Weekender Updater: OC Human Slave Master Learns His Fate; Plus, Much More Stuff
There are a few murderers in this weekend's update of stories we've covered in the past, as well as sentences in the attempted murder of an ex-boyfriend, an Orange County human slavery ring and a disgusting molestation case involving foster parents. Also find pleas in a fatal explosion at a plastics plant, and one former OC state senator's lawsuit moving forward and another's dying on the vine.
Update: Ean Keith Brown was sentenced Friday to 55 years to life in state prison for murdering a 21-year-old woman by strangling her to death in his recreational vehicle parked in front of his parents' Huntington Beach home. Brown was a third-striker parolee in January 2012, when he murdered Arias Dolores Fagan, who had been staying with relatives on the same street. "It is terrible that this man is still living," Fagan's mother says in her victim's impact statement delivered during sentencing. "He has taken everything from me by killing my daughter."
Update: Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals refused this week to let two attorneys representing convicted killer Iftekhar Murtaza quit the case before sentencing. Mark Fredrick and Scott Hughes declared a conflict and asked to be relieved from representing Murtaza, but the judge rejected the request, believing it was a delay tactic by the defense. A jury recommended a death sentence for the 30-year-old defendant in the 2007 slayings of his ex-girlfriend's father and sister and the attempted murder of her mother in Anaheim Hills. Goethals, who rescheduled sentencing for Tuesday to give the attorneys time to file an appeal aimed at overturning his ruling, also has a defense motion for a new trial to rule on.
Update: Rejecting the defense's contention that the jury didn't understand the legal threshold to determine that Arthur Andrew Andrade Jr.'s killing of his estranged wife was premeditated and that the Tustin 31-year-old's first-degree murder conviction should be reduced, a Los Angeles County judge sentenced him this week to 50 years to life in state prison. Andrade repeatedly shot Soria Esperanza in the head while they were outside the Montebello restaurant where she worked on March 16, 2013. Andrade's attorneys argued the shooting was not planned but happened in the "heat of passion" and that he should be convicted of manslaughter or second-degree murder. But Judge William Sterling said it seemed jurors rejected Andrade's claim that he had been distraught over the breakup of his marriage and was contemplating suicide, not murder, when he went to see Esperanza. "Quite frankly, I didn't believe him either," Sterling said in denying the motion for a new trial and imposing the stiff sentence for what the prosecution called an "execution."
Update: A state appeals court panel this week refused for the second time to overturn Michael Goodwin's conviction for the 1988 murders of auto racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife, who were gunned down in the driveway of their Bradbury home. The same California 2nd District Court of Appeal three-justice panel that upheld Goodwin's conviction on Jan. 26 denied a petition filed Feb. 10 to rehear the case.
Update: A young couple learned their fates this week for their roles in the attempted murder of the 21-year-old woman's ex-boyfriend in Costa Mesa in 2012. After Jessica Gascon pleaded guilty today to assault with a semiautomatic firearm, she was sentenced to nine years in state prison. Her 20-year-old beau Fernando Sanchez, who had already pleaded guilty in September to attempted murder, assault with a firearm, criminal threats and discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, drew a 20 year prison term.
Story: Alleged Bait And Switch Pimp Charged By Feds For Southern California Prostitution Ring
Update: U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton in Santa Ana this week sentenced Roshaun Nakia Porter to 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release for his role in an Orange County sex trafficking ring. Staton also ordered the 39-year-old to pay $866,244.68 in restitution to 10 victims of the conspiracy. Porter, who read books on being a pimp, masterminded a scheme to exploit young women, including foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, in his prostitution operation that ran from 2010-'12. He lured his sex slaves with false online personal advertisements for legitimate employment and promises of better lives. Once they were under Porter's wing, he forced them into prostitution through physical violence, psychological abuse, threats to harm family members and other coercive means. Porter'is protege Marquis Monte Horn was sentenced on Oct. 24, 2014, to 78 months in prison, five years of supervised release and more than $80,000 in restitution to be paid to a victim. Two others entered guilty pleas in the case.
Felipe Hernandez and Mary Esther Hernandez
Courtesy of Santa Ana PD
Update: Foster parent Felipe Hernandez was sentenced Friday to 18 years and eight months to life in state prison for raping, molesting, and sexually abusing six girls when they were between 9 and 15 years old. The Santa Ana 68-year-old had pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to one felony count of forcible lewd act on a child under 14 years old, three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 15 years old, four felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse, two felony counts of oral copulation of a minor, one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor, and one felony count of possession and control of child pornography. His 61-year-old wife, Maria Esther Hernandez, previously copped to felony being an accessory after the fact or having knowledge of a crime and was sentenced on May 31, 2013, to three months in jail, three years of formal probation, and was ordered to pay restitution. At the husband's sentencing hearing, two victims told the court they have attempted suicide due to his actions, but both added they were grateful to now be in a better place in their lives. One victim also said while she had forgiven the defendant, she will never forget how he affected her life. The father of one victim summed it up best: "It is hard to believe that people like this exist in the world."
Update: Roy Faulkinbury, the former maintenance supervisor of a Rancho Santa Margarita plastics plant where a 2009 boiler explosion killed two workers, recently pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to 166 hours of community service. Former plant manager Carl Richardson entered the same plea last month. The Orange County District Attorney's office still has a pending lawsuit against the pair's former company, Solus Industrial Innovations, where one of the two workers who died was beheaded and others were injured.
Update: Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff recently set April 12, 2016, as the trial date for former State Bar executive Joe Dunn's wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer. Dunn, a former Democratic state senator based in Santa Ana, alleges he was fired for exposing ethical breaches within the agency responsible for the oversight of the state's attorneys. Beckloff is scheduled on May 5 to hear a defense motion to force the case into arbitration, which would render the 2016 trial date moot.
Update: Former state Sen. Lou Correa says he uncovered multiple mistakes and possible fraud in his narrow loss to Andrew Do in the First District Orange County supervisor race but that it would be too costly to try to overturn the results in a court. At the same time, Correa praised the "consistently commendable job" by the Orange County Registrar of Voters office, which concluded Do won the original Jan. 27 special election and a recount by 43 votes. Correa, who claims to have uncovered large bundles of ballots that were dumped at polling places at the 11th hour and postmark problems with mail-in ballots, reasoned Do's first term would likely end before a court challenge of the election results would be resolved. The former legislator says he is turning over the findings from his review to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.