The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Southland Crime: LA's Top 10 Stories of 2012 (Part II of II)

As promised, we are back to finish recapping the year's biggest Los Angeles crime stories of 2012, as determined by you, our readers.

What's on tap? Much like the Top 5 stories, we've got the Hollywood usual, meaning celebrities, sex scandals, and murder mysteries.

6. The Minka Kelly Sex Tape: Is it Child Porn?

Before Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton created sex tapes, there was... Minka Kelly? Word leaked last July that Kelly had indeed created a sex tape with her boyfriend way back in 1998. That puts the time of creation right around her 18th birthday. She labeled it child porn. Considering the chosen background music, she would only be correct if it was filmed in a 16-day window between the album release and her birthday. If so, and the tape is released, it could mean up to 30 years in prison for the filmmaker and anyone who distributes the video.

7. Former Raider Anthony Smith Charged For 4 Murders; Death Penalty?

We'd say we're surprised, but c'mon... it's the Raiders. The true surprise is that it took investigators 13 years to solve the oldest murder, and nearly as long for the others. He's facing four murder charges and could face the death penalty due to the fact that there were multiple victims and because the murders occurred during robberies.

8. Fred Willard's Hanky Spanky Could Cost Him, But Was it Illegal?

Comedic actor Fred Willard was caught back in July, allegedly masturbating in an adult movie theater. We learned many things from that incident, including that the LAPD trolls porn theaters and that what he was doing might not have even been illegal under the court's interpretation of the law, which requires that it be done in the presence of persons who may be offended. Patrons of porn theater arguably would not be offended by Willard's lonely touch.

9. El Camino High Soccer Player Shot to Death at Winnetka Home

Francisco "Pancho" Rodriguez had barely returned home from a soccer game when a woman knocked at his door. She shot him several times, and then disappeared. Initially, the suspect and motive were a complete mystery, as the victim was well-liked and seemed to be a model student. We outlined the potential murder charge facing the mystery hit woman.

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

Simon Cowell brought a woman home from a club. He awoke to find her, and his computer and wallet, missing. The real issue? The computer contained sensitive information about his reality show, "The X-Factor." Fortunately for him, thanks to surveillance footage, the woman and the computer were recovered, as was his wallet, sans cash. We predicted grand theft charges due to the value of the goods taken.

The City of Angels in a nutshell, right? We hope you enjoyed following our blog this year. For 2013, we're going to predict that there will be speedy trial issues and overcrowded courtrooms after the court system faces more cuts and, let's face it, a lot more celebrity screw-ups.

Related Resources: