100-plus items, suspected stolen, found in home

By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ
11/07/2011 11:11 AM

COSTA MESA – Dozens of cellphones, computers, GPS units and other electronic devices suspected of being stolen were found in a home where authorities said the loot was handed off to be sold at a nearby swap meet.

Four people were arrested and accused in what police officials described as an organized “fencing” operation, where electronic devices were stolen and then sold to a middleman who then sold the items to people with no knowledge that they were stolen.

According to the Newport Beach Police Department, the investigating agency, more than 100 cellphones, 20 laptops, 20 iPods and 20 navigation systems were recovered when investigators served a search warrant on Saturday at a house in the 1000 block of Valencia Street in Costa Mesa.

The property would have eventually made its way to be sold at the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, according to a statement released by the department.

Investigators are still trying to sort through all of the electronic items that were recovered during the search, said Kathy Lowe, spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

Police took four men into custody: Alfredo Alba Flores, 46; Dorian Alva Flores, 22; Dante Alva Flores, 21; and Edgardo Alva Flores, 19. All four are residents of Costa Mesa.

The four men, who police say intended to hande over the items to the middleman, were booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Contact the writer: shernandez@ocregister.com or 949-454-7361

1 dead, driver’s legs severed in crash near Irvine Lake

One person has died and a driver’s legs were severed when their car hit a tree off Santiago Canyon Road near Irvine Lake early Sunday, authorities said.

The Orange County Coroner’s Office posted on its website that one of the passengers died in the accident, Jorge Cisneros of Tustin. He turned 18 three days before the crash. The condition of the remaining five people who were in the car is not known.

The vehicle split in two and the front half of it wrapped around the tree, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said. The driver was also wrapped around the tree with the wreckage, and it took more than an hour to remove him from the vehicle with special equipment, Stone said.

All six of the people who were in the vehicle were taken to local hospitals as trauma victims. Three of the passengers were tossed more than 50 feet from the vehicle down an embankment toward Irvine Lake, Stone said. The lake and accident site are in unincorporated Orange County just east of Cowan Heights.

The passengers and the driver were young men, Stone said. The accident happened around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. OCFA and Orange firefighters responded. Paramedics transported two victims each to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, UCI Medical Center in Orange and Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident and declined to comment on the case.

More to come.

Reporter Sonya Quick contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: bmartinez@ocregister.com

 

Laguna Beach bicyclist dies after Malibu crash

MALIBU – A 51-year-old bicycle rider injured in a crash in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu died at a hospital, the California Highway Patrol said Sunday.

The accident on Las Flores Canyon Road, north of Hume Road, was reported about 11:45 a.m Saturday, according to the CHP.

The rider, a Laguna Beach man whose name was withheld, veered onto the wrong side of the road on a sharp curve and hit a guardrail, according to the CHP. The helmeted rider was thrown head-first into the ground and suffered head injuries.

The man was taken to a hospital where he died.

Fullerton officer charged in beating death gets big L.A. pension (70% of his salary)

While with the LAPD, Jay Cicinelli was seriously injured in a shooting and
was awarded a lifetime disability pension of 70% of his salary. He later joined
the Fullerton department. Now his LAPD pension may be reviewed

//

 

ChargedFullerton Police Cpl. Jay Cicinelli sits
among attorneys as he waits for his September arraignment to begin in Orange
County Superior Court in Santa Ana. (Paul Rodriguez / Associated Press /
September 21, 2011)

 

By Abby Sewell,
Los Angeles TimesNovember 6,
2011

Los Angeles officials are calling for a review of the
pension given to one of the two Fullerton police officers charged in the beating
death of a homeless man.

Jay Cicinelli, a former Los
Angeles Police Department
officer who lost an eye when he was shot on the
job in 1996 during a routine traffic stop, receives 70% of his salary as a
disability pension. City officials approved the large sum because it was unclear
at the time whether he could again work in law enforcement.

But Cicinelli
soon got a job with the Fullerton Police Department, where he eventually earned
$88,544 a year on top of his $39,625 in pension benefits from L.A.

The
issue came to the attention of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions
Department after Cicinelli’s name surfaced as one of the six officers involved
in the incident that led to the death of Kelly Thomas.

That led
department staff members to ask the board to review his award. A review would
not lead to the pension being eliminated altogether, but it could mean
Cicinelli’s benefits would be reduced to 30% of his final salary. The board will
vote soon on whether to launch the review.

It’s rare for the board to
reduce a pensioner’s benefits: Officials said they have done it 14 times since
1985.

Emails between city staffers obtained by The Times showed that
there was concern about Cicinelli’s pension as early as August, after the “John
and Ken Show” on KFI-AM (640) disclosed leaked names of the officers
involved.

After the Orange County district attorney released the names
and the city of Fullerton announced that Cicinelli and Officer Manuel Ramos
would be placed on unpaid leave, a Los Angeles police pension department
employee wrote in an Oct. 11 email, “We might get some unwanted attention if
anybody notices that he will still be getting paid 70% of a P-II salary
(tax-free) from LAFPP until we’re allowed to get the Board to address
it?”

Cicinelli’s attorney could not be reached for
comment.

Cicinelli lost his left eye in the shooting and suffered
gastrointestinal injuries and a fractured pelvis, among other injuries. He
fought to return to patrol duty despite his injuries, but in the end was awarded
a lifetime disability pension of 70% of his salary.

He then worked 12
years with the Fullerton Police Department, where he rose to the rank of
corporal.

Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and
excessive use of force in the death of Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia
who died after a struggle with six Fullerton officers at the downtown transit
center.

Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary
manslaughter. The other four officers involved were not charged.

The city
of Fullerton placed Cicinelli and Ramos on unpaid leave in October, after the
district attorney announced the charges against them. The other officers remain
on paid leave pending the outcome of a city-commissioned review of the Police
Department.

At the Los Angeles pension disability hearing 13 years ago
where Cicinelli was awarded the pension, a commissioner asked, “What are we
looking at in the future for this young man that has lost his career? We have no
way to determine when somebody takes a gunshot wound in those areas what type of
limitations they will have in years to come.”

Then-Chief Bernard C. Parks
had opposed the young officer returning to active duty but wrote to the board,
“It is my strongly felt position that Officer Jay Cicinelli is deserving of a
generous disability pension to assist him in rebuilding his life and providing
for his future.”

Staff members recommended a 40% pension, but the board
voted to give him 70%.

Pat McKinley, the former Fullerton police chief
who now sits on the City Council, told The Times that he had hired Cicinelli at
the recommendation of LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Hillman and that Cicinelli
underwent psychological testing before being hired.

There has been no
suggestion that Cicinelli’s injuries played a role in the Thomas
incident.

abby.sewell@latimes.com

Inmate Information

The Orange County Jail no longer provides arrest charges to the public. To obtain this information and more, you must go through a bail bond company. I can help with all of your questions.

O.C. teen gets life in prison for murder committed when he was 14

A Santa Ana teenager was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison for a fatal shooting he committed when he was 14.

Andrew Cervantes, now 15, was tried as adult and will begin his sentence at the California Youth Authority before being transferred at age 18 to state prison.

Prosecutors said Cervantes shot Manuel Orozco, 17, on June 22, 2010, after a gang-related confrontation in Santa Ana.

Cervantes and his friend, Jose Baldemar Moreno, 15, rode their bikes by Orozco, a rival gang member, who was sitting in a parked car. One of the defendants made a hand gesture toward Orozco, who got out of the car and called out to the younger men. An argument erupted, and Cervantes pulled out a gun and shot Orozco in the chest.

Orozco died at the scene, two doors down from his home. Cervantes fled to Stockton, where he was later arrested.

In September, a jury found Cervantes guilty of second-degree murder and street terrorism.

Moreno, who was also prosecuted as an adult, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years in custody.

Lawyer Who Paid $725K Kickbacks to Judges in Pa. ‘Kids for Cash’ Case Gets 18 Months

A Pennsylvania lawyer who said he was pressured into participating in a $2.6 million “kids for cash” corruption scheme operated by two then-Luzerne County judges was sentenced today to 18 months in prison by a federal judge in Scranton.

Robert J. Powell got a reduced sentence in recognition of his help in prosecuting the two now-former judges, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, reports the Citizens Voice.

His lawyer had sought probation. Powell pleaded guilty in 2009 to concealing a felony and being an accessory, recounts the Associated Press.

Powell, who says the judges extorted $725,000 from him in exchange for jailing juveniles at a private detention facility in which he then had an ownership interest, wore a wire and recorded conversations with both Ciavarella and Conahan, the news agency says.

“My selfish actions caused me to be in this place,” said Powell in a letter to the court apologizing for his actions. “The only way I could legally and morally atone for this was to cooperate, though the decision to do so was difficult in that I knew it would cause me and my family to be ostracized. I knew it was the right thing to do…my children now have reason to be proud of their father again.”

While U.S. District Edwin M. Kosik recognized that Powell cooperated with the government, he also noted that there was another course the attorney could have taken when approached for kickbacks, the AP reports:

“He could have told the judges to go to hell,” Kosik said.

By Martha Neil

Nov 4, 2011, 11:22 am CDT

 

Iraq vet charged in assault-rifle incident at home

An unemployed Iraq war veteran faces charges of felony counts of possession of an assault weapon and child abuse and endangerment after an incident Tuesday evening in San Clemente.

