Los Angeles District Attorney

Mexican Mafia member who killed deputy to stay in prison after judge rules evidence wasn't withheld

A member of the Mexican Mafia who was sentenced to death for the 1979 killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy will remain in prison after a judge on Tuesday rejected claims that information was withheld from the defense during the original trial. Jesse Gonzalez fatally shot Deputy Jack Williams as deputies executed a search warrant for drugs at a home in La Puente.


Qualified immunity does not apply where officer shot after suspect reached for gun

A police officer who fired twice at a suspect moments after the man reached with his right hand into the left breast pocket of his trench coat, with the butt of a gun being visible, was not entitled to qualified immunity in an action alleging excessive force, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held, over a dissent. 

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

City might be liable for injuries from house exploding

Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has reinstated an action against a city by a worker who was injured when a home exploded, holding that emergency immunity could be overcome if a jury were to find that firefighters were grossly negligent in failing to clear the area once a natural gas leak had been detected. The worker, Anthony Borel, was at the home, in Riverside County’s City of Murrieta, on July 15, 2019, to install a solar panel on the roof.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

House was ‘inhabited’ because defendant lived there at time of arson, C.A. says

The First District Court of Appeal yesterday rejected the contention of a man convicted of the arson of an inhabited dwelling - his own home - that he’s entitled to a reversal because the prosecution failed to show an intent on his part to reside there after the fire. Justice Jeremy M. Goldman of Div. Four authored the opinion which affirms the conviction of Jordan Buckner.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Oral argument suggests narrow ruling to uphold disputed tax

The Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared likely to reject a challenge to the constitutionality of a provision of a 2017 corporate tax reform law that taxes the undistributed profits from U.S. shares of foreign corporations that are majority American owned.


Supreme Court leans toward allowing sex discrimination suit from St Louis police officer 

A St. Louis police officer seemed to convince the Supreme Court on Wednesday that she should be able to bring a sex discrimination lawsuit against her department transferring her to another unit based on her sex. “We've recognized over and over again that discrimination itself can profoundly injure people, just the fact itself that you're being treated differently from somebody else based on your race, based on your sex,” Justice Elena Kagan said. 

Courthouse News Service

Federal judge says Trump does not have absolute immunity, denying bid to dismiss election subversion case

The federal judge presiding over Donald Trump’s election subversion case in Washington, DC, has refused to dismiss the charges against the former president, saying he does not enjoy absolute immunity for what he said and did after the 2020 election. “The court cannot conclude that our Constitution cloaks former Presidents with absolute immunity for any federal crimes they committed while in office,” US District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote.



Tubbs 2.0? Will Gascon charge alleged serial molester as an adult?

Rudy Paz is now 25 years old and he is facing a slew of child molestation charges, including allegations he molested boys as young as four years old. But Rudy Paz - if found guilty - may see his sentence capped at two years and never have to register as a sex offender. Why? Because he’s from Los Angeles and George Gascon is the county’s District Attorney.

California Globe

Man charged in 4 murders recently received $700,000 windfall

The man charged Monday with the serial murders of three homeless men around Los Angeles, and the follow-home robbery and murder of an LA County employee in San Dimas, was the recipient of a $700,000 personal injury payment in recent months, court records and city officials confirmed. Jerrid Powell, 33, received final approval for the payment in June by the Santa Monica City Council, after he sued following a 2019 accident, in which he said he was severely injured after being run-over by a city beach patrol vehicle.


Prosecutors drop charges in ‘ghost gun’ case linked to LAPD gang unit scandal

Los Angeles County prosecutors have dismissed a gun possession charge against a man who was stopped by police officers from a scandal-plagued gang unit within the LAPD’s Mission Division, one of the first instances of a case being compromised by the department’s latest corruption scandal.

Los Angeles Times

California gang member, a convicted felon, goes on shooting rampage, killing 3, while on probation

A convicted felon who was out on probation when he allegedly killed three people, including his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend, all on the same day, has been charged with multiple counts of murder following the violent shooting spree, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. Authorities identified the suspect as 41-year-old Louis Peter Hernandez, also known as “Wicked."


