Key Evidence In Anaheim Police Murder Cases Keeps Getting Mysteriously Destroyed

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Josue Rivas/OC Weekly
Sgt. Daron Wyatt (right) during a 2014 anti-brutality protest outside Anaheim Police headquarters

With a major, cold-case homicide of a law-enforcement officer unsolved and one of the accused killers awaiting trial in February 2013, Anaheim Police Department (APD) Sergeant Elizabeth Faria would have had you believe she purposefully but innocently destroyed interrogation recordings of Rafael Miranda, who says APD beat a false confession out of him.

Faria's explanation is golly-gee simple: APD has an annual budget in the tens of millions of dollars, but there's purportedly a dire shortage of computer hard-drive space. She wanted to free up storage for future files, and nobody internally protested, so--allegedly without even a cursory review to see what evidence she was permanently deleting from a computer devoted to murders--Faria hit the delete button.

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Sexually Violent Predator Wants California Officials To Let Him Move To Jamaica

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California Attorney General's Office
Samuels' public, Megan's Law warning entry
Rapist Dougal Samuels has a beef with California and the U.S. Attorney General because he's not being deported to Jamaica.

Calling himself a member of a "politically unpopular group," Samuels (a.k.a. Samuals, he oddly uses both spellings) wants to leave as soon as possible, but officials here consider him so special they refuse to honor the wish.

The serial rapist (with victims in Chicago, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa and Sunset Beach) already served an 18-year prison sentence before the Orange County District Attorney's Office managed to label him a sexually violent predator (SVP) for the savage beatings he employed before and during his sexual assaults of women he usually met at bars.

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Larry Agran Gives Middle Finger To Deposition Subpoena On Great Park Shenanigans

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Agran: It's not illegal when, uhhh, a defeated councilman does it
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.

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.

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Police Got False Confession From Cop-Killer Suspect--Then Destroyed Video When Sued

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Bob Aul/OC Weekly

Why would anyone sane--and, more important, innocent--confess to the potential death-penalty crime of participating in a murder-for-hire plot that left a California law-enforcement officer executed on the side of the 91 freeway in Anaheim? That question will likely be pondered inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in March, when a dramatic police-brutality lawsuit is expected to go to trial.

The case stems from the Jan. 17, 1998, killing of 40-year-old Elizabeth Ann Begaren, an off-duty California State Prison guard. That night, she'd been a passenger in a vehicle driven by Nuzzio Begaren, her husband of six months, and his 10-year-old daughter from a prior relationship. Nuzzio told police he believed gangsters witnessed him hand a cash-stuffed envelope to his wife inside the Burbank Macy's, tailed them 33 miles down Interstate 5 to Anaheim, forced them off the 91, killed Elizabeth when they saw her badge, took $4,700 in cash and fled.

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Federal Judge, Again, Rejects Sheriff's Refusal To Accept Jury Verdict In War Hero Abuse Case

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Jack Gould / OC Weekly
Montoya
Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) officials have repeatedly refused to accept a jury's 2013 verdict that they discriminated against a deputy who took temporary leave to serve in a U.S. marine scout sniper unit during the Iraq War and earned the prestigious Navy Cross for life-saving, Battle of Baghdad heroics in 2003.

But Scott Montoya--whose military service was brazenly mocked upon his return to OCSD, targeted for loaded internal affairs probes and fired as a person unworthy to wear a deputy's uniform--keeps winning court rulings.

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Steven Bren, Irvine Co. Chairman's Son, Leads Firm on State's Delinquent Corporate Tax List

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Photo by flickr user John Watson
Uh-owe.
In April 2010, we reported that Steven Bren, son of billionaire Irvine Co. chairman Donald Bren, occupied the No. 18 spot on California's list of most delinquent tax delinquents, as he and his wife Cynthia owed $2,209,561.23 in personal income tax at the time. We're happy to report the Brens of Emerald Bay are not on the state's 2015 list of the top 500 personal tax delinquents. However, Steven Bren's company is on the California Franchise Tax Board's 2015 list of top corporate tax delinquents.

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Jury Clears Huntington Beach Police Officer In Child Abduction Lawsuit

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A federal civil jury this month sided with a Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) officer accused of illegally removing a resident's five-year-old son from her custody in March 2010.

Jill Randall claimed HBPD officer Stan Watanabe violated the U.S. Constitution when he allowed Myeshia Hammond to take her child after the Orange County social worker determined the boy was in danger from Charles Dulyea, Randall's live-in boyfriend, who had "reportedly inflicted some serious physical injuries to his own two-month-old baby and who was on parole for weapons possession," according to court records.

Dulyea was not present at Randall's Limelight Circle home at the time Hammond decided without a warrant to take the boy to his biological father.

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Dept. of Where Have I Heard This Before: OC Assemblymen Propose Pervs-in-Parks Ban

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Photo by flickr user Kras Alter
Yeah ... beats me, too.
When an Orange County law gets struck down by the courts, try, try again with the state Legislature. That's apparently the attitude of two Orange County Assembly members who have proposed a bill that would allow cities to ban sex offenders from public parks.

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State Stings 14 Phony Contractors in Costa Mesa

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Photo by flickr user Jan Tik
"License? I don't need no stinkin' license ..."
State and local officials teamed up for a sting operation in Costa Mesa last week that ended with 14 being cited forĀ illegal contracting and/or local business license violations, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) announced Wednesday.

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Judge Considers Perjury Findings Against Deputy For Death Penalty Case Testimony

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Luke McGarry

Law enforcement cheating in courthouses usually gets ignored because otherwise-decent cops, prosecutors and judges remain mum, and the offenders go unpunished or, worse, win promotion. But the beginnings of a potential, cleansing tidal wave is moving through California's criminal-justice system. Last month, a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit shattered that silence on government officials lying.

Though the use of jailhouse informants is a well-established police tool, it's also known that rats--commonly the most despicable inmates--won't hesitate to lie to juries in exchange for valuable, government-supplied perks. Cops and prosecutors, as theoretical guardians of truth and justice, would never allow an informant to give false testimony. But as Ninth Circuit panel of judges Alex Kozinski, Kim McLane Wardlaw and William A. Fletcher knows, reality isn't so immaculate.

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