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

After Homeless Removed From Echo Park, So Are 35.7 Tons of Their Solid Waste; Gun-Control California May Soften Gun Crime Laws and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

Thieves Use Drones to Scope Out Targets; Health Records of Covid Victims Inaccurate; LA County to train employees not to hate

 

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Actor Johnny Depp scored a minor court victory in his long-running defamation lawsuit against former wife Amber Heard (photo not taken at court)

Depp to get drafts of article at center of defamation case against Heard--WHAS

Johnny Depp's lawsuit accusing his ex-wife Amber Heard of defamation enters its third year in court with a ruling that the actress must turn over drafts of an editorial she published in The Washington Post. Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Penney S. Azcarate ruled from the bench Friday that Heard must also turn over certain communications with partners and associates, along with a passel of other documents related to claims that she was the victim of domestic violence.

Heard is famous for starring in such movies as 2011's "Drive Angry", which costarred Nicholas Cage. Depp is a Hollywood A-Lister, perhaps best known for playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. During Depp's criminal trial defending allegations brought by Heard, he argued that she had been the one to abuse him physically. The jury found him not guilty.

California Supreme Court pulls back woman's death sentence because of judge behavior

Without Wiatt's "persistent, disparaging remarks, a juror might have viewed these circumstances with greater sympathy and concluded the crime was a tragedy lacking the moral culpability to warrant death," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said in the 7-0 ruling. It was the court's first reversal in a capital case since the justices unanimously overturned Scott Peterson's death sentence last August for the 2002 murders of his pregnant wife and their unborn fetus, because the trial judge had dismissed prospective jurors without asking them whether they could put aside their objections to capital punishment.

San Francisco Chronicle

Appeals court says ALADS entitled to $7.8 million award

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs was entitled to a $7.8 million award against its ousted president and a cohort who, by falsely claiming to hold the leadership reins and creating confusion as to who was in charge caused a 140-day delay in the formulation of new memorandum of understanding with the county providing for a pay hike, the Court of Appeal for this district declared on Friday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

New traffic call center will increase access to justice, convenience for traffic litigants

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today announced the launch of a new centralized Traffic Call Center to help people with traffic tickets to efficiently resolve their citations without coming to court. With the launch of the Traffic Call Center, litigants may call one number for court assistance no matter where the traffic citation was issued in Los Angeles County. Litigants may speak with a call center representative for information on options to resolve their citation.

Superior Court of California/County of Los Angeles News Release

Pilot program aims to reduce need for personal injury jury trials

Balancing safety and timely access to justice, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County is launching a new voluntary pilot program for litigants to obtain a prompt bench trial in cases assigned to the Personal Injury Hub courtrooms upon receipt of a stipulation by all parties to participate, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announced yesterday. The Court offers this alternative in view of the current logistical concerns related to scheduling jury trials, resulting from the pandemic, as well as the high volume of cases in need of disposition.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

High Court considers shorter sentences for crack cocaine charges

In its last hearing of the term, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over whether people jailed for possession of small amounts of crack cocaine are eligible for a sentencing reduction. The justices seemed concerned that allowing those offenders to apply for reduced sentences would open the floodgates for other drug offenders to also seek shorter sentences.

Courthouse News Service

9th Circuit rules it's mostly okay for LAPD Detectives to have "psychologically tortured" a 13-year-old to get him to confess to a murder he didn't commit

Did three Los Angeles police detectives violate the law, along with the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, when they threatened, badgered, and generally terrified a 13-year-old California boy until he confessed to a murder he did not commit? Or do the detectives have "qualified immunity?"

Witness LA

California bar entered $3.8M contract with ExamSoft without justifying value, auditor report says

When the State Bar of California selected ExamSoft as the software provider for its October 2020 remote bar exam, the test was administered appropriately, but the bar did not follow a procurement policy for outside vendors, according to a state auditor report. State agencies do not need a competitive bidding process when awarding licensing or proficiency exam contracts, but a state bar rule requires that it evaluate and document whether the contracts offer the best value for the money spent, according to the April 29 report.

