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Plea Bargaining

September 21, 2006 | From the Associated Press
The owners of a nightclub where a 2003 fire killed 100 people will plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges, and only one will have to serve prison time, their lawyer said Wednesday. Victims' relatives were outraged. Kathleen Hagerty said brothers Jeffrey and Michael Derderian will enter the pleas more than 3 1/2 years after pyrotechnics ignited foam soundproofing as a 1980s heavy metal band started playing at The Station nightclub.
August 29, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A former FBI agent who disclosed confidential information in connection with a Chinese spying investigation will be sentenced to probation and a $1,000 fine, a Los Angeles judge said Monday. U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner said he would accept a plea bargain for Denise K. Woo, 47, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count in June as part of the agreement. Klausner called the plea deal, which calls for one year of probation, "appropriate." He set Woo's formal sentencing for Oct. 23.
August 18, 2006 | Andrew Blankstein, By Andrew Blankstein Times Staff Writer
Mel Gibson agreed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, perform public service announcements and pay $1,300 in fines as part of a plea agreement the actor reached Thursday with prosecutors to resolve his drunk driving charges. Gibson was scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 28, but his attorneys informed prosecutors early Thursday that they were ready to make an immediate plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Malibu.
June 1, 2006 | Rone Tempest and Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writers
Federal prosecutors Wednesday agreed to drop terrorism-related charges against Lodi ice cream truck driver Umer Hayat in exchange for a guilty plea in a 2003 customs case. Hayat, 48, who spent nearly a year in jail and under house arrest on the charges, was released for time served. Six weeks ago, a hopelessly split jury failed to reach a verdict in his case. "This outcome, of course, was not the one most desired by the government," said U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott.
April 1, 2006 | Brian Haas, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Attorneys agreed on a deal Friday that would allow a woman accused of smuggling a human skull into the country in her carry-on bag to plead guilty and possibly avoid deportation. Myrlene Severe, a 30-year-old Haitian national and voodoo priestess, had been charged by federal authorities with smuggling a human head without proper documentation, failing to declare the skull to customs, and transporting hazardous materials, all felonies.
March 29, 2006 | From a Times Staff Writer
Before accepting former Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow's guilty plea Tuesday for conspiracy to embezzle union funds, a federal judge delivered a lengthy grilling and warned he is not bound by a bargain Ludlow worked out with prosecutors in hopes of avoiding prison time. U.S. District Judge Manuel Real set sentencing for June 5.
March 14, 2006 | Sara Lin, Times Staff Writer
Gregory Haidl and two other young men sentenced last week to six years in prison for the videotaped sexual assault of an unconscious 16-year-old turned down a plea deal last year that would have given them only three years, it was revealed Monday. Attorneys for Haidl, son of a former Orange County assistant sheriff, and his co-defendants contacted the district attorney's office Feb.
March 9, 2006 | From Associated Press
Boy George, in a plea bargain deal, agreed to enter drug rehabilitation and perform community service to resolve his arrest on a cocaine charge. The former pop star, whose real name is George O'Dowd, entered his guilty plea Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court to third-degree false reporting of an incident. To avoid jail time, he also will pay a $1,000 fine. He was arrested Oct. 7 after he called 911 to report an alleged burglary in his Manhattan apartment.
March 9, 2006 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Former Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge that he conspired with the head of a school workers union to illegally funnel union funds into his 2003 council campaign. Under the terms of a plea bargain, Ludlow, when he is sentenced April 21, will shoulder $40,000 in fines and court costs and accept a four-year ban on holding elected office and three years' probation.
March 2, 2006 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lionel Tate, convicted for stomping a girl to death when he was 12, pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing a pizza deliveryman. Tate risked spending the rest of his life in prison if he kept fighting the criminal cases stacked against him, but until Wednesday morning he had refused to take a plea deal. The 19-year-old told his lawyer Tuesday that he wanted to gamble that a judge wouldn't take away his freedom forever.
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