“These defendants are a menace to society,” Katz said in a response to Ochoa’s rejoinder. “If the offers withdrawn by [the district attorney’s office] are reinstated, our society’s repugnance and absolute intolerance for this kind of behavior and confidence in our judicial system would be gravely undermined.”

Katz was unavailable for comment regarding his decision to offer a plea deal, but DA spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder says there was nothing remarkable about such a move. “We continue to investigate our cases, and after filing, it’s not unusual to either increase or decrease our offer based on newly discovered evidence,” she says. As to Ochoa’s allegation of collusion between her department and the Weekly, she remarks, “It’s not unusual for criminal defense attorneys to make allegations against the prosecutor because they want the public to turn their attention away from what their clients did.”

Ochoa has already scored a legal victory for Brooks by convincing presiding Judge Steven Bromberg to let her go free on $100,000 bail because she is a loving, responsible mother who couldn’t possibly be a racist because she’s now married to a man with a Hispanic surname. Ochoa claims in court transcripts that the defendants were the victims, that the Mexicans tried to drag his semi-conscious client out of the truck, and that one of Brooks’ associates had suffered a stab wound, although no such injury was reported by Huntington Beach police at the time of their arrest.

Jim Rugg
Jim Rugg

Bromberg delayed his decision on whether to force the district attorney’s office to reinstate the plea offers to the defendants. The next hearing on the case is scheduled for December in Westminster’s West Justice Center.

A week after the foursome’s arrest, a subdued Cox would say on 88 Degrees only that Hicks was “indisposed of until further notice—he ran into a little bit of trouble.”

On July 17, he offered a bit more information: “They’re getting railroaded. [They face an] uphill battle; we all wish [them] the best. It’s a case of self-defense.”

The assault wasn’t made public until August, when the Register reported that police were looking for Brooks and Powell. Friends of the white supremacists went on the Weekly’s blog and other newspapers to claim it was the South Side gang who had assaulted their friends, that the arrest of the four was a racial conspiracy against whites.

But after the Weekly’s unearthing of the 88 Degrees recordings, Cox told a different story. On Oct. 9’s 88 Degrees, Cox and new co-host Jeremy Moody devoted almost two hours to trashing the Weekly. Cox said the blog post was “full of slanderous bullshit” but never told listeners exactly what part was slanderous. He shrugged off Hicks’ previous boasts of racial violence as “idle gossip,” but Moody worried that Hicks’ statements were “incriminating” and that a judge and jury wouldn’t take kindly to the defendants after hearing Hicks’ recordings.

Nevertheless, Cox insisted this writer “really [hasn’t] pissed me off 1 percent,” even though he titled the episode, for archival purposes, “Gustavo the Gay Mexican.” Throughout the show, Cox called me a “bastard,” a “whining bitch,” a “prick,” a “faggot communist,” a “dirty beaner,” “queer,” a “piece-of-shit Mexican, a “faggot,” a “douchebag,” “gay,” a “homosexual Mexican,” a “piece of shit,” a “bitch,” a “fricking reporter for a newspaper that comes out once a week and it’s free,” “scum of the bottom of the barrel,” “nothing but a joke,” the “spic version of Jared from Subway,” a “loser,” a “worthless piece of garbage,” a “stupid Mexican,” a “Mexican homosexual beaner,” an “amateur journalist,” and a “border brother” who “dresses funny” and has “fucked-up teeth.”

And then, he got personal.

Cox threatened to “crush [Arellano] like a weak little grape” in a debate and said his friends should invite me to a barbecue but remembered “they can’t barbecue refried beans.”

“You pissed off one big-ass skinhead,” Moody laughed at one point.

“Now, it’s on,” Cox said, constantly mentioning he’s now “through the door” to start attacking me. “Now, I know who he is, where he works. I know everything about this dude. . . . We have his home address. We have everything we need to know about that dude.”

“He needs to be careful about what he says,” Jeremy added.

Despite Cox’s downplaying of Hicks’ violent urgings on 88 Degrees, Radio White removed all archives of the programs featuring Hicks from their website after the Oct. 9 broadcast. Cox has refused to speak with the Weekly unless we pay him $3,500.

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