ABA Journal

Los Angeles District Attorney

City Council wants sentencing enhancements in Dorsey case

The Santa Clarita City Council has asked the city manager to prepare a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors seeking the board's support in adding sentencing enhancements to the case of murder suspect James "Matthew" Dorsey. Last week, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón's office charged James Dorsey with murder, attempted kidnapping, residential burglary, evading police and resisting a law enforcement officer in connection with the death of Michelle Dorsey, his estranged wife.

The Signal

Covina City Council issues vote of 'no confidence' in DA Gascón

The City of Covina has become the latest to pass a resolution expressing "no confidence" in District Attorney George Gascón, following a three-to-one vote at last night's meeting of the Covina City Council. The symbolic resolution, similar to ones previously passed by several other cities within Los Angeles County, stems from controversy over the new DA's criminal justice reform efforts.

Los Angeles Magazine

Three more cities vote 'no confidence' in progressive L.A. County D.A. Gascón amid recall threat

As organizers of an effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón say they are working closely with county officials to finalize the petition, three more cities declared "no confidence" in the progressive prosecutor this week. "City leaders are beginning to see what citizens and victims have known: George Gascon threatens the safety of our communities with his pro-criminal policies and actions," read an email blast from Victims of Violent Crime for the Recall of District Attorney Gascón.

The Daily Wire

'People evolve': Why DA Gascón reversed decades of parole policy to support release in most cases

One of the many far-reaching reforms L.A. District Attorney George Gascón has implemented affects the little-known world of parole hearings. In a reversal from previous DA's, Gascón has ordered his prosecutors to support parole in most cases. Historically, prosecutors have generally opposed parole. Gascón has also prohibited deputy DA's from attending Board of Parole hearings. He says for decades, prosecutors have too often argued to keep people locked up based on their original crime.

LAist

Prosecutors

Good news for accused torture killers of Lancaster 10-year-old: Mom, boyfriend won't face death penalty as DA Gascon ignores own outraged prosecutor

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has ignored its own prosecutor and dropped its bid for the death penalty against a Lancaster woman and her boyfriend who are charged with the horrifying murder and torture of the woman's 10-year-old son.

MyNewsLA

Man accused of shooting off-duty officer charged with attempted murder (Video)

The case also accuses the man of trying to rob the officer during a confrontation that began in the underground parking lot of an apartment complex in Sherman Oaks. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

NBC4

Prosecutors: Suspects tailed Lady Gaga's dog walker

Three men drove around the Hollywood area in late February, on the prowl for expensive French bulldogs to steal, prosecutors said. Their night would end in gunfire - and the violent theft of pop star Lady Gaga's beloved pets. The robbery would prompt headlines around the world - and motivate the owners of French bulldogs to be wary during walks - with few clues made public about the case or the circumstances surrounding the dogs' disappearance.

AP

Man accused in fatal 2018 Trader Joe's shooting found competent to stand trial

A judge Monday found a man charged in connection with a fatal shooting at a Silver Lake Trader Joe's in 2018 is competent to stand trial. Gene Evin Atkins, 31, previously pleaded not guilty to murder in the killing of Melyda "Mely" Maricela Corado. According to prosecutors, Atkins set off a chain of events July 21, 2018 that led to the death of Corado, who was fatally shot by a police officer in front of the store in the 2700 block of Hyperion Avenue.

CBS LA

Murder charges against cop-chase pickup driver: Innocent couple killed when pickup crashed into victims' car in Inglewood

Murder and other charges were filed Friday against an ex-con accused of leading officers on a pursuit that ended with a crash that killed an innocent man and his girlfriend in Inglewood. Gustavo Ruelas, 42, is set to be arraigned Monday on two counts each of murder and fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle causing death and one count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person, possession for sale of heroin and possession for sale of methamphetamine.

MyNewsLA

Former priest pleads not guilty to lewd acts with four boys

A former Catholic priest accused of lewd acts on four boys pleaded not guilty on Friday. The alleged crimes happened in the mid-1990s and 2001 in Redondo and Palmdale. The former priest, 58-year-old Christopher John Cunningham, was charged on April 2 with 12 felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

CBS LA

Man charged with setting fire to a historic Catholic church in Southern California

A man has been charged with setting on fire a historic Catholic church in Southern California last summer, prosecutors said Tuesday. The San Gabriel Mission was undergoing renovations to mark its 250th anniversary when a fire broke out July 11, engulfing the roof and front entrance of the church. Firefighters forced entry to tame the blaze, breaking parts of the roof and ceiling, officials said. No one was hurt in the fire.

CNN

Harvey Weinstein's extradition to Los Angeles delayed again as his lawyer demands new hearing

Los Angeles prosecutors seeking to extradite convicted sex-offender Harvey Weinstein to face sex-crime charges there were stymied again Friday after the ex-movie mogul's lawyer demanded another hearing in New York to challenge the transfer. Erie County Judge Kenneth Case, presiding over a virtual hearing in Buffalo, New York, with Weinstein appearing from his New York prison, indicated he was reluctant to delay ruling on extradition but had no choice after Weinstein's lawyer, Norman Effman, said he would file a writ to force a "fresh" hearing on the matter.

USA Today

Hollywood actor indicted for fake HBO and Netflix deals

Aspiring film actor Zachary Horwitz was indicted Tuesday for running what federal investigators describe as one of the most daring Ponzi schemes in Hollywood history. Horwitz, who appeared in horror and science-fiction movies under the screen name Zach Avery, was charged by a federal grand jury with five counts of securities fraud, six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Los Angeles Times

Captain charged in deadly boat smuggling crash

A man alleged to have piloted a boat carrying 32 immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. through the Pacific Ocean was charged Wednesday in the deadly human smuggling event where three immigrants drowned after the boat crashed in rough waters off the coast of San Diego. Antonio Hurtado was charged Wednesday in the Southern District of California for alleged attempted human smuggling and assault on a federal officer after a 40-foot boat he is accused of driving crashed into the reef off the coast of Point Loma near Cabrillo National Monument around 10 a.m. May 2.

Courthouse News Service

Policy/Legal

76,000 California inmates now eligible for earlier releases

California is giving 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, the opportunity to leave prison earlier as the state aims to further trim the population of what once was the nation's largest state correctional system. More than 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes will be eligible for good behavior credits that shorten their sentences by one-third instead of the one-fifth that had been in place since 2017.

AP

Public safety deceit: CA releasing felons from prison while violent crime spikes in state

While California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be letting another 76,000 prisoners out of state prisons - on his own authority through Executive Order - violent crime is spiking in California's cities. The headlines today tell the story: AP: 76,000 California inmates now eligible for earlier releases. SJMN: Watch: Robbers trap cars, steal Asian women's purses. FresBee: Fresno Police called to Fashion Fair after gun shown inside mall. Then other firearms were found.

California Globe

California lawmaker introduces bill to prevent 'police officer gangs' (Video)

Bill sponsor Mike Gipson, a Democrat, said the law enforcement cliques known as officer gangs lead to more violent encounters and increased police abuse.

Nexstar/Tribune KTXL

Anatomy of a crime wave

A decade ago, Baltimoreans became lab rats in a fateful experiment: their elected officials decided to treat the city's long-running crime problem with many fewer cops. In effect, Baltimore began to defund its police and engage in de-policing long before those terms gained popular currency. This experiment has been an abject failure. Since 2011, nearly 3,000 Baltimoreans have been murdered - one of every 200 city residents over that period.

City Journal

California may soften gun crime laws, citing impact on people of color

A California state assembly committee gave its stamp of approval on April 27 to legislation that would significantly soften sentences for people convicted of some firearm offenses, with proponents saying laws against using guns in the commission of crimes disproportionately affect people of color. The Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 6-2 to approve the Anti-Racism Sentencing Reform Act, though the proposal still has several hurdles to clear before becoming law.

