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

California May Share Gun Owner's Personal Information; Google's NDA's Illegal; Gascon Lets Child Molester Walk; Apple Air Tags Being Used by Criminals to Target Cops and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

CA gets failing grade on protecting against hackers; 4 women's prison staff members charged with sexual abuse; $100k to combat street racing

 

January 31, 2022

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A judge affirms that falconers can be subject to warrantless searches

Courts & Rulings

California high court greenlights suit by assault victim, despite prior settlement

In a ruling being hailed as a major win for victims of sexual assault and harassment, the California Supreme Court held Thursday that a contract barring two people from bad-mouthing each other doesn't prevent a woman from suing an abuser in court. "I think it's a great day for California victims of harassment and abuse because the opinion appropriately recognizes that such victims are entitled to more access to the courts, greater protections and more remedies," plaintiff's attorney Jean-Claude Andre of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner said in a phone interview Thursday.

Courthouse News Service

Newsom failed to put forth 'some evidence' supporting his blocking of parole

The Third District Court of Appeal yesterday took the rare step of reversing the denial of a writ of habeas corpus in a case where an inmate contests the governor blocking his parole. Acting Presiding Justice Ronald B. Robie wrote the majority opinion. It says that Gov. Gavin Newsom's decision to countermand the Board of Parole Hearings' grant of parole to murderer/robber Anthony Louis King "lacks 'some evidence" upon which to conclude, consistent with state and federal due process standards, that petitioner's release on parole would present an unreasonable risk of danger to the community."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

California judges get more power over trial lawyers' case costs

A party may recover costs only at a trial judge's discretion for preparing multiple sets of exhibits and closing slides that weren't used at a trial, a unanimous California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The justices, resolving a split among the intermediate appellate courts, unanimously ruled that the winning party's costs aren't categorically recoverable and must be "reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation rather than merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation."

Bloomberg Law

Supreme Court rejects bid to block mask mandate on airplanes

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request to block a federal mask mandate for air travel. The emergency application was filed by a father on behalf of himself and his 4-year-old autistic son, both of whom claim to be medically incapable of wearing masks for extended periods. Their request was filed to Justice Neil Gorsuch, who handles emergency applications arising in several Western states, and he referred the matter to the full court. The justices denied the request without comment or noted dissent.

The Hill

Ninth Circuit denies en banc hearing in vaccination case

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied a rehearing en banc of a panel's 2-1 decision not to stay, pending appeal, a school district's edict that students be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 24 or be barred from in-person attendance, with 10 dissenting judges arguing that the decision runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court's April 9 proclamation that strict scrutiny be applied to mandates that deny religious exemptions.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Retired judges fight to advance age-bias lawsuit against California's Judicial Council

An age discrimination lawsuit challenging new limits on how long judges can continue working after retirement may be too sparse on details to survive, a San Francisco judge said Wednesday. The state constitutional challenge turns on whether a group of retired judges can show that the rules have a "disparate impact" on older judges. The eight judges sued after Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who chairs the state's Judicial Council, made some changes to the Assigned Judges Program, which sends retired judges to fill temporary vacancies at courts throughout the state.

Courthouse News Service

Ex-LBUSD safety officer ordered to stand trial on murder charge

A former Long Beach Unified School District safety officer was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a murder charge stemming from an 18-year-old woman's fatal shooting last year. Eddie Gonzalez - who was fired by the LBUSD about a week after shooting Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez in the head Sept. 27 as she sat inside a moving car - was charged a month later with her killing. He pleaded not guilty at a Dec. 8 court hearing.

City News Service

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor amends order to extend last-day deadlines for criminal trials and preliminary hearings as Covid infections, hospitalizations surge in LA County

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor today extended last-day deadlines for Criminal trials, preliminary hearings and other Criminal matters to January 28, 2022 as the Omicron variant continues to infect LA County residents at unprecedented rates. The amended General Order, issued pursuant to the emergency powers granted to him by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye under Government Code section 68115, will continue to reduce foot traffic in courthouses as hospitalizations and deaths continue to escalate this week and Omicron transmission causes record numbers of COVID cases throughout the county.

L.A Court News Release

Federal judge upholds warrantless searches for falconers

Falconers will remain open to surprise, warrantless searches of their homes after a federal judge on Friday ruled a group of trained handlers lacked standing to challenge longstanding federal rules governing the use of raptors. The nonprofit American Falconry Conservancy claims its licensed falconers for decades have been living in fear of the government suddenly knocking on their doors to inspect the living conditions of their beloved red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons.

Courthouse News Service

Ninth Circuit poised to uphold jury verdict in fatal shooting by BART officer

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit seemed disinclined to overturn a jury's verdict awarding $7.2 million to the family of a young man shot and killed by a transit cop in 2018. The jury found BART officer Joseph Mateu III used unreasonable force against 28-year-old Sahleem Tindle, whom they believed to be trying to surrender just moments before Mateu fired three bullets into Tindle's back on Jan. 3, 2018.

Courthouse News Service

Judge rules lawsuit can proceed against sergeant in death of Jamie Osuna cellmate

A lawsuit filed by the mother of an inmate who was killed and dismembered can proceed against a prison sergeant who placed the man in the same cell as convicted murderer Jamie Osuna. U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd ruled Tuesday it's plausible to infer Sgt. Joseph Burns and other unidentified guards at Corcoran State Prison "responsible for the day-to-day implementation of cellmate selection decisions were aware that Osuna should not be celled with another inmate and, relatedly, that this was because he posed a serious danger to others."

KGET

Judge refuses to block California from releasing gun owners' personal info

Finding there was no "emergency" to warrant restraining California from sharing millions of gun owners' personal information with gun violence researchers, a federal judge Wednesday declined to block the state's enactment of Assembly Bill 173. U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns heard from attorneys for Jane and John Does and Attorney General Rob Bonta regarding a constitutional challenge to Assembly Bill 173, a law which amended California firearms laws to authorize the attorney general to disclose gun owners' personal information to the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis and any other "bona fide research institution" meeting certain requirements.

Courthouse News Service

California judge rules Google's confidentiality agreements break labor law

A California judge ruled this week that the confidentiality agreements Google requires its employees to sign are too broad and break the state's labor laws, a decision that could make it easier for workers at famously secret Big Tech firms to speak openly about their companies. A Google employee identified as John Doe argued that the broad nondisclosure agreement the company asked him to sign barred him from speaking about his job to other potential employers, amounting to a noncompete clause, which are illegal in California.

Washington Post

Flag censorship case tests limits of viewpoint discrimination

Framed by a national debate on censorship of controversial viewpoints, the Supreme Court struggled at oral arguments Tuesday on where to draw the line for private speech in public spaces that the government finds inappropriate or offensive. The case stems from three 83-foot-tall flagpoles outside Boston's City Hall where the U.S. flag and the state flag are always flying, but the third flag is subject to temporary installations. When it was not flying the city flag, the pole bore the flags of all 284 images that citizens petitioned to celebrate for over a decade.

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles District Attorney

Union Pacific slams LA DA for 'social justice' crime policies leading to freight train thefts

After it was revealed that freight cars in Los Angeles train yards have been repeatedly ransacked, with the contents, primarily packages, discarded for miles along the tracks, Union Pacific (UP) blamed the catch-and-release policies of leftist prosecutors in LA. The losses in 2021 account for "approximately $5 million in claims, losses, and damages to UP," not including costs to customers.

The Post Millennial

Gascón emerges as an issue in attorney general's race

Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has joined with the other two major potential challengers to state Attorney General Rob Bonta in linking her campaign to discontentment over policies of her Los Angeles County counterpart, George Gascón. She blasted him over his opposition to trying as an adult, a 26-year-old man who committed a sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl when he was 17 days shy of his 18th birthday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LA county deputy DA rips progressive crime policies: 'My boss, George Gascón, has a soft spot for criminals'

A Los Angeles County deputy district attorney slammed progressive criminal justice policies as well as their architects, including his own boss, George Gascón, in the wake of a brutal stabbing that left a father grieving his daughter, a California grad student. "We are not focused on victims, we are not focused on public safety, and in Los Angeles County you know, my boss, George Gascón, has a soft spot for criminals," John McKinney told "America's Newsroom" co-hosts Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer.

Fox News

A real DA would not allow molester to walk

This is all you need to know about Train Wreck Gascón, who is the worst district attorney in the history of Los Angeles County, and why he must be recalled: "Confessed child molester could serve little or no time; prosecutors furious at LA County DA." That was the headline on a Fox11.com news story Jan. 9. Anyone reading that headline would have to think: "How can this be?" Here is how, as explained in the story: "It happened on New Year's Day 2014. James Tubbs walked into a woman's restroom at Denny's in Palmdale and hid in a stall. When a 10-year-old girl walked in by herself, he grabbed her and sexually molested her."

