The Buena Park Case of the Hairy, Bad Tenant

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In March 2009, Zayed Ahmadieh rented a room behind a detached garage in Buena Park and, according to landlord Mohammad Mian, wasn't a good tenant. Ahmadieh changed locks without permission, made loud noises late at night and generally acted strange. Two months later, Mian asked him to move out.

Ahmadieh repeatedly delayed his move but by November Mian obtained an eviction judgment to boot him out with the aid of sheriff's deputies.

Ahmadieh wasn't happy.

Late one night, he poured a toxic, damaging substance on four vehicles belonging to Mian or his family and fled, according to an eyewitness.

The damage totaled more than $10,000.

But Ahmadieh told police that he couldn't have done the crime because he had an airtight alibi.

Precisely at the time of the vandalism, he and a pal had been partying inside a Canoga Park strip club, he claimed.  

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Ahmadieh: I was at the strip club! Really!
A Feb. 2011 Orange County jury didn't buy it and convicted him of felony vandalism after a trial.

Ahmadieh appealed, claiming that his defense lawyer sucked, Superior Court Judge Richard W. Stanford botched jury instructions that weakened his alibi argument and that his punishment was unconstitutionally vague by prohibiting him from contacting his ex-landlord.

The punishment? It could have been 270 days in the Orange County Jail, but Stanford suspended that sentence and gave Ahmadieh probation. The judge also ordered him to take anger management classes and pay restitution.

This month, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered the case but found no legal errors.

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More appropriate punishment?
Upshot: Ahmadieh will continue to serve formal probation until early December 2014.

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