The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

Unidentified Teardrop Rapist Still Attacking Women After 16 Years

He has been implicated in up to 35 different sexual assaults. There are 9 composite photos of him, which admittedly vary greatly sketch to sketch. DNA has definitively linked him to 10 of the assaults. He's only about 5'2'' and is in his 40s, reports NBC Los Angeles.

With all of that information, and his diminutive size, he shouldn't be that difficult to identify after 16 years of assaults. Yet, we still have no idea who the Teardrop Rapist is.

Mistrial Declared In Seal Beach Infanticide Case

Trial courts don’t like surprises. Referring to the prosecution’s last minute attempt to sneak medical research into their expert’s testimony as “problematic,” Judge Richard Toohey declared a mistrial in Linda Wilborn’s murder case, reports the Orange County Register.

Public Defender Michael Becker slammed his fist on the table in anger and requested a mistrial in response to the eleventh hour discovery of a medical research article involving torn hearts in infant children. Typically, the prosecution is required to turn over their evidence to the defense in advance of trial. This is done to prevent blind-siding and allow for a fair trial.

'Zoloft Rapist Not Insane', Simply a Rapist

Almost two weeks ago, the 'Zoloft Rapist' was found guilty of raping a waitress that he abducted after she left work. Today, he was found "sane" and will face a lengthy prison sentence, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Former Detective Anthony Nicholas Orban abducted the victim from the parking lot of Dave and Buster's. He then sexually assaulted her in her car at gunpoint. She escaped when he was distracted by a phone call.

Bath Salt Use Leads to Talks With Jesus, Beating of Old Woman

What is it about "bath salts" that makes for incredibly oddball and violent crimes? PCP caused R&B one-hit-wonder Houston to stab his own eye out, but even that dangerous chemical hasn't made the headlines that Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone have. In case you are wondering, those are the three chemical compounds most commonly used in bath salts.

Bath salts first made the news with the Miami Cannibal, then the upstate New York mother that was beating her child until she was tased to death. Now, L.A. finally has its own nasty bath salts crime. Robert William White allegedly beat a 77-year-old woman over the head with a shovel, and then said he was an alien that talks to Jesus, reports the Huffington Post.

Bribery, Weed, and Massage Parlor Hookers: It's 'Politics, Bro'

There are three sure things in life. Death, taxes, and corrupt politicians. Now, three politicians from Cudahy, California have just been arrested for soliciting bribes from an FBI informant, reports NBC Los Angeles.

In Perales' own words, it's "politics, bro."

Death Sentence for Serial Rapist, Murderer

Latece Megale Brown, 41, is headed to death row, reports the Los Angeles Times. Brown was convicted of raping five victims, kidnapping another, and murdering 16-year-old Jacquiese Williams.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the jury deadlocked on a second murder charge. They did, however, convict Brown of raping that victim, deceased mother of three, Aisha High.

Bystander's Video Sparks Investigation into Road Rage Beatdown

As road rage begins and the bass line kicks in, you can feel the beat rising. You can hear the chant fade in ... "Get 'em ... whoop that trick ... get 'em ... whoop that trick ..."

(Or perhaps you don't hear the Hustle and Flow soundtrack when witnessing two road-ragers engage in fisticuffs).

The LAist tells the tale of the warriors. The clash began with two men raising their fists, ready to defend their honor as noble travelers of the 5 Freeway.

Russia to LA Prostitution Ring Busted; Husband, Wife Arrested

A Los Angeles man, his wife, and his ex-wife are all alleged to have been the ringleaders of an international prostitution ring, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. The husband and wife, Mher "Mike" Hakopyan, 38, and Natalya Murayyeva, 31, are in custody and being held without bail. The ex-wife, Alla Kassianova, 43, is believed to have fled the country.

The couple allegedly recruited 14 women from Eastern Europe, coached them on the immigration process, paid for their airfare to the U.S., and provided them with housing once they arrived. They would then place their photos on Internet sites promoting prostitution.

