For four years up until March 2011, T. Michael Haws made nationwide solicitations to lure investors in his DrinkRite, a Costa Mesa water filtration company, while concealing material facts. Haws didn't tell his victims that he illegally diverted their investments to his personal use to pay for groc ... More >>
A piano teacher who molested girls ages 9 and 12 he met through Agape House of Prayer in Anaheim has been sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison. A worship team leader who gave electronic keyboard lessons at Agape, 35-year-old David Elifar Verduzco of Santa Ana had befriended the families of ... More >>
A 38-year-old man who murdered a drug dealer making himself a cup of coffee in a Santa Ana bakery has been sentenced to 80 years to life in state prison. A jury last month found Israel Pena Lopez of Santa Ana guilty of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and found true a sentencing enhanc ... More >>
Just in time for the Halloween season comes this possible nightmare: the release from prison of a member of a devil cult whose slayings were compared to the Manson family murders a year earlier in 1969. Arthur Craig "Moose" Hulse, who has been in prison for 44 years after receiving a life sentence ... More >>
California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Thursday the state will appeal Santa Ana-based federal Judge Cormac Carney's ruling that found the state's death penalty system is unconstitutional. See also: Federal Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Ana Rules Cali Death Penalty is Unconstitutional Or ... More >>
The children of parents who are incarcerated in the U.S. suffer significant health and behavioral problems, and in some cases these problems are worse than those experienced by kids dealing with divorce or a parent's death, according to a new UC Irvine study.
See Update No. 2 at the bottom of Page 2 on a jury today finding Brian Hughes Benedict guilty of special circumstances murder of his ex-wife. Update No. 1 detailed the trial's opening statements. ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 5, 7:08 A.M.: Opening statements are expected this morning in the murder trial of ... More >>
Five people tied to a $5 million health care fraud scheme--which recruited elderly Koreans in Southern California to pose as patients--have received federal prison sentences the past couple weeks, while two more defendants learn their fates in October. But an eighth participant in the scam, and th ... More >>
A cold-case murder plotted by a Westminster respiratory therapist who did not want to pay for his divorce from his wife in 2004 gets the NBC Dateline treatment tonight.
So much for Randy Orbach's redemption song (allegedly). The parolee and subject of a Weekly cover story in March has been arrested on suspicion of making illegal contact with the ex-girlfriend whose complaints of being harassed sent Orbach to prison in March 2010.
That a federal judge in California has declared the death penalty unconstitutional is no surprise--a 2006 ruling has put capital punishment on hold in Northern California--but that a federal judge in stodgy old Orange County did caused ripples Wednesday. To be fair, some are ripples of "atta boys" f ... More >>
George Joseph England, a serial child molester who spent 29 years as a fugitive before serving three consecutive life sentences, has died in prison, according to authorities. Not that anyone will muster up a tear. Check out how my colleague R. Scott Moxley described the then-65-year-old, who was nea ... More >>
A 45-year-old paroled registered sex offender who got his jollies patting his belly and exposing his junk to lady shoppers has pleaded guilty to being the Orange County mall flasher, immediately earning a 10 year state prison sentence.
