The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

May 2011 Archives

Voters May Decide on Circumcision Ban in Santa Monica

Should circumcision be a crime? This is a question that Santa Monica voters may soon be asking themselves.

The proposed ban on circumcision for boys under the age of 18 is already on San Francisco's November ballot, but KTLA now reports that Santa Monica may soon be following San Francisco's footsteps with its own proposed circumcision ban.

The group supporting the "MGM Bill" is pushing for a ballot measure in Santa Monica that would make the act of cutting the foreskin of male genitals on a person under age 18 a misdemeanor crime. The proposed San Francisco measure would make circumcising a boy punishable with a $1,000 find and one year of imprisonment.

Home Detention: Lindsay Lohan's Alternative to Jail

Pop star Lindsay Lohan was ordered to spend 120 days in jail last month for a probation violation that stemmed from a 2007 DUI conviction, but it looks like the actress has once again been able to get off easy and will avoid spending time behind bars.

We all remember that LiLo was sentenced to 90 days in jail last summer for probation violation, but was released early after just 13 days due to jail overcrowding and good behavior. This time around, E! Online reports that Lohan won’t actually have to spend any time behind bars and that the celebrity’s 120 day jail sentence will actually be completed from her own home. Due to the non-violent nature of Lohan’s crime and jail overcrowding in Los Angeles, Lohan is eligible for the county’s home detention program.

Los Angeles Police Arrest Suspect in Bryan Stow Assault

After 6,000 hours of combined work from 20 detectives and a two-month long investigation, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department have finally arrested 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez, who has been identified as the primary suspect in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow.

According to KTLA, Ramirez was booked for assault with a deadly weapon on Sunday morning and is currently being held in police custody on $1 million bail. Police are still looking for two other suspects involved in the assault on Stow, including another man directly involved in the attack and a woman who drove the two suspects away from the scene after the beating.

Burglary Suspect Victor Preciado Dies After Being Shot By Police

A 32-year-old man from Van Nuys died in a hospital on Tuesday, just six days after Los Angeles police officers apparently tried to subdue him in Pacoima with a beanbag shotgun. Since the shooting, an investigation has been launched and it's possible that officers could be facing a civil suit or even face criminal charges over the matter.

The Los Angeles Times reported that officers believed that the suspect, Victor Preciado, was under the influence of narcotics and was holding what appeared to be a knife when they were trying to arrest him on suspicion of burglary. However, this knife-like object turned out to be just a pair of garden shears. Officers ordered Preciado to drop his "weapon" in both English and Spanish, but he reportedly refused to do so.

A 10-year-old child from Riverside has been accused of killing his father, Jeffrey Hall, with a .357 revolver on May 1. According to The Los Angeles Times, the child explained that he was tired of his dad hitting him and his stepmother.

Jeffery Hall's son could be facing criminal charges in this case, but a juvenile court judge has first ordered that the 10-year-old undergo a mental health evaluation. If the boy were to face charges, his case would go through the juvenile court system, which his handled much differently than a typical trial for adults. Meanwhile, the boy's stepmother is now facing criminal charges even though it looks like she had nothing to do with Hall's killing.

Operation Spiderman: Man Sentenced in Tarantula Smuggling Case

A federal judge in Los Angeles sentenced a German man to six months in prison after the defendant, Sven Koppler, pleaded guilty to smuggling hundreds of live tarantulas into the United States through the mail. According to Reuters, Koppler said that he had been breeding 100,000 spiders a year so that he could increase the population of endangered tarantulas.

The investigation of Koppler reportedly began in March, when authorities noticed during a routine inspection that a package containing about 300 live tarantulas was mailed to Los Angeles.

Suspects Arrested in Murder of MTV Coordinator Gabriel Ben-Meir

The murder of 30-year-old MTV music coordinator Gabriel Aron Ben-Meir is still somewhat of a mystery, but Los Angeles authorities have so far arrested three suspects who they believe are linked to the shooting.

According to KTLA News, the suspects have been identified as 26-year-old Jabaar Vincent Thomas, 29-year-old Destiny Young, and 33-year-old Richard Edward Anderson. Thomas and Young have both been charged with murder, while Anderson has been charged with robbery. Police said that they were able to identify the suspects through witness statements and other evidence that has not been disclosed.

Lindsay Lohan Pleads No Contest in Jewelry Theft Case

While actress Lindsay Lohan still claims that she never took anything from a Venice jeweler intentionally earlier this year, she entered a no contest plea to a misdemeanor theft charge on Wednesday morning. The Los Angeles Times reports that the actress didn't even have to show up to court to plead no contest. Instead, Lohan's criminal defense attorney appeared at the LAX Airport Courthouse to enter the plea on her behalf.

Once again, it looks like Lohan has managed to avoid more jail time for her criminal behavior with this case. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner put Lohan on three years of probation and ordered her to attend shoplifting counseling for the theft conviction.

DNA Evidence Links Suspect to Dog Killings

A San Diego woman was devastated after discovering that her three dogs had been beaten to death last year by an unknown person. Yet it looks like the mystery of the dead dogs is finally coming to a close after DNA evidence was found underneath one of the dog’s nails.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Patrick Caleb Land has been accused of killing the white Shepherd mix, great Pyrenees and golden retriever mix, and a black-and-tan mixed breed after a brutal beating. Land, who was the then-boyfriend of the dogs’ owners, is now facing felony charges and being held in San Diego County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

The 60-year-old man accused of setting off the explosion in a Santa Monica Chabad House now faces a four-count indictment that could send him to prison for up to 70 years if convicted of the charges. Reuters reports that the defendant, Ron Hirsch, had been put on a nationwide alert before he was arrested in Ohio on April 12.

The explosion outside of a local headquarters of the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch sect had a gash in the roof after the explosion. This certainly caused a bit of scare in the Jewish community of the Los Angeles area. Apparently, authorities were also able to recover duct tape, metal rods and three empty bags of demolition chemicals at the scene of the crime.

Andy Dick Arrested For Public Intoxication at Marie Callender's

Perhaps it's best to just stick with the ordering pie at Marie Callender's and avoid pounding down drinks at the restaurant's bar. KTLA News reports that comedian Andy Dick was arrested at the eatery on Monday night after somebody called Riverside County authorities to report an "intoxicated male subject who was causing a disturbance inside the restaurant."

Riverside County deputies arrived at the Marie Callender's restaurant on Rancho California Road in Temecula and found that the television star was not only intoxicated, but was also unable to care for his own safety. Hence, authorities booked Andy Dick on suspicion of public intoxication.