Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Christian-Newsom Bills Pass Tennessee House and Senate

GUEST ENTRY by DAVID in TENNESSEE!

Christian-Newsome Bills Pass Tennessee House and Senate
The Tennessee State Senate on Thursday, February 20, passed the two bills that I previously mentioned in my last entry. They were designed to help crime victims and their families from being further victimized in the courts.

The parents of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom spoke in favor of the bills before the Tennessee State Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in February. 

Christian and Newsom were carjacked, tortured, and murdered in 2007. The defendants were found guilty, but because Judge Richard Baumgartner was guilty of using illegal drugs during the trials, retrials were ordered for two of the defendants. 

Baumgartner had verbally accepted the verdicts, but did not sign the form acting as 13th Juror upholding the jury's decision before being forced to resign from the bench.

Senate Bill 1796, The Chris Newsom Act, creates a presumption that the presiding judge presumably has completed his duties upon accepting the verdict of the jury. 

Senate Bill 1797, The Channon Christian Act, restricts bringing into evidence "presumptions or false information that are related to the victim that is totally unrelated to the crime."
On March 27, 2014, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed the two bills unanimously. When the bills passed, members of the legislature gave a standing ovation. 

The Channon Christian and Chris Newsom acts will go to the governor's desk for signature. Governor Haslam has said he supports both measures. 

The torture-murders of Christian and Newsom took place in the home of Lemaricus Davidson, who was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death. The other defendants, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas, and Vanessa Coleman were convicted and sentenced to life without parole, life with the possibility of parole, and 35 years. Thomas and Coleman were tried a second time because of the 13th Juror rule. Davidson and Cobbins were not retried because of DNA evidence pointing to their guilt. 

A few weeks ago, Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Jamie Satterfield, who covered the story, tweeted that she doesn't think the Channon Christian Act was constitutional. 

She may be right. The courts give a defendant a lot of leeway in defending themselves. 

I emailed Satterfield several months ago and asked how her proposed book on the Christian-Newsom case was coming along. She never replied. I have emailed her several times over the years and previously she always got back to me. 

Two weeks ago I emailed her again with the same question. No answer. I wonder if Jamie Satterfield has given up on writing the book. I check her twitter feed daily and she never refers to it. I hope I'm wrong as this is nothing but speculation on my part. 

There is no news on the proposed film on the case. Gail Witt, who was making the film, recently died of cancer. The Facebook page, "Forever Changed," has reported that the film is completed and is still in the editing stage.

David in TN

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jahi McMath: No News on This Case



 Jahi McMath
Source: Facebook - Keep Jahi McMath Alive Page
UPDATE 3/28/2014
LA Times Now Article - Mother of brain dead Jahi McMath says daughter is "still sleeping" 

March 26, 2014
I want to thank the many T&T readers who have emailed me, to keep me up to date with the latest postings from Jahi McMath's family.  I apologize if I have not responded to you personally. Real life responsibilities to Mr. Sprocket's business, my own business, and lastly, the several Los Angeles County murder cases I'm covering have been taking up all of my time.

Reality check: there is no news on this case. Jahi McMath is still brain dead. We don't know where she is (buried or hooked up to machines in a health facility) or what is the current condition of her body.

Anything the family (mother, uncle, aunt, siblings, friends) says at this point -on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.,- about brain dead Jahi McMath is not credible information.  Even if the family issued a statement via a public relations firm or an attorney, those statements would not be credible either. They cannot be believed. Many of the statements are shocking and draw lots of commentary, but they are meaningless in light of the brain death diagnosis and issuance of a death certificate in December 2013. I believe the statements by the family are self serving and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Back to reality. There has not been an independent evaluation of Jahi McMath since her medical condition was tested by a court ordered physician. End of story.

Also keep in mind that nothing we say or do, will have an impact on the family's behavior at this point.

I went over the comments in KZ's last post, and have added all the links to news articles that readers provided to the Jahi McMath Quick Links Page. If there is an article I've missed, please leave it in the comments on this story and I will add it as soon as I can.

