The Buena Park Case of the Hairy, Bad Tenant

In March 2009, Zayed Ahmadieh rented a room behind a detached garage in Buena Park and, according to landlord Mohammad Mian, wasn't a good tenant. Ahmadieh changed locks without permission, made loud noises late at night and generally acted strange. Two months later, Mian asked him to move out.

Ahmadieh repeatedly delayed his move but by November Mian obtained an eviction judgment to boot him out with the aid of sheriff's deputies.

Ahmadieh wasn't happy.

Late one night, he poured a toxic, damaging substance on four vehicles
belonging to Mian or his family and fled, according to an eyewitness.

The damage totaled more than $10,000.

But Ahmadieh told police that he couldn't have done the crime because he had an airtight alibi.

Precisely at the time of the vandalism, he and a pal had been partying inside a Canoga Park strip club, he claimed.  

Ahmadieh: I was at the strip club! Really!

A Feb. 2011 Orange County jury didn't buy it and convicted him of felony vandalism after a trial.

Ahmadieh appealed, claiming that his defense lawyer sucked, Superior Court Judge Richard W. Stanford
botched jury instructions that weakened his alibi argument and that his
punishment was unconstitutionally vague by prohibiting him from
contacting his ex-landlord.

The punishment? It could have been
270 days in the Orange County Jail, but Stanford suspended that sentence
and gave Ahmadieh probation. The judge also ordered him to take anger
management classes and pay restitution.

This month, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered the case but found no legal errors.

Upshot: Ahmadieh will continue to serve formal probation until early December 2014.

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