By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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UNUSUAL COURT REQUESTS
Leon Draper, an accused bank-fraud defendant awaiting trial for alleged financial shenanigans involving a Fountain Valley gas station and car wash, is out of custody on $10,000 bond. As with all pretrial criminal defendants, Draper had to surrender his U.S. passport, but he wants it back for an unusual reason. He intends to fly to Kuwait at the end of the month to sell two expensive, exotic Savannah cats, each of which can be valued at $20,000 or more.
On May 14, the defendant's taxpayer-funded defense lawyer promised Judge Guilford her client would stay in the Middle East only long enough to get the cats through customs; he would then immediately return to Orange County.
Puzzled about the rush for the overseas trip, Guilford said no.
A portion of this column appeared on our news blog, Navel Gazing.