Antelope Valley Press

LA sheriff asks feds to handle prosecution in off-duty cop shooting over concerns DA too lenient: report

The California sheriff tasked with pursuing charges against the four alleged gang members accused in the shooting death of an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer says he took the case to federal prosecutors because the response from the local district attorney's office was "not satisfactory" and "really did not cover the depravity of this crime." Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva made the comments to the Los Angeles Times.

Fox News

Former DA Cooley warns of 'dirty tricksters'

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley yesterday warned of "dirty trackers" sapping funds intended for the Recall George Gascon Committee of which he is a co-chair. He told the METNEWS that a group called "Recall Gascón Now" ("RGN") is collecting funds, "approaching the historic contributors" to an earlier anti-Gascón committee - which mounted an amateur effort that failed to collect enough signatures to force a recall election - as well as the current group which has professional guidance and has raised in excess of $2.5 million.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Prosecutors

Homeless man charged with murder in unprovoked attack of nurse at bus stop

A homeless man was charged with murder Tuesday for allegedly punching a 70-year-old nurse in an unprovoked attack at a downtown bus stop, causing her to fall down and strike her head on the pavement. Kerry Bell, 48, was arrested a short time after the Thursday attack on Sandra Shells, who died Sunday at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she worked as a nurse for nearly four decades. Bell is expected to be arraigned on the murder charge Tuesday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, according to the District Attorney's Office.

City News Service

Hearing held for suspect in off-duty officer's murder (Video)

An 18-year-old woman charged along with three reputed gang members in the fatal shooting of an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer was ordered held without bail. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

NBC4

LA City Attorney announces plan to combat increasing gun violence

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Tuesday announced an eight-point plan to address increasing gun violence in Los Angeles. Feuer - who is running for mayor this year - submitted a plan calling for an inter-jurisdictional response to gun violence to Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council, the Board of Police Commissioners, Police Chief Michel Moore, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

MyNewsLA

Ex-Westminster PD civilian investigator accused of stealing more than $12,000 by lying on time sheets

A former civilian investigator with the Westminster Police Department is facing more than a dozen felonies for falsely claiming to have worked hundreds of hours she allegedly didn't work, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Nadia Arlett Alvarez Poblete, 26, of Huntington Beach is facing a single felony count of grand theft and 14 felony counts of presenting a false claim, court records show. Prosecutors accused Poblete of "falsely altering" time sheets to claim she was working twice the amount of hours she actually worked.

Orange County Register

California prosecutors file felony charges against Tesla autopilot driver

California prosecutors recently made history when they filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people while driving on autopilot in 2019. The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system. Los Angeles County prosecutors filed the charges in October, but they came to light only last week.

CBS SF/AP

California district attorney candidate allegedly 'hit on' participants in cases he prosecuted

A liberal attorney trying to unseat the district attorney in conservative Orange County is accused of trying to date participants in criminal cases he prosecuted while working in the DA's office six years ago, a document shows. Candidate Peter Hardin, who claims to have support from a Black Lives Matter-affiliated political action committee, is a "womanizer" who asked a defendant out on a date after dismissing a case against her involving domestic violence against her boyfriend, according to an internal memo obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Washington Examiner

A total of 4 prison staff members have been charged with sexual abuse in a northern CA federal lock-up

This week James Theodore Highhouse, a corrections worker and chaplain, working at FCA Dublin, a women federal prison located north of San Jose and south of Oakland, CA, was charged with sexually abusing an incarcerated woman in residence at the facility. Highhouse, who is accused of five federal offenses, brings the number of staff members at FCA Dublin charged with sexual abuse to four.

Witness LA

Policy/Legal

As he departs for India, L.A. Mayor takes another slap at the LAPD

As Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti prepares to depart for India, where he will take up his duties as our new ambassador, he offers a parting shot that will further degrade the city that has already suffered so under his tenure. Recall that when Garcetti first ran for mayor in 2013, he vowed to end homelessness in Los Angeles within ten years. No one living or working in L.A. needs to be told how miserably short of this goal he came, but for those outside Southern California, NPR reported in 2020 that there were 41,290 homeless people in the city of Los Angeles and 66,433 in L.A. County, increases of 14.2% and 12.7%, respectively, from the previous year.

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

Parole board chairman resigns over death penalty position

Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Chairman Adam Luck, who has consistently voted to spare the lives of death row inmates, announced Friday he is resigning at the request of the governor. Luck wrote in his resignation letter that he was stepping down immediately so Gov. Kevin Stitt could appoint someone more aligned with his support for the death penalty. "When I began service on this board there was a moratorium on executions in the state of Oklahoma," Luck wrote.

AP

Prop 47's reforms back in the spotlight as lawmakers tackle crime and punishment

California's legislative session just started back up this month, and Proposition 47 is once again in the spotlight. It's what voters passed in 2014 to make retail theft a misdemeanor when someone steals anything below $950. It's important to note that since voters approved this in 2014, it'll ultimately still be up to the voters to decide if any changes are made. If the legislature passes any bills, the people will vote on them again.

ABC10 Sacramento

Los Angeles County/City

Legendary Union Pacific railroad police arrive in the Wild West to quell train robberies

It's been 121 years since the Wild Bunch blew apart a Union Pacific train in Wyoming and stole $30,000 in the famous Great Train Robbery depicted in countless movies. Back then, the Union Pacific Police Department was on the job, chasing down outlaws Jesse James, the Dalton Gang, and the Younger brothers, who all targeted trains carrying valuable cargo traveling between America's two coasts.

Washington Examiner

Los Angeles train robberies: Congress members ask Garland for DOJ's help

Reps. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., Michelle Steel, R-Calif., and other lawmakers are asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to help combat train robberies after photos and videos of Los Angeles train cargo being looted went vial last week. Los Angeles photojournalist John Schreiber last week shared footage of train tracks belonging to railroad company Union Pacific in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of LA and described "looted packages as far as the eye can see," including "Amazon packages, UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens," he said in a tweet.

Fox News

One deputy fired, one suspended for fatal 2019 shooting of Ryan Twyman

L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday that one deputy was fired and another suspended for 30 days for fatally shooting Ryan Twyman in 2019. "That is accountability," said the sheriff, who did not name the deputies or say when the discipline was imposed. He also criticized the office of DA George Gascón for not having reached a determination yet on whether to file criminal charges against either of the officers.

LAist

LASD deputy sues LACO, Villanueva wife for harassment, retaliation

A sheriff's deputy is suing Los Angeles County and the wife of Sheriff Alex Villanueva, alleging her career has been derailed because a recruit she found to be physically unfit for hiring was a friend of the sheriff's spouse. Deputy Lina Pimentel's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit allegations include retaliation, discrimination and harassment. Pimentel seeks unspecified damages in the suit bought Wednesday. An LASD representative issued a statement on Thursday regarding the lawsuit.

City News Service

LA councilman to allocate $100,000 from district funds to combat street racing

Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield announced Wednesday he will allocate $100,000 from his office's discretionary funds to pay police overtime to support specialized enforcement against street racing and speeding in his district. The allocation needs to be approved by the full council, and Blumenfield's office said members are expected to vote on it on Tuesday.

City News Service

Mayor Eric Garcetti nominates first woman to lead LA Fire Department

Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley Tuesday to be the first woman to lead the Los Angeles Fire Department following Chief Ralph Terrazas' retirement on March 26. The mayor announced the appointment alongside City Council President Nury Martinez, Crowley and Terrazas outside the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center. The Los Angeles City Council will have to confirm the appointment.

MyNewsLA

Homicides, car thefts up in parts of L.A. County last year, Sheriff Villanueva says

Homicides increased in the stretches of Los Angeles County patroled by the Sheriff's Department for the second year in a row, with shootings and killings both vaulting well over numbers from the same time two years ago, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in his annual crime-statistics report on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The sheriff said there were 281 people killed in the county areas his department covers in 2021, an increase of 82 from 2020.

Los Angeles Daily News

Crime/Public Safety

Armed robbers take pricey watches, cash from tourists in West Hollywood

Two men are sought in an armed robbery involving two tourists who were visiting Southern California. The robbery was reported early Friday morning near La Cienega Boulevard and Romaine Street. The victims, tourists from England who had been in Southern California for about a day, said they were approached by two men who demanded their belongings as they walked out of a nightclub. "They jumped out at us, grabbed us," said Williams Saunders.

NBC4

Stats show crime is spiking in Los Angeles

Los Angeles saw spikes in select categories of crime in 2021, most notably a nearly 12% year-over-year climb in homicides, but the mayor and police chief said re-deployments of officers and a focus on getting guns off the streets preventing the numbers from soaring much higher. Among the more notable statistics were the 11.8% increase in homicides, while violent crime increased 3.9% and property crimes rose by 4.2%. The number of people shot rose by 9%.

