Lawsuit Against A&E Documentary About Public Enemy Number One Gang Proceeds

BillyJoeJohnsonOCW.jpg
Notorious PEN1 killer Billy Joe Johnson
A federal appeals court ruled this week that an illiterate man's lawsuit against a Gangland documentary television broadcast about an Orange County-based white supremacist criminal gang can proceed despite an effort by A&E network lawyers to kill the case before trial.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the plaintiff, a person with admitted intimate knowledge of gang activities and a law enforcement informant identified only as "John Doe," raised legitimate legal issues of dispute with Gangland Productions, Inc. employees, who broadcast his image during an interview about Public Enemy Number One Death Squad (PEN1) after, he claims, they assured him of anonymity.

As a result of the show, Doe--who is also dyslexic--claims he lost his job, can no longer serve as a paid police informant and, worse, is a likely target for murder by methamphetamine-crazed, Adolf Hitler-loving, hammer-wielding PEN1 gangsters.

Lawyers for the show argue that Doe signed a 2009 waiver that specifically allowed Gangland to air his image, but the hoodlum claims he can't read and was orally told by a producer, Stephanie Kovac, and a cameraman that his identity would be concealed because of the risks.

According to the lawsuit, Doe insists that when he asked Kovac to let his girlfriend read the document before he signed it, the producer told him it wasn't necessary because the paper served merely as a receipt for the $300 the show paid him for the interview.

The appellate judges--Harry Pregerson, William A. Fletcher and Jacqueline H. Nguyen--sided with A&E lawyers that U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford botched rulings against their anti-SLAPP motion by incorrectly determining that the defendants' work hadn't been "in furtherance of their right of free speech in connection with issues of public interest."

Relying on California law, the appellate judges opined that Guilford applied statutes too narrowly or incorrectly, and that the issue of gang violence, the topic of the show, was a matter of public interest.

But the Ninth Circuit panel agreed with Guilford that Doe claims against Gangland of public disclosure of a private fact, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false promise had enough merit to proceed inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

Doe grew up with Scott Miller, a co-founder of PEN1 who was viciously ambushed and murdered in 2002 by his colleagues in Anaheim after he gave an interview about the gang to a Los Angeles television news reporter.

Miller's face wasn't shown, but PEN1 members easily deduced he was the one who'd publicly talked about gang matters--a big no-no in the underworld rulebook.

The Orange County District Attorney's office won murder convictions against three hoodlums--Billy Joe Johnson, Michael Lamb and Jacob Rump--for the Miller killing.

Fifty-year-old Johnson, arguably one of the most deranged gangsters in California history and a product of Costa Mesa, is rotting with Lamb, 39, on San Quentin State Prison's notorious Death Row; Rump, 37, got a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole and is residing inside the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County.

PEN1 grew as a 1980s offspring from the Aryan Brotherhood and Nazi Lowriders.

Go HERE to read about the exploits of Johnson, Lamb and Rump.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
oghd
oghd

daryll mason

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

You've head me mention how your law enforcement community uses civilian criminals to commit crimes for them. I've used the terms Hispanic gang member types and white crack addict types. Not these men in particular but this look depicted in this photo is the typical white crack addict general profile type that I was referring to.What a disgraceful shame Orange County law enforcement if you have been using Nazi gang member trash to terrorize this Hispanic American man throughout the years.

Paul Zelezio
Paul Zelezio

But the Ninth Circuit panel agreed with Guilford that Doe claims against Gangland of public disclosure of a private fact, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false promise had enough merit to proceed inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. FYI: looks like a verbal contract will be argued

949girl
949girl topcommenter

You know, I always wondered why this episode wasn't available.  You can download most Gangland's but not this one...makes sense now.  Because I really want to watch this one and this one only!

waldo.lydecker
waldo.lydecker

@949girl why did you want to watch this one and this one only? know one of these rodents, perhaps?

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@waldo.lydecker @949girl No, I don't know any personally.  But I see them around town.  They did show a guy from Pen1 on MSNBC's  Lockup OC.  A lot of them are in jail now. A few other guys from other white gangs spoke on camera also, so I don't know if it's just a PEN1 thing to not talk. I drive to work and see one of these guys with his swastika tattoos sitting on his porch with his lame white socks and wife beater tank. 

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...