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Long before she gunned down her son's accused molester in court and at once became a heroine of this Gold Rush country and an emblem for crime victims nationwide, Ellie Nesler learned some harsh lessons of life here from her mother and grandmother. Rely on yourself, she was told, because a woman in the Mother Lode must often go it alone. Trust in the Lord but pack a pistol just in case. And do not seek trouble--but if trouble finds you, strike first.
November 25, 2009 | By Robert Faturechi
Despite being more famous than any other judge at the criminal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, Lance Ito's courtroom is the hardest to find. Each courtroom is adorned with a placard at the door naming its presiding judge. But Ito's placard holder stays woefully empty. Since the judge became a household name more than a decade ago presiding over the O.J. Simpson murder trial, his placard has been stolen time and again. He's tried replacing it, he's tried gluing it, but the darn thing just keeps disappearing.
November 11, 2010 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
A San Diego County Superior Court judge has agreed to resign after being censured by the Commission on Judicial Performance for a pattern of intemperate behavior toward lawyers and defendants. Judge DeAnn M. Salcido agreed to resign immediately to avoid formal proceedings against her that could have led to her ouster. The resignation becomes effective within five days, according to an agreement signed by the judge and lawyers for the commission. Salcido was appointed to the bench in 2002 by then-Gov.
January 19, 2012 | By Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times
The man accused in the largest mass murder in Orange County history pleaded not guilty Wednesday to shooting and killing eight people at a Seal Beach beauty salon, including his ex-wife. Scott Evans Dekraai, wearing a mustard-yellow jumpsuit, his hands handcuffed in front of him, said nothing during his brief arraignment before a courtroom crowded with emotional family and friends of the victims of the Oct. 12 shooting spree at Salon Meritage. Dekraai was kept behind a barrier during the hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana and did not look at the crowd.
June 22, 2012 | By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A convicted South Los Angeles serial rapist was sentenced to death Thursday for sexually assaulting and suffocating a 16-year-old girl, whose body was wrapped in a comforter, set ablaze and dumped in an alley. Latece Megale Brown, 41, smiled and laughed as he spoke to his lawyers in a downtown courtroom during a hearing at which a judge described the 2003 killing as a "cold, vicious murder. " L.A. County Superior Court Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr. noted that the 6-foot-4-inch Brown, who weighed about 450 pounds when he was arrested, intentionally sat on the victim, Jacquiese Williams, until she was dead.
Charlotte Austin stood in court Friday and looked right at the five gang members who fired 11 bullets into the body of her 13-year-old daughter. "You took my child and shot her like she was an animal!" she shouted, her words carrying the strain of the past three angry, painful years. "Your souls are going to hell." But as she spoke, two of the men laughed.
December 23, 1987 | JERRY HICKS, Times Staff Writer
A Fullerton pawnbroker who shot his estranged wife and her lawyer at his shop three years ago, leaving both of them permanently injured, was acquitted of all charges in the incident by a Superior Court jury Tuesday. The jurors, who deliberated for parts of eight days, told lawyers later that they were swayed by unrefuted psychiatric testimony that pawnbroker Victor Pahl was not consciously aware of what he was doing at the time he fired the shots.
April 12, 1986 | DAN MORAIN and MARK A. STEIN, Times Staff Writers
As crime-victim advocates and lawyers debated the impact of his act, Los Angeles resident Jack Spiegelman was freed on $25,000 bail Friday after being charged with the courtroom shooting of a man accused of murdering his daughter. And as word spread of the dramatic Thursday shooting, people began offering Spiegelman unsolicited moral and financial help, while some crime-victim advocates worried that the incident might give their movement a bad name.
July 17, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Following a blow-up outside the courtroom between two attorneys in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit, the judge warned the attorneys in chambers that they could be sanctioned if the feuds continue and prohibited them from speaking to reporters about the case near the courtroom. Kevin Boyle and Brian Panish, lawyers for Michael Jackson and his three children, said that Marvin Putnam, AEG's lead attorney, refused to shake hands with Panish and called him "despicable. " "Where I'm from, handshakes mean something, and they're not empty gestures,” said Putnam, who had the confrontation with Panish a day earlier.
September 19, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
They were two halves of a dysfunctional whole, a prosecutor said. Jason Alejandro Schumann and the mother of one of his children, Elizabeth Ibarra, both used meth and had spent time in jail for forgery. It was during Schumann's jail stint that Ibarra met a popular 17-year-old named Francisco Rodriguez Jr. And it was a just a week after Ibarra was released from jail that Rodriguez, just home from a soccer game, was gunned down in his San Fernando Valley frontyard. Ultimately, though, a jury decided that only Schumann, enraged by what he believed was a relationship between Ibarra and Rodriguez, was responsible for the teen's death.
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