In the comments, T&T reader Jenny McLelland offered to write "...a guest post addressing what trach and trach-vent kids really are."  Jenny, if you're still reading, please contact me via email.

I have not forgotten about posting that timeline I mentioned last month. My reality is, I have not been able to devote any time to reviewing and verifying the accuracy of the timeline. I apologize.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Michael Gargiulo Case: Pretrial Hearing 17

Michael Gargiulo, in custody. Date unknown.
UPDATED
March 14, 2014
7:25 AM
I’m on the Red Line train heading into downtown Los Angeles for a pretrial hearing in the Michael Gargiulo case. Mr. Sprocket dropped me off this morning on his way to check on a parts order. Today’s hearing is a continuation of the issue of Gargiulo’s SDT’s (subpoena duces tecum) that he issued to various entities, and whether or not he has a legal right to the information he’s subpoenaed. When one side issues a subpoena for documents, those documents are sent to the court. In the presence of the court, the other side either agrees or disagrees that the opposing side has a right to the documents requested.

As many of you already know, Michael Gargiulo is an alleged serial killer, facing the death penalty. His status is currently “pro per.” In California this means he is representing himself. 

Some T&T readers may be wondering how long is it going to take for Gargiulo’s case to get to trial. To partially answer that question, I recommending reading LA Weekly’s Christine Pelisek’s latest story on Lonnie Franklin, Jr., the alleged “Grim Sleeper” killer. Franklin, who was arrested in July 2010 is not pro-per, but he is another alleged serial killer who is facing the death penalty.

In the Franklin case, Pelisek reported that the defense hasn’t completed their testing of the state’s evidence yet. Franklin has two attorneys, and that case is taking quite some time to get to trial.  There is a hearing in the Franklin case this morning in Dept. 109. That's at the opposite end of the long hallway and it's not likely that I can cover that hearing and Gargiulo's hearing at the same time.

In the Gargiulo case, because he decided to go pro-per, the discovery process starts from scratch. As of last week, the state still has one piece of discovery, an expert report they are waiting on to turn over to the defense. The discovery process goes both ways in California. It’s my understanding that Gargiulo has yet to turn over a single piece of discovery to the prosecution.

8:10 AM
I'm on the 9th floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. One of Gargiulo's investigators, Chris Nicely is already here.  I haven't seen Gargiulo's other investigator, Christian Filipiak for several hearings.

I will have an update after the hearing.

8:30 AM
DDA Daniel Akemon arrives on the 9th floor.  He stops to chat a bit with Instigator Nicely.  The floor is busy at this end with about two dozen casually dressed people.  I don't notice a single one wearing a juror badge.

After Nicely chats with Akemon, Nicely leans over and rubs a bit of shine into his leather shoes.  DDA Akemon waits down by the security station. A few minutes later, DDA Garrett Dameron arrives. Akemon and Dameron take a walk down to the other end of the hallway. I squint to try to see where they went. Akemon looks like he dropped in on Dept. 102 (his case against Javier Bolden is in Judge Marcus' court) and Dameron went into Dept. 109.

Back down at this end of the hallway, I say hello to Akemon and Dameron and follow them into Dept. 108. Akemon and I have a brief conversation about the missing Maylasian flight 370.

8:53 AM
A few moments later, Detective Mark Lillienfeld arrives. Investigator Nicely takes his seat at the defense table. Gargiulo is brought out. He looks much the same as last week.  Gargiulo still has the goatee (it appears to be getting a bit longer) and has the same jail pallor he's had for some time now.  Gargiulo and his investigator start to chat.

9:02 AM
The pretty DDA who was trying a case in Judge Ohta's courtroom arrives and greets Akemon and Dameron.  Investigator Nicely comes over to Akemon. It appears Gargiulo wants to tell him something or ask a question.   I try to listen in but I don't catch much. I believe I hear Gargiulo say the words "stamped ... no one will tell me."