Los Angeles-to-Baltimore drug pipeline behind triple homicide in Porter Ranch, prosecutors say

Travis Reid was frustrated. Three packages of cash the Baltimore drug dealer had mailed to his cocaine supplier in Los Angeles had gone missing. Out $377,000, Reid thought the supplier, Gary Davidson, was cheating him. “I was playing fair with y’all,” one of Reid’s associates recalled him saying. Davidson, the associate added, “wasn’t playing fair.”

Los Angeles Times

OC ‘face, body and breast sculptor’ known as ‘Dr. Laguna’ faces accusations of botched procedures, negligence

An Orange County plastic surgeon who dubbed himself “Dr. Laguna” is under fire from dozens of former patients and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office amid claims of horribly botched procedures, medical negligence and a brief suspension of his medical license following the death of a patient. The chief of the plastic surgery department at a south Orange County hospital calls Dr. Arian Mowlavi “a danger to the community.”

Orange County Register

Hunter Biden hit with 9 tax-related charges in new indictment

Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax-related charges, including three felony counts, according to documents filed Thursday in a federal court in Los Angeles. The 56-page filing laid out a series of charges, including allegations that the president’s son failed to pay taxes, failed to file, evaded an assessment and filed a fraudulent form. The indictment says that “rather than pay his taxes, the Defendant spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle.”

NBC News


Judicial candidate to challenge ballot designation of rival

Deputy District Attorney Sam Abourched, a candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 97, an open seat, is planning to file a writ petition this morning challenging the ballot designation of a rival in the race, La Shae Henderson. The website of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office reflects the acceptance by that office of Henerson’s designation as a deputy public defender. 

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

City leaders demand freeze of no-cash bail in LA County as crime spikes

This week, mayors and city leaders from a coalition of 29 cities in Los Angeles County gathered for a roundtable discussion to evaluate the impact of no-cash bail on local communities. In response to concerns, the leaders are advocating for a freeze on the program and a thorough examination before considering smart bail reform. No-cash bail, also known as pre-arraignment release protocols, prohibits the requirement of money bail before arraignment for most misdemeanors and certain felonies.


Supreme Court tosses disability tester case

The Supreme Court turned down an opportunity to limit the possibility of bringing disability lawsuits on Tuesday, after a woman who has sued more than 600 hotels dropped her pending case. Disability testers like Deborah Laufer seek out businesses to check their compliance with accommodations required under the Americans for Disabilities Act, without the intention of using their services.

Courthouse News Service

Biden admin urges court to allow graphic warning labels for cigarettes

The Biden administration on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to let a regulation requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements take effect, a year after it was blocked by a lower court in response to a challenge by tobacco companies.


Despite success, law enforcement cameras and license plate readers incite debate in Beverly Hills

A series of cameras and license plate readers placed throughout Beverly Hills has incited some debate amongst community members, despite their use in solving a number of prolific crimes in recent years. The system, which is called the Real Time Watch Center, includes around 2,400 cameras throughout the city, as well as 50 license plate readers that are placed in "strategic locations,"according to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook. 

CBS News

California crime rise sparks reckoning for district attorneys

Anti-crime activists are trying to recall progressive district attorneys in California, amid rising concerns about street crime. One Los Angeles-based former prosecutor told Newsweek that DA staff have become demoralized by policies that put repeat offenders back on the streets without having to post bail. Viral videos of thieves openly looting California stores has added to the sense of outrage.


'It's getting kind of scary': Calif. sheriff says deputy shortage is reaching dangerous levels

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said “it’s getting kind of scary” regarding the challenges that the sheriff’s office is facing with the pressing need for more deputies. “Ringing the alarm,” Warnke provided the update on staffing and operations during the Merced County Board of Supervisors meeting in Merced on Tuesday.

