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July 23, 1995 | SARA FRITZ and RONALD J. OSTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
As the current round of Senate Whitewater hearings opened last week, the cavernous hearing room seemed haunted by memories of John W. Dean III and Lt. Col. Oliver L. North. In the summer of 1973, Dean had ignited the smoldering Watergate scandal by detailing in Senate hearings how President Richard Nixon had conspired with others to cover up illegal acts.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2014
In a groundbreaking trial over teacher job protections, Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy was the early star witness - for both sides. The case, Vergara vs. California, challenges a set of laws that affect how teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure. Advocates contend that these regulations hinder the removal of ineffective teachers, diminishing the quality of the teacher workforce - an effect, they say, that disproportionately hurts low-income and minority students. This outcome make these laws unconstitutional, they contend.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2009 | Christine Hanley and Stuart Pfeifer
After months of testimony, national headlines and the profanity-laced audiotapes, the sweeping public corruption case against former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona may end up coming down to the testimony of one man: Don Haidl.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2013 | Robin Abcarian
Rachel Jeantel spent two days on the stand last week as the prosecution's star witness in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman in the case of Trayvon Martin. Many were left wondering whether she ultimately damaged the state's case. She was hostile, uncooperative and difficult to understand. But she was also the last person to speak to Martin before Zimmerman shot and killed him on a Sanford, Fla., sidewalk in February 2012. I wrote that I thought it was a mistake to judge someone like Jeantel, a 19-year-old of Haitian descent who grew up speaking Creole and Spanish, by how she acted on the stand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A defense attorney for three Oakland police officers on trial for conspiring to obstruct justice and abusing their authority called the prosecution's star witness a liar. Mike Rains launched his attack during opening statements this week in the trial of the men known as "the Riders" -- Matt Hornung, 32, Clarence "Chuck" Mabanag, 39, and Jude Siapno, 36. The three are being retried on charges that they assaulted people in 2000 and falsified police reports to cover up their actions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 1989
The star prosecution witness in the case of two brothers charged with masterminding the murders of their elderly parents refused to testify Monday. Michael Dominguez, 30, of Las Vegas, who pleaded guilty in 1986 to two counts of first-degree murder in the case, had agreed to testify against the other defendants. Although Dominguez testified at two preliminary hearings, when called Monday to testify at the trial of one of the brothers, Stewart Woodman, he repeatedly refused.
NATIONAL
September 5, 2002 | From Reuters
A heroic cockatoo slain trying to protect its master from knife-wielding assailants may prove to be the star witness in the trial of its owner's suspected killers. Dallas prosecutors showed a grand jury Wednesday DNA evidence from blood samples found at the scene they say links two men arrested in the case to the home of the bird's owner. The blood apparently came from a wound the bird pecked on the head of one of the suspects, said prosecutor George West.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 1988 | MARIANN HANSEN, Times Staff Writer
Marine Sgt. Joseph L. Thomas, accused of bludgeoning his wife to death in December, should not be court-martialed because the government's star witness gave a statement to military police that was contradicted by his subsequent testimony at a preliminary hearing, Thomas' attorney said Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2001 | JOSH MEYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Convicted millennial terrorist Ahmed Ressam will be the star witness at the federal trial of an alleged accomplice accused of assisting in a bomb plot believed to have targeted Los Angeles International Airport, an attorney in the case confirmed Sunday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1991 | LOIS TIMNICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As the trial approaches for four Los Angeles police officers charged with beating motorist Rodney G. King, new questions are being raised about the ability of the star witness--the victim himself--to testify. During a brief courtroom appearance earlier this week, the 26-year-old King appeared dazed and had difficulty answering simple questions from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins.
NATIONAL
June 27, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
Authorities on Thursday were still investigating how two young boys were shot dead in their grandparents' house in southern Ohio. No suspects are being sought in connection with the deaths of Austin Wiseman, 12, and Blake Campbell, 9, Jackson County Police Chief Carl Eisnaugle said in a statement. The boys' grandparents discovered the their bodies Wednesday after the boys had been left home alone at the grandparents' home in Jackson. "Although the investigation is continuing, Jackson police are not searching at this time for any other persons who might have been directly connected to the incident," the statement said.