Hooker's Parents Track Pimp Across State, Kill Him

Good thing "we can't blame 'em" isn't exactly a legal defense. The San Francisco District Attorney is charging two parents with murder, after they allegedly gunned down the pimp that controlled their daughter, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to their lawyer, Barry Gilton, 38, and Lupe Mercado, 37, tried to persuade their 17-year-old daughter to come home after seeing her in escort ads. They tried working with law enforcement agencies in Southern California. They even contacted national organizations, in hope that the law would protect their daughter. It didn't. However, their lawyer contends that the couple stopped there.

New CSI Tech Convicts 'Shampoo' Gang Murderer 9 Years Later

There's a common complaint amongst prosecutors surrounding the misperception amongst laypeople that every case must have some magical CSI evidence. Truthfully, most cases don't come down to ballistics, or blood evidence, or a 1mm hair pulled from the deceased's body. Most of the time, convictions are based on good old-fashioned police work.

Once in a while, however, a ground-breaking CSI technique solves a case that even the finest cops would have been unable to crack, reports the Orange County Register.

'Zoloft' Rapist Guilty; Sanity Phase Up Next

Anthony Nicholas Orban claims that he doesn’t remember a thing, reports the Orange County Register. The Iraq War veteran and former Westminster Police Detective was under pharmacological treatment for depression. He claims that he went off of his prescribed Zoloft for a while, and then jumped back on at full dose. The combination of that, and the night’s drinking, led to a break from reality and a gap in his memory.

She remembers it all. The victim was a waitress at Dave and Buster’s. She has just left work when Det. Orban forced his way into her car. He had her drive to an industrial area in Fontana and sexually-assaulted her. At one point, he put his loaded semi-automatic pistol in her mouth. He also punched her with a closed fist and made multiple attempts to choke her.

Did LiLo Lie to Cops, Possess an Open Container?

Last week, TMZ broke the news that Lindsay Lohan was hospitalized after a car accident. She was released shortly thereafter, thankfully suffering only minor injuries.

Since then, what appeared to be a somewhat unremarkable high speed rear-ending has become much more. According to TMZ, her story fluctuated between blaming the truck driver and blaming brake failure on the rented vehicle.

Suspects to Face Trial After Prelim Hearing in Bryan Stow Case

Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, the defendants accused of beating San Francisco Giants Fan Bryan Stow into a coma, were in court today for the preliminary hearing stage of the proceedings, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In California, and in many other states, before a felony criminal trial occurs, a preliminary hearing is required. At the hearing, the judge hears evidence of the defendants' guilt and makes a probable cause determination on whether or not there is sufficient evidence for a jury to possibly find the defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kings Fans Fail to Riot, Only Four Arrests During Finals Game

Isn't hockey is supposed to be a violent sport?

There was no riot following the LA Kings game last night, nor was there any real violence. Things remained tame in the area, much to the relief of the LAPD. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, there were only four arrests in the area around Staples Center before and after the game.

Canada Cannibal Behind Local Beheading? Crowd-Source Investigation

Luka Magnotta could be spending a long time in a prison cell. He is alleged to have killed his lover, dismembered the body, engaged in sex acts upon the dead body, and mailed limbs to Canadian political parties, reports the Daily Mail.

He posted a video of the acts on the internet under the name, "1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick." He was also seen in the video using eating utensils on the body, so cannibalism is suspected as well. He is also linked to a video, entitled "1 boy 2 kittens," where a man with an obscured face kills kittens through suffocation.

What does this have to do with Los Angeles?

Frank McCourt and the Tax Dodgers Under Investigation

You really have to wonder, what would have happened had Frank and Jamie McCourt stayed together?

The whispers of financial improprieties started with the divorce. The Dodgers had been having financial troubles, but it was assumed that the troubles were caused by the real estate bubble crash, as Frank’s business was mostly in real estate.

The divorce documents, however, outlined a pattern of financial improprieties that would almost make Enron blush. A $20 million mansion, his and her beach houses, private jets, and other lavish expenses were all paid for by the team, reports Vanity Fair.