The Daily Wire

Los Angeles County/City

Controversial sheriff candidate Eli Vera involved in civil suits alleging political retaliation and lied about Mandoyan

Last week, L.A. County Sheriff's Department Chief Eli Vera, announced his candidacy for the top spot at LASD, running against incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva in the 2022 Sheriff's election. "I believe an organization is as a reflection of its leader." Vera told reporters. " The community looks to law enforcement to be the voice of reason during its worst of times. Unfortunately, at the present time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has developed a reputation for contributing to contention during trying times," Vera said in a statement to NBC.

The Current Report

Photojournalists sue L.A. police over alleged protest abuses

Two photojournalists have alleged in separate federal lawsuits this week that they were harassed and physically assaulted by law enforcement officers at protests in the Los Angeles area. The lawsuits come amid heightened tensions between local police and the media after a year in which reporters and photographers have repeatedly alleged abuses by officers - including verbal harassment, physical assaults and baseless detentions and arrests - as they've sought to cover street demonstrations.

Los Angeles Times

LA County says Vanessa Bryant lacks basis to sue deputies over deadly helicopter crash photos (Video)

LA County's lawyers have now filed a detailed denial of Bryant's claims, in which the county asks a federal judge to dismiss Bryant's case. Eric Leonard reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 3, 2021.

NBC4

Video shows woman's racist rant against LA County deputy who pulled her over

A video shows a woman, who claims she is a teacher, going on a racist rant against a deputy who pulled her over in San Dimas. The deputy's body camera video, obtained by FOX 11 via FOX News' Bill Melugin, shows the woman recording the interaction with her own cell phone. The woman accuses the Los Angeles County deputy of harassing her and called the deputy a "murderer."

Fox11

Two women in U-Haul held at gunpoint, handcuffed during traffic stop sue LAPD

Film production coordinator Shibani Balsaver rented a U-Haul truck to move her possessions to a new apartment last year with the help of her friend Sheilnee Sen and set off driving east of Hollywood. As she neared her new home, more than 10 Los Angeles police officers with their guns drawn stopped the vehicle and surrounded the two women inside, as an LAPD helicopter hovered.

Los Angeles Times

Families of people killed in deputy-involved shootings accuse LASD deputies of harassment, intimidation

The families of people who have been killed in deputy-involved shootings have accused deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department of harassing and intimidating them. The families of Vanessa Marquez, Anthony Vargas, Daniel Hernandez, and Paul Rea were on hand Tuesday in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles to share their experiences, which are backed up by a report from the National Lawyers Guild and ACLU.

CBS LA

LAPD says it needs $67M to complete protest response reforms

The Los Angeles Police Department is setting the price tag for improving its response to massive protests and chaotic city crises at nearly $67 million, officials said Tuesday in a report outlining the potential reforms. They also say they need dozens more police officers to lead new training regimens for every sworn LAPD employee.

Los Angeles Daily News

LA County considers training 100,000-plus employees to intervene against hate

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted today to consider training all of its roughly 100,000 employees about how to intervene when they see a hate crime taking place. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger proposed the change and asked their colleagues to declare May Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

City News Service

L.A. County sheriff refuses to name deputies who open fire, defying state's high court

After his son was shot and killed in October, Fred Williams Jr. asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for the name of the deputy who pulled the trigger. But sheriff's officials refused to identify the deputy, making it nearly impossible for Williams to learn anything about him. Had he been in prior shootings? Was there a history of abuse?

Los Angeles Times

35.7 tons of solid waste removed from Echo Park, could reopen by end of May

Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment crews removed 35.7 tons of solid waste from Echo Park Lake since the park's closure on March 25, and a news report Thursday indicated that the park could reopen by the end of the month. According to LASAN documents, posted by the Los Angeles Times Thursday, cleanup crews removed 723.5 pounds of biological waste and 300 pounds of hazardous waste, which included ignitables, paint, sharp objects and drug paraphernalia.

