Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Teen charged with double murder is mentally retarded, jury hears - Jesus! 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

A teenager charged with murdering his girlfriend's mother and stepfather at their Compton mobile home has an "extremely low" IQ that is consistent with being mentally retarded, an expert testified Tuesday.
Giovanni Gallardo, now 18, had an IQ of 57 when he was evaluated after the killings, placing him within the range of mild to moderate retardation, Dr. Deborah S. Miora, a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, told the court.
She said his score fell within the range of people who have mild to moderate retardation. People who score as low as Gallardo are easily influenced and more likely to act without considering the consequences of their behavior, Miora testified.
"They are susceptible to the ideas and influences of others," Miora said. "They want friends. They want to be liked."
Miora, who was called by the defense, testified that the evaluation she conducted determines whether a test subject is trying to achieve a lower score. She said her evaluation showed that Gallardo was not doing so.
She said the Social Security Administration also diagnosed Gallardo as mentally retarded when the agency evaluated him when he was 13.
Gallardo was 16 when he allegedly killed his girlfriend's parents in October 2011. Prosecutors allege that both teens took part in the slaying and that they then drove around with the girl's dead mother in the back of a Jeep as they purchased supplies for a Halloween party.
Gallardo is charged as an adult and faces life in prison if convicted.
At the heart of the prosecution's case is a detailed confession Gallardo gave sheriff's homicide detectives in which he admitted strangling Gloria Villalta and stabbing Jose Lara with a knife.
The victims' bodies were found in shallow graves. Lara, 51, was handcuffed and his body covered with a blanket. Villalta, 58, was bloated from decomposition and her head was wrapped in duct tape.
Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin Wednesday.
Gallardo's girlfriend, Cynthia Alvarez, was convicted earlier this month in both murders.
During her trial, Alvarez, 16, blamed her boyfriend for the crimes. She claimed she did not want her parents dead but did not seek help because she was afraid of her boyfriend, whom she described as abusive.
A jury deliberated for about three hours before convicting her of first-degree murder.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Burglars targeted religious institutions in O.C., police say - lookout Churches! 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

Irvine police this week arrested two men suspected of burglarizing a number of religious institutions across Orange County.
In January, investigators identified Robert Dennis, 45, of Santa Ana, from DNA found at a burglarized temple in Irvine, according to police.
After searching a Garden Grove home connected to Dennis, police identified two more suspects: Fernando Flores, 21, of Garden Grove, and James Dorscht, 39, of Norwalk, authorities said.
Detectives found Dennis and Flores on Wednesday at a commercial complex near Fairview Street and Trask Avenue in Santa Ana. The two men allegedly had burglary tools, a shotgun and a billy club in the car with them.
Security video of the burglaries allegedly shows Dorscht, Flores, Dennis and a fourth suspect, Daniel Cortez.
Santa Ana police arrested Cortez last week, but law enforcement agencies are still looking for Dorscht, a parolee, police said.
Dennis was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of a dangerous weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Flores was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon. The two were being held at Orange County Jail.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Roommate of slain Army veteran held on $1-million bail - always the roomate! 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

Maribel Ramos
The roommate of Maribel Ramos is expected to appear in court Tuesday on suspicion of murder after the missing Army veteran was found dead Thursday near Modjeska Canyon in Orange County, authorities said.
Ramos, a 36-year-old Cal State Fullerton student just a few weeks shy of graduation, had been missing since the first week of May. Orange police said a body found in the brush Thursday in unincorporated Orange County near Santiago Canyon Road and Jackson Ranch Road was identified as Ramos after an autopsy.
Authorities on Friday announced that they had arrested her roommate, Kwang Chol "KC" Joy, 54, in connection with the slaying. Joy voluntarily submitted to an interview with detectives after he was contacted Friday morning, and was later arrested on suspicion of killing Ramos, officials said.
He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Orange County Superior Court’s Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Tuesday.
Ramos’ death has stunned Cal State Fullerton, where she was a well-known member of the campus community.
Cal State Fullerton President Mildred Garcia released a statement calling Ramos "a wonderful role model for our students" who will be deeply missed.
"Maribel was a beloved student and military veteran who was actively engaged here on our campus and in the community," Garcia said. "We honor her for her past service to our country as an airborne paratrooper in the Army and her commitment to her education. We continue to offer our support to her family and friends during this exceedingly difficult time."
Police declined to release additional information, saying the case was being submitted to the Orange County district attorney's office.
Ramos served in the Army for eight years, including tours in Iraq and South Korea, before she was honorably discharged in 2008. She was a few weeks shy of receiving her degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton.
She was last seen May 2 on video from security cameras at her Orange apartment complex, authorities said. The next day, she failed to show up at a veterans event at which she was scheduled to speak, then missed a softball game she had played weekly with one of her cousins for years.
Friends and relatives said it was out of character for her to walk away from her commitments without telling anyone.
"She doesn't do anything like that," cousin Frank Campos said before the body was found. "She's not the type of person to get up and go. There had to be something."
After there was word that a body had been found, many commented that they were holding out hope and offering prayers that it wasn't Ramos. But by late Friday, hope gave way to mourning and condolences.
"She had been on my mind since we first heard," wrote one of the nearly 150 people who had posted messages to her family on Facebook. "May the angels surround her and God give you peace, may she rest in peace."


