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Salinas, CA Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms
Directory of Salinas, California Attorneys, Lawyers, Law Firms, etc.
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United States Attorney News
Ex-cab driver agrees to plea deal in murder charges
A plea deal agreement has Broderick Kenyo Smith admitting to manslaughter instead of capital murder in the death of Arlando Maurice Pritchett in 2012.
The plea agreement will have Smith serving just a year in jail for a split sentence of 10 years.
His jail stay will be followed with probation for three years.
Should Smith violate his probation, he could be made to serve the rest of his 10-year sentence.
According to the police, Pritchett had an argument with a cab driver prior to his shooting while Smith admitted that he had been driving a cab during the time of the incident.
Birmingham defense attorney Charles Salvagio said Smith had shot Pritchett because the latter had robbed him.
Former prosecutor sentenced to 10 days for wrongful conviction
Ken Anderson, the former District Attorney of Williamson County, was meted with a 10-day jail term after the judge accepted his no-contest plea for the charge of contempt of court.
The charge steamed from the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton who was found guilty for the murder of his wife in 1986 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, in 2011, Morton's conviction was overturned using DNA as proof that he did not kill his wife.
In the light of that development, Anderson, who had prosecuted Morton's case, was scrutinized and was determined to have erred when he withheld evidence which would have been beneficial for Morton's defense.
Aside from the short jail stay, Anderson will also have to give up his license as a lawyer and as part of the plea bargain, he will also be disbarred for five years.
Austin attorney Eric Nichols, however, pointed out that there will be no conviction for Anderson on any criminal charge.
Morton, for his part, said he is more than happy with the result because all he wanted was for Anderson not to practice law anymore to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else again.
Anderson was also fined and made to do community service.
16-year-old charged with hate crime, will be tried as an adult
Richard Thomas may only be 16 years old but he will be facing the charges filed against him as an adult.
Thomas is facing several charges including "hate crime" after he set another teenager, Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, 18, on fire.
Both were riding on a bus when the incident happened with Fleischman wearing a skirt.
Fleischman's parents said their son does not identify himself either as a male or female.
According to police, Thomas had told them he set Fleischman on fire because he is homophobic.
San Francisco defense attorney Michael Cardoza said his client, Thomas, if convicted would be facing a longer sentence because of the hate crime charge.
Man found guilty in beating death of infant
David Christopher Cruz was found guilty in the death of an infant, who is still five months shy of turning one years old.
The infant victim, the son of Cruz's girlfriend, was taken off life support a few days after he was brought into the hospital unconscious.
He suffered head injuries, several fractures and had bruises on his body.
Court heard that Cruz was the infant's baby sitter while the mother goes to work.
Cruz told the police that he had hit the baby because he keeps on fussing.
Michael Begovich, a criminal lawyer in San Diego defending for Cruz, said that the baby's mother also has a responsibility in her son's death because she had not consulted a doctor when the baby had an ear infection.
Man avoids manslaughter conviction
Donnell Deshawn Stean was cleared of manslaughter charges for the death of Bernard Howard Jr. whom he shot during an altercation.
The jury had found that Stean had only shot Howard in defense.
Howard was found to have more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood while Stean had tested positive of an ingredient found in marijuana.
Howard was one of the people whom Stean found in his apartment when he went home on the night of Nov. 3. They were drinking and helping out a roommate of Stean's who was moving out.
The group got upset when Stean hit an older man who was also living in the apartment.
Howard had punched Stean, who retaliated by pulling out his gun.
Sacramento defense attorney Alan Whisenand said his client, Stean, had felt threatened by the group thus his actions.
Stean was also cleared of seriously wounding the female roommate's brother during the incident.