Man Came at Starbucks Patron "Aggressively" Before Fatal Bonking by Skateboard: Witness

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Qwik Tape
UPDATE, NOV. 24, 4:28 P.M.: A witness to today's incident reportedly says it happened inside a Starbucks and that a patron used a skateboard to defend himself against the man who died.

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Prosecution Team Cheating Costs DA Tony Rackauckas Another Murder Conviction

R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
DA Rackauckas with aides Susan Kang Schroeder and Scott Simmons
On the same day that national legal scholars urged a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Orange County's law enforcement corruption and a tone-deaf district attorney's office spokeswoman reacted contemptuously, a superior court judge yesterday erased a murder conviction after determining sheriff's deputies conspired to violate the defendant's constitutional rights.

Judge Richard King's ruling in People v. Eric Ortiz is the latest proof that, despite District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' insistence otherwise, the county's corruption crisis isn't imaginary, but rather one with obvious embarrassing consequences.

It's the 13th example in less than a year of blatantly unethical prosecution team moves wrecking a felony case while not a single involved person with a badge has been held accountable.

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National Call For U.S. Attorney General Probe Of Orange County's Snitch Scandal

OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Citing "grave concern" for the pending "crisis," more than three dozen prominent legal community members today asked Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to launch a formal investigation into "compelling evidence of pervasive police and prosecutorial misconduct" in Orange County.

"We write to urge the Department of Justice to initiate an investigation into the actions of the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) and the District Attorney's Office (OCDA) in connection with the use of jailhouse informants and the concealment of informant-related evidence," wrote signatories Erwin Chemerinksy, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law; and former California Attorney General and Los Angeles District Attorney John Van de Kamp.

Others joining in the sentiment of the communication include Harvard legal theorist Charles Ogletree, criminal justice professor Angela Davis, former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney Richard Drooyan and Alex Whiting, a Harvard professor and former prosecutor of international crimes at the Hague as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Constitution Project.

The 16-page letter uses court records, judicial rulings and news reporting--including exclusive articles published by OC Weekly--to argue that a previously chosen reform group handed picked by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas can't be trusted given the DA's continual controversial insistence that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by law enforcement officials.

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LA County Sheriff's Deputy Jovanni Argueta Busted for Alleged Sexual Affair with 13 y.o. Girl

Costa Mesa Police Department
Jovanni Argueta works at the Whittier sheriff's station.
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been arrested for allegedly meeting a girl online when she was 12 and rendezvousing with her over the next year for sexual acts on and off the campus of her Costa Mesa middle school, according to police.

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Hit the No-Longer-Shark-Infested Water Off Newport Beach, People!

Universal Pictures
We're [no longer] going to need a bigger Duffy boat.
UPDATE NO. 3, OCT. 20, 2:12 P.M.: Newport Beach lifeguards have given their beaches the all clear, shark advisory signs have been removed and you are now free to go about your business in the water, officials say.

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He's Baaaack! More Allegations OC Prosecutor Cheated In Death Penalty Cases

Cybernetic organisms in Hollywood Sci-Fi movies and the District Attorney's office?
Inside the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) from the mid-1970s through 2001, homicide prosecutor Michael A. Jacobs apparently saw himself as the Terminator.

According to newly obtained court records, Jacobs bragged to other lawmen that they could not match his enthusiasm for executing defendants in capital cases, claiming at one point that his office was responsible for 50 percent of expected state-sponsored killings after California resumed enforcing the death penalty in 1992.

Weekly readers may recall Jacobs, who was highlighted in our May 6, 2015, cover story, "Double Jeopardy: Recent Proof of Prosecutorial Misconduct Mirrors OCDA's Bad Old Days." The article noted that evidence proved this prosecutor repeatedly withheld exculpatory evidence that would have weakened his cases and employed blatantly dishonest jailhouse informants to sell his claims to juries.

Incredibly, Jacobs won two convictions for the 1981 Laguna Beach murder of Ginger Fleischli by arguing diametrically opposing sets of facts to different juries for David Leitch, who was given a term of 15 years to life, and Thomas Thompson, who was executed in 1998 while proclaiming his innocence to the end.

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With Deputies Refusing To Testify Under Oath In Snitch Scandal, It's Time For A Federal Probe

If public integrity section officials at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. needed an alarming fact to finally prompt a formal investigation of law enforcement corruption in Orange County, they have one today.

In recent hours, four veteran Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies--Seth Tunstall, Bill Grover, Bryan Larson and Ben Garcia--have refused to testify under oath in connection with a Santa Ana murder trial and defendant Eric Ortiz.

Their fear?

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Mercurial Mexican Mafia Boss Peter Ojeda Takes Dual Stances About His Guilt

La Eme power has privileges: Peter Ojeda (second from left) doesn't have to wear bland outfits
It appeared on Sept. 29 that Peter Ojeda, a longtime Southern California Mexican Mafia boss, finally conceded his guilt on federal racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) charges that have been pending for nearly half a decade.

That's the day Ojeda scribbled his signature on a "package deal" plea agreement that was contingent on U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors finalizing similar, pre-trial punishment reduction deals with his remaining three co-defendants--Suzie Rodriguez, Donald Aguilar and Jacobo Huanosto--by Oct. 5.

But on Sept. 30 the spry, legendary 72-year-old gangster abruptly reneged on the arrangement when asked to orally confirm his RICO guilt by U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna.

Craig Wilke, Ojeda's veteran Fullerton-based criminal defense lawyer, declined to comment about his client's flip-flop and indicated he is again preparing for an Oct. 29 trial launch inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

A jury pool had already been selected, juror questionnaires distributed and heighten security measures by U.S. marshals plotted in anticipation for proceedings expected to last five to six weeks.

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Orange County Immigration Lawyer Guilty In Chinese Birth Tourism Scandal

Liang's pre-arrest publicity photo
Late this afternoon following a four-day trial, a Southern California federal judge found a 38-year-old Irvine attorney guilty of three counts stemming from a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation into a Chinese birth tourism scam.

Expressionless immigration lawyer Ken Zhiyi Liang stood, took off his suit coat, put his hands behind his back and said nothing as two jumbo-sized U.S. marshals handcuffed him for transportation to the Santa Ana Jail, where he'll be held without bail until his Dec. 14 sentencing inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

In the bench trial, federal prosecutors Joseph B. Widman and Jerry Yang convinced U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford that Liang conspired to obstruct justice by plotting to secretly aid the illegal escape of a material witness back to China.

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Two Costa Mesa Musicians Killed in Oregon Car Crash

Categories: Breaking News

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via Facebook
Steven E. Stinson (left) and Christoffer T. Burke
Two local artists in OC's drum and bass and Jungle scene died in a head-on car crash in Oregon on Thursday. Steven E. Stinson, 28; and Christoffer T. Burke, 27, known as DJ Raid and MC Bizurk respectively, died from their injuries when the car they were riding in slammed into a truck travelling the other way on a two lane highway. Passenger Claire N. Honsaker, 25 was also killed in the crash. All of them were reported to be Costa Mesa residents. Driver Joshua F. Gibson, 27 was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and passenger Kean G. Krause, 21, was taken to a hospital. His status was not immediately known.

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