Orange County's Criminal Justice System Still Terrorizes An Innocent Chris Adrian Smith

Callous_Judges.jpg
Can anyone wake up OC's judges?
More than 760 days ago, a man who'd stolen the identity of Orange County's Chris Adrian Smith was arrested and convicted of driving on a suspended license.

That man, Jose Guadalupe Caballero, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a fine and accept probation for three years.

Why should he care? OC law enforcement and court officials didn't hold Caballero responsible for his crime. They listed the conviction against Caballero's identity theft victim: Smith, an innocent Aliso Viejo husband and father of two kids.

Smith got court correspondence for Caballero's act, went to court to show that he was wrongly listed as the defendant in the case, got a court commissioner to issue a court order that said he was not the person involved in the matter and that deputies should not arrest him if the guilty person violated probation.

The court, however, didn't correct its records.

Of course, Caballero didn't pay the fine, didn't show up to a probation violation hearing and probably didn't give a damn that sheriff's deputies then went to Smith's home to arrest and incarcerate him for three days for something he didn't do.

Smith's terrible plight is the subject of my current Moxley Confidential column.

Incredibly, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens' Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) continued to list Smith as a wanted fugitive even for six months after Smith filed a federal lawsuit accusing two deputies--Gil Torres and Virgil Asuncion--of violating the court order not to arrest him.

You might think that despite all of its screw-ups leading to my column, OC's criminal justice officials would wake up and correct official records by removing Smith as a named "fugitive" and guilty criminal.

Nope.

The OCSD was willing to arrest an innocent Smith as a fugitive in the case, but to this very moment, two years after the crime, it can't bring itself to list Caballero as the wanted man in the matter.

I had to contact the Orange County District Attorney's office, which--I'm happy to report--promptly had court officials remove the "fugitive" tag from Smith's name.

But as of lunchtime today, anyone who runs Smith's name in the county court records system will still wrongly see that he is guilty of Caballero's crime.

The impact on Smith?

"I've been trying to get a job and can't because when employers do background checks they find these records that are wrong," Smith told me. "Who is going to hire a fugitive?"

Is there anyone in OC's courthouse that cares about correcting this unforgivable error of gross incompetence?

How about you, Judge Thomas J. Borris?

Judge Steven D. Bromberg?

Judge Craig E. Robison?

Judge David A. Thompson?

Will one of you step up today and do the right thing?

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
RWECLEAR
RWECLEAR

The scales of justice in orange county does NOT.....correct injustice.....there are some court officials personnel who go along with covering upevidence and will not disclose the misconduct/crime.....you can set-up any citizen to lose or fail their civil rights of fair trial andfreedom............the same trial hearing judge can keep a real private practiceattorney from entering the case before a sentence date.....this further obstructsjustice........tampering with evidence from a court record can set-up anyone to lose....ask.......judge donald mccartin.......will you correct INJUSTICE ?........ask state employee myers......will you correct INJUSTICE ?.......ask public service personnel steinberg......will you correct INJUSTICE ?.....ask public service personnel escobar....will you correct INJUSTICE ?ask public service personnel levine......you gonna correct INJUSTICE ?

mitch young
mitch young

Let's imagine how this might have played out under an Arizona-type SB1070 law. The cops are allowed to notice that Jose Guadalupe Caballero doesn't speak English real well, and that, frankly, he doesn't look like a Chris Smith. So they send the fingerprints to ICE, and sure enough the dude is in their system and an illegal entrant (most take a few times before getting through, and thus they are 'in the system'). He is put on immigration hold, and there is no question of Chris Smith being on the hook for the suspended license.

Sure, I'm making some assumptions here -- but probably well founded ones.

mitch young
mitch young

Now, why would Jose effing Guadalupe Caballero steal the identity of Chris Smith? Nothing in this post indicates drained bank accounts or insurance fraud or screwing Chris's wife. The obvious conclusion is that Caballero stole Smith's identity because he is in the country illegally (Caballero, not Smith). He used Smith's ID to get a job. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts. And that is probably why the law officials and the court continue with their bumbling, they just can't bring themselves to find another illegal alien fraud, just like Coker couldn't speculate on the obvious in this story -- the perp is a Mexican with false documents who is making somehone else's life miserable.

The Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project

Orange County Deputies Gil Torres and Virgil Asuncion should not be the targets of witch-hunting predators from the public, or the media, who seem to blame them for all of the world's injustices.  These deputies did exactly what is expected of them:  execute an arrest warrant and bring in an alleged fugitive.  Yes, it's sad that an innocent person was caught up in situation that neither he, nor the deputies, caused.  The problem was sourced much higher up in our judicial system, not at the street-cop level.  Criticism of the upper echelons of our judicial system is warranted in this case, but the deputies should be off limits.  After all, Deputies Torres and Asuncion did not prepare the arrest warrant.  They merely carried out its orders.  In my opinion, they are good cops who deserve better than the unwarranted public whipping that is so commonplace to second rate "dirty" journalists and ultra right and left wing fanatical extremists.

As far as the falsely arrested Chris Smith, he and his attorney should take the high road in this matter and accept a fair remuneration of $3,000 from the County.  They should not hold the taxpayers hostage in expectation of a multi-million dollar instant lottery jury award.  To do so would make Smith and his lawyer no better than the haughty and cavalier county administrators who recklessly spawned this problem.

Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

greatwhiteshark
greatwhiteshark

It always boils down to if ones actions does not impact them or someone they care about PEOPLE DONT CARE! This is 100% whats wrong with society anymore. Its not until it impacts them personally oh then they suddenly care

Jlc
Jlc

Hope Smith gets a couple of Million !!!!

Kennynguyen0101
Kennynguyen0101

Shame on OC Justice System... I wonder if one of the judges in OC is in the same condition as Mr. Smith, what would they do???

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

fucken idiot maggots.where is the outrage, anti-government intrusion right wing-fascist tea bagging GOP'ers? (crickets).

Apollo01
Apollo01

Unfortunately, this kind of mismanagement of cases in Orange County seems to be the norm rather than an exception to the rule.

Yttims_1971
Yttims_1971

thank you for your support   (chris smith)

Yttims_1971
Yttims_1971

thank you for your support   (chris smith)  :)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

The funny thing about your comment is that Moxley is the writer—but why bother with facts in your demented, White world?

Freewill666
Freewill666

Bullshit, these two guy's read the document from the judge stating that they shoule not arrest him, and did any way..... They say this is the land of the free... but thats bullshit as well....this is the land of the freer than most , the ones with lots of money live in the land of the freee....

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Police officers are allowed to exercise discretion, Mr. Gilchrist. When presented with a court order requiring them not to arrest him, they should have taken the time to investigate it, not just arrest him anyway and let the back office sort it out.

Where did you get the $3,000 figure for a "fair" remuneration? Mr. Smith has the right to determine the amount of the tort and sue for that amount. It can be hard to quantify the worth of a lost job and four days in the county lockup, but I assume it's more than $3,000.

Meanwhile, don't you have a border to be minding?

guest
guest

I wonder if Gilchrist would trade $3,000 for 4 days in OCJ?

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Shut your already full mouth of tea bagging syrupy leftovers, Gilchrist. These 'good' cops are provided the ability and opportunity to review LEGAL COURT ORDERS meaning they must THINK and ANALYZE before going gestapo on the general public. By your logic, these pendejos were simply following orders just like the Fullerton motherfuckers who followed orders and murdered a helpless homeless man. But let's be easy on these guys since they probably do have at least a G.E.D., right?Tell you what: you can have these asswipes as new recruits for your own Minutia Minutemen Project. 

Yttims_1971
Yttims_1971

its me mr. smith hope i do too thanks

Bill T.
Bill T.

Right, again, Culichi.

mitch young
mitch young

Okay, I stand corrected, it was the Weekly's other white meat.

What happened to Klanic Manic Monday?

mitch young
mitch young

Three hots and a cot, plus $3000. Sign me up. 

Yttims_1971
Yttims_1971

thank you for your support  (chris smith)  the real chris smith

Yttims_1971
Yttims_1971

thank you for your support      chris smith

Bill T.
Bill T.

You know how it works:Rule #1 - The cops are always rightRule #2 - If the cops are wrong, see rule #1

Cops get bad raps, just like Chris Smith has. What doesn't sink into the solid skulls of the know-nothings is that doesn't translate to meaning the cops are always right. Cops deal with so many pendejos that many have forgotten that everyone they come in contact with isn't a loser trying to put something over.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...