A death penalty recommended, an ex-boyfriend convicted of making an ex-girlfriend an ex-living being, a Parent Teacher Organization embezzler, a for-profit schools operator operating fewer schools and pushing Disney princesses in wheelchairs–all are found in this Weekender Updater.
Richard Raymond Ramirez is one of those inmates who gets ping-ponged to and from Death Row due to appeals and retrials. Perhaps you have such a person in your family. Anyway, the 55-year-old who raped and killed a young woman in Garden Grove three decades ago got his second penalty phase trial in a year–and the jury this week again recommended death for his sentence, which a judge is set to hand down Feb. 6. A previous jury voted 7-5 for the ultimate punishment, setting the stage for retrial. Federal Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Ana Rules Cali Death Penalty is Unconstitutional
A jury agreed that Luis Antonio Garcia Morales luring his ex-girlfriend into an alley and repeatedly stabbing her dead was a premeditated act, convicting the Santa Ana resident of first-degree murder. "She thought she was meeting a former girlfriend of hers," Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson told jurors of 21-year-old Maria Isabel Cerrillo. "Instead, in that alley, she encountered defendant Morales. She was still clutching her keys as he stabbed her and left her to die." The defense had tried to argue Morales snapped and stabbing Cerrillo (who'd been thoroughly slut-shamed by the defense) over and over and over and over and over was a random act of violence. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole at his Jan. 23 sentencing. Maria Isabel Cerrillo, 2012 OC Homicide No. 46: Ex-Boyfriend Luis Antonio Garcia Morales Held in Stabbing
For weeks, Gail Diane Monestere has been looking at jail time unless she pays back $22,000 she embezzled while president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Sun View Elementary School in Huntington Beach. Orange County Superior Court Judge Joanne Motoike would also knock Monestere's felony conviction down to a misdemeanor if she paid back the funds. She did go to jail after coming up with only half of $16,000 that was owed by a Nov. 6 deadline, but then someone came up with the full amount. Monestere is now due back in Westminster court Dec. 3, at which time more payback is due lest she find herself behind bars again. Gail Diane Panella-Monestere, Former Parent Teacher Group President, Accused of $22k Theft
Controversial Santa Ana-based for profit schools operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. announced it is selling 56 campuses of its Everest College and WyoTech to Zenith Education Group Inc., an affiliate of Oakdale, Minn.-based student loan guarantor agency ECMC Group. The purchase price is $24 million according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but the U.S. Department of Education must approve the sale under an operating agreement it recently struck with Corinthian to resolve probes into its lending and promotional practices. Corinthian Colleges Avoid Shutdown (For Now)
A San Francisco family that includes a girl with Down syndrome delivered a petition to Walt Disney Studios in Burbank Wednesday morning seeking more representation of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities in the entertainment giant's animated films. Petition author Keston Ott-Dahl arrived at Disney headquarters with her partner, their 6-year-old daughter Jules, and their 15-month-old daughter Delaney to deliver the petition signed by more than 75,000 Care2 members. Disney Urged to Animate Disabled Characters So Disabled Children Have Role Models