Posts Tagged ‘District attorney’

Officers ‘Stopped Violent Burglary In Progress’

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Quick acting Met officers managed to catch an violent burglary in progress after a man escaped from a gang and flagged down a passing police car, a court was told.

As a result officers caught a group of bandana-clad criminals armed with silenced and loaded handguns who were holding up a terrified man in his own flat.

Snaresbrook Crown Court was told that one of the defendants, Yasemin Tutar, had arranged to meet the victim at his house in Hackney on the evening of June 4 last year.

Ensuring he was alone, she had told him she needed to go to a shop. But she later returned with three men, gang members Levi Defreitas, Emmanuel Laurence and Shelton Harvey. The trio were wearing gloves and bandanas and armed with handguns.

They stole a £3,500 diamond crucifix from the victim, at gunpoint. At one stage, a gun was pointed at Tutar in an effort to disguise her involvement in the criminal act.

But the intruders did not know that a friend of the victim was also in the flat and that he had escaped via the second storey balcony before flagging down a police vehicle.

Officers were soon at the scene and forced their way into the flat, catching the criminal act in progress. All of the gang members were ultimately arrested.

In the run up to the trial, it transpired that Defreitas had contacted the victim who was near-paralysed with fear.

All of the defendants were found guilty of three counts of possessing a prohibited firearm and illegally possessing ammunition. Tutar, Laurencin and Defreitas were additionally convicted of aggravated burglary and Defreitas was convicted of witness intimidation and perverting the course of justice.

Defreitas (29), of Gopsall Street, N1, was sentenced to 19 years and was given an indeterminate sentence tariff of nine-and-half years.

Laurencin (27) whose address was given as Fellows Court E2, was handed down a 13-year custodial term and was given an indeterminate tariff of six-and-a-half years.

Harvey (24), formerly of Well Street E9, received 12 years in prison while 26-year-old Tutar, of Crondall Court N1, was given a seven-year custodial term.

Det Cons Martyn Collier from Hackney CID said: “The lengthy sentences reflect the level of criminality of the four defendants which has seen them jailed for a total of 51 years.”

Det Sgt Aytac Necati, serving with Hackney Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit added: “The defendants moved in murky circles. This has been a tenacious and intensive year-long enquiry.”

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Man gets 2 life sentences for raping in Ga. church

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

A judge has sentenced a 51-year-old man to two consecutive life sentences for raping a woman in a suburban Atlanta church this year.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( http://bit.ly/KIkkfb) reports that Judge Asha Jackson also sentenced John Russell Carver to 115 years behind bars. Carver pleaded guilty Friday to raping a female employee of Timothy United Methodist Church in Stone Mountain in February.

 

Jackson says Carver beat the 53-year-old woman, stomped on her head and raped her while bearing a knife. She was alone inside the church when the incident occurred.

The judge called Carver’s act “extremely violent and vicious.”

DeKalb County District Attorney‘s office says Carver pleaded guilty to charges including rape, armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, burglary and possession of a knife during

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Man sentenced for hate crime

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

One of two men indicted in March on a hate crime charge has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to four years in prison with a recommendation for the impact incarceration, or boot camp, program.

Prison boot camp is a four-month, structured rehabilitation program that, if successfully completed, can replace prison time.

As part of his guilty plea, an aggravated battery charge was dismissed against Robert Hunt, 18, of the 1300 block of East Black Avenue.

Anthony Ishmael, 18, of Williamsville also is charged with a hate crime and misdemeanor aggravated assault in connection with a Feb. 8 incident involving a Lanphier High School custodian.

Hunt and Ishmael allegedly approached a Lanphier custodian as he was salting a school parking lot at 11th Street and Converse Avenue about 7:30 a.m. Feb. 8.

The victim, who is black, told police that as he walked back toward the school with his equipment, three men approached and that one, allegedly Hunt, punched him in the back of the head and made a racial remark to him.

The custodian called for school security, and the attacker asked if he was calling the police.

When the custodian replied that he was, the three men surrounded him, and a second man, allegedly Ishmael, swung a fist at the custodian but missed.

The custodian said he pulled a pocketknife to defend himself, and the men ran.

Assistant state’s attorney Karen Tharp prosecuted the case. Hunt was represented by Springfield attorney Ryan Cadagin.

Ishmael’s case is set for trial June 25.

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Ex-skinhead seen as stereotype victim by his black lawyer

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Black lawyer says his ex-skinhead client is being prosecuted for resisting arrest without regard for his acknowledged schizophrenic and bipolar disorders.

  • Civil rights attorney Milton Grimes' latest case is to defend a mentally ill former skinhead against felony resisting arrest charges.
Civil rights attorney Milton Grimes’ latest case is to defend a mentally… (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times)
August 01, 2011|By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times

When the family of Chad Brian Scott, a heavily tattooed former white supremacist, contacted Milton Grimes seeking legal representation, the veteran black attorney had one initial question: “Do you happen to know my race?”

They did. And it didn’t matter. What they were looking for was a good lawyer, recalled Scott’s cousin Leah Jensen.

Scott, a former skinhead who suffers from schizophrenic and bipolar disorders, was forcibly restrained by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies after he tried to resist arrest, authorities said. A multiple offender, Scott faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted, according to the district attorney’s office.

Grimes found Scott at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles. The two instantly felt at ease, Grimes said. After they chatted for 45 minutes, he decided to take Scott’s case.

