SB County’s top prosecutor seeks greater partnership with feds

RIVERSIDE — District Attorney Michael A. Ramos announced plans Wednesday to strengthen his office’s partnership with federal prosecutors.

Ramos told members of the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association that he plans to cross-designate one of his local prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ramos revealed the plan while discussing a host of top issues affecting public safety, such as street gangs, medical marijuana and mortgage fraud, alongside Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. during a meeting at U.S. District Court in Riverside.
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Developer Burum’s attorney says FBI searches unconstitutional

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/04/2011 01:59:35 PM PDT

Federal search warrants served at the home and business of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum were unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, according to a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, is demanding that all of Burum’s property seized during the Sept. 15 FBI and IRS raid immediately be returned to him.

The warrants were served at nine locations in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in connection with a sweeping corruption scandal involving allegations of bribery, extortion and fraud, according to the federal search warrant.

The allegations stem from a $102 million legal settlement between the county and Burum’s development consortium, Colonies Partners LP, in November 2006.
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Deputy charged in domestic dispute returns to work

Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/29/2011 02:41:21 PM PDT

A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy suspected of beating his girlfriend in Beaumont and then holding police at bay before his arrest returned to work at the Sheriff’s Department less than a week after the incident.

Alfredo Lopez, 32, was released Sept. 22 from Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside and was cleared to come back to work late last week, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. He is assigned to Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.

“Our policy does not prohibit an employee from working during the legal process,” Bachman said. “In this case, we understand he’s facing misdemeanor charges.”

Beaumont police received a call at 2:53 a.m. Sept. 18 regarding a domestic dispute in the 1300 block of Bird of Paradise Court. Lopez fled the residence by the time officers arrived.
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Court rules in favor of former San Bernardino police chief

SAN BERNARDINO – Former Police Chief Garrett Zimmon may be entitled to a disability retirement after a recent state court ruling sided with him in his lengthy legal battle with the city.

A three-judge panel of the state 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside issued a 24-page ruling on Sept. 16 that reversed a pair of earlier court decisions in favor of the city and denied Zimmon a disability retirement.

Doctors diagnosed Zimmon with a cardiac arrhythmia with a history of recurrent atrial fibrillation, better known as a irregular heartbeat, according to the ruling. Zimmon attributed the condition to the cumulative trauma, stress and pressures of the job.
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Johnson found guilty in puppy beating trial

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/26/2010 12:58:17 PM PST

Retired Los Angeles County assistant fire chief Glynn Johnson was found guilty Tuesday of one count of felony animal cruelty after he maliciously beat his neighbor’s puppy with a rock in 2008.

Jurors in the case at the Riverside Superior Court also found the special allegation for use of a deadly weapon to be true.

The 55-year-old Riverside resident could serve up to four years in state prison.

Johnson will remain out of custody until he is sentenced, which is scheduled for March 8.

Trial imminent in 2005 San Bernardino motel slaying

Prosecutors say a trial may begin next week for a Riverside man accused of fatally stabbing his 18-year-old girlfriend in 2005 with such force that a knife broke off in her throat.

Anthony Lamont McCullough, 39, returns Monday to San Bernardino Superior Court to determine whether his trial will get under way in the slaying of Shicole Deshon Bester at an H Street motel in San Bernardino.

Deputy District Attorney Joanne Uhlman, who is prosecuting McCullough’s case, said she hopes the trial will start by Tuesday. Generally, lawyers must argue pretrial motions before the court and select a jury before testimony can begin.

McCullough faces murder charges in the death of Shicole Deshon Bester on March 8, 2005 in a second-floor room at the Econo Lodge Motel.

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Lawyers prepare for jury selection in deadly arson trial

Jury selection in the trial of suspected deadly arsonist Raymond Lee Oyler is expected to begin next month in Riverside Superior Court.

Prosecutors and Oyler’s lawyer, Mark McDonald, approved questionnaires for potential jurors at a hearing Dec. 19, according to court records. The court wants to ensure jurors would be available through March, records indicate.

Lawyers have already discussed trial scheduling and witnesses before the court, and both sides are set to return Jan. 12 for jury selection.
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Suspected arsonist of Esperanza Fire in court today

By Stacia Glenn on December 5, 2008 8:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

A Beaumont man suspected of lighting the Esperanza Fire that killed five firefighters is scheduled to appear in court today in preparation for next month’s trial.

Raymond Lee Olyer, 38, will appear in Riverside Superior Court this morning, a month after a judge denied his request to move the Jan. 5 trial outside of Riverside County.

His attorney, Mark McDonald, argued that media attention would make it difficult to find an impartial jury.
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Pswatai ordered held in rapper’s death after Barstow hearing

By Mike Cruz on December 4, 2008 4:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

A Riverside man facing charges in the execution-style shooting of an aspiring rapper was ordered held over for trial at a hearing Thursday in Barstow, prosecutors confirmed.

Judge Miriam I. Morton ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold over for trial Dudzai “Prosper” Pswatai in the death of 24-year-old Robert Raymond Mastrangelo, of San Bernardino, during a preliminary hearing in Barstow Superior Court.

The hearing was the second one Pswatai has received in the case. Prosecutors dismissed and then quickly refiled charges against him on Nov. 25, causing the case to start over, because more time was needed for investigation.
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Settlement reached in illegal campaign contributions case

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/02/2008 09:26:45 PM PST

Upland businessman Mark Anthony Leggio has tentatively agreed to settle allegations of campaign contribution violations with the state.

However, any impact of the settlement on his criminal case in San Bernardino County remains to be seen, said Riverside County prosecutors who are pursuing the case after the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office bowed out, citing a conflict of interest.

“I don’t believe there will be any (impact),” said Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral when asked about the settlement with the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
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