April 2010 News: The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

April 2010 Archives

Student Attacked at CSU Long Beach in Transgender Hate Crime

A transgender graduate student, who claims to be the victim of a recent transgender hate crime at CSU Long Beach, spoke about his experience at a campus rally yesterday. He says that an attacker shoved him into a university bathroom stall and carved the word "it" into his chest.

With such a hateful act, hundreds of people marched for tolerance after hearing Colle Carpenter's hate crime story. CBS News reports that at the victim revealed more information about the crime, which had occurred on April 15. After the incident, the attacker fled the scene and police have so far not been able to arrest anybody in connection with the incident. Anybody who has information about the crime is encouraged to call Det. Leyva at (562) 985-4101.

Man Sentenced For Homeless Attack and Death of John McGraham

Ben Martin was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday for a homeless attack resulted in the death of a homeless man in the Mid-Wilshire area. At the defense's request, the judge recommended to the state Department of Corrections that the man be sent to a prison in the Riverside County area, where his family lives.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the homeless man, John McGraham, suffered a violent death when he was attacked and then set on fire with an emergency flare back in 2008. Apparently, Ben Martin really hated homeless people.

UFC Fighter Tito Ortiz Arrested For Beating Up Jenna Jameson

UFC fighter Tito Ortiz has was arrested in his Huntington Beach home on suspicion of domestic violence yesterday, after he alleged hit his porn star girlfriend Jenna Jameson. KTLA News reports that Huntington Beach police came to the home after Jenna Jameson's father reported a "domestic disturbance."

It may not be too surprising that Jenna Jameson had visible injuries after she was allegedly attacked by the 6-foot-3, 205-pound former light heavyweight champ of the UFC. The porn star has a fragile, 5-foot-7, 110-pound body.

Judge Dismisses Battery Case at Bob Hope Airport

A Glendale judge agreed to throw out a misdemeanor battery charge against a 58-year-old woman, who had been accused of hitting an airport security agent at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Glendale News Press reports that the suspect, Nadine Kay Hays, denied striking the agent and said that the security measures of the airport were out of line.

Nadine Kay Hays was traveling with her 93-year-old mother to Nashville, Tennessee when the incident occurred. She alleges that security workers tried to take a cooler that contained her mother's applesauce, cheese and milk, but that her mother needed those items during the flight for medical reasons. Nadine Kay Hays' Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Mary Frances Prevost, asserted that airline agencies are supposed to permit liquids on flights to people with medical conditions and disabilities, as long as they declare everything of more than 3 ounces to agents.

Heather Locklear Arrested For Hit-and-Run

Television actress Heather Locklear was arrested last Saturday for leaving the scene of a car accident in Westlake Village. KTLA News reports that the woman was just cited with a misdemeanor traffic ticket and was not taken into custody after the incident. It's not clear whether the actress will have a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney representing her with the case, but Heather Locklear is scheduled to appear in the Simi Valley court on May 17.

"She was not handcuffed, not put in a police car, not driven anywhere and not given a booking photo." Capt. Ross Bonifiglio of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told KTLA.

John Gardner Pleads Guilty to Murder Charges

John Albert Gardner III surprised many Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys and San Diego community members by pleading guilty to the murders of 17-year-old Chelsea King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois in what was supposed to be a routine status hearing. Up until the status hearing last week, KTLA reported that John Gardner was only a suspect in the case that involved the death of Amber Dubois.

The man's guilty plea comes after a plea deal was established with the San Diego county district attorney's office. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, John Gardner agreed to plea guilty so that he could avoid the death penalty and instead receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The man is scheduled to be sentenced for the murders of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois on June 1.

Police Catch UCLA Sex Prowler in the Act

Many students at UCLA have been worried by the series of sexual assault attacks that have occurred over the last month, but ABC News reports that campus police officers were finally able to arrest a man in connection to the incidents.

Police say that they were actually able to catch a man in the act of committing sexual assault. The victim may have been his seventh victim. There had been at least six reported attacks in UCLA's Westwood area from March 8 to April 7.