A caller told the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that a father of young children had been hitting his wife, was using crystal methamphetamine and was armed with two assault rifles at a house on the 200 block of Avenida Santa Barbara. The man was “extremely paranoid” and had set booby traps around the house, the caller said.

Derick Alan Clifton, 32, was arrested and ordered jailed with bond set at $20,000. The incident was reported at 6:48 p.m. Tuesday.

By CIARAN McEVOY
11/04/2011 12:25 PM

Called L.A.’s most prolific serial killer, Chester D. Turner — already on Death Row — charged with 4 more

Already on Death Row after
being convicted of 10 murders, Chester D. Turner has been charged with four
additional murders.

LOS ANGELES — Two alleged victims of a convicted serial killer, who had already been sentenced to death before being charged with four additional slayings, were found less than a quarter-mile away from each other one month apart, a Los Angeles police captain testified today.Called to the stand in a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to
require Chester D. Turner to stand trial for four murders between 1987 and 1997,
Los Angeles police Capt. Justin Eisenberg testified that Debra Williams was
found dead on Nov. 16, 1992, at the bottom of a stairwell that leads to a boiler
room at 97th Street School.

Mary Edwards was found dead on Dec. 16, 1992, in a carport outside a motel at
9714 S. Figueroa St., less than a quarter-mile away from the school, the police
captain told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samuel Mayerson.

Turner — who was sentenced to death in 2007 for murdering 10 women between
1987 and 1998 — was subsequently charged with the slayings of Williams and
Edwards, along with the June 5, 1987, murder of Elandra Bunn and the Feb. 22,
1997, killing of Cynthia Annette Johnson.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple
murders and murder during the commission of a rape or attempted rape of all four
victims, who were killed in an area known as the Figueroa Corridor.

Prosecutors have yet to decide if they will seek another death sentence for
Turner, who will turn 45 on Saturday.

Bunn was found in a supine


position, with her pants pulled down and hanging on just one ankle, her
shoes off and her face bruised and swollen, in an alley behind a motel at 8725
S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles police Detective Joe Callian told the judge.

She had “severe swelling and bruising” to one of her eyes, the detective
testified.

Williams, who was found dead at the bottom of the school stairwell, was fully
clothed, said Lawrence Reiche, who was an investigator for the coroner’s office.

Edwards was also fully clothed, but was missing a shoe, Eisenberg testified.

Johnson was found dead at the back of a vacant residence at 1143 E. 106th
St., with her pants and underwear pulled down below her genital area and her
right shoe off, former Los Angeles County coroner’s investigator Erik Arbuthnot
testified.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace told the judge that he expects to
present scientific evidence when the hearing resumes Thursday.

Turner, an Arkansas native who once worked as a pizza deliveryman, was
described by prosecutors as the city of Los Angeles’ most prolific serial killer
when he was sentenced to death for the murders of 10 women between 1987 and
1998.

He was brought back to Los Angeles from Death Row at San Quentin State Prison
on March 3, a month after being charged a second time.

Turner was sentenced to death in July 2007 for the 10 murders, with Los
Angeles Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders saying then that there was
“overwhelming evidence” that the defendant methodically located lone women and
“strangled each … for his own sexual pleasure.”

The judge said the “circumstances of the up-close and very personal nature of
the strangulation” of each of the victims “revealed a cruelty rarely seen in
murder trials.”

The judge also tacked on a separate 15-year-to-life term for the second-
degree murder of the unborn baby of one of his victims, 27-year-old Regina
Washington, who was found dead in September 1989.

Along with Washington’s slaying, Turner was convicted in April 2007 of
first-degree murder for the killings of:

— Diane Johnson, 21, who was found dead in March 1987 and is not related to
Cynthia Johnson;

— Annette Ernest, 26, who was found dead by a passing motorist in October
1987;

— Anita Fishman, 31, killed in January 1989;

— Andrea Tripplett, who was 5 1/2 months pregnant with her third child when
she was strangled in April 1993. Turner was not charged with killing her unborn
child because it was not considered viable under the law in place at that time.

— Desarae Jones, 29, killed in May 1993;

— Natalie Price, 31, whose body was found outside a home in February 1995;

— Mildred Beasley, 45, whose body was found in a field in November 1996;

— Paula Vance, 38, who was strangled in February 1998, during the commission
of a rape, which was caught on a grainy black-and-white surveillance videotape
in which the assailant’s face cannot be seen; and

— Brenda Bries, 37, who was found dead in the Skid Row area in April 1998.

Turner lived within 30 blocks of each of the killings — with Bries’ body
discovered in downtown Los Angeles just 50 yards from where he was living at the
time, according to prosecutors.