Let us help TODAY!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Suspect named in New Orleans mass shooting - bet he's on the run in Cali! 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

Police say they believe Akein Scott, 19, of New Orleans is the man seen in surveillance footage opening fire on a crowd gathered for a Mother's Day parade. Officials say it is too early to say whether he was the only shooter.


Police late Monday identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the shooting of about 20 people during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, saying several people had identified him as the gunman captured by surveillance camera videos. Superintendent Ronal Serpas said officers were looking for Akein Scott of New Orleans. He said it was too early to say whether he was the only shooter. “We would like to remind the community and Akein Scott that the time has come for him to turn himself in,” Serpas said at a news conference outside of police headquarters.
A photo of Scott hung from a podium in front of the police chief. “We know more about you than you think we know,” he said. The mass shooting showed again how far the city has to go to shake a persistent culture of violence that belies the city's festive image. Earlier, police announced a $10,000 reward and released blurry surveillance camera images, which led to several tips from the community. “The people today chose to be on the side of the young innocent children who were shot and not on the side of a coward who shot into the crowd,” Serpas said. The superintendent said SWAT team members and U.S. marshals served a searched warrant at one location looking for Scott, but didn't locate him. He vowed that police would be “looking for Akein Scott for the rest of the night and tomorrow… and I would strongly recommend that Akeim turn himself in.” Angry residents said gun violence — which has flared at two other city celebrations this year — goes hand-in-hand with the city's other deeply rooted problems such as poverty and urban blight. The investigators tasked with solving Sunday's shooting work within an agency that's had its own troubles rebounding from years of corruption while trying to halt violent crime. “The old people are scared to walk the streets. The children can't even play outside,” Ronald Lewis, 61, said Monday as he sat on the front stoop of his house, about a half block from the shooting site. His window sill has a hole from a bullet that hit it last year. Across the street sits a house marked by bullets that he said were fired two weeks ago. “The youngsters are doing all this,” said Jones, who was away from home when the latest shooting broke out. Video released early Monday shows a crowd gathered for a boisterous second-line parade suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man in a white T-shirt and dark pants who turns and runs out of the picture. Police were working to determine whether there was more than one gunman, though they initially said three people were spotted fleeing from the scene. Whoever was responsible escaped despite the presence of officers who were interspersed through the crowd as part of routine precautions for such an event. Police said in a news release Scott has previously been arrested for illegal carrying of a weapon, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, resisting an officer, contraband to jail, illegal carrying of a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of heroin. It was not immediately clear whether he had been convicted on any of those charges. “Akeim is no stranger to the criminal justice system,” Serpas said. Serpas said that ballistic evidence gathered at the scene was giving them “very good leads to work on.” Witness Jarrat Pytell said he was walking with friends near the parade route when the crowd suddenly began to break up. “I saw the guy on the corner, his arm extended, firing into the crowd,” said Pytell, a medical student.


Let us help TODAY!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Don't buy you diamonds in The San Fernando Valley! - Jeweler agrees to plead guilty in KPMG insider-trading case - 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

Bryan Shaw also agrees to return nearly $1.3 million in stock-trading gains he made from allegedly illegal tips provided by former KPMG partner Scott London.