“This young man was not trying to break the law, he just needed medical attention,” Grimes concluded.

But there was more. Grimes, a 65-year-old South Carolina native, studied law because he “wanted to represent black people during the civil rights movement.” He later represented Rodney King in federal court, and two black O.J. Simpson jurors who had been dismissed. But Grimes said he saw parallels between the mistreatment of African Americans and the way authorities were handling Scott’s case.

“This young man reminds me of so many young minority men whose freedoms are arbitrarily taken away because of the color of their skin,” Grimes said.

In this case however, it was not Scott’s color but his tattoos and white supremacist affiliations that had stereotyped him, the attorney said. Grimes said that for him, the principle of fairly applying the law had always outweighed his clients’ color, gender, sexual preference or beliefs.

“It’s not difficult for me to represent a person who is a former, or current, skinhead,” said the attorney, who has practiced law for almost four decades. “I will fight for him as I will fight for a black man.”

Grimes views Scott’s case as an example of prosecutors putting the “status of an individual”— appearance and criminal history — over whether a crime was actually committed.

Scott had been out on parole for just three weeks, having served four years for evading a law enforcement officer. According to Grimes, shortly after being released Scott told his parole officer that he had run out of his psychiatric medication and was beginning “to feel weird.”

He had an appointment to see a doctor April 7. But on April 6, managers at the Lancaster motel where Scott was housed said he appeared to be sick. They called paramedics. When Scott refused to cooperate with them, sheriff’s deputies were summoned.

According to the incident report filed by deputies from the Lancaster sheriff’s station, Scott was “uncooperative and appeared to be under the influence of an unknown drug.” He was talking incoherently, flailing his arms and lashing out at deputies as they tried to cuff him. Deputies struck Scott with a baton and Tasered him, according to the report.

Scott stopped breathing and didn’t regain consciousness until he was at Antelope Valley Hospital, the police report said. Grimes said his client actually died and had to be revived.

Scott was charged with felony resisting arrest. Bail, originally set at $1 million, was reduced to $250,000.

Scott’s parole officer and the investigating sheriff’s detective in the case have both indicated they would not oppose dropping all charges against Scott, according to a July 7 internal memo by Deputy Dist. Atty. Steve Ipsen in which he said he conducted interviews with both men.

Ipsen, a deputy D.A. for about 25 years, got the case when it was first sent for trial. After interviewing the parole officer and the detective, Ipsen decided there was no case and asked that it be dismissed.

“Given the defendant’s documented mental illness, his repeated requests for assistance in getting medication, and the objective behavior of the defendant consistent with his paranoia, there is a reasonable doubt as to any actual criminality,” Ipsen wrote in the memo sent to Steve Frankland, head deputy district attorney in the D.A.’s Antelope Valley Branch Office.

But Ipsen said he was taken off the case, and the D.A.’s office has decided to proceed with it.

“Given the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history, he is clearly a danger,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Sherwood wrote in a motion opposing the reduction of Scott’s bail.

“The defendant … is accused of attacking sheriff’s deputies who were trying to restrain him,” said D.A. spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

Scott was never charged for a drug offense. Ipsen’s investigation found that he hadn’t struck any deputies during the arrest.

But he has a troubled past. His previous offenses include attempted murder, a crime he committed as a juvenile, and making a criminal threat.

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O.C. skinheads plead guilty in home invasion

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
  • Brian Merle Sawin, left, and Mitchell Highley, right, face a minimum of 15 years to life in prison at their July 8 sentencing by Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger. Both accepted offers by prosecutors to plead and had faced at least 30 years to life if convicted at a trial before a jury.

O.C. skinheads plead guilty in home invasion

June 22, 2011|By VIK JOLLY

SANTA ANA – Two Orange County skinhead gang members pleaded guilty Wednesday to felonies charged in connection with a 2009 San Clemente home-invasion robbery in which two other defendants already have been convicted.

Brian Merle Sawin, 25, and Mitchell Highley, 24, face a minimum of 15 years to life in prison at their July 8 sentencing by Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger. Both accepted offers by prosecutors to plead and had faced at least 30 years to life if convicted at a trial before a jury.

They were each charged with first-degree robbery in concert, first-degree residential burglary, aggravated assault and other allegations and enhancements, including committing the crime for the benefit and promotion of a criminal street gang.

In the Feb. 16, 2009 incident, Sawin who is either from Anaheim or Garden Grove, and Highley, of Rancho Santa Margarita, and a third skinhead went to the San Clemente home of the victim who was asleep with her boyfriend and assaulted her, prosecutors said.

SANTA ANA – Two Orange County skinhead gang members pleaded guilty Wednesday to felonies charged in connection with a 2009 San Clemente home-invasion robbery in which two other defendants already have been convicted.

Brian Merle Sawin, 25, and Mitchell Highley, 24, face a minimum of 15 years to life in prison at their July 8 sentencing by Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger. Both accepted offers by prosecutors to plead and had faced at least 30 years to life if convicted at a trial before a jury.

They were each charged with first-degree robbery in concert, first-degree residential burglary, aggravated assault and other allegations and enhancements, including committing the crime for the benefit and promotion of a criminal street gang.

In the Feb. 16, 2009 incident, Sawin who is either from Anaheim or Garden Grove, and Highley, of Rancho Santa Margarita, and a third skinhead went to the San Clemente home of the victim who was asleep with her boyfriend and assaulted her, prosecutors said.

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