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July 11, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
A gang member from Santa Ana has been charged with murder in the "unprovoked" stabbing of a 14-year-old boy who had ties to a rival gang, Orange County prosecutors said. Armando Andres Carachure, 25, has been charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder and one felony count of street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for his alleged involvement with a criminal street gang, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office. Carachure is set to be arraigned Friday.
June 29, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Criminal defendants convicted of felonies in California used to be sentenced to state prison. Most, after serving 50% of their terms, were released on parole and returned to their communities. And of them, most ended up back in prison, either because they committed new crimes or because they were caught violating parole. California was good at running felons through a revolving door and very bad at guiding their safe return to society: getting the addicted off drugs, getting treatment for the mentally ill, getting those with antisocial and criminal mind-sets into structured, supervised programs with reliable records of reforming those former inmates who were amenable to reform.
June 28, 2013 | By Paige St. John
The stabbing death of a woman who attempted to take photographs of the homeless on Hollywood's Walk of Fame is being seized by a potential candidate for governor -- even if the crime doesn't fit his campaign. Abel Maldonado, championing a ballot initiative to roll back Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment program, on Thursday circulated material asking for money to "stand against Brown and his dangerous policies. " The solicitation cites the alleged killer of Christine Calderon, stabbed to death June 18 after she refused to pay a group of homeless men for a photograph she had snapped of them.
June 27, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
A onetime Orange County resident -- who, for the last 30 years, had been serving prison terms out of state -- has been sentenced to six years and eight months in state prison for cases from the early 1980s in which he sexually assaulted, raped and robbed two women he met through advertisements for apartment rentals and selling furniture, prosecutors said. James Michael Camp was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty earlier this month to two felony counts of rape by force or violence and one felony count of grand theft, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.
June 13, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
The conviction in Orange County of a Washington state man described by prosecutors as a pimp marks the first in the county under the anti-human-trafficking proposition -- which increases penalties for such crimes --  approved last year by California voters. Prosecutors said Mark Wesley Anderson and Jaeleesa Jaemika Smith, the woman who worked with him to recruit prostitutes, both pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges related to bringing a woman from another state to Orange County under false pretenses and forcing her into prostitution.
June 11, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Felons now serving their sentences in county jail face the prospect of longer parole terms under a bill sponsored by sheriffs in the state and nearing a final vote in the Legislature. The legislation, carried by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, allows county parole boards created as part of the state's prison shift to give inmates a three-year parole sentence instead of the current two-year term. It already has been approved by the Assembly. In the past, felons affected by the law would have served their sentences in state prison and gone before a state parole board.
May 21, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
The roommate of Maribel Ramos, who was missing for weeks before she was found in the brush of an Orange County canyon area, was charged Tuesday in the Army veteran's death, prosecutors said. Kwang Choi Joy, 54, has been charged with one felony count of murder, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Joy, who was arrested Friday after being questioned by investigators, is being held on $1 million bail.
May 15, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Gov. Jerry Brown quietly rolled out tweaks to his prison realignment plan in Monday's budget proposal. In addition to offering counties $72 million more to handle local felons, the governor proposes a prisoner swap, trading long-term inmates that jails are ill-prepared to handle in return for short-term felons the state would just as soon not have to hold. Given California's prison crowding problems and federal orders to reduce those numbers further, the plan would be "inmate neutral," state budget officials said.
May 3, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Jeffrey Beard, secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the court-ordered plan filed by the Brown administration Thursday night to reduce prison crowding would force the state to take measures he and other officials do not support while still failing to meet the population cap demanded by federal judges. "The plan is ugly,” Beard said of the proposal filed late Thursday night, after Gov. Jerry Brown and other administration officials were threatened with contempt for not doing enough to reduce crowding.
May 1, 2013 | By Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped in to investigate outbreaks of valley fever in two California prisons where more than three dozen inmates have died after contracting the fungal disease. Staff from the Atlanta-based CDC met with state prison health officials Tuesday and another meeting is planned Thursday. California's health department formally asked for the assistance last week on behalf of a court-appointed monitor, who had previously requested repeatedly that state officials seek federal help.
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