg Traurig and partner David P. Markman in "The Biggest Loser" trainer's suit, reversing the decision and remanding the case to the trial court.

Law360

Supreme Court case could change the nature of college sports

A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars. If the former college athletes who brought the case win, colleges could end up competing for talented student athletes by offering over-the-top education benefits worth tens of thousands of dollars. And that could change the nature of college sports.

AP

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh bankrolled his followers. In return, they enabled his risky lifestyle

Andy Hsieh banged on the door of a shed at a waterfront home in New London, Conn., and said it was time to go. Chauffeurs were waiting to take everybody to the airport for a trip to Hawaii. His brother Tony, the mastermind and former chief executive of Zappos Inc., had locked himself inside with a propane space heater and canisters of nitrous oxide, a mind-altering gas he habitually used. He asked Andy for five more minutes. Soon, smoke began pouring out of the shed.

Wall Street Journal

Newsom's pick for state AG fills identity politics void

Given California's current political climate, Gov. Gavin Newsom's selection of Assemblyman Rob Bonta to be attorney general was virtually preordained. Newsom ardently embraces the identity politics that dominate his Democratic Party and therefore feels compelled to pay homage to its major ethnic, gender and cultural components via appointments.

Daily Republic

J&J CEO pay irks investors upset with opioid lawsuits fallout

Johnson & Johnson is coming under fire from some investors who are raising questions about companies that give their chief executives hefty pay raises despite facing billions of dollars in legal costs over their role in the U.S. opioid crisis. J&J has always excluded certain one-time costs such as litigation expenses from its calculation of stock payouts to executives, an approach that compensation consultants say is common across corporate America.

Facebook

Authorities believe Lester Eubanks, wanted since he escaped prison in 1973, may be in the Los Angeles area

Reuters

 

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