Kelly Thomas Civil Trial Pushed to October

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OC Weekly archives
Kelly Thomas after city of Fullerton cops were done with him.
Trial in the civil suit filed by Kelly Thomas' father against the city of Fullerton had been scheduled to begin this week, but an Orange County Superior Court judge recently pushed the dates back to Oct. 9 for the beginning of the process and Oct. 13 for jury selection.

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Weekender Updater: Beating Death Plea Deal; Life for Professor's Ex; Molester's Sentence

The weekender you are updatered on: the plea deal that could have a pair charged in the gang beating death of a 19-year-old man out of prison in three years; an ex-boyfriend who got life in prison for murdering a young man the defendant's ex-girlfriend had accused of rape; and a former children's photographer's punishment for molesting a relative under age 14.

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Weekender Updater: Alan Keith Hunter and James Stephan Paschall Get 30 Years to Life

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OCSD
Alan Keith Hunter (left) and James Stephan Paschall were getaway drivers.
This weekend you are updated on the long prison sentences for two would-be jewelry store robbers whose two partners were shot to death by the shop owner.

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Eder Giovanni Herrera, Once Held in Slayings of His Mom and Brother, Wins $700k Settlement

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Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's office
Former double murder suspect Eder Giovanni Herrera is now richer.
Close readers may recall that almost a year ago the lawyer for Eder Giovanni Herrera accused Orange County law enforcement of having blood on its hands in the deaths of four homeless men who were fatally stabbed after Herrera was falsely locked up for the murders of his mother and older brother in Yorba Linda. The latter slayings and the four that followed were ultimately pinned to Herrera's former best friend Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, who went on to commit suicide while in custody. The Brea Police Department patrolled Yorba Linda under contract on Oct. 25, 2011, when Ocampo stabbed 53-year-old Raquel Estrada more than 30 times in her upper body and her 34-year-old son Juan Herrera more than 60 times before leaving their bodies on the floor of their home. Now, the City of Brea has agreed to pay the surviving son $700,000 to settle his wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

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Samuel Oscar Montes Takes Plea Deal in One of 2011's Most Messed Up Slayings

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OCDA
Samuel Oscar Montes
One of Orange County's most messed-up slayings of 2011 happened the afternoon of Aug. 27, when an Anaheim woman was fatally shot in the head as her children--a 3-year-old boy, 1-year-old girl and a 1-month-old boy--watched.

The late Nicole Gutierrez's then-boyfriend, 23-year-old Samuel Oscar Montes, pleaded guilty Friday under a deal that will likely send him to state prison for 15 years after sentencing in September. The prosecutor says he negotiated the plea deal because of issues with proving a murder case and the victim's family being OK with it.

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Jorene Ypanto Nicolas Backs Out of Plea Deal in Distracted Driving Manslaughter Case

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Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Jorene Ypanto Nicolas rolls the dice.
In April 2014, a jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt for Jorene Ypanto Nicolas in the distracted driving manslaughter death of a 23-year-old woman. At her retrial this week, Nicolas was poised to take a court deal that would have given her a year in jail, 500 hours of community service, five years probation and no prison time in exchange for a guilty plea. But instead the San Diego woman told Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg on Wednesday that she wants a new lawyer, and the judge continued the retrial to April 24, when Nicholas will face a maximum six year prison sentence if she is convicted.

New lawyer? Sounds like Daniel Kim of the Orange County Public Defender's Office needed a new client.

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Weekender Updater: Murder Conviction in Crash Upheld; Disability Fraud; Real Estate Fraud

This weekend edition of Weekender Updater updates you this weekend on a second-degree murder conviction being upheld in a drug-fueled Laguna Niguel crash that killed a lady out walking a dog, a Santa Ana granite installer copping to continuing to work while collecting state disability checks and the federal court sentence for a Seal Beach fraudster.

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Steven Matthew LeClaire Gets 101 Years for Fatally Shooting Man, Injuring Dad and Another

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Courtesy of Cypress PD
Steven Matthew LeClaire
AWOL Army soldier Steven Matthew LeClaire was sentenced this morning to 101 years in state prison for bursting into a Cypress motel room, killing a man and injuring his father and a third man with a hail of bullets.

The 26-year-old was convicted in August of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder for the Feb. 24, 2011, shooting rampage at Cypress Lodge on Lincoln Avenue.

LeClaire's blasts generated so much heat that the motel room's smoke alarm went off.

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Steven Matthew LeClaire Jr. Guilty of Murder, Attempted Murder in Cypress Lodge Shootings

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Courtesy of Cypress PD
LeClaire: Guilty!
Steven Matthew LeClaire Jr. was found guilty last week of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder for shooting his father and two friends in a Cypress motel room on Feb. 24, 2011.

The AWOL Army soldier was peeved his father gave booze to his teenage sister and that one of dad's pals hit on the 14-year-old girl. The 26-year-old, who could get 90 years in state prison, also blamed his own alcoholism and problems in the military on his dad, according to prosecutors.

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Steven Matthew LeClaire Jr. Jurors Weigh Murder or Manslaughter for Army Deserter

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Courtesy of Cypress PD
Steven M. LeClaire Jr.
Army deserter Steven Matthew LeClaire Jr. was so peeved his father gave booze to his teenage sister and that one of dad's pals hit on the 14-year-old that he shot the senior LeClaire and two others in a Cypress motel room, killing one, a prosecutor told jurors during the opening of Wednesday's murder trial in Santa Ana.

The defense countered that LeClaire was unstable due to years of drug and alcohol abuse and did not mean to killing anyone that fateful night, angling for manslaughter instead of murder and attempted murder counts that could send the 26-year-old to prison for 90 years.

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