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Category: Crime and courts

Charges filed in 911 call that led to slaying by Pasadena police

Kendrec McDade
The 911 caller who falsely claimed that he was robbed at gunpoint the night Pasadena police shot and killed unarmed 19-year-old robbery suspect Kendrec McDade is due in court Tuesday to face misdemeanor charges that he lied to emergency dispatchers.

Oscar Carrillo, 27, is charged with one count of making a false report of a criminal offense and a second count of reporting an emergency knowing the report was false, a Pasadena city spokesman said.

If convicted on both counts, Carrillo faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail, his defense attorney, Andres Bustamante, told the Pasadena Sun.

Carrillo, who has already pleaded not guilty to the charges, is scheduled to return to court on March 26 for a pretrial hearing.

The city prosecutor’s office filed the charges after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined a request by Pasadena police to charge him with manslaughter.

Bustamante accused the city of prosecuting Carrillo as a way to redirect responsibility for McDade’s death.

“I think they’re deflecting,” Bustamante said. “It seems to me the city feels obligated that [Carrillo] must take some kind or responsibility. Their position has always been that he set in motion certain events that lead to the tragic shooting of this African American teenager.”

An internal review of the shooting incident, announced Wednesday, determined that the two Pasadena police officers who shot McDade during the robbery investigation one year ago acted “within departmental policy.”

And in December, an investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division concluded that the officers had “a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury” and “acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others” in shooting McDade.

Investigations by the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review and the FBI remain ongoing, according to police.

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Bobby Brown wearing ankle monitor for DUI sentence

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Chef who killed wife, then cooked body to be sentenced

-- Joe Piasecki, Times Community News

Photo: A picture of Kendrec McDade is posted during his funeral at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena in April 2012. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

Bobby Brown wearing ankle monitor for DUI sentence

Bobby Brown, photographed in 2007. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

This post has been corrected, as noted below.

Singer Bobby Brown is now being monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet as he serves his 55-day sentence in connection with a DUI conviction, sheriff's officials said.

Brown reported to court on Wednesday to begin serving his jail sentence and four years of informal probation.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Brown was likely to serve no more than nine days in County Jail because of overcrowding, as well as time off for good behavior and credit for "good time work time." But Whitmore also noted the sentence could be influenced by his county probation officials.

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Brown ended up serving just eight hours in jail before being released.

Brown, a onetime member of the singing group New Edition who also had a solo career, pleaded no contest in February to a DUI charge, one of two such charges last year for the singer. 

Whitmore said it was the Probation Department's decision to place Brown on an electronic ankle bracelet. The exact requirements were not available, Whitmore said, but inmates typically cannot travel outside their homes for the time they are under electronic monitoring.

In addition to the jail time for pleas related to drunk driving, driving on a suspended license and a probation violation for a prior DUI incident, Brown also must complete an 18-month alcohol-treatment program and attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

Brown, ex-husband of the late Whitney Houston, had been sentenced to a day in jail and three years' probation for the March 26, 2012, arrest, which took place in the San Fernando Valley after California Highway Patrol officers allegedly spotted him talking on his cellphone while driving.

The second arrest, also in the Valley, took place Oct. 24.

[For the record, 9:45 a.m. on March 22: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that it was the sheriff's department's decision to place Brown on an electronic monitoring device. That decision was made by the Probation Department.]

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Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

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Chef who killed wife, then cooked body to be sentenced

— Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Bobby Brown, photographed in 2007. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

$2.5 million in cocaine found stashed in floor of big-rig trailer

Up to 100 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $2.5 million were discovered hidden in the floor of a big-rig trailer in the San Fernando Valley, authorities said.

Los Angeles police became aware of the narcotics after arresting two men Thursday in Lake View Terrace at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Paxton Street, KTLA-TV reported.

The semi was discovered just a few blocks away, at a storage yard on Lopez Canyon Road.

Undercover officers from the LAPD’s gang and narcotics division called in Los Angeles County firefighters to cut open the hidden compartment where the drugs were found.

