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.

Those allegations mushroomed at a bail hearing Aug. 1 in Superior Court, where Desrochers and Lawrence gave conflicting accounts of the arrests under oath. Days later, after a Lawrence-led raid at a motel, another complaint was made against him, and Lawrence was put on leave Aug. 7.

The judge’s decision today allows Alexander to proceed with his case, according to his lawyer Deputy Public Defender Sam Knudsen.

Two other defendants — McKinley Tarpley and Marquis Antoine Ware — withdrew their motions to get out of their plea bargains, and both agreed to be sentenced. Both were sentenced to three years probation and 240 days in county jail. Both men had likely served enough time, with conduct credits, to be released from jail, lawyers said.

Lawyers in the case, who had filed a Pitchess motion to gain access to Lawrence’s personnel records, withdrew those motions. A lawyer representing the city of San Bernardino could be seen wheeling two carts carrying six records-type boxes from the courtroom before proceedings began.

The defense can file the Pitchess motions again another time, if they wish, lawyers said.

The four remaining defendants in the case — Alexander, Houston, Locket and Williams — return to court Dec. 8 to confirm their readiness for the preliminary hearing two days later. A motion filed by Alexander’s lawyer, which seeks to disclose a confidential informant, will also be argued Dec. 8.

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