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November 25, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A Texas actress who played a zombie on the TV show "The Walking Dead" has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors after being accused of trying to frame her husband for sending poison letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Prosecutors filed notice in federal court in east Texas Thursday that Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, had accepted a deal. In addition to a small part in "The Walking Dead," Richardson had minor roles in "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Blind Side," according to her profile in the movie database IMDb.
November 13, 2013 | By Richard Winton
A 19-year-old man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to a "sextortion" scheme involving naked photos and videos of at least a dozen women, including Miss Teen USA, faces up to 33 months in federal prison. The guilty plea comes less than two months after the family of Temecula college freshman Jared James Abrahams apologized through an attorney for  "the consequences of his behavior. " Abrahams pleaded guilty to four federal crimes, including extortion and unauthorized access of a computer, in a case involving victims from their late teens to their early 20s around the globe.
November 8, 2013 | Times wire services
SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges Friday, satisfying a deal with the government that requires the Connecticut hedge fund to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading to occur for more than a decade. The plea came in U.S. District Court in New York four days after the government announced that the once-influential hedge fund owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen had reached the deal that also required it to shut down its operations to outside investors.
October 31, 2013 | By James Barragan
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week set aside the 37 1/2-year prison sentence of a former Cal State East Bay professor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a woman's infant daughter multiple times. In setting aside the prison term for Kenneth Kyle, along with his guilty plea, the appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the  sentencing judge had interfered with plea negotiations by promising a life term if the case went to trial and he was convicted. In stating that he would give Kyle a life sentence, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco became involved in the plea negotiations, which violated federal regulations, the federal appeals court ruled.
October 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
As the trial of former Bell Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia gets underway in downtown L.A., lawyers are gearing up for an all-out fight over this nearly irrelevant question: Who was the mastermind behind the widespread graft and sweeping corruption in the city? Spaccia claims to have been a victim of Robert Rizzo, the city manager who has long been portrayed as the chief culprit in the campaign to defraud the city. Rizzo was charged with 69 felony counts to Spaccia's 13. And he was her boss, the man who ran Bell for 17 years.
October 24, 2013 | Meghan Daum
Born to a mother in prison, 15-year-old Davion Only has been in foster care all his life. Last month he walked into a church in St. Petersburg, Fla., and pleaded for a family of his own. "I'll take anyone," Davion said. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. " He had the congregation in tears. He also caught the attention of a Tampa Bay Times reporter, who told his story so compellingly, it became national news. On Monday, the boy appeared on multiple talk shows, including "The View," where his caseworker said there had been more than 10,000 calls from prospective parents.
October 24, 2013 | By Joel Rubin
A man who complained he was struggling to breathe died in Los Angeles police custody last month after officers ignored his repeated pleas for help, according to multiple law enforcement sources who reviewed a video of the incident. Two officers transporting 26-year-old Jorge Azucena to an LAPD station were dismissive of his “numerous, numerous statements about trouble breathing and [needing] help,” said one source. At one point, an officer responded to Azucena with a quip along the lines of, “If you can talk, you can breathe,” the source said.
October 22, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Ex-Mayor Bob Filner will lose about $1,704 a year in pension payments if the judge who sentences him on charges of mistreating women accepts a pension reduction clause in his plea bargain with prosecutors, according to figures released Tuesday by the San Diego pension board. Filner, who resigned Aug. 30, will receive about $18,934 a year in pension payments if San Diego County Superior Court Judge Robert Trentacosta accepts the pension reduction part of the plea bargain.
October 19, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
An Illinois dad got the call on Thursday that no parent ever wants to receive. Brad Lewis' ex-wife was on the phone: Their 15-year-old son had shot himself in the chest. In the note Jordan Lewis left behind, he laid blame on bullying. Although stricken with grief, Lewis, 47, found resolve. He took to Facebook that night and posted a series of videos explaining his son's death and the events leading up to it: the alleged bullying, the concern of his son's best friend, the wellness visit by police the night before the suicide, and the 911 call his son made shortly before pulling the trigger.
October 17, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- As part of his guilty plea on charges of mistreating women, ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner agreed to forfeit most of his mayoral pension. The plea bargain calls for Filner to lose that portion of his mayoral pension earned from the date of his first offense in March until the date of his resignation in August. But the pension issue is apparently complicated by differing legal interpretations. The two laws undergirding the provision that Filner lose most of his mayoral pension may not apply to him. A state law calling for stripping convicted felons of pensions may not apply to a charter city with its own pension plan such as San Diego, according to lawyers for the San Diego pension board.
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