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Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

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Bell trial: Judge declares mistrial on 10 counts, jury dismissed

— Kellan Connor, KTLA-TV

L.A. Now Live: Californians favor stricter gun laws

Californians are overwhelmingly in favor of strict gun control measures that impose background checks for all gun purchases and toughen penalties for illegally purchasing or using a gun, as well as enhancing efforts to keep guns away from the severely mentally ill, a new poll has found.

The findings crossed demographic and political lines, with nine of 10 gun owners and even more non-gun owners favoring background checks for all gun purchases. However, two-thirds of state residents opposed arming teachers in schools.

A more in-depth look showed some issues divided among racial lines and geographical boundaries. Whites were twice as likely to own guns as Latinos and less likely to favor a five-cent bullet tax. Latinos felt more favorable toward putting armed guards in schools.

The poll, conducted this month by USC and the Los Angeles Times, surveyed 1,501 people. It comes just as Congress debates tighter gun restrictions nationally, including increased background checks for gun purchases.

Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss the poll and what it means for gun laws with Times reporter Seema Mehta.

 

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Man with replica pistol killed by Huntington Beach police

This post has been updated; see note at bottom for details.

A man shot and killed by a Huntington Beach police officer had pulled out what appeared to be a gun when confronted by police, authorities said.

Police were called about 4:30 p.m. Thursday to the 4900 block of Warner Avenue with a report of a man and woman arguing behind an Italian restaurant, said Lt. Mitchell O'Brien of the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The man was identified by authorities Friday as 20-year-old Ian Christopher Berrier.

The caller, according to O'Brien, told authorities the man claimed to have a handgun and was making threats, the Huntington Beach Independent reported.

When police arrived, the couple was seen walking through a nearby housing tract. O'Brien said an officer opened fire after he confronted the man, who pulled out what was later determined to be a "replica semiautomatic pistol."

Berrier died at the scene. The woman was uninjured and in police custody.

The officer, whose identity was not released by authorities, was uninjured.

[Updated at 8:02 a.m., March 22: The name of the deceased man was added -- and sentences were changed to conform -- after police released his identity Friday morning.]

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Bell corruption trial ended with jury intimidation, attorneys say

-- Anthony Clark Carpio, Times Community News

Bell trial: After mistrial, next steps for attorneys unclear

A day after a judge declared a mistrial on the remaining counts in the Bell corruption trial, saying "all hell had broken loose" with a deeply divided jury, it remained unclear what, if any, steps attorneys might take next.

Prosecutors declined to comment because of the upcoming trial of Robert Rizzo, the former city administrator alleged to be the mastermind of the corruption. But an official said no decision has been made about retrying the defendants on the remaining charges.

Attorneys representing two of the ex-Bell City Council members implied jury misconduct might have occurred.

CHEAT SHEET: Bell corruption verdicts

George Cole's attorney, Ronald Kaye, said the jury's behavior suggested "coercion and intimidation" that throws the guilty verdicts into question.

Attorney Shepard Kopp, who represented Teresa Jacobo, said the jury's conduct is "tremendous legal grounds for motion for a new trial."

Gerald F. Uelmen, a Santa Clara University School of Law criminal law professor, said the jury problems could help the defense in a challenge but that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy was correct in refusing to set aside Wednesday's verdicts.

FULL COVERAGE: Bell corruption trial

"They will be looking to see if there was any coercion and will probably file motions for a new trial," he said. "But the bottom line is the jury reached its decision."

Continue reading »

Chef who killed wife, then cooked body to be sentenced

 David Viens, a former Lomita restaurant owner, was convicted of second-degree murder involving the October 2009 disappearance of his wife on Nov. 27, 2012. Credit:  Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence David Viens, the chef who told authorities that he accidentally killed his wife and cooked her body to dispose of it, to 15 years to life in prison.

Viens, who is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, was convicted last year of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Dawn. He has since fired his attorney and filed a motion for a new trial, which Superior Court Judge Rand S. Rubin is also scheduled to hear Friday.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors called Viens "a liar and a manipulator" and said he had a history of narcotics-related crimes before the 2009 slaying.