Like a lousy movie playing over and over on cable for months, Lewellyn Charles Cox (a.k.a. "Showtyme" or "Sho") is himself an annoying, tragic re-run. Having collected six prior convictions for identity theft-related crimes since the 1990s, Cox emerged from prison on parole, lived under a fake name ... More >>
The mother of 53-year-old Douglas Brian Galvin asked his nephew in court Friday to apologize and explain to his family why he killed his uncle and set the body ablaze. Kirk Michael Galvin, 25, of La Palma, said nothing at his sentencing hearing. He'd cut a deal to have a first-degree murder count ... More >>
A 36-year-old mother of nine was convicted and sentenced to jail time last week for abusing and nearly starving to death her youngest, who at age 4 weighed only 18 pounds. The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) objected to the sentence, arguing Santa Ana's Antonia Benitez should have re ... More >>
The mother of the only victim whose body has been recovered so far as part of the quadruple murder case against two alleged serial killers lashed out at Orange County authorities outside court Tuesday. Jodi Pier-Estepp said if registered sex offenders Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon were more clo ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post on Robert Rizzo's state-court sentence and apology. ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 15, 6:37 A.M.: Former City of Bell chief administrator Robert Rizzo was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison for tax evasion, as part of a plea deal that included Jabba the Cor ... More >>
Two Irvine bank tellers embezzled more than $112,000 in 2013 and faced potential prison trips, but walked out of Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse April 7 visibly relieved with comparative wrist slaps. Nether U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, a federal prosecutor nor defense ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post on the sentencing of Edgar Salvador Luciozamudio. ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 7, 7:31 A.M.: A jury in Santa Ana found a Buena Park man guilty Thursday of murdering his "father figure" after the older man tried to initiate sex. Edgar Salvador Luciozamudio, a 24-year ... More >>
Jose Felix Zepeda did not pull the trigger on the gun that killed 29-year-old Leder Vazquez Sanchez about a half-mile from Disneyland on April 25, 2012, but Zepeda is the only one of several defendants to be convicted of first-degree murder in the case. A jury Thursday found Zepeda, a 41-year-old dr ... More >>
James Christopher Corr, whose "Fuck the police" tat across his chest caught our eyes, was sentenced today to nearly 13 years in state prison for stealing an Aliso Viejo mom's SUV from her garage with her 2 1/2-year-old son and dog in the backseat and running over the frantic and pregnant woman's foo ... More >>
A 29-year-old Van Nuys man was accused in court Wednesday of brutally killing an Anaheim Hills man and his daughter and nearly killing her mother so he could leave his ex-girlfriend alone and "swoop in like a white knight" to comfort her and win back her love. Prosecutors are seeking the death pena ... More >>
[Moxley Confidential] State court of appeal calls lifetime imprisonment of mentally challenged 14-year-old offender cruel
A massive, 2011 law enforcement investigation into the dangerous, Costa Mesa-based Forming Kaos (FK) criminal street gang and its submissive work for the Mexican Mafia has resulted in eight more guilty pleas in recent weeks inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. Those recently con ... More >>
An 18-year-old man, who two years ago was charged as an adult with murder in the fatal stabbing of another teen in a Huntington Beach park, was convicted today of voluntary manslaughter. Jesse Taylor Shockey is now scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22 for the Dec. 21, 2011, slaying.
A Los Angeles man who recruited homeless people from skid row for a patient scam involving a now-shuttered Tustin hospital was sentenced Monday to 18 months in federal prison. United States District Judge George H. King also ordered Estill Mitts, 68, who lives near the Miracle Mile district of LA, ... More >>
A prostitute has been sentenced to five years in state prison for recruiting and sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in the first Orange County case of human trafficking of a minor under Prop 35. A jury last month found Cierra Melissa Robinson, 28, guilty of felony human trafficki ... More >>
The final defendant in the Feb. 25, 1995, murder of Viet Nguyen was sentenced this week to the same punishment his three co-defendants received: life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Giang Thuy Nguyen, 37, of Fountain Valley (shown at right), and the previously sentenced trio belo ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post about the arrest of a paroled arsonist near the scene of these arson fires. ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 13, 8:30 A.M.: Police are seeking whoever is responsible for a series of 11 trash bin arsons this month in Santa Ana. The fire bug usually strikes between 1-4:30 a ... More >>
