Other Crimes

Elderly Man Accused of Vandalizing Trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (CA Penal Code §594)

When someone says the word “vandalism,” it usually conjures up images of graffiti or the destruction of public property like signs or private property like vehicles.  However, when the public property in question is a tree like the ones in Golden Gate Park, it seems odd to call it “vandalism” when someone alters a living thing – yet, it is.  Under CA Penal Code §594, public parks are included in “damaged property” and 65-year-old Ken Frisch has been accused of having done just this.  He was ticketed near the Chain Lakes and John F. Kennedy Drive for purposefully wrecking park property,...

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Reexamination of Evidence Leads to Prison Release of Modesto Man Convicted of Arson (CA Penal Code §451 )

72-year-old George Souliotes was convicted of arson (CA Penal Code §451 – malicious arson) and murder (under the “felony murder rule”) over 16 years ago.  Though he maintained his innocence in the incident – the deaths of three of his tenants in an apartment building he owned (6-year-old Daniel Jones, 3-year old Amanda Jones, and their mother Michelle, 31).  Witnesses in the original case testified that Souliotes harbored animosity toward the family, who he was trying to evict.  Evidence at that time included the presence of a particular chemical on his shoes and at the scene and undependable eyewitness testimony...

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Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights in Los Angeles County

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one that many people are familiar with – it is the portion of what is known as the “Bill of Rights” that prohibits searches and seizures that are not reasonable.  It also requires probable cause for the issuance of warrants.  Part of the Fourth Amendment (the portion on unreasonable seizures) includes arrests.  An individual cannot, for example, be placed in custody in the back of a law enforcement vehicle for minor violations or infractions. Yet, this is exactly the type of thing that has become routine in some desert cities on the...

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Paramedics Contaminated Crime Scene in Monte Sereno Millionaire Slaying

Until recently, there was really only one suspect in the November murder of Ravi Kumra, former owner in a Saratoga vineyard and entrepreneur – Lukis Anderson (26) of San Jose, whose DNA was found in the slain millionaire’s home. For months, local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and defense attorneys alike have tried to figure out how Anderson could have been in two places at once – both black out drunk in a hospital and in the midst of murdering Kumra, whose home was far away.  New evidence suggests, however, that there is no mystery at all.  In point of fact,...

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Dying Declaration Exception Used in Suisun City Stabbing Case (CA Evidence Code §1240 – §1242)

The victim in a stabbing on Worley Road in Suisun City managed to give local law enforcement officials the name of her attacker before expiring.  After an argument on the 1300 block of Worley Road, the unnamed target was stabbed repeatedly.  Police have yet to release the name of the suspect, but are on his or her trail.This brings up an interesting legal question, namely whether or not utterances that would normally be considered inadmissible in court because they are considered hearsay could be admitted because they are “dying declarations.”According to California Evidence Code, hearsay (statements uttered by persons who...

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Richmond High School Gang Rape Draws Attention (CA Penal Code §261)

It sounds like the beginning of a 1970s horror flick based on a Stephen King novel. A 16-year-old girl leaves the safety of the crowd at an innocent Homecoming dance and ends up incoherently drunk and crumpled under a picnic table, dress askew and a trail of grisly pieces of evidence – a high-heeled shoe, a used condom, and a pair of underwear ripped to shreds.  What happened to the unnamed victim may never be known.  She was approached by a classmate after the dance who asked her if she wanted to “party” with some of his friends. What she...

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Rio Linda Woman Sentence to 192 years for Child Molestation (CA Penal Code §288)

40-year-old Rosemary Eusted was sentenced to 72 years + 120 years to life for the ongoing molestation of at least four children over a period of several years.  Two were girls that spent time in her home and were 6 and 7 years old when the molestation occurred in 1997.  Then, in 2005, Eusted molested two additional victims (5-10 years old) in Placer County.  It is only in recent years that Eusted’s victims have felt comfortable enough to come forth, fearing her violent nature and threats.  In the case before the Sacramento Superior Court, all victims testified and Eusted was...

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VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA LAW PREVENTS NEW EXECUTION RULES

Officials in the California system who have authored a bid for new rules on execution, including using a different method than most states in the U.S., have evidently not bothered to “do their homework” when it comes to state laws on the subject.  The need for a change in the system and methods of execution is simply unnecessary and, for many citizens, unreasonable.  There is, to be sure, a long and hotly debated history of capital punishment in the state of California. Before the 1972 case, People v. Anderson, there were 709 executions carried out in California, beginning in 1778 when...

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Concord Resident Arrested For Arson in Contra Costa County (CA Penal Code §451)

Concord resident, Julie Tenpenny (48) was arrested this month on suspicion of starting a grass fire in Martinez. It seems that Tenpenny used a lighter to set small fires near Alhambra Hills Drive.  Law enforcement officials say that they received phoned-in tips about the woman starting as early as 5pm on Sunday evening.  When they went to investigate, they found Tenpenny – uncooperative and seemingly under the influence of drugs.  Why she started the small fires, which did require the Contra Costa County Fire Department to drop some water from their helicopters in order to extinguish the minor blaze, is...

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