When Carlos Alberto Leon was arraigned in April 2012 for being methed-up, wielding a fishing pole and slashing the neck and face of a Tustin police officer with the cop's own knife, he was looking at a laundry list of felony charges that could have sent him to state prison for life. But he was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court Thursday to four years prison–and with time served in jail the 30-year-old could be out in 10 months. WTF?
The major reduction in time behind bars comes courtesy of a jury in February acquitting Leon on an attempted murder charge and deadlocking on aggravated assault on a peace officer, mayhem and resisting and deterring an executive officer.
Jurors were swayed by defense arguments that police did not have a legal right to enter the house in the first place.
The legal setback (for the state) prompted the Orange County District Attorney's office to re-file charges against Leon. This time around, he faced assault with a weapon on a peace officer, mayhem and two counts of resisting arrest–one of which the defendant earned for struggling with cops called to his home while he was out of custody.
Leon on Thursday pleaded guilty to those charges as well as a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury and was immediately sentenced to four years in prison. But Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz told City News Service that, with time served, Leon could be out of prison in 10 months to a year.
Tustin Police say Leon was high on meth the night of April 12, 2012, when his brother arrived home, got into a confrontation with Leon, and was threatened with death. Two Tustin officers arrived and tried to restrain Leon, who resisted and was uncooperative while holding a fishing pole. One officer fired a Taser at Leon, but it seemed to have no effect on the combatant, who managed to grab the knife of a cop identified as Officer Nguyen.
Leon threatened the officers and lunged at and slashed the neck and face of Nguyen before the suspect was subdued and taken into custody. The incident sent Leon and Nguyen to the hospital. The civilian suffered a cut to his hand, while the officer received multiple stitches to his face and arm and treatment for a slash wound on his neck.