Murder charge thrown out in Ontario drug-overdose case

A West Valley Superior Court judge threw out a murder charge today filed against an Ontario man who failed to help his girlfriend as she died of a drug overdose.

Prosecutors argued that Andrew Girvan, 32, effectively murdered 23-year-old Miranda Daly on Aug. 13, 2007 because he supplied her with drugs at his Ontario home.

And not only did Girvan fail to help Daly as she lay incapacitated, he also threatened to kill other people at the home who insisted that Daly, of Corona, needed medical attention, prosecutors said.

Judge Mary Fuller apparently disagreed that Girvan’s actions rose to the level of murder, and dismissed the second-degree murder charge.
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Attempted murder charges stick in Sycamore Inn attack

A West Valley Superior Court judge denied a defense motion today to dismiss attempted-murder charges against a man accused of stabbing his former boss in the neck at the Sycamore Inn in Rancho Cucamonga.

Prosecutors have accused Colton resident Travis Lee Mascarenas, 39, of returning to the restaurant on Aug. 7, 2007 to rob the establishment.

When manager Louis Alvarez stumbled upon Mascarenas as Alvarez was preparing to close for the night at about 10 p.m., Mascarenas stabbed him in the neck.

Mascarenas’s attorney, Mary Bernal-Flores, said her client’s act was “impulsive,” and was prompted by Alvarez making a sudden motion toward Mascarenas.

Mascarenas didn’t have time to consider the consequences of his actions, Bernal-Flores said.

There was “no indication he tried to hill him whatsoever,” Bernal-Flores said.

“Except that he stabbed him in the neck,” Judge Steve Malone responded.

Malone rejected the defense motion to dismiss the charge, saying there is “reasonable suspicion that a crime occurred.”

The court tentatively set a trial date for Dec. 16.

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Convicted murderer has three weeks to draft motion for new trial

A Rancho Cucamonga man convicted of murder in May will have until Nov. 21 to draft his motion for a new trial, a West Valley Superior Court judge said today.

Paul Anguiano, 25, was convicted of shooting and killing Dennis Vaughn Harris, 18, of Corona on Oct. 4, 2005.

In July, Anguiano fired his defense attorney, opting to represent himself.

During an August hearing, he requested personal information of jurors in his trial and accused Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Youngberg of entering the jury room during deliberations.

Youngberg called the accusation — which would be a clear violation of the law — “ridiculous.” Judge Raymond Haight denied Anguiano’s request.

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Mother, son plead not guilty to animal abuse charges

A mother and son accused of failing to care for sick cats at a shelter they ran at their Pomona home pleaded not guilty today to felony animal abuse charges, said Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.

Florence Handley, 81, and Don Miller, 61, were arrested in June after investigators from the Inland Valley Humane Society found sick cats and more than 100 dead cats in coffins at the duo’s home in the 100 block of West Kingsley Avenue.

A trial date for Handley and Miller was set for Jan. 14 in Pomona Superior Court, Mrakich said.

Click here to view yesterday’s post on Handley and Miller.

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Defendant held “on ice” appears in San Bernardino court today

A preliminary hearing has been set for several man in connection with a San Bernardino narcotics case where a defense lawyer has alleged his client was held “on ice,” without legal cause, while a search warrant was secured.

That hearing — for defendants Carl Edward Alexander, Toriano Jerome Houston, Maurice Lynell Locket and Frederick Edward Williams — was scheduled for Dec. 10, during proceedings today in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Judge John Martin granted Alexander’s motion to set aside, or essentially withdraw, a guilty plea he made during a plea bargain in July, before the case was marred with allegations of possible civil rights violations against Sgt. Bradley Lawrence.

The allegations were first raised when police Sgt. Mike Desrochers reported that Lawrence illegally detained Alexander and another man during a July 2 traffic stop that preceded a raid at a San Bernardino apartment complex.
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