A San Fernando Valley jeweler agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge and return nearly $1.3 million in stock-trading gains he made from allegedly illegal tips provided by a former partner at accounting giant KPMG.
Bryan Shaw, 52, of Lake Sherwood admitted in a plea agreement that he conspired with KPMG's Scott London to trade in the stocks of the accounting firm's clients. The pair were longtime friends who enjoyed golfing together.
In addition to forfeiting his ill-gotten gains, Shaw faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine, the Justice Department said. Prosecutors said they would recommend a reduced sentence if Shaw provides "substantial assistance" during its investigation.
Prosecutors alleged that London, 50, a longtime employee of KPMG's Los Angeles office, gave Shaw inside tips about several companies, including nutritional products maker Herbalife Ltd. and footwear company Skechers USA Inc., and that Shaw used the information to make profitable trades.
Shaw admitted that he paid London for the tips, giving him more than $60,000 in cash, a $12,000 Rolex watch, jewelry for his wife, concert tickets and expensive meals. The cash payoffs were often made on secluded streets near Shaw's Encino jewelry store, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors previously charged London, 50, with conspiracy to commit insider trading. London, who was fired by KPMG last month, is scheduled to be arraigned May 17 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Shaw signed a plea agreement April 30, and prosecutors filed that document Monday along with the conspiracy charge. Shaw is expected to appear in court this week.
"London provided, and Shaw was all too happy to use, proprietary information that should have remained confidential," said U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr., whose office is prosecuting the case.
"These men broke ethical rules and criminal laws for the sole purpose of lining their pockets with illegal profits," the federal prosecutor said.
London was a senior partner at KPMG who supervised hundreds of accounting professionals at the firm and personally handled audits for major KPMG clients, including Herbalife and Skechers.
Because of his position, London had access to confidential information about KPMG's clients before that information was disclosed to the public.
At one point, Shaw garnered gains of $450,000 on Herbalife stock, and the men believed that they could make even more, according to the complaint in London's case.
In one call, London referred to rumors that Herbalife may be going private, telling Shaw "that is going to be where you make a ton of money."
London called Shaw and read him draft versions of news releases days before they went public, according to court documents. He also advised Shaw how to structure stock purchases to protect them from being discovered, prosecutors said.
The scheme began unraveling when Fidelity Investments apparently discovered the suspicious trades in Shaw's account and froze it, said Shaw's attorney, Nathan Hochman. Shaw received a subpoena to appear before the Securities and Exchange Commission in December, his attorney said.
Shaw later made a complete confession to SEC and Justice Department prosecutors, agreeing to cooperate against London, Hochman said.
"One can make a logical conclusion that Fidelity probably alerted the SEC," the defense lawyer said.
Acting at the direction of the FBI, Shaw met London earlier this year and handed him a bag containing $5,000 in cash as payment for a past tip. A photograph of that exchange, taken by FBI agents, was included in a criminal complaint filed against London.
KPMG resigned as the auditor of Herbalife and Skechers after learning of London's conduct.
Skechers has hired a new accountant; Herbalife is still searching for a replacement. KPMG also withdrew its audits of Herbalife's financial statements for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The fallout has been significant for Herbalife, which recently said it canceled plans to borrow money to repurchase its stock because the now unaudited financial statements would complicate borrowing efforts.


Let us help TODAY!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Inmate charged in 2010 slaying is mistakenly released from jail - GREAT! - 1877-700-BAIL (2245)

Johnny Mata, charged with murder in a Baldwin Park gang shooting, was released from the Los Angeles County jail system last month because of a clerical error, sheriff's officials say.

Johnny Mata

An inmate charged with murder in a 2010 Baldwin Park gang shooting was mistakenly released from the Los Angeles County jail system last month because of a clerical error, sheriff's officials revealed Friday.
The department waited nearly a month before alerting the public that Johnny Mata was on the loose.
Mata was set free April 4 from the Sheriff's Department's Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles, according to Capt. Chuck Antuna.
"A clerical error occurred and he was released," Antuna said.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office had filed murder charges against Mata, but a processing clerk had not entered a "hold" for Mata in the computer. Antuna said he was not sure exactly when Mata entered the jail system.
At some point, a different murder charge had been dropped against Mata, he added, but it was not clear if that played any role in his release.
The department's Major Crimes Unit has been searching for him.
Nicole Nishida, a department spokeswoman, said it did not immediately reveal Mata's release because the unit was chasing leads to find him.
The department opted to go public when it exhausted those leads, she said. Sheriff's officials have now notified "all of Los Angeles County law enforcement' to help them locate Mata, she added.
Steve Whitmore, a sheriff's spokesman, said the error occurred due understaffing and the positions have since been filled and an additional supervisor added. “It no is excuse but sheriff has insured it won't happen again,” Whitmore said.
Nishida said Mata has been charged in the killing of David De Anda, who was shot Dec. 24, 2010, in the 13200 block of Francisquito Avenue in Baldwin Park.
According to a sheriff's news release, De Anda was standing with two other people in a driveway when a man approached and shot him several times in the upper torso.
He was taken to Los Angeles-USC Medical Center, where he died about two hours later, a detective told The Times.
Mata has brown hair and brown eyes. He stands 6 feet 1 and weighs 197 pounds.
Anyone with information regarding Mata is asked to call sheriff's homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.


Let us help TODAY!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LAPD at its best! - Ex-L.A. County sheriff's employee sentenced in child porn case- 1-877-700-BAIL (2245)

A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in federal prison for seeking to have sex with children and distributing child pornography, authorities said.
Mark Robin Rainwater, 46, was arrested on Oct. 12 at Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., with sex toys and children's toys in his luggage after he had arrived from California to meet two boys, according to federal authorities. 
Rainwater was charged with possessing more than 200 videos and thousands of images of child pornography, "some of which involved babies, toddlers and prepubescent children involved in sadomasochistic and lewd and lascivious behavior," the U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham said in a statement. 
Rainwater worked for the Sheriff's Department for 14 years in the information technology section, according to the U.S. attorney's office. 
Rainwater thought he was going to have sex with an 8-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, authorities said. He had been communicating on the Internet and via text messages about meeting the children since August 2012.
"Rainwater believed he was communicating with a parent" who would allow him to have sex with the boys, the U.S. attorney's office said. Instead, he was dealing with an undercover police officer.
Authorities said a search of Rainwater's digital storage media and his email account uncovered 242 videos and more than 4,400 images of child pornography.


Let us help TODAY!