Merced Sun-Star

DA's Race

Gascón draws 11 challengers as LA County candidate filing concludes for most offices in March vote

The filing period concluded on Friday, Dec. 8, for most county, state and federal offices in Los Angeles County for the March 5 primary election, with District Attorney George Gascón drawing 11 potential challengers. The field includes Maria Ramirez, the head deputy district attorney; supervising district attorney John McKinney; and prosecutors Jonathan Hatami, Lloyd “Bobcat” Masson and Eric Siddall, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

City News Service

A confounding endorsement by SCV Democrats

The Santa Clarita Valley was, not all that long ago, considered to be solid red. As in, the politics of its residents were solidly conservative. That’s changed over the past couple of decades, to the point where now the valley - and the legislative districts that include it - can be fairly described as “purple.” As in, not solid red. But not solid blue, either. So, there are many issues upon which honest SCV residents will disagree. And that’s OK. 

The Signal

Gascón’s audacious bid to overturn cop killer’s conviction foiled

In the previous article, I brought to the public’s attention a covert plan orchestrated by Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón aimed at securing the release of a convicted cop killer and prominent figure within the Mexican Mafia from state prison. Earlier this week, in response to tenacious reporting that exposed the activities of Gascón and his inner circle, the District Attorney belatedly said he wanted to keep that murderer locked up.


Campaign 2024: The race for Los Angeles District Attorney

In 2024 there will be several critical races for voters to consider with the office of LA County District Attorney the most interesting of all. Incumbent George Gascon, the controversial incumbent has weathered two unsuccessful recall attempts as a plethora of candidates have entered the race. The first candidate I interviewed was Jonathan Hatami, a former US Army Prosecutor who currently serves in the DA’s office.


Los Angeles City/County

City crews clear RVs, encampments from stretch of Forest Lawn Drive in Hollywood Hills

As part of a massive cleanup operation Wednesday afternoon, city crews and tow trucks removed RVs and makeshift vehicle encampments that were parked along a 2-mile stretch of Forest Lawn Drive in Hollywood Hills. Multiple RVs, some of them inoperable, have been parked on Forest Lawn Drive for years. Wednesday's operation was part of the city's Inside Safe program, aimed at helping homeless people into housing.


Registrar-Recorder’s office fouls up - yet again

Election year after election year, the Office of Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder displays utter incompetence in determining what proposed ballot designations comply with the law. This year is no exception. La Shae Henderson - a member of a trio of judicial candidates known as the “Defenders of Justice” - is a criminal defense lawyer. She was, until Dec. 31, a deputy public defender. Her ballot designation, as it stands, is “Deputy Public Defender.” That’s a falsehood.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LAPD officer sues former assistant chief accused of monitoring her with AirTag

A female LAPD officer who accused former assistant chief Alfred “Al” Labrada of unlawfully tracking her has filed a legal claim alleging department leadership failed to shield her from backlash, both inside the department and on social media. The officer, Dawn Silva, said in a government claim filed Tuesday that her decision to report Labrada unleashed a torrent of abuse from his defenders, who she claims have continued to contact her privately since an Oct. 7 press conference in which Labrada publicly dismissed the allegations.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy drops second retaliation suit

As he awaits a hearing on whether he is entitled to more than $52,000 in trial legal costs stemming from his first retaliation lawsuit against his employer, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has dropped a second lawsuit he filed claiming an ongoing backlash existed.


Number of LAPD officers still below goal (Video)

A closer look at the Los Angeles Police Department’s staffing shows it’s still below Mayor Karen Bass’ goal. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Dec. 7, 2023. 



California sheriffs travel to border - are alarmed and appalled at what they saw

“The border is closed; the border is secure.” This is one of the most flagrant statements of the 21st Century, spoken by Biden Administration Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz two years ago. No one believed it then and no one believes it now. Because on January 21, 2021, day one of his presidency, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden ordered the border wall construction halted, and dismantled.

