Orange County sheriff's deputies this afternoon found Erica Melissa Alonso's white 2014 Honda Civic EX in Aliso Viejo, but the 27-year-old who has been missing since a Valentine's date ended is still no where to be found.
In yet another unambiguous, if reluctant, signal of Orange County's troubled jailhouse informant program, a prosecutor this week dismissed attempted murder charges in a case that could have carried life in prison punishment, a move with potential dubious motives counter to the public interest.
Let's Make A Deal: Bryant Islas should be a happy man today
Make no mistake: People v. Bryant Phillip Islas joins a list of recent homicide cases the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) has ended by handing incredibly favorable plea bargains to suspected killers and attempted murderers.
Like in People v. Joseph Govey, People v. Leonel Vega and People v. Isaac John Palacios, prosecutors quietly gave Islas a March 17 sweetheart deal to avoid a trial scheduled that day.
In the ongoing scandal that resulted last week in a superior court judge kicking District Attorney Tony Rackauckas off a death penalty case, an Islas trial would have produced additional, new evidence of cheating by prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and Santa Ana Police Department detectives--or, as Rackauckas is labeling the corruption: acts of benign negligence that coincidentally tilted cases in favor of the government.More »
Until reality caught up to him last November and shattered his heavily concocted image as a good-government activist, Larry Agran served as the leader of a political machine that for a dozen years dictatorially controlled Irvine and the Orange County Great Park project.
Two-Faced Larry: Effective 2012 campaign mailer against Irvine's longest career politician
The ugly reality includes Agran's penchant for secrecy, cronyism, narcissism and mismanagement, especially at the Great Park, a noble idea the career politician slyly converted into a biennial election tool to keep his council alliance in power, a circumstance that allowed him to give $167,000 per month in no-bid, public-relations contracts to his own political operatives.
After skipping a scheduled February deposition and demanding conditions such as taxpayers must pay for at least two lawyers defending him as he dodges potential criminal charges, Agran finally sat on March 13 with Anthony R. Taylor, the Aleshire & Wynder attorney conducting an independent audit of Great Park shenanigans.
Not surprisingly, the failed 1992 presidential primary candidate's paranoia emerged at the outset of the deposition, with Fred Woocher, one of Agran's lawyers, asking if anybody not present in the room was listening via a wire. Taylor said no, and then had to entertain the same question two more times.
Next, Agran's team encouraged Taylor to employ the California Public Records Act as a weapon for stalling journalists from reading the deposition for at least two weeks, claiming city officials would need 10 business days to find it.More »
A Little Saigon bikini bar owner victimized by an loan shark ring FBI agents say used at least one Westminster Police Department (WPD) officer as an enforcer has settled her civil lawsuit out of court.
Following the August 2013 arrests of Fountain Valley businessman Kevin Khanh Tuan Do and WPD officer Anthony Duong Donner, businesswoman Hanh Le filed her lawsuit claiming she had been harassed and threatened to make illegal 60 percent annual interest payments on a $170,000 loan from Do.
Terms of the settlement were not made public in papers filed this month inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
Hanh reported that when she was late on payments on-duty police officers tied to Do repeatedly "carried out drive-bys" at her residence, entered her business and home without permission, directed high-intensity spotlights from their patrol vehicles into her shop, harassed her patrons under false pretenses, sent threatening messages and conducted bogus traffic stops on both her and her customers.More »
The Feld family, which owns Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced today that it has accomplished something animal-rights activists have not: End the use of elephants in the Greatest Show on Earth.
Photo by Keith May/OC Weekly Soon to be jobless.
UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 4, 9:59 A.M.: Apartments in Mission Viejo were also searched as part of the government's investigation into "birth tourism," where pregnant Chinese women with fraudulent visas come to the U.S. to deliver babies so they will be born U.S. citizens, according to the federal affidavit.
livecarlyle.com The Carlyle at Colton Plaza is at 18880 Douglas, Irvine, was among the 20 ICE raid sites.
It's not surprising that Larry Agran would want to avoid answering questions under oath about how his Democrat council majority in Irvine spent more than $200 million without building a single, major feature at the proposed Orange County Great Park.
Agran: It's not illegal when, uhhh, a defeated councilman does it
But it is fascinating that Agran, who has a California law license and was a 1992 presidential candidate, thinks he can ignore a lawfully issued subpoena that compelled his presence Wednesday for a deposition in the city's ongoing investigation into Great Park shenanigans.
The man who voters booted out of office in November failed to show up at the offices of Anthony R. Taylor, the Aleshire & Wynder attorney who is conducting the probe.More »
UPDATE, FEB. 27, 12:14 P.M.: According to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the Santa Ana Police spokesman, two officers were looking for a robbery suspect when they spotted him in his white Dodge Charger around 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Third Street and tried to make contact. Bertagna says it's not yet known what touched off the officer-involved shooting that led to the man being pronounced dead at the scene. He has not been identified yet.
Google Maps The 1000 block of West 3rd Street, Santa Ana
UPDATE NO. 3, FEB. 26, 5:30 A.M.: Erica Melissa Alonso was the subject of a restraining order to stay away from her ex-boyfriend, an order that was only lifted about a week before he became the last known person to see the missing 27-year-old woman, according to authorities.
GiveForward.com A fund has been started to publicize Erica Alonso's disappearance.