Newport Beach Mansion Burglar Wants Conviction Overturned

In the view of Newport Beach Police Department officials, Paul Keesling is a prolific burglar who specializes in targeting mansions in ultra-wealthy neighborhoods and won the nickname “Dinnertime Bandit” because he liked to strike when families dined out.

An Orange County prosecutor won a conviction in 2010, but Keesling filed an appeal arguing the case against him was an injustice. He also says his defense lawyer provided ineffective trial work by letting weaknesses in the government’s case go largely unchallenged.

Keesling claims law enforcement officials gave the jury misleading DNA evidence, erroneously asserted the neoprene motorcycle mask he used when driving his motorcycle was a burglary mask, and ignored alleged exculpatory evidence that supported his alibi.

For example, he says a witness who was in the courtroom during the trial but never called would have told jurors he observed the defendant inside his home at the time of a $250,000 Newport Beach burglary in 2008.

So what about the cell phone tower pings that placed the defendant’s phone in the area of the burglary?

Keesling, who says his reading comprehension skills are on par with a fourth grader, claims he lent his phone to a friend that night.

But none of his arguments won even a moment’s consideration.

A U.S. magistrate judge ruled the appeal had been filed long after a statutory deadline.

On April 15, U.S. District Court Judge J. Spencer Letts accepted the magistrate’s determination and denied the 54-year-old inmate’s appeal without considering the merits.

Upshot: Keesling–who has now collected 13 felony strikes–will continue to serve his 45 years to life punishment inside California State Prison in Lancaster.

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Email: rs**********@oc******.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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