The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

April 2012 Archives

Lakers Big Man Jordan Hill Charged With Felony Assault in TX

Lakers power forward and center Jordan Hill was charged with felony assault of a family member by strangulation today, months after the alleged incident occurred. According to Yahoo! Sports, the incident occurred on February 29 and a police report was filed with the Houston Police Department on March 29. Hill was traded from Houston to Los Angeles on March 15.

The incident allegedly stemmed from an argument about Hill’s future with his girlfriend, reports ABC 13 Houston. His girlfriend stated that she threw his cell phone to the floor. Hill allegedly became enraged, assaulted her, and then placed her in a chokehold when she refused to pick up the phone off the floor. The police have obtained photos from her friend which they say corroborate the story.

LAX's Lax Security - TSA Smuggling Ring

Normally the Transportation Security Administration, or Trained Shoe Analysts, are faulted for going overboard with their searches. A repeat of all of their gaffes would make this an infinitely long post, but let’s suffice it to say that they often take things a little too far with children and the elderly.

This time though, they allegedly didn’t look close enough, reports the Los Angeles Times. Four TSA agents, two of which were still with the agency, were arrested in Los Angeles Thursday for allegedly taking bribes to pass drug smugglers through the Los Angeles International Airport security lines. John Whitfield, Joy White and Caperline McKinney were allegedly led by Naral Richardson, who devised the plan.

Speed Freak Killer Draws Map to Bodies, Unlikely to be Executed

Wesley Shermantine, the remaining member of the duo known as the “Speed Freak Killers,” is giving up even more information from his home on death row, in the form of a hand-drawn map to the bodies, reports the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he gave the location of three bodies, which he and his accomplice, the late Loren Herzog, buried in a well back in the 1980s.

Herzog, when he heard of Shermantine’s plan to give up the locations, hung himself. Shermantine is giving up the information after being paid $33,000 from a bounty hunter. To date, four victims have been identified by name, one remains a Jane Doe, and there could be as many as 72 in total.

Prison Break Star Headed Back to Prison?

Lane Garrison may be headed back to prison, if his ex-girlfriend Ashley Mattingly’s domestic violence allegations are true. TMZ broke the initial allegations, plus subsequent updates, from the girlfriend that Lane Garrison waited outside of her apartment, broke her phone, and slapped her. A surveillance tape of the incident has also been released.

However, Garrison has jabbed back, stating that he did in fact break Mattingly’s phone, but it was a juvenile reaction to her breaking his phone first. He has also stated that the video only shows him grasping for his phone, which she had refused to return to him, according to TMZ.

Simon Cowell's One Night Stand Costs Him... and Her

Simon Cowell has learned the hard way to be careful when bringing, er, “dates” home, reports TMZ. Last October, Cowell hooked up with a woman he met at Drai’s in Hollywood. When he woke up, she was gone.

He was probably okay with her absence, but his computer, containing sensitive information about his show, The X-Factor, and a wallet full of cash were also gone. His security system caught her on camera and the police were eventually able to recover the computer and wallet, sans cash.

Son of Sam Laws, Alexis Niers and the Bling Ring Movie

For those unfamiliar with the constitutionally suspect Son of Sam laws, they prevent those who have committed felonies from profiting off of their crimes. The law was passed in response to a rumored book deal for the Son of Sam serial killer back in the 1970s. Ironically enough, it wasn't applied to him, as he was never convicted due to being mentally unfit to stand trial.

And for those of you unfamiliar with the Bling Ring, it was a group of over-privileged teens who, with the help of a few friends from the hood, managed to rob the homes of some of Hollywood's biggest stars of millions of dollars worth of clothing, watches, and other neat stuff. They were eventually caught and either spent or are spending various amounts of time behind bars.

Family of Kid Shot 90 Times by LAPD is Suing for $120 Mill

Well, that didn't take long. The family of Abdul Arian, the seemingly troubled teen who threatened cops before taking a reported ninety bullets from their guns, is suing the LAPD for $120 million, reports NBC Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the story started long before the chase. Abdul Arian, according to his family, wanted to be a police officer. He attended the LAPD Explorer Academy, but was kicked out for disciplinary reasons. He continued to go to the gym to get into shape for a career in law enforcement and from his family's perspective, there were no warning signs of what was to come.

