Randy Orbach of "Redemption Song" Cover Story Gets 4 Years for Stalking Ex-Girlfriend

Photo by John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Randy Orbach hold told the Weekly he put his criminal life behind him. Then he got arrested again.
Thomas "Randy" Orbach's "Redemption Song" hit a sour note when he was sentenced to four more years in state prison earlier this month.

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Erica Melissa Alonso's Honda is Found But She's Still Been Missing Since Valentine's Date

Categories: Breaking News

Found it!
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.

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Poseidon Wants OC to Overpay For Its Desalinated Water for 50 Years

Charles Lam/OC Weekly
Drowning in intrigue

It's been a long two weeks since our March 13 cover on the proposed Poseidon Desalination Project in Huntington Beach. The day after the story published, UC Irvine professor, NASA scientist and former OC Weekly cover-story subject Jay Famiglietti published an editorial in the Los Angeles Times that was originally titled "California Has About One Year of Water Left. Will You Ration Now?" (The title later changed to "California Has About One Year of Water Stored. Will You Ration Now?" because it turns out we have about one year's worth of water stored in reservoirs, plus more in groundwater. Woo-hoo, accuracy!).

Thousands shared that editorial. Governor Jerry Brown summarily announced a $1 billion proposal supported by both parties that would speed up water bond-money spending (two-thirds of which would actually go to flood-control projects), and the State Water Resources Control Board issued new guidelines that reduced the amount of days homeowners could water their lawns and commanded restaurants to only serve water to customers if they ask.

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How Tony Rackauckas Took A Slam Dunk Death Penalty Case And Turned It Into His Worst Crisis

Kevin McVeigh
DA Rackauckas: If I only had a brain . . . I'd unravel every riddle for any individ'le, in trouble or in pain

Orange County's worst mass shooting, the so-called 2011 Seal Beach hair-salon massacre, began as a traumatizing event for all, but it has devolved into one of the most polarizing legal struggles to hit our legal system. The question isn't about Scott Dekraai's guilt. Dekraai admitted to police that he was the killer within minutes of the shooting. Controversy swirls, however, around the tactics of prosecutors and sheriff's deputies trying to impose a death-penalty punishment rather than a 200-plus-year prison sentence without the possibility for parole. With one embarrassing revelation after another, the battle has grown painful, especially for the baffled families of the victims. To help understand why Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals, himself an accomplished former prosecutor, this month made a historic decision to recuse Tony Rackauckas and his district attorney's office (OCDA), we are providing a chronology of events:

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Federal Trial Begins to Determine Whether Anaheim Cop Daron Wyatt is a Dirty Detective

Josue Rivas / OC Weekly
Detective Wyatt (right) with arms crossed

"Why would an innocent man confess to a murder that he did not commit?"

The question posed by defense attorney Mark W. Eisenberg during his opening statement is at the heart of a dramatic civil trial alleging Anaheim police beat a false confession out of a man. Eisenberg's client, Rafael Garcia Miranda, charges that detective Daron Wyatt also threatened to have Child Protective Services take his six children away if he didn't tell the officer what he wanted to hear during an interrogation.

Miranda falsely fessed up to being the supposed gang "shot caller," all for a meager $150, for the January 17, 1998 murder of Elizabeth Ann Begaren, an off-duty corrections officer killed in cold blood on the 91 freeway in Anaheim. The real culprit was Nuzzio Begaren, Elizabeth's newlywed husband, who contracted her killers (the gunman is still on the loose) so that he could cash in on her $1 million life insurance policy.

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Ex-County Assessor Webster J. Guillory Has Felony Count Nixed, 2 More Now Misdemeanors

County of Orange
The felony case helped sweep Webster J. Guillory out of office.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gassia Apkarian on Tuesday dismissed a felony count of filing false nomination papers against ex-county Assessor Webster J. Guillory and reduced two other felony counts to misdemeanors.

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Jeb Bush Making Dough Run to Newport Beach

Categories: Events, Politics

Photo by flickr user Eduardo Merille
Jeb Bush, a.k.a. "The Smart One," will be wound up in back and dropped on Newps.
You know Jeb Bush must be a serious contender for president when:

1) Mud is slung that he had a separate email account while governor of Florida (Rush was right, he is just like Hillary!).
b.) He's coming to Newport Beach next week to scoop up campaign cash.

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UCI OCEANS Initiative Aims for a Sea-Plus by Uniting University Disciplines and Community

There is much work to be done, students!
UC Irvine is crowing (albatrossing?) about "one of its boldest experiments yet: a brand-new research and education initiative called UCI OCEANS." No, the eggheads are not filling Aldrich Park with what those geeks in Chem 101 call "H2o." In this instance OCEANS stands for Oceans, Changing Environments, Arts and Nearshore Societies. Think of an interdisciplinary cooperative dedicated to the deep blue sea.

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Teofilo Medina Jr. Dies on Death Row; He'd Murdered 4 Young Men in OC and Corona in '84

Courtesy of CDC
Teofilo Medina Jr.
A 70-year-old Orange County death row inmate has died not from execution after years and years of appeals were denied but of natural causes.

Teofilo Medina Jr., out of Santa Ana, died Sunday at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, where he had been receiving hospice care, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDC).

Medina served prison time in Arizona for a rape and was released about three months before October and November 1984, when over a 25-day period he robbed and murdered four store clerks in Orange and Riverside counties. Horacio Ariza Jr., 20, and Douglas Michael Metal, 23, who worked at a Santa Ana gas station, and Victor Rea, 20, who worked at a Garden Grove drive-through dairy, were all shot in the head.

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OC DA to Retry Citizen Journalists For Unlawful Assembly After Hung Jury: Update

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
AJ Redkey and PM Beers
UPDATE, MARCH 24, 11:40 A.M.:Two live-streamers narrowly escaped convictions yesterday for failing to disperse from a Kelly Thomas post-verdict protest last year. All but one juror favored finding the defendant AJ Redkey guilty of the misdemeanor offense. The jury similarly deadlocked 8-4 for PM Beers. The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office decided against dismissing the case and, in a gigantic waste of everybody's time, will press for a retrial next month.

"The case is about the right to protest and whether or not the police can use the negative actions of a very few people in the crowd as an excuse to shut down the entire protest," defense attorney John Raphling tells the Weekly. "Fullerton Police should have simply arrested the small handful of bad actors and respected the rights of the rest to speak out for justice."

Round 2 is scheduled to start on April 17 at Orange County Superior Court in Fullerton.

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