California Globe

College presidents under fire after dodging questions about antisemitism 

Support for the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and M.I.T. eroded quickly on Wednesday, after they seemed to evade what seemed like a rather simple question during a contentious congressional hearing: Would they discipline students calling for the genocide of Jews? Their lawyerly replies to that question and others during a four-hour hearing drew incredulous responses.

New York Times

Harvard alums make $1 donations to protest school's handling of Israel protests, antisemitism claims

Tally Zingher earned three degrees at Harvard University and served as a workhorse volunteer, calling friends and raising money from her undergraduate class. Now, with her 25th year college reunion approaching, she’s done - dismayed over her alma mater’s “failure of moral leadership” in its handling of a campus crisis since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, including reports of widespread antisemitism. 


Here are 16 new laws Californians must start following in 2024

Lawmakers in Sacramento pass plenty of complex, arcane measures every year that can be hard to wrap your head around. But they also pass laws that can have a pretty direct impact on everyday Californians’ lives, including some coming online in 2024 that could affect your commute, your annual camping trip or your paycheck. Here are 16 new laws that will kick in next year, beginning with the ones that go into effect on Jan. 1.

San Francisco Chronicle

California Assembly has a new public safety committee leader. What are his crime priorities?

California Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, appointed last week as the public safety committee’s first new leader in seven years, vowed to champion bipartisanship when funneling bills through the powerful panel increasingly scrutinized by voters who rank crime as a top concern. The Sacramento Democrat referenced his track record when promising balanced solutions to divisive criminal justice issues.

Sacramento Bee

Defying presidents and Congress, the ATF, DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshals shroud shootings in secrecy

During an early Friday dinner rush in 2020, shots rang out as teen workers at a Texas Roadhouse outside Detroit took to-go orders to customers in the parking lot. Bullets whizzed overhead as people ducked for cover, witnesses said. Stray rounds hit parked vehicles, a restaurant window and a wall, photos show. Earlier that day, FBI agents had decided to arrest a man suspected of having ties to a domestic extremist group on federal weapons charges outside the steakhouse.

NBC News

US charges Russian soldiers with war crimes against an American in Ukraine

Four Russian soldiers have been charged with war crimes against an American who was living in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, according to a historic indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Virginia. The case against the Russian soldiers marks the first time the US government has used a decades-old law aimed to prosecute those who commit war crimes against American citizens.



Homeless serial murders investigation expands beyond Southern California

Detectives investigating the serial murders of three homeless men in Los Angeles are now examining unsolved murders in areas outside of Southern California, in case there is evidence that the man charged with the LA killings could be responsible, Los Angeles' police chief said Tuesday. "The department is also working across the United States, working with our federal partners, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, to identify this gunman's actions," said Chief Michel Moore.


Granada Hills homeowner shoots, kills burglary suspect, police say

A Granada Hills man shot and killed a suspected burglar inside his home early Saturday morning, police said. The dead man, who was not immediately identified, was one of four people accused of breaking into a residence in the 11000 block of Swinton Avenue around 5 a.m., according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Kelly Muniz.

Los Angeles Times

Violent crime spike has L.A. police chief concerned

While there appears to have been a reduction in all categories of violent crime in Los Angeles, Police Chief Michel Moore expressed serious concern earlier this week about the number of recent shootings and homicides. Moore’s comments came during the Dec. 5 meeting of the L.A. Board of Police Commissioners, the civilian-run body that oversees the department.  


This is the safest of California’s 16 largest counties

With a 59% decrease in the overall crime rate over the last 28 years, according to a recent report, Ventura County has been named the safest large county in all of California. The 2023 State of the Region Report, which used data compiled by the California Department of Justice, measured crimes reported per 1,000 residents in the state’s 16 largest counties along with the crime rate over time.


