The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

February 2011 Archives

Michael Lallana Convicted of Battery After Putting Semen in Water Bottle

An Orange County man who thought that it would be funny to ejaculate into a co-worker's water bottle on two separate occasions is probably not laughing anymore, now that he has been convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery. According to NBC Los Angeles, a jury found that the defendant Michael Lallana committed the crime for sexual gratification, which will add a sentencing enhancement to the case.

Lallana can now face up to one year in jail when he is sentenced on April 22. A judge can also order Lallana to register as a sex offender in the state of California, which has its own set of legal consequences and various restrictions.

Lindsay Lohan Rejects Plea Deal

It looks like actress Lindsay Lohan and her criminal defense attorney should prepare for a trial, as the celebrity rejected a plea deal with Los Angeles County prosecutors on February 23. MTV.com reports that Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers offered Lohan just six months of jail time in exchange for a guilty plea to a grand theft charge, but that Lohan chose not to accept the bargain.

Lohan can face a maximum sentence of three years in prison with a felony grand theft conviction. The grand theft charge stems from an incident in which the actress allegedly stole a $2,500 necklace from the jeweler Kamofie & Co in Venice, CA. The 24-year-old celebrity, however, claimed that she was just borrowing the jewelry after it was seen around her neck.

Arlon Watson Sentenced to 80 Years to Life in Compton Murder Case

The death of 18-year-old Dannie Farber Jr. in 2009 was tragic for many people in the Compton community, as he was shot just a few weeks before he was about to graduate from Narbonne High School. Perhaps the most devastating thing for the family was that the murder suspect remained at large for eight months after the shooting before he was tracked down by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide detectives in January 2010.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that 22-year-old Arlon Watson was finally convicted and sentenced this week in the case involving Farber's death, almost two years after the fatal shooting in Compton. On Wednesday, Compton Superior Court Judge Eleanor Hunter sentenced Watson to 80 years to life in prison for the first-degree murder conviction. The judge also ordered the defendant to pay more than $17,000 in victim restitution.

Are the Gang Injunctions in Los Angeles Unconstitutional?

The city of Los Angeles has gang injunctions in certain areas that have some controversial provisions. According to The Los Angeles Times, the injunctions have provisions that don’t allow gang members to engage in certain activity, including socializing with one another, going outside after 10:00 p.m., carrying weapons and wearing clothing of a certain color in designated areas. People who don’t comply with the city’s gang injunctions can be arrested and charged.

There are currently 37 active injunctions in Los Angeles involving 57 gangs. The purpose of the injunctions is to curtail gang activity, but a federal lawsuit was recently filed in Los Angeles that argues that the injunctions are too broad and violate individual constitutional rights. Furthermore, critics of injunctions say that there is no adequate process by which people can petition to have their names removed from injunction lists.

Crime at LAX Drops in 2010

You may hear of stories in the media making it sound as if Los Angeles International Airport is a magnet for all sorts of crime, including drug smuggling, theft, celebrity fights, and assault crimes. Yet Focus on Travel News reports that the rate of crime at LAX is remarkably low, given that 59 million people traveled through the space last year.

The total number of crimes at LAX dropped 5.5 percent in 2010 from the number of crimes that occurred in 2009. Los Angeles Airport Police reports show that there were 2,308 incidents in 2010, which is 136 less than the year before.

A Laguna Niguel woman was charged by police after making up an elaborate story about being abducted.

Danielle Rene Deichman recently called the police to report that a man leaped out of some bushes on La Paz Road and grabbed her from behind. She then said that she was able to get away from the attacker by kicking him in the groin. Perhaps this story would be sad and disturbing if it were true.

But the Los Angeles Daily Breeze reports that 20-year-old Deichman later admitted that she made the story up once sheriff's investigators pointed out inconsistencies in the story. Authorities said that Deichman was looking to get media attention when lying about the incident, but perhaps just pretending to be a victim of sexual assault has its consequences.

Judge To Lindsay Lohan: Don't Push Your Luck With Theft Charge

Lindsay Lohan's arraignment lasted for only a few short minutes, but she seems to be in a great deal of legal trouble after allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice Beach jewelry store. MTV.com reports that the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office officially charged Lohan with one count of felony grand theft on February 9. A grand theft conviction in California can reportedly result with up to three years in prison.

The "Mean Girls" star is scheduled to next appear in court on February 23. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz warned Lohan that she could be sent to jail without bail if she violates the law while awaiting trial. At the arraignment, the judge also reminded Lohan that her celebrity status doesn't put her above the law. He said, "You're no different than anyone else, So please, don't push your luck."

How did the miniature poodle mix named Shakira die suddenly in a Whittier yard? Police officers and Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control officers are looking into the dog's death, but they suspect that Shakira may have been hit by a small caliber gun.

KTLA News reports that the dog's owner, who lives in the 11200 block of Gladhill Road, let the pooch out at about 1:00 a.m. on February 3 to take a pee. When the dog did not return to the inside of the house, the owner went outside and reportedly saw that Shakira was on the grass not moving or breathing in the side yard of the home. He also saw blood around the dog.

Lindsay Lohan Accused of Jewlery Theft

Will Lindsay Lohan be able to stay out of legal trouble until the end of this month so that she can get off probation and walk away as a free woman? Or will a judge find that the movie and pop star has violated her probation and send the "Mean Girls" actress to jail? Many legal experts say that the latter is more likely.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Lohan is now being accused of stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jeweler. The alleged theft took place on January 22, but charges will not be filed until detectives are able to complete a criminal investigation. A store video reportedly shows Lohan wearing the necklace just before it went missing from the store in the 1300 block of Abbott Kinney Boulevard.

Minnesota Vikings' Everson Griffen Arrested in LA For Battery

The Minnesota Vikings' fourth round draft pick, Everson Griffen, was apparently arrested in Los Angeles two times in three days. Sounds like the NFL star had an interesting weekend.

FOX News reports that police officers arrested Griffen on Friday night for public drunkenness in Hollywood. The defensive end was released from jail on Saturday morning, but he had to go back to the slammer after allegedly getting in a fight with cops on Monday afternoon. Officers initially cited Griffen on Monday for driving with an invalid license. The football player replied that he "did not want to go back to jail," which led him to flee the scene on foot.

Graffiti at Los Angeles Churchs Prompts Hate Crime Investigation

Authorities have seen graffiti and vandalism at two Rowland Heights churches. KTLA News reports that these vandalism acts have prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to investigate these incidents as hate crimes.

Offensive words, phrases and symbols were scribbled in a Jehovah’s Witness church at 19111 Killian Avenue on Saturday and also at another church located in the 28000 block of Highridge Road in Rolling Hills Estates.