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.
Continue reading

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.

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.

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.

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.
Continue reading

Pomona mother, son charged with animal abuse to re-enter pleas Friday

A mother-and-son duo from Pomona are scheduled to re-enter pleas Friday to felony animal abuse charges.

Prosecutors say Florence Handley and Don Miller failed to care for sick cats at the shelter they ran out of there Pomona home. They also kept 150 dead cats in homemade coffins in their garage, prosecutors say.

They are scheduled to be re-arraigned on the charges Friday morning in Pomona Superior Court.

Click the link below for past news stories on the duo’s case.
Continue reading

Judge to rule Friday on motion to dismiss murder charge against Ontario man

A judge said this morning she will rule Friday on a defense motion to dismiss a murder charge filed against an Ontario man accused of allowing his girlfriend to die of a drug overdose.

Prosecutors say Andrew Girvan, 31, should stand trial for second-degree murder because he failed to aid Miranda Daly as she died from an overdose of extacy and morphine at his Ontario home.

He also threatened other people at his home who said Daly needed medical attention, Deupty District Attorney Michael Dowd said.

Because he prevented other people from helping Daly, he “assumes the duty himself” to care for her, Dowd said.

Girvan’s defense attorney, Donna Fernandez told Judge Mary Fuller that because the cause of Daly’s death was a drug overdose — and she ingested the drugs voluntarily — Girvan should not face murder charges.

In her motion, Fernandez also argued that Girvan’s involuntary manslaughter charge should be dismissed as well.

Fuller said at the hearing she believes there are grounds for Girvan to stand trial for manslaughter.

Fuller said she will formally issue her ruling Friday morning in West Valley Superior Court.

Jurors hear opening statements in case of drunk driver accused of killing 2 in Montclair crash

Opening statements were heard by a jury today in the trial of a Rancho Cucamonga woman accused of killing two people while recklessly driving drunk.

In the early morning of Jan. 21, 2006, Yvonne Sinclair was driving her brand-new H2 Hummer at speeds of up to 81 mph when she slammed into a Nissan Altima at the intersection of Central Avenue and San Bernardino Street in Montclair.

The two occupants of the Altima, 22-year-old Kara Rosa Adella Maes of Chino and 23-year-old Sergio Lopez of Ontario, were killed instantly.

Sinclair, 29, had been celebrating her birthday with four friends as a Chino nightclub. A blood test drawn after the crash showed her blood-alcohol content was 0.11, exceeding the legal limit of 0.08, prosecutors said.
Continue reading

Hearing tomorrow for Ontario man accused of allowing girlfriend to OD

A hearing to dismiss murder charges filed against an Ontario man will be held tomorrow in West Valley Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Andrew Girvan, 31, refused to call paramedics after his girlfriend overdosed on drugs at his home, then threatened other people who suggested paramedics be called.

Miranda Daly, 23, died on Aug. 13, 2007 because of Girvan’s actions, prosecutors say.

Girvan’s defense attorney has filed a motion to dismiss or reduce the murder charge.

Click here for last week’s post on Girvan’s case.

Manslaghter charge reduced in fatal Pomona hit-and-run

A judge reduced a vehicular manslaughter charge filed against an Ontario man from a felony to a misdemeanor today at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing.

Jose Mariscal, 25, is accused by prosecutors of leaving the scene after running over a 19-year-old Ontario woman Aug. 15.

Liliana Martinez was crossing an unmarked area of Temple Avenue near Scoreboards sports bar after 11 p.m. when she was struck by Mariscal. Martinez died Aug. 27.

In addition to the manslaughter charge, Mariscal faces a felony hit-and-run charge and a misdemeanor for driving without a valid license.

His defense attorney, Crashawn Jackson, said Mariscal has a valid license from Mexico. He had arrived in the United States about two months earlier on a work visa, Jackson said.

Judge Robert Martinez reduced the manslaughter charge because he said Mariscal did not demonstrate “gross negligence” the night of the collision.

Mariscal was driving under the speed limit, he was not drunk or on drugs, and there was no evidence he was aware one of his headlights may have been faulty, Martinez said.

“I think it’s ordinary negligence,” Martinez said.

The judge reduced Mariscal’s bail to $50,000 from $100,000. Mariscal remains in custody and is scheduled to be re-arraigned on the charges Nov. 13.