High Risk/High Rise Burglary Attempt

Police are searching for Tom Cruise an unidentified man who rappelled down the side of a high rise and broke into a condo by prying open the window.

According to KTLA 5, the man swung down the side of the building until he was face to face with the female resident of the condo. He then asked her to let him in. She refused and left the condo. The man then pried the window open to get in. Police arrived to find the damaged windows and 30 feet of rope, but no missing property.

Cuckolded Former LA Sheriff's Deputy On Trial For Torture, Mayhem

Well, that would be one way to get revenge. Clive Owen is still the master of the other, more verbal method, teaching us many new ways to insult a cheating lover.

Former L.A. Sheriff's Deputy Robert A. McClain, an alleged employer of the physical method, faces a slew of charges in his trial, which starts Monday in Santa Ana, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Kim and Khloe Kardashian Take On Road Rage

Kim and Khloe Kardashian have conquered fashion, reality television, and the hearts of Lamar Odom and Kanye West. However, they have not yet conquered Los Angeles traffic.

Earlier this week, Kim and Khloe had a minor incident involving road rage, reports TMZ. A pair of women and one young man in a Mercedes allegedly tried to run Kim and Khloe's SUV off the road. Khloe, who was driving, swerved and blocked the Mercedes in. It is unclear if anything proceeded the reportedly aggressive driving by both parties.

New Centralized Cell Phone Database to Curb Theft?

Good news for all of us with expensive smartphones! According to the Los Angeles Times, it may soon become more difficult for thieves or un-Good Samaritans who find the phones and keep them to actually use them.

The FCC is working with a few major carriers, including Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T to create a database to track stolen cell phones. Presently, each carrier maintains their own database. The problem of cell phone theft is especially acute in the Los Angeles area, as L.A. and Long Beach both made the top ten in cell phone thefts and value of lost cell phones. (Side note: Los Angeles and Long Beach, you really are not separate cities. Please stop pretending. You are mere miles apart, separated only by Compton and Lakewood.)

Woman Can't Buy Beer; Tries to Kill Clerk

Her name is Teresa Aguayo and she has a problem. She is being held on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly raging out on a store clerk over a single 12-ounce beer, reports The Orange County Register.

The scene was reminiscent of Michael Douglass' meltdown in the epic mid-1990s film "Falling Down," where a frustrated middle-aged man wants to buy a coke and the clerk refuses, causing him to grab a baseball bat and destroy the shop and its contents. He then pays $0.50 for the coke and walks out.

Irvine CFO Accused of Embezzlin' Millions From Trustin Technology

Former CFO of Trustin Technology, Joseph Ibrahim, 33, was arrested in New York late last month. He was ordered to be returned to Orange County earlier this week to face federal charges for wire-fraud, reports the Orange County Register.

Ibrahim earned approximately $180,000 per year at his former position, at least on the books. On the side, he was allegedly diverting money into personal accounts for gambling, suits, shoes, trips, and household expenses. In total, he is said to have embezzled more than $16 million.

More 'Speed Freak' Killers' Victims Identified; Third Killer?

Two additional victims of a pair of serial killers that terrorized San Joaquin and Calaveras counties for over a decade, beginning in the mid-1980s, were have been identified, reports the Los Angeles Times. The killers, Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine, were convicted of four murders in 2001, including Cyndi Vanderheiden and Chevelle "Chevy" Wheeler, whose bodies were recently located.

The murderers were named the "Speed Freak" killers due to their affinity for methamphetimes. Herzog was paroled in 2010 after his original convictions were overturned due to a ruling that his confessions were coerced. He committed suicide when he learned that his former partner in crime was going to come clean due to a $33,000 payment from a bounty hunter.

Learn About Dog Laws In Los Angeles

Did you know that you could possibly face criminal charges in Los Angeles if your dog attacks someone?

The most famous example is the 2002 Diane Whipple case, where a 33-year-old lacrosse coach was mauled to death in San Francisco by at least one of her neighbor's dogs. The dogs' owners were convicted of murder after being tried here in Los Angeles.

Though the odds of the Whipple case happening again are slim, it is important to be proactive.

What are the laws in L. A. that protect you, your dog, and your neighbors? Here is some of what you need to know: