The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

November 2010 Archives

Teacher at Hillcrest Christian School Arrested For Sex Crime

A 51-year-old teacher at Hillcrest Christian School in Granada Hills was arrested last week for allegedly having sex with an underage female student. The Los Angeles Times reports that authorities are now looking to see if there are other teenage victims in this case.

The high school teacher Mark Stephen Hubbard taught at Hillcrest Christian School for eight years and had the position as a health teacher, athletic director and assistant boys' basketball and baseball coach. The teacher has been accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with at least one female student since the beginning of this school year.

Mark Stephen Hubbard was arrested on Sunday November 21 on suspicion of multiple sex crimes. The teacher was released from jail on $100,000 bail, but is now on leave with Hillcrest Christian School until police and the school finish investigating the sex scandal.

Jimmy Alfred Walker Charged With Hate Crime

A Barstow police officer that allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old man and 31-year-old woman in Hesperia last August has been charged with one misdemeanor count of violating the man's civil rights, two counts of battery and one count of disturbing the peace. KTLA News reports that the suspect, Jimmy Alfred Walker, is scheduled to appear in a Victorville court on December 13 to respond to the criminal charges.

Jimmy Alfred Walker's charges fall under a hate crime statute. The Victorville man has been accused of using a racial slur at the time of assaulting the two victims. KTLA News did not say what the race of the victims was, but Jimmy Alfred Walker was arrested after the incident by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies. The suspect was also placed on "off-duty" status by the Barstow Police Department and ordered to stay at home during the hate crime investigation.

13 People Arrested At UC Protest Over Student Fees

Hundreds of protesters gathered at UC San Francisco on Wednesday to protest a proposed increase in annual undergraduate fees by $822 at the University of California institutions. Yet with 13 people arrested at the UCSF campus, some would say that the protest got a bit out of control.

The Los Angeles Times reports that thirteen people were arrested at the protest and that a police officer pointed a service gun at demonstraters, but that no shots were fired. Officials stated that the officer pulled out the gun after he was hit on the head with his own baton. Twelve out of the 13 people arrested at the protest face misdemeanor charges. One student from UC Merced is facing an assault with a deadly weapon charge, a felony crime, for allegedly hitting the police officer with the baton.

Betty Sugiyama Dies After Being Pushed onto Little Tokyo Train Tracks

Jackkqueline Pogue allegedly pushed an 84-year-old woman onto the tracks at the Metro station in Little Tokyo on Sunday, killing the elderly woman with witnesses nearby. The Associated Press reported that Jackkqueline Pogue, who is homeless, was arrested on the platform a short time later after the incident.

Will Circumcision Become a Crime?

Lloyd Schofield of San Francisco is trying to get an initiative on an upcoming city ballot to make the act of circumcision a crime. KTLA News reports that the proposed San Francisco measure would “make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18.” More than 7,100 signatures in San Francisco must now be collected by April 26, 2011 to get the circumcision ban on next year’s ballot.

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Your Probation?

With many misdemeanor crimes and even some felonies, the defendant will likely be sentenced to probation as part of his or her punishment. According to FindLaw, probation is essentially the suspension of a jail sentence that allows a person convicted of a crime a chance to remain in the community instead of going to jail. Probation can also be part of a sentence after a defendant has served his or her jail sentence. The convicted person must comply with the terms of his or her probation in order to avoid going to jail. Typical conditions of probation might include: performing community service, meeting with your probation officer, refraining from using illegal drugs or excessive alcohol, attending drug education classes and appearing in court during requested times.

Moran Biton Charged With Misdemeanor in Deadly Hit-and Run

An 18-year-old woman that hit a Notre Dame High School student and allegedly failed to stop right away is now facing a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge, according to the Los Angeles Times. But wait, aren't fatal hit-and-run suspects usually charged with felonies and shouldn't such suspects face manslaughter charges as well?

This case might be an exception to such standards. The Los Angeles city attorney's office said that felony charges would not be filed against the suspect Moran Biton because the woman did contact police officers about the case and did not conceal any details from authorities. Apparently, the woman drove away from the accident that killed 16-year-old Conor Lynch, but stopped four blocks away from the scene to tell a police officer in the area, "I think I hit someone." For this reason, some Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys might argue that Moran Biton shouldn't face any criminal charges at all.

Johannes Mehserle Gets Two Years in Prison For BART Shooting

Ex-BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle could have spent as much as 14 years in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. However, SF Gate reports that the former officer will spend only two years behind bars, which is the minimum prison sentence for such an offense.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced Johannes Mehserle last week to the prison term last week. The minimum sentence has caused a great deal of anger across the state of California, because many people do not believe that the BART officer really confused his pistol for a Taser and believe that the involuntary manslaughter conviction should really be a greater offense, such as voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder.

Proposition 19 Defeated, Californians Look To 2012

Californians voted against the legalization of marijuana with Proposition 19 on Tuesday, which had the potential to raise billions of dollars for the state in sales taxes of the substance. It turns out that only 46 percent of state voters voted in favor of Proposition 19, but that this isn't stopping marijuana legalization activists from giving up on a law that would legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana.

The Oakland Tribune reports that those in favor of marijuana legalization are looking to get another legalization initiative on the ballot in 2012. Several other states are also looking to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana in 2012, including Colorado, which has a group in Boulder that launched

San Diego Beating Could Be Investigated As Hate Crime

A gay man that was beaten unconscious in a San Diego alley on Halloween believes that the attack was a hate crime. KTLA News reports that San Diego police officers are still trying to find suspects that are linked to the case.

The victim, Jacob Harshbarger, is openly gay and was reportedly wearing a graphic shirt that clearly identified him as a gay man. He says that he was attacked by at least three men and two women in a white car. The victim said that he clearly remembers being called a "faggot" and a "homo" when being attacked.

Rancho Dominguez Ranked No. 1 City In L.A. County For Property Crime

According to data compiled by the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the city of Rancho Dominguez has the most property crimes per capita in Los Angeles County. The crime map through the Los Angeles Times shows that Rancho Dominguez has about 483 property crimes per 10,000 people and 566.2 crimes per 10,000 people when all types of crimes are considered.