While living in Vermont, prosecutors said in court papers, Viens was convicted in 2003 of a federal drug-related charge. Instead of reporting to serve a four-month sentence, he fled to Mexico, prosecutors said. He eventually surrendered. In 2005, he was convicted in Florida on a federal marijuana charge, according to court papers.

In October 2009, Viens' 39-year-old wife vanished. Her body has never been found, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Brazil suggested that was because Viens wanted to conceal how she was killed. Testimony painted their marriage as disintegrating, with Dawn Viens telling one friend her husband had choked her and David Viens telling another friend he wanted to "kill that bitch."

Shortly after his wife disappeared, David Viens started dating a 23-year-old waitress who worked at his Lomita restaurant, Thyme Contemporary Café. He told friends and police that his wife had run off. He also sent fake text messages from his wife's phone to her friends, prosecutors said, one of which said she was in Florida.

But Dawn Viens' sister, Dayna Papin, suspected that something was awry. She filed a missing-person report.

In February 2011, when David Viens learned that investigators suspected he'd played a role in his wife's disappearance, he leaped off an 80-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes. From his hospital bed, Viens gave a dramatic recorded confession to investigators.

Continue reading »

Reward offered for information on shooter who gunned down 3 men

Oxnard police Thursday night announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a gunman who killed two men and wounded another in a burst of violence last year. Sketch of suspect who gunned down three men in Oxnard, police said.

The shooting was reported on Sept. 29, 2012, when the three men were gunned down in an alley in the 300 block of Cuesta del Mar Drive in the south side of Oxnard.

Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and the wounded man was treated at a hospital for injuries that police described as minor. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Oxnard Police Department Det. Martin Perez at (805) 385-7680. 

Confidential tips can be left at (805) 982-7070.

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— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Sketch of suspect. Credit: Oxnard Police Department

Man with replica firearm killed in O.C. officer-involved shooting

A man was shot and killed late Thursday afternoon by a Huntington Beach police officer after pulling out what appeared to be a gun when he was confronted by police, authorities said.

Police were called about 4:30 p.m. with a report of a man and woman arguing behind an Italian restaurant in the 4900 block of Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach police Lt. Mitchell O'Brien said at a news conference near the scene.

The caller, according to O'Brien, told authorities that the man claimed to have a handgun and was making threats.

When police arrived, the couple were spotted walking through a nearby housing tract.

O'Brien said an officer opened fire after he confronted the man and the latter pulled out what was later determined to be a "replica semiautomatic pistol."

The man, whose identity has not been released by authorities, died at the scene. The woman with him was uninjured and is in police custody.

The officer, whose identity also hasn't been disclosed by authorities, was not injured.

ALSO:

Police seek man who tried to coax girls into his vehicle

U.S. needs prayer 'more than ever,' Pat Boone tells crowd

Bell corruption trial ended with jury intimidation, attorney says 

-- Anthony Clark Carpio in Huntington Beach

 

Police seek man who tried to coax girls into his vehicle

Riverside police Thursday were seeking the public's help in identifying a man who has tried to coax teenage girls into his vehicle. Sketch of man whom police say tried to coax Riverside school girls into his vehicle.

In three separate incidents in recent months, the suspect told the high school girls that he could get them a modeling job, according to police.

The man approached the girls during school hours near Poly High School and Raincross High School. "The incidents are believed to be related," Riverside Police Department officials said in a statement.

The man was seen driving a silver Toyota Tacoma pickup with four doors and a short bed. Police described the man as a Latino in his 20s or 30s with dark curly hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Rita Cobb at (951) 353-7120 or Det. Melissa Brazil at (951) 353-7121.

ALSO

Anaheim police officer cleared in fatal shooting

Dorner captives stake claim to $1.2-million reward

Senior LAUSD officials knew of child abuse claims, lawyers say

— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Sketch of the suspect. Credit: Riverside Police Department
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About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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