Turner was linked to those killings through DNA test results after being
arrested and convicted of raping a woman in the Skid Row area in 2002.

After Turner was sent to Death Row, detectives from the Los Angeles Police
Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division continued to investigate the four murders
with which he has since been charged.



position, with her pants pulled down and hanging on just one ankle, her
shoes off and her face bruised and swollen, in an alley behind a motel at 8725
S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles police Detective Joe Callian told the judge.

She had “severe swelling and bruising” to one of her eyes, the detective
testified.

Williams, who was found dead at the bottom of the school stairwell, was fully
clothed, said Lawrence Reiche, who was an investigator for the coroner’s office.

Edwards was also fully clothed, but was missing a shoe, Eisenberg testified.

Johnson was found dead at the back of a vacant residence at 1143 E. 106th
St., with her pants and underwear pulled down below her genital area and her
right shoe off, former Los Angeles County coroner’s investigator Erik Arbuthnot
testified.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace told the judge that he expects to
present scientific evidence when the hearing resumes Thursday.

Turner, an Arkansas native who once worked as a pizza deliveryman, was
described by prosecutors as the city of Los Angeles’ most prolific serial killer
when he was sentenced to death for the murders of 10 women between 1987 and
1998.

He was brought back to Los Angeles from Death Row at San Quentin State Prison
on March 3, a month after being charged a second time.

Turner was sentenced to death in July 2007 for the 10 murders, with Los
Angeles Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders saying then that there was
“overwhelming evidence” that the defendant methodically located lone women and
“strangled each … for his own sexual pleasure.”

The judge said the “circumstances of the up-close and very personal nature of
the strangulation” of each of the victims “revealed a cruelty rarely seen in
murder trials.”

The judge also tacked on a separate 15-year-to-life term for the second-
degree murder of the unborn baby of one of his victims, 27-year-old Regina
Washington, who was found dead in September 1989.

Along with Washington’s slaying, Turner was convicted in April 2007 of
first-degree murder for the killings of:

— Diane Johnson, 21, who was found dead in March 1987 and is not related to
Cynthia Johnson;

— Annette Ernest, 26, who was found dead by a passing motorist in October
1987;

— Anita Fishman, 31, killed in January 1989;

— Andrea Tripplett, who was 5 1/2 months pregnant with her third child when
she was strangled in April 1993. Turner was not charged with killing her unborn
child because it was not considered viable under the law in place at that time.

— Desarae Jones, 29, killed in May 1993;

— Natalie Price, 31, whose body was found outside a home in February 1995;

— Mildred Beasley, 45, whose body was found in a field in November 1996;

— Paula Vance, 38, who was strangled in February 1998, during the commission
of a rape, which was caught on a grainy black-and-white surveillance videotape
in which the assailant’s face cannot be seen; and

— Brenda Bries, 37, who was found dead in the Skid Row area in April 1998.

Turner lived within 30 blocks of each of the killings — with Bries’ body
discovered in downtown Los Angeles just 50 yards from where he was living at the
time, according to prosecutors.

Turner was linked to those killings through DNA test results after being
arrested and convicted of raping a woman in the Skid Row area in 2002.

After Turner was sent to Death Row, detectives from the Los Angeles Police
Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division continued to investigate the four murders
with which he has since been charged.

Crack Cocaine Sentencing Reductions Find Thousands Eligible for Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 1 saw the beginning of a change in sentencing for drug crimes involving crack cocaine; specifically, lessening future sentences for those convicted of possessing and dealing the drug, and shortening sentences for those already in jail for the crimes. The change comes from the Fair Sentencing Act that was passed by Congress in 2010, which lessened the sentencing for crack cocaine so that it would be similar to powder cocaine. This past summer, the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided to apply the change of sentencing to those who had already been convicted as well.

Inmates are now eligible for sentence reduction and almost 1,900 prisoners could see immediate release due to the change in sentencing, according to USA Today. In total, the U.S. Sentencing Commission estimates that around 12,000 inmates could see their sentences reduced and an average of three years taken off prison time.

The changes affect crack cocaine cases that are prosecuted on a federal level, with most states already having less severe punishments for the drug, and also eliminates the previously mandatory five-year minimum sentence for first time possession of crack.

With the change in sentencing now in effect, thousands of prisoners nationwide have begun sending orders for early release due to time served. For many inmates and families across the country, November brings the hope of being reunited much earlier than they ever thought possible.

Drug crimes and the punishments for them can bring serious consequences in California and across the nation, and even when punishments are reduced, a drug conviction can still destroy a person’s life. If you or one of your loved ones is facing drug charges in Southern California, you will need excellent legal representation to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. The Southern California drug crime defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel Kann fight for every client they represent. Contact our offices today for a free consultation at (310) 954-9356.

By Daniel Kann on November  4, 2011