Four men received sentences of less than a year in jail each for defrauding hundreds of victims in a home loan modification scam that had them illegally collecting upfront fees and using CitiFinancial or CitiMortgage logos on customer correspondence without authorization. It's estimated the real es ... More >>
[Moxley Confidential] Lawyer for the Buena Park gangster says attempted murder case is a mockery of justice
Don't ever let anyone tell you that it is impossible for family members to influence the punishment a judge dispenses to a criminal. On July 8, the mother and father of Tonisha Alecia Moore, the 24-year-old woman convicted of selling two girls, ages 13 and 17, for sex in several states and near Dis ... More >>
Tonisha Alecia Moore doesn't deny she is a prostitute and that in 2012 she violated federal law by transporting two minor girls, ages 13 and 17, across several state lines to sell them by the hour on the Internet for sex. But Moore is hoping U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney is lenient at ... More >>
The third and final defendant convicted in the killing of 18-year-old Joshua Steven Mora-Rodriguez at a Halloween night 2009 house party in La Habra was sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Jose Francisco Nuno, 23, had struck a deal to plead guilty to five felony counts of assault with a deadly we ... More >>
Annamaria Magno Gana, who fatally shot her husband and tried to do the same to their two boys in their Tustin Ranch home on Mother's Day 2011, was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison. The 43-year-old received a cancer diagnosis that caused her to take out her 72-year-old husband, a r ... More >>
Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald today re-sentenced and released career criminal John Paul Beckman over the objections of the district attorney's office.The hearing was prompted by Prop. 36, the initiative voters passed in November to reform California's Three Strikes Law so that ... More >>
Aspiring Southern California hip-hop rapper Keley Bluez--crooner of the MySpace online wonder "(I Don't) Beg for Pussy"--has been sentenced to prison for his role in a multiyear, sophisticated, identity-theft and bank-fraud ring that stole millions of dollars from innocent victims. In court records ... More >>
A 34-year-old Lake Forest man was convicted today of touching the vaginal areas of a 7-year-old visiting a family member at the Laguna Woods healthcare facility the creeper worked at and a 6-year-old attending movie night at an Aliso Viejo park. German Bravo DeJesus now faces a maximum sentence of 4 ... More >>
Four men were convicted Wednesday for their roles in a real estate scam that stung hundreds of victims through the fraudulent collection of more than $130,000 in upfront fees for loan-modification services via fake letters with the CitiFinancial or CitiMortgage logos. Jacob John Cunningham, 26, of I ... More >>
An Anaheim man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for stabbing a 31-year-old Garden Grove man to death over a drug-deal dispute.Johnathan Allen Kincaid, 23, who had fled to Las Vegas after the July 29, 2009, murder, was convicted in February of felony speci ... More >>
Before he became a wildly successful Verizon franchisee in Southern California, Michael Scott Grayson was a crook.We know this fact because in 2008 the FBI arrested Grayson for his role in a 2004-2005 conspiracy that used false statements and fake documents to steal enormous amounts of money in ... More >>
A driver found guilty in February of murder, DUI and forging prescriptions was sentenced today to 17 years to life in state prison.Asked in January if a murder count for the DUI-related slaying of a pedestrian was proper, Weekly readers engaged in a lively debate in our comments section.
A 79-year-old Costa Mesa man was sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading guilty to the mercy killing of his ailing wife.Kenneth Joseph Leake shot 72-year-old Doris Leake, his bride of 50 years, four times in the head and once in the wrist as she was napping in September 2009.
Hugo Godinez, the registered sex offender at the center of an appellate case that, depending on who tells it, freed only him from the restraints of a controversial county ordinance banning perverts from public parks or made that law null and void for all, has been sentenced to 197 days in jail for v ... More >>
Robert Topper received an early Christmas present in 1983: a toolbox for the wrenches, screwdrivers and other instruments he used in his spare time tinkering around in his Santa Ana garage. His pride and joy from his off-hours hobby was a Porsche he restored and would drive around, beaming. But Topp ... More >>
When gang banger Joseph Baez's special circumstances murder trial began last month, he was looking at the possibility of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted in Orange County's first murder of 2010. Thursday, a jury found him guilty instead of second degree murder and ... More >>
In May 2011, La Habra police officers attempted to stop a Brea man driving a Toyota Solaro, but the suspect led cops on a wild chase, running lights and speeding while dumping the white, powdery contents of two bags. Officers eventually managed to detain Joseph Matthew Dattilio and, despite him ... More >>