REI's departure from Santa Monica due to crime according to local business group

REI announced last week that it is closing its location in downtown Santa Monica. The store replaced the previous tenant, Toys 'R Us, in 2006 at the two-story location at Santa Monica Boulevard and 4th Street. The Santa Monica REI location will close on February 29 of next year. Statements from the company about the reason for the store closure vaguely refer to "the positive impact of the store, our market presence, and external factors" as reasons for the departure.

Santa Monica Observer

Newport Beach business plants Apple AirTags in merchandise, nabs suspected thief

A Newport Beach nursery used AirTag trackers to catch an alleged thief accused of stealing thousands of dollars in goods over several weeks. Surveillance footage from Roger's Gardens on Oct. 12 captured footage of the suspect filling up a shopping cart with potted plants and trees, loading them into a truck and driving off.



Hollywood marriage and sex therapist's ex-boyfriend sentenced to life in prison for her death

The ex-boyfriend of a well-known marriage and sex therapist was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the woman's deadly plunge from the third-floor balcony of her Hollywood Hills home. Gareth Pursehouse, 45, of Playa del Rey, was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of 38-year-old Amie Harwick in the early morning hours of Feb. 15, 2020.


Thousand Oaks woman convicted of killing man during "cannabis-induced psychosis”

A Thousand Oaks woman has been convicted of fatally stabbing a man during what prosecutors called a "cannabis-induced psychosis" in 2018. Bryn Spejcher, 32, fatally stabbed Chad O'Melia, a man whom she had been dating for several weeks, back on May 27, 2018, according to prosecutors.


Prison time for Olympic snowboarder who crashed a plane for YouTube

A onetime U.S. Olympic snowboarder was sentenced to six months in prison for obstructing a federal investigation into an airplane crash he deliberately arranged for a YouTube video. Trevor Jacob, 30, was spared the 12-month prison term prosecutors sought at his sentencing Monday in downtown Los Angeles.

Courthouse News Service


CDC: Don’t eat pre-cut cantaloupe from unknown source amid deadly salmonella outbreak

Consumers shouldn’t eat pre-cut cantaloupe if they don’t know the source, U.S. health officials said Thursday, as the number of illnesses and recalls tied to a deadly salmonella outbreak grows. At least 117 people in 34 U.S. states have been sickened by contaminated cantaloupe, including 61 who were hospitalized and two who died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


Articles of Interest

Recordings show how the Mormon church protects itself from child sex abuse claims

Paul Rytting listened as a woman, voice quavering, told him her story. When she was a child, her father, a former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had routinely slipped into bed with her while he was aroused, she said. It was March 2017 and Rytting offered his sympathies as 31-year-old Chelsea Goodrich spoke.


California Supreme Court expands ability of public interest and non-profit trade groups to sue for alleged unfair business practices under Section 17200 of the Business & Professions Code

Can an organization sue you simply because it chose to divert resources to respond to your allegedly unfair business practices by claiming your practices are a perceived threat to its mission? The California Supreme Court just opened the door to such lawsuits in California Medical Association v. Aetna Health of California Inc., Cal. 5th, 2023 WL 4553703, 2023 Cal. LEXIS 4100 (July 17, 2023) (“CMA”).

National Law Review

California law schools lacking ABA approval show 21% bar pass rate - state report

Students at California law schools not accredited by the American Bar Association have low odds of passing the bar and strong chances of dropping out after their first year, according to a new report from the State Bar of California. Graduates of the 18 California-accredited schools had a pass rate of just 21% on the July 2022 bar exam, compared with 67% among graduates of ABA law schools, according to the state bar’s first-ever comprehensive Law School Profile, released on Friday.



San Mateo jail snail-mail ban draws First Amendment challenge

A California county’s ban on physical mail in jails faces multiple challenges from incarcerated people and First Amendment attorneys, including claims that it violates the First Amendment rights of incarcerated people. In San Mateo Superior Court on Monday, Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope heard only arguments on the claim of First Amendment rights, facing a motion for judgment on all pleadings in a case brought by some members of the county’s incarcerated community. 

Courthouse News Service

For more ADDA news and information, visit www.laadda.com.