City News Service

Brianna Kupfer: Slain UCLA grad's furious father blames politicians for crime spike in LA

The devastated father of a UCLA grad student, Brianna Kupfer, who was stabbed to death while working in a high-end LA furniture store is slamming politicians for ignoring the spike in violent crime. The 24-year-old woman was murdered when a male suspect, who is believed to be homeless, stabbed her in Croft House around 1:50 pm and then fled through the back door of the store.

MEAWW

CHP recovers $19.7M in stolen merchandise from Organized Retail Theft program

The California Highway Patrol has been involved in more than 870 investigations since the Organized Retail Crime Task Force was created in 2019. From 877 investigations, the CHP has been able to make 371 arrests and recover $19.7 million in stolen merchandise. The CHP was required through Assembly Bill 1065 to work with the Department of Justice to identify areas that saw increased levels of property crimes.

KRON

California/National

Gavin Newsom's crime comments ripped by California DA: 'Either he's ignorant ... or he's a liar'

California Gov. Gavin Newsom faced some sharp criticism Wednesday after appearing to accuse police and prosecutors of not holding criminals to account. Lisa Smittcamp, district attorney in Fresno County, claimed Newsom "should be ashamed of himself" for remarks he made earlier in the day, FOX 26 reported.

Fox News

The criminal catch and release that's plaguing our country

"Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" That song and those words used to open the show Cops along with scenes of the police chasing down and arresting the "bad boys." Viewers assume those apprehended would be spending some time in the slammer. Today? Not so much. We seem to have more crime than ever, and those who commit the crimes simply cycle through the revolving door of the criminal justice system, hurting those of us who are still law-abiding.

Education News

Crimefrighter exodus: Manhattan prosecutors flee DA office after Bragg takes helm

Prosecutors in soft-on-crime Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office are flooding the exits amid his "radical shift in policy," The Post has learned. Bragg's controversial "Day One" memo issued on Jan. 3 told assistant district attorneys to not seek prison sentences for many criminals and to downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors. His leadership has already created a firestorm that has led to an online petition calling for him to be removed.

New York Post

Move to loosen Minnesota sentencing rules abruptly sidelined

Fierce debate over a proposal that could limit tougher sentences for people who commit new crimes while on probation is upending the state's sentencing guidelines commission and setting up a showdown to be resolved in the upcoming legislative session. The commission unanimously agreed to hold off on a scheduled vote over the proposal on Thursday, as some members expressed dismay over the recent direction of debate.

Star Tribune

FBI IDs assailant in Texas hostage standoff as British national; rabbi 'grateful to be alive'

The FBI on Sunday identified British national Malik Faisal Akram, 44, as the person who took hostages in a standoff at a Texas synagogue. Two teenagers were also arrested in Britain in connection to the hostage situation, the Greater Manchester Police announced on Twitter. They were arrested Sunday evening, the police said, and remained in custody for questioning as of 7:00 p.m. ET. The Greater Manchester Police did not name the suspects or whether they faced any charges.

USA Today

Suspect charged in Burger King staged robbery held on more than 100K bond

Antoine Edwards, a suspect in what investigators said was a botched fake robbery at a Milwaukee Burger King, appeared in court for the first time Sunday, Jan. 16. There was a lot to be said about the actions of the suspect, Antoine Edwards. "[This is] serious because a child lost their life. Sad because a grown up allegedly involved his child and another child in a robbery attempt," said Honorable Barry Philips, Wisconsin circuit court 1st judicial administrative district.

CBS58 Milwaukee

Soft-on-crime Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg says there has been an uptick in gun crimes

Embattled Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whom critics have slammed for his soft-on-crime policies, said Monday that his office was urgently addressing a spike in gun crimes. "We know we've seen an uptick in gun crimes and we're working on that every day, working with our law enforcement partners on tracking the guns that are flowing into our communities as people sit from far away and profit off of our pain," he said at a Martin Luther King Jr. event hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in Harlem.

Fox News

Consumer

Apple AirTags could be used to track cops, law enforcement warned

Law enforcement officers in New Jersey are being warned about criminals possibly using Apple AirTags to track them. The NJ State Police confirmed to FOX5NY.com that the warning came from the Office of the Regional Operations & Intelligence Center. The warning stated that Apple "AirTags and similar devices post an inherent threat to law enforcement, as criminals could use them to identify officers' sensitive locations, patterns of life, etc." The information was first reported by Good Morning America.

Fox5 New York

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

Former California correctional officer gets 3-year sentence in cell phone smuggling operation

A former Southern California prison guard has been sentenced in federal court to more than three years in prison for smuggling drugs and cellphones into prison. Anibal Navarro, 43, of Chula Vista will serve 37 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to smuggling methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and cellphones into the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, where he worked.