City News Service

Public Safety/Crime

Kiddie porn cop: LAPD officer jailed for alleged obscene material depicting a minor

A Los Angeles Police Department officer was behind bars Thursday for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography. Detectives from the Long Beach Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce received a tip last October from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding possible online distribution of sexual abuse material and began an investigation that led them to James Diamond, according to a LBPD statement.

MyNewsLA

Outcry grows in Venice over string of dangerous incidents at homeless encampments

Residents in Venice continue to voice their frustration over growing homeless encampments in the area they say are becoming increasingly dangerous. Eyewitness News obtained video of a homeless man being shot last week on the Venice Boardwalk, which also shows the shooter walk away while the victim moans in pain. The victim remains in the hospital in stable condition, and is not cooperating with police.

ABC7

Burglary suspect arrested after traffic stop in Beverly Hills

A suspect wanted in connection with more than 30 masked burglaries in the Los Angeles area was free on bond Friday morning after being arrested in Beverly Hills following a traffic stop. Police stopped the suspect, identified as Rockim Prowell, 30, of Inglewood, on Sunday and found items, including a face mask, in the vehicle he was driving that linked him to a string of burglaries, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.

MyNewsLA

Switches used to modify guns on LA streets (Video)

Gun switches are being used to modify weapons on the streets of Los Angeles. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

NBC4

New study reveals increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in LA

A new study reveals that hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander community have gotten worse. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino found across 16 of America's largest cities and counties that there has been a 164 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in the first quarter of 2021, as compared to the same time period last year.

CBS LA

'Woke' California district attorney Gascón, Gov. Newsom slammed over early prison releases

Orange County, Calif. District Attorney Todd Spitzer slammed California Gov. Gavin Newsom and "woke" Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón for their "anti-victim" agenda. "California is out of control and the rest of the nation needs to wake up," Spitzer told "Fox & Friends" on Monday. The Orange County D.A. made the comments two days after new rules regarding inmates took effect in the state.

Fox News

Drones now help thieves to survey rural properties, California Farm Bureau Federation reports

Thieves are now reportedly using drones to scout farms and ranches, looking for their next big score. "We were having a series of crimes occur, including some quads that were taken from a very remote location at a ranch," Solano County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Jim Currie said. "We couldn't figure out why anyone would even know they were there." Ultimately, investigators determined the alleged thieves had used drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, to look for equipment to steal.

Sierra Sun Times

Innocent Black man crossing a Banning street killed because of his race? Six years later cops ID two gang felons as gunmen

Two convicted felons who are already jailed and charged in multiple shootings are suspected of killing a 51-year-old random Black man in a racially motivated attack in Banning almost six years ago. Authorities said it took unrelenting detectives and patrol officers working on the 2015 cold case to name William Arnold Armendariz, 24, and Samuel Vasquez, 22, both of Banning, as the alleged killers who targeted their victim because he was Black.

MyNewsLA

Startling surge in L.A. bloodshed as COVID-19 fades: 'Too many guns in too many hands'

At Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Brant Putnam has watched the intense weight of the COVID-19 pandemic finally begin to lift in recent months - only to be replaced by another, relentless stressor. In the first four months of 2021, gunshot victims have arrived at a much greater rate than usual. The Level 1 trauma center in Torrance treats about 3,500 patients a year; an average of 15% experience "penetrating trauma" such as a shooting or stabbing, said Putnam, chief of the trauma and acute care surgery division.

Los Angeles Times

Murder suspect arrested in South Los Angeles after short pursuit

A murder suspect was arrested in South Los Angeles Tuesday after leading police on a short pursuit and shots being fired. Ontario Police Department officers were monitoring the man before they were led on the pursuit. The man drove to a residence in the area of South Main Street and West 66th Street and barricaded himself in the backyard armed with a rifle.

