Articles Posted in Murder

Published on:

A driver convicted three times of a DUI in Los Angeles would probably lose his/her license for some period of time. But taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop his or her from driving, especially if that driver refuses to learn from past mistakes.
Police in Baltimore, Maryland, had to search five days for 38-year-old Wayne Anthony Green, who allegedly killed a 16-month old boy during a police chase. Baltimore County officers started pursuing Green when he hit a police car parked at the scene of a pedestrian fatality. Green didn’t stop, and the county police followed him into Baltimore City, where the driver slammed into a Volvo, which in turn struck the child, Jeremiah Darrin Perry, who was sitting in his stroller. Jeremiah died that night at a nearby hospital.Wayne-Anthony-Green-DUI

Green received minor injuries in the accident, and officers took him to the hospital for treatment. He recovered enough by the next morning for doctors to discharge him from the hospital, before police had a chance to charge him in the accident. Green left the state, and it took police five days to find him.

Jeremiah’s grieving family members questioned why authorities hadn’t charged Green immediately. Prosecutors said they didn’t want Green arrested on lesser charges right away, since they feared that laws against double jeopardy would allow him to walk on the more serious charges. By the time they gave the okay for officers to arrest him, Green had gone into hiding. Police finally caught up with him a few days later in North Carolina.

Continue reading

Published on:

DUI-related accidents in California resulted in several fatalities in early August. Although police didn’t report any deaths due to DUIs in Los Angeles proper around that time, motorists in other parts of the state weren’t as lucky.Carmen-Venegas-DUI-crash

According to Long Beach Patch, 28-year-old Alvin B. Shaw had a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 when he headed west in the eastbound lanes of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach around 7 a.m. on August 1. He slammed his 2012 Mercedes-Benz into two other vehicles, a 2014 Ford Fusion and a 2010 Nissan pickup. Both Shaw and the Fusion driver ended up in the hospital with critical injuries. But 30-year-old Miguel Gonzalez, the Nissan driver, wasn’t as lucky. Emergency workers pronounced him dead at the scene.

Shaw allegedly was driving on a suspended license, which he had lost because of a previous DUI conviction in 2014. He faces charges of murder and DUI causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense.

On August 10th, 44-year old Carmen Venegas of Fremont, driving an Acura, hit a Toyota Scion that was stopped perpendicular to traffic on Highway 101. According to witnesses, the Scion had hit the center divider of the road before ending up on the second lane from the right facing the shoulder. That’s where the car was when Venegas broadsided it. After screening Venegas at the scene, police booked her on suspicion of DUI felony driving, driving without a license and felony manslaughter. She had two 14-year old boys plus another adult passenger in the car when the accident occurred.

Garrett James Gelrud, 34, caused a head-on collision near Pala on August 5th, killing the driver of the other car. His Chevrolet Suburban crossed the double yellow lines on Old Highway 395 and rammed into a Nissan Versa driven by 62-year-old Juan Corza Gonzalez. Gelrud ran from the scene but police caught up with him. He faces charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

Continue reading

Published on:

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and if so, lucky you), you’ve been bombarded by breaking news in the Jodi Arais trial. The verdict is in: the woman who killed her boyfriend in 2008 after a day of sex — shooting him in the face, stabbing him 27 times, and finally slitting his throat from ear to ear — was found guilty by an Arizona jury of first degree murder.jodi-arias-murder-los-angeles-defense-attorney.jpg

It’s a case that’s fascinated tabloid-obsessed housewives and hardened Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys alike. And Ms. Arias now faces life behind bars… and possibly even the death penalty.

A Wild Affair

Published on:

As someone who was recently been arrested for petty theft in Los Angeles, you’re feeling pretty depressed and terrified. Will you go to jail? Will you be stuck with a criminal record? Will you get fired from your job or get expelled from school? And so forth.Hanging-for-petty-theft-not-in-los-angeles.jpg

These fears are all reasonable. If you take a less than strategic approach to your petty theft defense, pretty serious punishments can await you. Fortunately, however, you were arrested for petty theft in Southern California and not in Iran.

According to a recent news report, two men who robbed a man with a machete at a market were just publicly hanged for their crime in front of a huge crowd. An Iranian judge accused Alireza Mafiha and Mohammed Ali Sarvari of “waging a war against God” and sentenced them to hang in public. Amnesty International says that Iran executes more people, annually, than almost any country on Earth. Although capital punishment is legal in the Golden State, it’s usually reserved for extreme situations, i.e. for people who commit extremely violent crimes, such as murder. But it’s never, ever used to deal with a petty theft.