Alexander Moy Busted For Alleged Pot Cultivation

A San Marino man was arrested for alleged pot cultivation on Monday after police obtained a search warrant to enter the man's home. Authorities say that they found more than 700 marijuana plants in different stages of cultivation, along with commercial lighting and temperature control devices.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the suspect, Alexander Moy, is being held on $50,000 bail. It was neighbors of Alexander Moy that initially reported their suspicions to police about a townhouse on the 10900 block of Basye Street. Neighbors said that they saw people coming and going at all hours of the night from the house and that the house had blackened-out windows.

Chelsea King's Death Could Lead to New Sex Offender Laws

Some state lawmakers are proposing longer prison sentences and more time on parole for those who have been convicted of sex crimes against minors. The Los Angeles Times reports that the proposed law is in response to the murder of Chelsea King of Poway, who was allegedly raped and killed by John Albert Gardner III. The man was on parole when he allegedly murdered the girl. He had previously served five years in prison for child molestation.

Chelsea's Law, which has been proposed by Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, would establish a new penalty of a life sentence without the possibility of parole for forcible sex crimes against those younger than 18 when there are aggravating circumstances involved. Aggravated circumstances would include torture and "kidnapping that substantially increases risk of harm to the victim."

Conrad Murray Has Preliminary Hearing Scheduled For June 14

Dr. Conrad Murray appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, where he was greeted by some not-so-nice Michael Jackson fans. The Los Angeles Times reports that fans sang the song "We are the World" and carried placecards demanding stronger charges against Dr. Conrad Murray, who has been accused of killing the pop star. The doctor has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is considered to be the least severe of homicide charges available to prosecutors.

Inside the courtroom on Monday, Judge Michael Pastor ordered the doctor to return to court on June 14 for a preliminary hearing. A the preliminary hearing, the judge will determine if there is enough evidence to require the doctor to stand trial.

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder of Pasadena Art Professor

Steven Ronald Honma, a 54-year-old Westlake Village resident, has been accused of killing a popular Pasadena art professor, but the man pleaded not guilty to a murder charge on Tuesday in a Van Nuys courtroom.

The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys that are representing Steven Honma say that the man was defending himself when he allegedly killed Professor Norman Schureman, according to the Los Angeles Times. FindLaw states that when defending a client against a criminal charge, criminal defense attorneys often use the self-defense tactic. This is because a person accused of a violent crime will not be found guilty if he establishes that he or she was justified in using the force involved.

Authorities say that Steven Honma shot Professor Norman Schureman in the upper torso after a fight broke out. The professor died the next day at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood from the wound. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys say that Steven Honma was also hospitalized with head wounds and internal injuries.

Animal Cruelty Case: Glynn Johnson Gets 90 Days in Jail

Glynn Johnson, a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief, is hated by many animal lovers in the Riverside community because of his criminal case. His criminal case involves beating a puppy. The Los Angeles Times reports that the man was recently sentenced to 90 weekend days in jail and three years' probation for felony animal cruelty charges. The court also ordered Mr. Johnson to do 400 hours of community service with dogs and take anger management classes.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Johnson killed a 6-month-old Shepherd mix by beating the dog with a 12-pound rock. It was reported that the dog belonged to his neighbors and that he was upset with the pet's noise and neighborhood disturbance. The case has gotten the attention of many animal rights activists in the community. Protesters had rallied in front of the district attorney's office to prosecute Mr. Johnson in the weeks that led up to his arrest.

Burglary Ring Busted by LAPD

Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department recently arrested three members of an alleged San Fernando Valley burglary ring, according to the Los Angeles Times. Authorities believe the suspects have been involved in a string of break-ins that have together netted several million dollars worth of electronics, jewelry, and other luxury items.

The alleged burglars have been identified as Steven C. Miller, 40, and 35-year-olds Karisa Kay and Kristina Kay, who are reported to be twins. Even Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys might be amazed by some of their reported burglary tactics.