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December 19, 2009 | By Jack Leonard
A former security guard accused of fatally shooting an 18-year-old college student in a Palmdale parking lot nearly a decade ago was convicted of murder Friday, authorities said. The verdict caps a lengthy legal saga that began when Raymond Lee Jennings first reported finding Michelle O'Keefe's body during a routine patrol of the park-and-ride lot. Investigators found the victim, a student at Antelope Valley College, slumped in the front seat of her Ford Mustang. She had been shot four times in the chest and face.
April 23, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A 49-year-old man who had been in and out of prison for two decades stalked and rated young women outside Portland schools and shopping centers, hoping to lure or to force them into a green van that he had turned into a “movable dungeon,” authorities said.  Kelly Swoboda became the target of a search earlier this year after police suspected him in a kidnapping. He was killed during a shootout with police outside a high school in March. A more extensive picture of Swoboda's creepy behavior and his even weirder van emerged in a 312-page transcript of a grand jury proceeding that was made public this week.
April 22, 2011 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
The process was routine. L.A. County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was flipping through snapshots of tattooed gang members. Then one caught his attention. Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years. Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.
April 22, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russia's space for free speech suffered two further blows Tuesday when a Moscow court convicted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny of slander and a social network founder who provided a platform for dissent was fired and fled abroad. Pavel Durov, founder of the Russian Facebook equivalent VKontakte, said via the social media website that he had run afoul of Russian officials for his refusal to block posts  critical of the Kremlin or to pass on to Russian security services the personal data of Ukrainian VKontakte users under surveillance for their participation in the rebellion that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
June 5, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Colorado became the latest state to pass a law that compensates the wrongfully convicted for their time behind bars. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill Wednesday in Denver, accompanied by exonerated convict Robert Dewey, who had fought for its passage. “It's quite an accomplishment getting the bill passed, not only for me and my family, but for guys coming up behind me,” Dewey told the Los Angeles Times. “It's a good day, a new chapter in my life, not dwelling on the past - moving forward.” It was thrill for Dewey and his Denver-based attorney, Danyel Joffe, who has represented him in his fight for freedom and compensation.
August 27, 1986 | From Reuters
Thousands of ex-convicts have been hired by firms in Peking to keep them from reverting to crime, the New China News Agency said Tuesday. It said that in the last three years the firms had hired 12,500 former convicts, more than three-quarters of those released during that time from the capital's prison or labor camps.
May 20, 2006 | From the Associated Press
After 38 years, Michael Robert Smith figured no one was still looking for him. He escaped from the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, Calif., on June 7, 1968, after serving three years of a five-years-to-life sentence for robbery. He headed first to Nevada, then New Jersey and into a marriage that didn't work out, and finally five years ago to a tiny travel trailer in a heavily wooded area of Creek County, Okla.
July 7, 1990 | Associated Press
Chihuahua state Atty. Gen. Jose Miller said authorities have located six more escaped convicts, and their arrest is expected soon, the Excelsior newspaper reported Friday. A total of 34 convicts escaped, four people were killed and eight others were injured during a jailbreak and riot Tuesday in Chihuahua, 225 miles south of El Paso, Tex. Twenty-six of the escapees were rounded up Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Gabriel Nahas, director of Chihuahua state's 14 prisons.
February 21, 2010 | By David Scott Milton
Editor's note: David Scott Milton taught writing in the prison where Kenneth Hartman, the author of "Mother California," is incarcerated. In this Sunday's book section, Carolyn Kellogg reviews "Mother California." When I first came into the system, I had no ax to grind over prison reform. I was not an activist, nor was I passionately pro-convict. My house in Tehachapi is on a mountain top overlooking the prison. From Max Yard 4B, the lights on my house were all the life the men could see at night.
January 8, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
As California begins shifting supervision of thousands of newly released state prisoners to local probation agencies, ex-convicts are arriving with incomplete medical records and more serious mental illnesses than anticipated. And mental health officials are scrambling to provide appropriate — and often costly — treatment. "At the start, every day ... there was a crisis," said Dr. Marvin Southard, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. "There was somebody we didn't know what to do with.
April 19, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes
A man convicted of attempted murder for opening fire on a rival gang member on the USC campus sobbed in court Friday as he was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. At one point, sheriff's deputies had to calm Brandon Spencer as he banged his head on the defense table. He was convicted in February on four counts of attempted murder for the 2012 shooting, the first on the campus in decades. Four people were shot and injured. Nearly 50 friends and family members sat behind Spencer as he tried to compose himself and ask the judge for a second chance.
April 8, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander is pushing for the city to change its rules so that any employee convicted of a felony involving their city job can be required to forfeit their pension. The move comes after The Times reported that a building inspector sentenced to prison in an FBI corruption case would continue to receive his yearly pension of more than $72,000. State law requires public employees who are convicted of a felony to give up retirement benefits they earned during the period that they committed their crimes.
April 8, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - Jonathan Fleming had videos of his Disney World holiday. He had a receipt from his hotel, where employees remembered him for running up a high phone bill. But the perfect alibi couldn't save Fleming from serving nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit - a murder that took place in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than 900 miles from the Florida resort. On Tuesday, Fleming, 51, walked free after the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, dismissed the case after an examination by his office's Conviction Review Unit.
April 7, 2014 | By David Zahniser
A veteran Los Angeles building inspector sentenced last month to prison in an FBI corruption case will continue to receive a yearly pension of more than $72,000, according to a high-level retirement official. Samuel In, 66, pleaded guilty last year, admitting as part of a plea agreement that he took more than $30,000 in bribes while working as a senior inspector. He was sentenced last month to 2 1/2 years in prison after a federal prosecutor argued against leniency, mentioning his "substantial" pension.
April 4, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes
She was driven to a dark road in the desert in the back of patrol car. The sheriff's deputy parked in a secluded spot in Palmdale and told her to walk to the front of the car. It was there, the woman said Friday in court, that the L.A. County deputy raped her and changed her life forever. "You essentially murdered a part of me and I'll never be able to get it back," the victim tearfully said as she stared at her attacker, Jose Rigoberto Sanchez. "A police officer is supposed to serve and protect.
April 2, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A homeless man found in performer Selena Gomez's guest house bathroom was convicted Wednesday of trespassing at the Calabasas home and sentenced to 45 days in jail. Che Cruz, 20, pleaded no contest in his initial court appearance to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized entry of a dwelling house, said Deputy Dist. Atty Eduards Abele. Los Angeles Court Commissioner Alvin Nierenberg sentenced Cruz to 45 days in jail and three years' probation. Abele said the judge also ordered Cruz to stay away from Gomez and her residence and prohibited him from possessing any weapons.
December 30, 1985 | From Reuters
Jail inmates in England and Wales will be given more porridge as part of a health diet ordered by the government. The 47,000 prisoners will have a healthier, higher-fiber diet, emphasizing porridge and reducing saturated fats, meat and salt, following a survey of jail food. Scotland, home of porridge, was not covered by the survey.
May 26, 1987 | Associated Press
Hundreds of inmates rioted at a prison in central Poland, setting fires and smashing doors and windows during a nine-hour uprising, government officials said today. The officials said order was restored early this morning. Government spokesman Jerzy Urban said he had no information on whether anyone was injured. The disturbance began Monday night at Potulice prison, 150 miles west of Warsaw, when inmates objected to the treatment of a prisoner whom guards considered arrogant, Urban said.
March 28, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A Compton man was convicted Thursday of using a belt and electrical cord to strangle his girlfriend to death during an argument. Jeffrey Lee Dixon, 51, was found guilty of second-degree murder for the 2012 killing of Monique Diane Burton , 51. It took a jury less than a day to reach a verdict. Dixon was staying with Burton in Long Beach when they had an argument that turned deadly. Authorities say Dixon strangled Burton to death with a belt and electrical cord then tried to hide her body in the garage by digging a hole, but was interrupted and ditched the effort.
March 26, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- In a quick decision, a jury convicted Osama bin Laden's son-in-law of conspiring to kill Americans in his role as the angry voice of Al Qaeda after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Sulaiman abu Ghaith, 48, faces life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 8. The case has given the public its first and possibly only chance to watch a terrorism trial related to the 2001 attacks unfold in civilian court. Unlike other high-profile terrorism suspects accused of crimes arising from the attacks, Abu Ghaith bypassed the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after his arrest last year.
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