NATIONAL
June 27, 2013 | By Tina Susman
Testimony in the murder trial of George Zimmerman turned increasingly testy Thursday as a friend of Zimmerman's victim, Trayvon Martin, pushed back against defense suggestions she had altered her story to suit the prosecution and make it seem as if the defendant -- not Martin -- was the aggressor. “That's real retarded, sir,” the witness, Rachel Jeantel, 19, said at one point during her cross-examination by defense attorney Don West. Jeantel took the stand as court resumed at 9 a.m., after having spent about 90 minutes testifying Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
A federal judge may decide Monday whether to resentence convicted former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, potentially freeing him from federal prison. Carona's attorneys argued in court documents that a sentence handed down in 2009 on a witness tampering conviction should be adjusted based on changes in the law . The conviction was based in part on testimony from the government's star witness --  former assistant sheriff Don Haidl -- who secretly recorded a conversation in which Carona asked him to lie to a grand jury investigating suspected wrongdoing in the department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2012 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Don Haidl, a self-made millionaire and former assistant sheriff in Orange County who became a central figure in the corruption case against the sheriff who was once his boss, died Tuesday at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. He was 61. Haidl died of natural causes, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He died "unexpectedly," his sister, Peggy Haidl, said in a statement. An auctioneer who made a fortune selling used police cruisers and other vehicles, Haidl became part of a power trio atop the Sheriff's Department after Michael Carona was elected sheriff in the late 1990s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles man serving a life sentence for murder was released Monday after prosecutors conceded that their star witness had perjured himself. During 19 years behind bars, John Edward Smith, a 37-year-old former gang member, adamantly maintained his innocence in the drive-by shooting, insisting that he was miles away at his grandmother's house at the time of the crime. His claims went unheard until three years ago, when a fledgling wrongful convictions group, Innocence Matters, took his case and identified problems with the testimony of the lone witness to identify him as the killer.
NEWS
October 19, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
The prosecution's star witness, Dr. Steven Shafer, will continue his testimony Thursday in what is expected to be the final day of its involuntary manslaughter case against Michael Jackson's personal physician. Shafer, an expert on propofol - - the drug that killed Jackson -- testified that the pop star would still be alive today if he had an appropriate doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Conrad Murray. During testimony on Wednesday, Shafer described Murray's treatment of Jackson as "pharmacological never, never land.
NATIONAL
November 2, 2007 | Anthony M. DeStefano, Newsday
Statements made more than a decade ago by the star witness in a murder case against an FBI agent led to an embarrassing defeat Thursday for Brooklyn prosecutors, as a state judge threw out the case in midtrial. Citing what he saw as problems with the way the FBI handled mob informants, State Supreme Court Justice Gustin L. Reichbach discarded the four-count murder indictment against Roy Lindley DeVecchio and freed him of his $1-million bail restrictions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1992 | LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Prosecutors suffered a serious setback Wednesday when a judge ruled that their star witness does not have to testify against her husband, who is a co-defendant in the county's first prosecution of an attorney charged with auto insurance fraud. Adriana Fernandez, 39, told Superior Judge Everett W. Dickey this week that she thought she was testifying against herself last July in a preliminary hearing and did not realize that her testimony could hurt her husband, Jose J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
A gang kidnapping case three years in the making, in which investigators looked into possible charges against NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, came to an abrupt end Tuesday as a prosecutor conceded that the alleged victim and star witness had credibility problems. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria ordered the case against seven Main Street Crip members dismissed after the prosecutor announced that his office would not proceed with the case. The unraveling of the kidnapping, robbery and assault case over a Feb. 10, 2008, incident revolved around the purported victim in the case, Robert Ross, a convicted felon and former gang member who was a one-time friend of O'Neal's.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2011 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
The former mistress of slugger Barry Bonds testified tearfully at his federal trial Monday that Bonds had threatened to cut off her head, cut out her breast implants and burn her house after he began using steroids about 2000, seven years before he broke the record for career home runs. Kimberly Bell, 41, a star witness for the prosecution, told the court she became Bonds' girlfriend when she was 24, and he was in the process of divorcing his first wife. She said the relationship continued after he married his second wife in 1998 and ended in May 2003, when she said Bonds told her "to disappear.
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