Sacramento Bee

Judge sentences 'evil personified' for deadly Valley crime spree

With a judge calling him "evil personified," an ex-con was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for taking part in a violent crime spree that included a motorist being fatally shot in Panorama City and a wrong-way freeway crash in which a woman and her three children were injured in Sun Valley. Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter also tacked on an additional 242 years to life in state prison for Artyom Gasparyan, 38, who was convicted last August of more than 30 counts, including a first-degree murder charge stemming from the Dec. 30, 2015, killing of Adan Corea, a 32-year-old father of two who lost control of his vehicle after being shot.

City News Service

California man pleads guilty to felony charge for destroying property during Jan. 6 Capitol breach

A California man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge of destruction of government property for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election. According to court documents, Hunter Ehmke, 21, of Glendora, California, was part of a large crowd gathered about 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 6 outside the Rotunda Door on the East Side of the Capitol building.

Department of Justice Press Release

Sinaloa Cartel operatives sentenced to prison in Southern District of California

A major drug trafficker and money launderer for the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel was sentenced to 188 months in prison for supervising the smuggling of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin from Mexico into the U.S. through Southern California and smuggling drug proceeds back to Mexico. His prison term follows the sentencing of at least 27 others involved in a transnational drug trafficking and money laundering scheme and after a local law enforcement effort last year resulted in the biggest drug bust in southern California history.

The Center Square

Corrections & Parole

San Quentin Prison faces new COVID outbreak, sparking fears of 2020 all over again

San Quentin State Prison was the site of one of the country's worst COVID outbreaks during the early months of the pandemic. More than 2,000 people incarcerated or working at the prison caught the virus in 2020 and 28 people died. Now, as omicron surges across the country, the virus has a new foothold in California's oldest prison. Data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows 65 active cases among the men incarcerated there, and another 87 infections among staff members.

NBC Bay Area

Articles of Interest

LAPD receives first shipment of new FN duty pistols

Firearms manufacturer FN America recently announced its first shipment of FN 509 MRD-LE pistols to the Los Angeles Police Department has been delivered. In August, the LAPD confirmed that it had chosen the FN 509 MRD-LE to be its new duty weapon. According to the release from FN America, this first shipment will be issued to new recruits and instructors at one of the LAPD's training schools. The pistol was selected during "extensive" handgun trials, including a 20,000-round endurance test, the company said.

Police1

Audit rips California's cybersecurity watchdog over lack of oversight

Despite recent high-profile data breaches and years of warnings about lacking cybersecurity systems, California remains woefully behind on ensuring state agencies are protecting critical public information from hackers, a new audit warns. A lack of oversight and transparency continue to plague the California Department of Technology which, according to state auditors, can't confirm whether some of the agencies under its purview are up to date on information security standards.

Courthouse News Service

New evidence reveals that Commissioner Lara and top staff hid communications about meetings with workers' compensation insurer at heart of pay-to-play scandal

Despite attempting to conceal it, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and top lieutenant Bryant Henley communicated with two former lawmakers representing a workers' compensation insurer at the heart of a pay-to-play scandal, according to new evidence in a public records lawsuit brought by Consumer Watchdog. The communications occurred while a high-profile merger and other regulatory matters involving the insurer were pending before the California Department of Insurance.

Consumer Watchdog News Release

Supreme Court hears Jewish heir's appeal for masterpiece seized by Nazis

Paris street scene by Camille Pissarro is subject of a Supreme Court case brought by the Jewish heirs of the painting allegedly stolen during the Holocaust

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard a last-chance appeal from a Jewish family in California seeking to recover an Impressionist masterpiece that was seized by the Nazis in 1939 and has been on display in a Spanish museum since 1993. At issue now after years of litigation, most of it in a Los Angeles court, is whether the dispute should be resolved under the law of California, where the family sued, or the law of Spain, where the painting was sold and displayed.

Tribune News Service

Leaked emails show LA mayor's former chief of staff calling Black Lives Matter 'annoying'

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's former chief of staff told colleagues she found a local Black Lives Matter chapter "annoying," disputed the meaning of "structural racism," and disparaged a newly appointed civilian police commissioner who worked with the activists, according to private emails from 2016 and 2017 obtained by VICE News. Garcetti, whom President Biden recently nominated as ambassador to India, is referenced and copied on several of the emails, although he doesn't participate.

Vice

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