City News Service

CHP probing reports of gunfire at cars on freeways

Christina Martinez Adame was driving south on the 405 Freeway near Seal Beach Boulevard on April 27 when she heard a loud boom. She said she believes her rear window was shot out. "You had glass coming into the car, the power of the wind going through. I felt like our car was caving in," Adame, 49, said. Another motorist's window shattered that day in the same area at about the same time, and these aren't the only reports of similar incidents.

Riverside Press-Enterprise

California/National

'It's shocking.' How inaccurate California death records obscure pandemic's true story

When California looks back on the COVID-19 pandemic - the most significant health crisis in modern history, with tens of thousands of deaths so far - medical researchers will find some of the most basic details remarkably incomplete. Overwhelmed public health departments and front-line workers have for months failed to record accurate health histories for COVID-19 victims, a Sacramento Bee review of the state's internal pandemic death records found.

Modesto Bee

Safe space' email at California agency turns into reply-all melee about race, police

A mass email sent by a California environmental agency to announce a "safe space" discussion after Derek Chauvin's murder conviction sparked a reply-all marathon as employees voiced support for police, accused management of "caving to the mob" and asked to be removed from a "racially based" email list.

Sacramento Bee

Oakland, S.F. see spike in untraceable ghost guns: 'Anybody can get these'

Seizures of these unregistered firearms, known as "ghost guns," have spiked in Oakland, accounting for 22% of the guns confiscated this year. That's compared to about 16.5% of guns seized in 2020 and 7% in 2019. Cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as other major metropolitan areas throughout the country, have tracked similar rises.

San Francisco Chronicle

Podcast: Sen. Bob Hertzberg calls for upending bail system

In November, California voters rejected Prop. 25, which would have replaced the state bail system with algorithms to help judges determine a defendant's risk. Five months later, the state Supreme Court ruling turned the tables and gave anti-bail activists a resounding win: The high court ruled that defendants can't be held in jail solely because they can't afford to make bail.

CalMatters

Death draws attention to police putting suspects face down

It's common practice for police around the U.S. to place combative suspects face down and press down on their backs with hands, elbows or knees to gain control. They aren't supposed to do it for an "extended period" because that can lead to injuries or death. But what length of time is appropriate? That question and the face-down method are in the spotlight after police video released last week showed officers in Northern California struggling with a man for more than five minutes as he lay face down.

AP

Clean Slate Project could help Valley residents start over

The process of landing a job or leasing a home or apartment isn't always easy. It's even harder for those who have a criminal history. "A lot of people who commit a crime, it was a mistake in their life," says Tulare County Senior Deputy Public Defender Megan Casebeer. "It's something that they've never repeated again and it feels almost like they carry this scarlet letter with them if you would."

KFSN

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Little girl's sex horror for eight years: Pinyon Pines molester gets 143 years as victim says 'I forgive you'

A Pinyon Pines man was sentenced Friday to 143 years to life in state prison for molesting an underage relative over the course of more than eight years. An Indio jury deliberated two days last December before finding Stanford James Stelle III, 42, guilty of 13 felonies: six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of committing sex acts on a child under 10 years old and three counts each of oral copulation on a minor and lewd acts on a child under 14 years by using force.

MyNewsLA

Man who drove truck through California protest to plead guilty in gun case

A California man who drove into a protest crowd in Pasadena last year and was later charged with federal firearms counts will plead guilty, prosecutors said Thursday. Benjamin Jong Ren Hung, 28, will plead guilty to 11 federal counts, and prosecutors will recommend a sentence of no more than two years and nine months in prison, according to a plea agreement.

NBC News

San Pedro man gets 11 years in $311,300 robbery of Gardena credit union

A 31-year-old San Pedro man was sentenced Wednesday, May 5, to 11 years in federal prison for his role in a bank robbery in Gardena that netted $300,000-plus four years ago, authorities said. Toyrieon Sessions, also known as "Phat," was convicted in June 2019 of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, armed bank robbery, and brandishing a firearm during the crime.

