December 2010 News: The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

December 2010 Archives

Diego Bignone Plans To Appeal Conviction

An El Camino College student that attacked a Palos Verdes Peninsula High School student with a beer bottle last March now faces up to four years in prison after being convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon charge. The Los Angeles Daily Breeze reports that 20-year-old Diego Bignone, the defendant, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 19 in Torrance. However, the defendant will likely appeal the case, which could delay the sentencing.

Nathan Lee Parada Pleads Not Guilty To Burglary Of Paris Hilton's Home

A man that was accused of trying to break into Paris Hilton's Los Angeles County home over the summer pleaded not guilty to attempted residential burglary at his arraignment earlier this week, which indicates that the suspect will need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for when the case goes to trial.

KTLA News reports that the suspect Nathan Lee Prada never entered Paris Hilton's home but that he was seen banging on the celebrity's door with two large knives last August. It's still not known how the man was able to get into the gated community in Sherman Oaks and if he was even trying to target Paris Hilton's house.

Los Angeles Murders At 43 Year Low

KTLA News reports that the city of Los Angeles will likely end the year 2010 with less than 300 murders, which would be the first time L.A has had such a low number of murders since the year 1967. As of Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department said that there were 291 homicides for the year, which means that the number of murders in the city will have dropped by about one-third since 2007 if this rate continues.

Three hundred murder cases in a calendar year may seem like a large number, but this number translates to roughly 7.5 killings per 100,000 people. In 1967, the population of Los Angeles was almost 30 percent smaller than it is today. Hence, this year's low murder rate is quite significant.

Nicholas Klopp Arrested For Hate Crime in Ventura

Nicholas Klopp, a 26-year-old resident of Ventura, was arrested after allegedly making a derogatory remark about a man's sexual orientation and then throwing a drinking glass him at Osabi Restaurant. The Ventura County Star reports that the victim was treated for a head wound at Community Memorial Hospital after the alleged attack while Nicholas Klopp was booked at the Ventura County Jail on $30,000 bail.

The suspect in Ventura now faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hate crime. If Nicholas Klopp is formally charged with these crimes, he will likely need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for representation and defense during court proceedings.

Actor Shelley Malil Sentenced to Time in Prison

A San Diego County judge sentenced the "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor Shelley Malil to 12 years to life in prison last week for convictions of premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. The Los Angeles Times reports that Shelley Malil's sentence does include the possibility of parole. The actor would reportedly be eligible for parole in about 10 years.

Some people argue that the actor's sentence is quite lenient for the severe crimes that he was convicted of. We reported in an earlier blog post that Shelley Malil admitted to stabbing his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe more than 20 times with a knife, but said that he did not plan to kill the woman and claimed that he acted in a heat of passion at the time of the incident. Prosecutors in the case said that the victim is lucky to be alive at this point and that most women do not survive such stabbings.

Ricardo Miranda Arrested For Beating Chihuahua

A 30-year-old man was arrested on Monday at Apollo Park in Lancaster for allegedly beating a Chihuahua puppy. KTLA News reports that a deputy saw the suspect Ricardo Miranda chase after the 3-month-old dog, hold it down, and put his weight against the dog. This reportedly caused the puppy to yelp in pain while children were playing nearby.

Police Fatally Shoot Douglas Zerby For Holding Water Nozzle

Police officers killed 35-year old Douglas Zerby of Long Beach on Sunday after receiving a 911 call that the man was sitting on a porch with a small gun in his hand, as stated through the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Yet it turns out that the police officers were mistaken and that Douglas Zerby had no weapon in his hand. The man was reportedly intoxicated and was carrying a garden hose nozzle with a pistol-like grip.

Two Long Beach police officers took aim and opened fire on Douglas Zerby before asking the man to drop the item that was in his hands. The Los Angeles Times reports that the family of Douglas Zerby is now considering taking legal action against the Long Beach Police Department because they say that the police department failed to follow correct procedure when they opened fire.

Police Arrest Vincent Gaston, the Alleged Burbank Flasher

Burbank police officers arrested 51-year-old Vincent Ernest Gaston earlier this week on suspicion of committing lewd acts. The Los Angeles Times reports that the suspect is also known as the "Burbank Flasher" in the area because he allegedly flashed two joggers on Saturday as well as other women in the city of Burbank in recent weeks.

Authorities said that the man in Burbank would whistle toward groups of women in order to get their attention and that he would then expose himself. Vincent Gaston is now being held at the Burbank Jail on $50,000 bail. A press release stated that the man is scheduled to be arraigned in Burbank Superior Court today.

Judge Orders Alexis Neiers to Spend One Year in Rehab

Bling Ring member Alexis Neiers was arrested last week for probation violation and heroin possession, but she is now out of jail after yesterday's hearing. The Los Angeles Times reports that Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza sentenced the 19-year-old convicted thief to one year in the Malibu SOBA Recovery Center. The sentence came after Alexis Neiers' Los Angeles criminal defense attorney argued that his client had a drug addiction and that a residential treatment program would be far more successful than more time behind bars.

Andrew Thomas Gallo's Sentence Delayed in Nick Adenhart Case

Earlier this year, Andrew Thomas Gallo was convicted of second-degree murder, two felony counts of driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury, and one felony count of hit-and-run after a high speed crash that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others in his vehicle. The offender was supposed to be sentenced last week for the criminal convictions, but Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey pushed back the sentencing hearing after Andrew Thomas Gallo's defense attorney requested the delay.

KTLA News reports that the sentencing hearing in this case is now scheduled for December 22, 2010. The defendant faces a sentence of 51 years and eight months to life in prison for the offenses.

Kurtis Blow Caught With Marijuana At LAX

If you're going through airport security this holiday season, it's a good idea to avoid carrying drugs or other illegal substances onto an airplane. Marijuana and other drugs can now easily be found when going through the TSA body scanner or when you're subjected to a pat-down.

The Los Angeles Times reported that rapper Kurtis Blow was cited last week for misdemeanor marijuana possession at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly carrying less than 29 grams of marijuana through an airport security screening. The rapper reportedly wrote on his Twitter account, "What is this bout me being busted for weed at the airport? Not true. Isn't weed legal in California?"

Alexis Neiers Arrested For Probation Violation

The teenager that was convicted of first-degree residential burglary in connection with the burglary of Orlando Bloom's home has been arrested once again, this time on suspicion of probation violation and heroin possession.

KTLA News reports that Alexis Neiers, now 19, was a member of the Hollywood "Bling Ring" and star of the reality television show Pretty Wild. The teenager was sentenced to six months in jail over the summer for her involvement in the series of celebrity burglaries. However, the young woman got out of jail early after reportedly spending just one month at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.

Imperial Stars Charged With Felonies For Blocking Traffic

The Orange County band Imperial Stars that blocked traffic on Highway 101 two months ago for a publicity stunt and impromptu concert is in even more serious trouble than they expected. While the Imperial Stars probably expected to only face misdemeanor charges over the incident, The Los Angeles Times reported that the three band members were charged with felony conspiracy on Tuesday.

Felony conspiracy is punishable with imprisonment in the state prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to California Penal Code Section 182. The three musicians will each need their own Los Angeles criminal defense attorney when they next appear in court to answer to the felony criminal charges.