March 18, 2013 |
In a Georgia courtroom last year, a poor, 17-year-old high school freshman, charged as an adult with stealing a go-cart, entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of theft. It was his first time in court, and he was startled and confused when the judge asked if he was satisfied with his lawyer. "I don't have one," he answered. He had not spoken to a lawyer. A public defender's investigator had told him what the charges against him were and suggested he plead guilty. A public defender quickly spoke up and asserted that he was representing the youth.
December 12, 2012
Re "Improbable redemption," Opinion, Dec. 9 Although I applaud Michael Krikorian's seemingly successful battle against alcoholism, I must take issue with his simplistic and disparaging comment regarding attorneys who work for the public defender's office. Specifically, he opines that he avoided a potential prison sentence because he was white and because his father could pay for a private attorney. As an attorney with the L.A. County Public Defender's Office, I know that our lawyers are some of the most highly skilled, extensively trained, experienced and passionate advocates in the criminal justice system.
October 11, 2012 |
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The judge in the mass-murder case against James E. Holmes on Thursday weighed the interests of public transparency in the high-profile case against the privacy and potential safety of victims. Judge William Sylvester also granted a prosecution motion to add new attempted murder charges against Holmes, bringing the total charges to 166. Holmes, 24, who attended the hearing, was in the process of withdrawing as a student at the neuroscience department at the University of Colorado Denver when he allegedly opened fire in a crowded Aurora movie theater last July.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2012 |
An undercover FBI agent on a case of weapons smuggling from the Philippines to the United States denied a defense attorney's allegation that he paid for sex for himself and the suspects using taxpayer dollars. The agent, a 16-year veteran who was not identified by name in court documents because he is working undercover in a separate investigation, in a sworn declaration strongly denied allegations of what a public defender contended was "outrageous government misconduct" and should be grounds for the case to be thrown out. Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that the government paid for $14,500 in expenses incurred by the agent for entertainment, cocktails and tips over the course of the investigation.
August 10, 2012 |
Now that a defense attorney for Colorado shooting suspect James E. Holmes has referred in court to his client's unspecified "mental illness," it is a near certainty that the trial of the 24-year-old former doctoral student will turn on his mental state, legal experts said. A desire to understand the motive behind the rampage that left 12 dead and 58 injured in a suburban Aurora movie theater has fed speculation about the inner logic of the accused. Was Holmes an angry depressive out to seek revenge, with knowledge of right and wrong?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2012 |
Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield, a skillful trial lawyer who spent four decades with the Los Angeles County public defender's office, including 17 years as its chief, died Saturday in Van Nuys. He was 90. He had heart and kidney ailments, said granddaughter Christina Behle, a deputy public defender. Littlefield, who joined the office in 1957 and became public defender in 1976, "was a good lawyer, ethical, smart but always a gentleman," Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Thursday. "Unlike some out there who think … being rude or obnoxious is part of being an adversary, he was never that way. He was just an exquisite gentleman.