Torrance Daily Breeze

Corrections & Parole

Who should police California's troubled jails? State wants more inspectors - with power

California is moving to strengthen its power over how county sheriffs are running their local jails, amid a national debate over accountability for law enforcement and ending 'inhumane' conditions in lockups around the state. Officials with the Board of State and Community Corrections, the state's jail oversight agency that has been accused of weak oversight of the state's 56 counties with jails, this week asked the state Legislature for an additional $3.1 million to pay for 14 new positions, including eight more field inspectors - more than double the existing number on staff.

Fresno Bee

Does the good conduct credits program for inmates mean early release?

You've probably heard more than 75,000 inmates could be released early from California prisons. But what does this mean for us? KRCR reached out to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to ask them how this updated program works. To start, they said there is a misunderstanding of what is happening.

KRCR

Turlock convicted killer denied parole for being a safety risk

Parole has been denied for Nicholas Harris, the Turlock man convicted of stabbing a man to death and then setting his car on fire because Harris was upset the man had been talking to his girlfriend. Harris, 34, of Turlock was found unsuitable for parole at an April 27, hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the state prison in Jamestown.

Turlock Journal

2 female inmates allege they were used as bait to catch predatory guard at Chino prison

Two California Institute for Women inmates allege in a federal lawsuit that prison officials in 2017 used them as bait in a botched sting operation that allowed a predatory prison guard to sexually assault them. The women, who remain incarcerated, are not identified in the complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court seeking unspecified damages for various civil rights violations.

Orange County Register

Articles of Interest

Our Black Marxist murder spree

Only rarely do present circumstances so align themselves as to reveal the future with clarity. We are in such a period right now, and to those willing to open their eyes to it, the future staring back at them is bleak indeed. I worked as a police officer in Los Angeles for more than 30 years, and people of my generation may recall with dread the crime wave of the late '80s and early '90s, when Los Angeles saw an average of three times the number of murders as have occurred in recent years.

Jack Dunphy/The Pipeline

Conservatives should focus on California attorney general race

Last week, when Californians got the news that the state would lose a congressional seat and the recall vote to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom qualified on the ballot, an intriguing and important political story unfolded apart from those headlines. Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert, a former Republican, announced that she would run as an independent for state attorney general in 2022 against Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, a former state assemblyman, who was recently appointed by Newsom.

Los Angeles Times

A California showdown over crime and punishment looms

Should California continue to reduce punishment for crimes large and small, or has it gone too far and implicitly allowed criminals to prey upon Californians without fear of imprisonment? The question has reverberated throughout the state over the last half-decade, ever since former Gov. Jerry Brown launched a personal crusade to scale back the lock-'em-up laws that California enacted - including some that he signed - in the 1980s and 1990s.

Modesto Bee

LeBron James: 'I fueled the wrong conversation about Ma'Khia Bryant'

LeBron James has come under fire over the past 10 days in the aftermath of a now-deleted tweet about the fatal police shooting of a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio. Ma'Khia Bryant was shot and killed on April 20, the same day that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, sparking immediate outrage.

Courthouse News Service

Bad news for naked photo lawsuit by ex-congresswoman Katie Hill: She's ordered to pay radio show host $30K in attorneys' fees

Facebook

Drones have been considered for use by the police and military; now thieves are using them, too

A judge ordered former congresswoman Katie Hill Tuesday to pay nearly $30,000 in attorneys' fees and costs to a radio show host even though Hill dropped him as a defendant in her revenge porn lawsuit before his motion to dismiss could be heard. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco finalized a tentative ruling she issued Monday in favor of granting the fees to Joseph Messina, the host of "The Real Side" radio show.

MyNewsLA

Facebook ban on Donald Trump will hold, social media's oversight board rules

Facebook was justified in its decision to suspend then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the company's Oversight Board said on Wednesday. That means the company does not have to reinstate Trump's access to Facebook and Instagram immediately. But the panel said the company was wrong to impose an indefinite ban and said Facebook has six months to either restore Trump's account, make his suspension permanent, or suspend him for a specific period of time.

NPR

 

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