Weekender Updater: Guilty Gambler Murderer, Prison Guard Slaying Cases, Dalai Lama Tickets

This weekend you're updated on a woman's first-degree murder conviction in the death of a gambler, tickets going on sale for the Dalai Lama's three-day 80th birthday celebration in Orange County and two developments from the fatal ambush of a state correctional officer 17 years ago: a man pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder and an Anaheim police detective being cleared of coercing a false confession.

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Public Defender Plays Prosecution Misconduct Card in Daniel Wozniak's Double Murder Case

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Daniel Wozniak is accused of beheading a pal and slaying the pal's close friend.
The public defender who raised prosecutorial misconduct to try to spare the death penalty for the alleged worst mass killer in Orange County history is now trying to play the same card when it comes to one of the most twisted alleged killers in Orange County history.

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Marissa Starr Bilotti Cops to Role in Murdy Park Murder and Gets 8 Years, 4 Months

Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's office
Marissa Starr Bilotti
When I saw there was a hearing Friday aimed at dismissing a murder count against Marissa Starr Bilotti for her role in the fatal shooting of a man in Huntington Beach's Murdy Park four years ago, I wondered if it had something to do with the claims of her innocence from friends and family members over the years.

But the 23-year-old, who famously married and later divorced a defendant in a different murder from behind bars, instead pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other counts and was immediately sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. Her co-defendant Derek Christopher Adams, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in August 2012 and had that conviction upheld by appellate justices in March, is already serving 46 years to life for the Oct. 22, 2010, slaying of 35-year-old Gregory Ryan Heintz.

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Israel Pena Lopez Gets 80 Years in Prison for Murder of Drug Dealer in Bakery

Courtesy of SAPD
Israel Pena Lopez
A 38-year-old man who murdered a drug dealer making himself a cup of coffee in a Santa Ana bakery has been sentenced to 80 years to life in state prison.

A jury last month found Israel Pena Lopez of Santa Ana guilty of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and found true a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

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Israel Pena Lopez is Found Guilty of Santa Ana Drug Hit But Frankie Esteban Giraldo is Not

Courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department
The late Alejandro David Sanchez (left), Frankie Esteban Giraldo (center) and Sanchez's convicted killer Israel Pena Lopez.
A jury Wednesday afternoon found a Santa Ana man guilty of murdering a drug dealer making himself a coffee in an Edinger Avenue bakery in October 2010, but the panel let a second defendant off. While the prosecution had claimed Frankie Esteban Giraldo was serving as a lookout for gunman Israel Pena Lopez, jurors obviously bought 32-year-old Giraldo's excuse: He'd shown up at absolutely the wrong time to buy drugs from Alejandro David Sanchez, who had 30 bindles of heroin and three disposable phones in his pocket when he was shot six times in the back.

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Robert Douglas Fischer Murder Case Dismissed by Arizona Judge (as Expected): Update

See the update on the Arizona judge, as expected, dismissing the murder case against Robert Douglas Fischer of San Clemente.

ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 7, 11:41 A.M.: A judge in Arizona has ordered the release from jail of a San Clemente man who in December was convicted of murdering his stepdaughter's husband.

Prosecutors in Phoenix have also requested a dismissal of the case against Robert Douglas Fischer.

But the 54-year-old divorce lawyer, who has an office in Tustin, is not out of desert-hot water just yet.

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Barbara Ann Hamel Backs Out of Plea Deal, Alleges Murder Co-Defendants Drugged Her

Barbara Ann Hamel and Tad Allen Carroll
Remember the two guys and a woman who accepted plea deals in the murder of Chi Ngoc Bui, who was run over on a Santa Ana street after winning $10,000 at the Hawaiian Gardens Casino in September 2010? While Tad Allen Carroll accepted his plea deal Friday (just as Michael William Ross had in September), Barbara Ann Hamel withdrew hers, claiming Allen and Ross drugged her before 55-year-old Bui's slaying.

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Robert Douglas Fischer, Tustin Lawyer Convicted of Murder, on Dateline Tonight

Categories: 2010 Homicides, TV

NBC's Dateline tonight dedicates an hour to the story of retired police officer-turned-Tustin lawyer Robert Douglas Fischer, who ran into some trouble in Arizona.

Anyone who knows the case knows I am being coy, but not nearly as much as this NBC announcement: "Dateline Correspondent Keith Morrison reports on the story of Rob Fischer, a retired police officer, who went to Phoenix to visit his grandchildren, and discovered his son-in-law dead in his home."

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Robert Douglas Fischer, OC Divorce Lawyer, Guilty of Murdering Former Irvine Publisher

Robert D. Fischer
An Orange divorce lawyer who needed a criminal attorney for a murder trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona may now be shopping for an expert in appeals, as he was convicted Thursday of killing his stepdaughter's husband and making it appear as a suicide.

Robert Douglas Fischer was convicted of the second-degree murder of Norman "Lee" Radder, a 49-year-old former Irvine entrepreneur and dirt bike magazine publisher.

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Tad Allen Carroll and Barbara Ann Hamel Cop to Killing "Lucky" Casino Winner Chi Ngoc Bui

Barbara Ann Hamel and Tad Allen Carroll
Two killers of a 55-year-old man who was followed home from Hawaiian Gardens Casino where he won $10,000 gambling pleaded guilty last week to the charges against them. Tad Allen Carroll, 45 and formerly of Buena Park, admitted to first degree murder, while Long Beach 50-year-old Barbara Ann Hamel copped to second degree murder.

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