Published on:

On Tuesday, a shocking “not guilty” verdict was handed down in the “Trial of the Century” murder trial of Casey Anthony, stunning the Los Angeles violent criminal defense community along with the rest of the world.Casey-Anthony-verdict.jpg

In case you have been living in a cable news vacuum (in which case, good for you), here’s a quick recap. In 2008, the defendant, Casey Anthony, allegedly killed her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, and then went out partying right afterwards.

Motivated by the particularly grisly inhuman-ness of the alleged crime, prosecutors sought to convict Ms. Anthony on a capital murder charge. This could have resulted in her execution, had she been convicted. But the jury found her not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter (although she was convicted for several lesser offenses).

Published on:

If you’ve recently been charged with a Southern California white collar crime, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, or any other non-violent offense, you might not immediately see any parallels between your situation and the war on terror. But the blogosphere was literally inflamed this past week with news about Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of US commandos, and it may be useful for us to examine how the ways in which we think about crime influence our potential legal defense strategies.osamaBinLaden-shot.jpg

The basic point is this: We often construct “just so” stories or narratives to justify our opinions about events and people.

The manhunt for Osama bin Laden, for instance, ended successfully from the United States’ point of view. Now, when we look back, historically, things will look all tied up like a neat little bow. One can almost think about Osama being gunned down by snipers in the daring 40-minute raid in Abbottabad Pakistan as the third act of a movie (guessing there probably will be one pumped out by Hollywood soon enough). Thus, our ì20/20 hindsightî makes it seem like the deliverance of justice upon Osama was a forgone conclusion. If history had proceeded along another path – what’s technically known as a counterfactual – we would have constructed a different “just so” story, and that, too, would have seemed like an inevitable product of history.

Published on:

Last Tuesday, an emotionally charged Southern California DUI trial got underway in Fullerton. The defendant, Angel Herrera Leal, stands accused of perpetrating a horrific fatal DUI accident on an Anaheim freeway.dui-murder.jpg

According to news and police reports, in the early morning hours of December 27, 2008, Leal – who had been twice convicted for driving under the influence in Southern California (2005 + 2007) – drive several miles in the wrong way on the southbound lane of an Anaheim freeway. He eventually collided head on with a car driving the correct direction. The collision resulted in the death of one of the passengers in the southbound car – Rebecca Moon – as well as injuries to the driver, Jisun Park. (Park allegedly had also been driving under the influence that evening, and she was cited accordingly).

Prosecutors apparently will seek a Southern California DUI murder charge against Leal. The Deputy DA, Howard Gundy, claims that Leal had a BAC of 0.29%. (By comparison, the Southern California DUI legal limit is 0.08%). According to news reports, Leal had spent time in alcohol education classes — he was aware that driving while intoxicated could lead to someone’s death or serious injury. He was also operating on a suspended license.

Prosecutors seeking serious charges — such as Glendale DUI murder — must meet a serious burden of proof. Typically, if a driver kills someone while DUI, he or she can be charged with vehicular manslaughter or maybe vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, depending on circumstances. The charge of DUI murder is even more serious than the vehicular manslaughter counts. In this case, the defendant had two priors and had completed an alcohol education course, so he should have deeply understood how dangerous driving DUI could be.

Designing a potent defense to charges of driving under the influence in Pasadena or Glendale (or wherever) can be tricky, even if the charges are far less serious and the police employed less than stellar technique. A smart, credentialed and experienced lawyer can make all the difference.

Continue reading

Published on:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) monitors trends regarding fatal Southern California DUI incidences. A close look at the recent stats points to many positive developments and some concerns. Let’s consider the stats over the past 30 years to wee how the dangers of DUI in Southern California have evolved. (We believe that it’s crucial to regularly step back from analyzing DUI headlines and inspecting the latest CA DUI laws to get perspective on the size and scope of the issues drivers face.)roadside_los_angeles_dui_fatality.jpg

In the early 1980s, driving in Southern California was extremely dangerous — much much more so than it is today. In 1982, for instance, over 60% of CA’s traffic fatalities were alcohol-related. There were 4,615 total roadside fatalities, 2,799 of which were alcohol-related; and 2,484 of the alcohol-related fatalities involved drivers who tested over the state’s legal limit of 0.08%.

