April 7, 2014 |
For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell - better known as Laz Tha Boy - has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit. Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony - and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki - prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.
April 5, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal authorities have detained the interior minister of Michoacan state after determining that he has "possible contacts with criminal organizations," according to a statement released by prosecutors Saturday night. The aggressive action against Interior Minister Jesus Reyna, is a sign that the federal government, which has struggled for months to control the drug-plagued state, is considering the possibility that the influence of narcotics trafficking has spread nearly to the pinnacle of state government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - For more than two decades, Leland Yee climbed the political ladder in San Francisco. A child psychologist turned politician, Yee straddled opposing camps in the city's bare-knuckled political fights, appealing to both right and left and catering to constituents with a strong, attentive staff. Elegant in appearance and charming in manner, he courted financial contributors and built a reputation as a canny pol with an enviable knack of identifying the high-profile issue of the day and then weighing in before a thicket of cameras.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 |
Andre Birotte Jr., the chief federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the White House announced Thursday. Birotte, who has served as the U.S. attorney overseeing the nation's second-largest office since 2010, is a former Los Angeles County deputy public defender who also acted as the Los Angeles Police Department's inspector general for six years. As L.A.'s top federal prosecutor, he reinstated a public corruption and civil rights unit disbanded by his predecessor and oversaw high-profile investigations into the L.A. County jails and into state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 |
Robert L. Brosio, a retired federal prosecutor who supervised high-profile cases that included those against bank swindler Charles Keating Jr. and Los Angeles police officers who were involved in the beating of Rodney King, has died. He was 77. Brosio, who for 28 years led the criminal division of the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, had a massive pulmonary embolism in February, his daughter Serena Brosio said. He died Friday at a Pasadena hospital. While he seldom argued cases in court himself, Brosio was in charge of more than 100 prosecutors and set a standard of "ramrod integrity," said Nora Manella, an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles.
March 25, 2014 |
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles dismissed criminal charges against nine people in a $30-million stock-manipulation case after concluding that misstatements in obtaining court approval for key wiretap recordings made the evidence unusable at trial. The dismissals were an embarrassing setback for prosecutors who were bursting with pride last year when they announced the indictments, the result of a three-year investigation. U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. said investigators had relied heavily on wiretap evidence, which is rarely used in white-collar cases.