The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

Former Employee at Passive Arts Studio Accused of Starting Fire

A 53-year-old man that was fired from the Lennox bondage parlor Passive Arts Studio has been accused of starting a fire. The Los Angeles Times reports that David Edward Albert was booked on suspicion of arson and murder on Tuesday in connection with a blaze that destroyed Passive Arts Studio, located near Los Angeles International Airport at 10914 S. La Cienega Blvd. The man's bail has been set to $1 million.

Arraignment Postponed in Grim Sleeper Case

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. had originally been expected to answer charges against him at an arraignment in a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday, but the hearing has now been postponed until August 23. The Los Angeles Times reports that the suspect has been charged with killing over 10 women over a period spanning more than two decades, with most of the alleged murders occurring in the South Los Angeles area.

Bling Ring Member Alexis Neiers Released From Jail Early

The teenager that was sentenced to six months in jail last May for burglarizing Orlando Bloom's Hollywood Hills home has been released from jail early, according to CBS News. Bling Ring member Alexis Neiers spent just 30 days behind bars at the Regional Detention Facility before her release last Friday.

Yet the 19-year-old isn't completely off the hook for the burglary. The Bling Ring member still has three years of probation to get through and will have to pay a $600,000 worth of restitution for getting out of jail early.

Couple Charged in the Killing of Katsutoshi Tony Takazato

Many people in the Beverly Hills Community are shocked by the fatal stabbing on Tuesday of the son of Japanese filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida. The Los Angeles Times reports that the killing marks only the third homicide that has been reported in Beverly Hills since 2007 and the only homicide to be reported within two miles of the Trousdale neighborhood during this same time period.

Two Men Sentenced in LA Lakers Riot

Mark Hull and Carlos Fuentes are just two of at least 45 people that were arrested outside the Los Angeles Staples Center on June 17, the night the Lakers won the 2010 NBA championship in Game 7. The two men are among the first people to be sentenced for their involvement in the LA Lakers riot.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 20-year-old Mark Hull was arrested after he threw rocks through the window of a business on Olive Street. Carlos Fuentes, 22, was arrested for kicking and breaking the rear lights on a police vehicle. Both men entered a plea of no contest earlier this week to one count of vandalism. They were each sentenced to 12 months of probation and 90 days in jail. A Los Angeles judge also ordered that the two men stay away from the Staples Center for the length of their probation.

Police Search For UC Irvine Rape Suspect

The Los Angeles Times that the Irvine Police Department is looking a rape suspect after a girl claimed that she was a victim of sexual assault in a housing complex less than a mile away from the UC Irvine campus.

Since the incident on July 8, UC Irvine has sent out a campus-wide alert informing students of the sexual assault attack. The 24-year-old victim says that she was attacked by a male intruder after she got out of the shower in her home. Her apartment door was unlocked when the suspect entered the home at the 100 block of Amherst Aisle.

Will the Mel Gibson Tapes Be Considered Admissible Evidence?

The recordings of Mel Gibson's alleged threats to his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva are gaining a great amount of attention, now that the leaked tape recordings have been circulated all over the Internet. But some Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys are questioning if the leaked tape recordings will actually be able to be used as evidence if he is ordered to stand trial.

The audio recordings, which were released through, contain graphic and profane language in which the Russian singer is threatened with violence. It has not been proven that the man making the threats is actually Mel Gibson, but the voice recordings do sound like the actor and Mel Gibson has not yet denied that he said those statements.

Verdict: Johannes Mehserle Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

The Oakland BART officer that was charged with second degree murder for the killing of Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 was instead convicted of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter last week.

CNN reports that the Los Angeles jury's verdict in the Johannes Mehserle trial has brought out a lot of mixed emotions throughout the state of California. On one hand Californians are happy to see that the man will be spending time in prison for his actions, but some people are angry that the man wasn't convicted of the more severe second degree murder charge.

Three People Ordered to Stand Trial in Anna Nicole Smith Case

The trial around the Anna Nicole Smith case just got a bit more complex.

A doctor has been accused of illegally funneling prescription drugs to Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith before her death. While Dr. Sandeep Kapoor has not been charged for causing the celebrity's death, he still faces at least five years in prison if he is convicted of illegally funneling prescription drugs and unlawfully obtaining a prescription by a false name. Many Anna Nicole Smith fans feel that Dr. Sandeep Kapoor is in some ways responsible for the model's death because the woman was reportedly found dead in 2007 in a Florida hotel room due to a drug overdose.

Associated Press reports that the doctor's Los Angeles criminal defense attorney tried to get the two drug charges dropped, but a judge denied the motion to dismiss the charges. Not only is Dr. Sandeep Kapoor facing criminal charges after Anna Nicole Smith's 2007 death, but Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and the model's former lawyer-boyfriend Howard K. Stern have also pleaded not guilty to conspiring to illegally providing sedatives and opiates to the victim. The three defendants have been accused of giving illegal drugs to the former model between June 2004 and February 2007.

Jury Verdict in Johannes Mehserle Case Postponed

While Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys are anxiously waiting to hear the verdict in the racially charged murder trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, it looks like they'll have to wait a little bit longer because the jury deliberations are starting from scratch today.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that jurors in the high-profile murder case deliberated for more than two hours last week without reaching a verdict. Jury deliberations were supposed to resume yesterday, but were postponed because of a sick juror. Another juror is leaving on vacation today, so an alternate will be taking that juror's place and the whole process will have to start over.