Due to a variety of factors, including increased awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, stronger enforcement of DUI and seatbelt laws, and better car safety engineering, alcohol-related fatality rates plunged over the next several years, even as the total number of California roadside fatalities increased. The high watermark hit in 1987, when 5,504 died on California’s roads — 2,961 of whom did so in alcohol-related crashes.

Over the next eleven years (1987-1998), both the total number of fatal accidents and the number of alcohol-related fatalities declined, bottoming out in 1998 at 3,494 (total) and 1,367 (alcohol-related). This decline could be almost entirely accounted for by the decline in alcohol-related fatalities.

Unfortunately, over the next seven or eight years, the downward trend reversed itself for both total and alcohol-related fatalities. By 2005, the numbers rose to 4,329 (total) and 1,719 (DUI related). Since the 2005 high water mark, however, the numbers have reversed yet again. In 2008, there were only 3,434 total fatalities on the road, of which only 1,198 were alcohol related.

Of course, analyzing statistics like these can lead to misguided conclusions. It is very difficult to tease out cause from correlation. Even when you have good statistical data, and you can identify strong correlations between two variables, to prove cause requires a much higher logical burden of proof.

Not all DUI related fatalities are charged as felonies. Some accidents can result in charges of DUI vehicular manslaughter. Other accidents can lead to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter. Still others — so-called Watson Murders — can be DUI murders.

To respond effectively to any of these charges, you likely need a trial-proven lawyer to help you.

Continue reading

Published on:

Ryan Jenkins, the reality star whose slight brush with fame on television, killed himself after Southern California prosecutors filed murder charges for the death of his ex-wife. Just over one week ago the body of Jasmine Fiore had been found in a dumpster in Buena Park, California. The body had been mutilated with her hands and teeth removed. Then the rest of the body was stuffed into a suitcase and placed in a dumpster A well known top-notch Southern California criminal defense attorney indicated that by removing certain body parts, murder suspects are often able to slow down the identification of a victim. The slower the identification, the more time for escape.

This time there was a slight twist in the identification. While Fiore’s limbs and teeth were removed, investigators were able to identify the decedent by the serial numbers on her breast implants. The quick identification resulted in the police naming Jenkins as a suspect before he could even leave his Southern California crime scene.

According to police experts, Jenkins was seen in an SUV heading north towards Canada pulling a boat. A few days later the boat was known to have left the United States and had docked in British Columbia.

Jenkins’ body was found in the motel room where he had been hiding. He killed himself by hanging. This, after Orange County officials had filed murder charges against him for the violent crime of murder in the death of Fiore.

Jenkins, who had wished for stardom and fame found that he had become a celebrity outlaw, rather then the reality star that he wanted to be on VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire.”

Continue reading

Published on:

Three days after a former model’s body was found stuffed in a small carry-on suitcase, the facts are beginning to appear more clear. Jasmine Fiore, 28, an aspiring real estate agent and former model was found dead as a result of murder……the person of interest, her former husband. The purported suspect, Ryan Jenkins, was a two time reality star who always wanted attention and the limelight. Now, he has suddenly disappeared and is in need of a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. All of the facts are not yet known. What is clear is that the Jenkins and Fiore had a brief, but stormy relationship.


Fiore and Jenkins were last seen at a poker game in San Diego. On Saturday, Jenkins reported missing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Shortly thereafter he disappeared completely off the face of the earth. Based upon circumstantial evidence, Jenkins should seek the advice of a pre-filing Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.

They met in March of this year in Las Vegas, spent two days together and then got a Vegas “quickie” marriage. Things apparently did not last too long. After arguing constantly, Fiore filed for an annulment from the marriage. That stormy marriage resulted in a criminal filing of domestic violence against Jenkins. Jenkins was charged with misdemeanor battery. He was scheduled to go on trial this December for the violent crimes he committed against her.

Jenkins also had a criminal charge in his home country of Canada. In January 2007, he was given probation for an assault charge.

The victim’s mother indicated that Fiore and Jenkins had been fighting recently over her past boyfriends. Apparently, he was jealous of the fact that Fiore had always remained good friends with people that she had previously dated.

Jenkins was just beginning his new career of attempting to become a reality star. He had just appeared on three episodes of “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” He was identified as a wealthy investment banker bachelor on the series. However, now he has disappeared
Preliminary results show that Fiore was murdered by strangulation. The final autopsy report is pending and until it is released, the cause of death is officially undetermined.

Continue reading

Contact Information