Another reporter I met through a friend arrives. I motion for them to come sit up next to me so I can say hello.

9:05 AM
On the record in the Gargiulo matter. As expected, Judge Ohta starts off by summarizing what happened last week.  He mentions the SDT's and whether or not the defendant is to receive any of the documents he subpoenaed.

It appears the people filed another motion, documenting more of their concerns about Gargiulo's subpoenas. It was filed on March 11th.  Gargiulo hasn't received it yet.  There's a bit of a confusion for a moment. It's apparently in the Sheriff's custody. The bailiff has the document and it's given to Gargiulo.  Gargiulo starts to go over the document.

While he's looking that over, the clerk gets Judge Ohta's attention and whispers to him.  I think I hear Judge Ohta say, "It's fine." A few moments later, what looks like a 6" x 9" manilla envelope is handed to the bailiff who gives it to Gargiulo.

Gargiulo is reading the people's motion he's been handed. "Your honor, this is the first Iime I've seen it. I don't want to take too much of the courts time to go over it."  Judge Ohta replies, "Just focus on page 3, line 15. I think that gets to it."  Judge Ohta appears to be reading the same document at the bench.  Judge Ohta then addresses the people. "I do have some questions Mr. Akemon."   Apparently, the people's motion mention's "Marsy's Law." Judge Otha says something to the effect, "I can't raise that privilege ... I don't know how that can be done." He goes onto explain that the language is written in broad strokes and there is no way to get to specifics. He does at that Megan's Law protects victims. It does not protect witnesses.

DDA Akemon brings up his concerns about open investigations, and the defendant issuing subpoenas for people or LE agencies in those investigations.  Judge Ohta does mention that this is going to involve a lot of research on his part. He mentions that he's already done quite a bit of research on the issue of quashing subpoenas.  "There is a prodedure for quashing subpoenas. ... It's very specific as to how it's done.  ... You want to protect witnesses and protect any future investigations going on."

I believe it's DDA Akemon who replies that he "... understands where the impetus lies ..."  Judge Ohta continues, "The court provieds a remedy that ... individuals [who were subpoenaed] come forward to quash. ... There is a rule how a 3rd party can quash. ... And when 1054 does not apply [to discovery] the prosecution is not required to provide [documents]. ... The defendant must go outside 1054. The law (rec?) the defendant has a right to SDT's."

Someone comments (Akemon? Judge Ohta?) that we're in a murky area, what's inside the SDT documents.  I believe Judge Ohta asks about the Monterey Park subpoena. He asks DDA Akemon if they are involved in this case.  Akemon responds that they are not one of the investigating agencies in this case.  Akemon mentions the Santa Monica PD, the LAPD, the LA Co. Sheriff's, and Chicago, relating to the 1101b testimony.

As Judge Ohta is looking over the list of subpoenas, he mentions Mark Monitor. "What is Mark Monitor?" Gargiulo responds, "It's a social website."Gargiulo also offers that the subpoena to the LA County Sheriff's is to the medical division.  Judge Ohta comments, "So that could arguably be under 1054."  Judge Ohta also asks Gargiulo 'when' he issued his subpoenas.  Those issued before 1/1/14 would not fall under the new local rule. Three of the subpoenas were issued before that date, and one issued after.  "Which one did you do after?" Judge Ohta asks the defendant.  That one is to the LA Co. Sheriff's. That one will fall under the ammended local rule, the other three do not.

Judge Ohta then starts off by saying, "I'm not saying this is my ultimate ruling ... I have my viewpoint. ... Nothing in the local rule gives the prosecution the power to quash. ... only ruling is ... loss of pro per status. ... I'm not sure that local rule gives the prosecution the right to quash."  Judge Ohta then references a point in their motion.

Judge Ohta mentions that the LA Co. Sheriff's is about the county's medical personnel.  He cannot figure out the (applicability?) of Marsy's Law; it's too broad. He doesn't know where the line is. He mentions something in the law that states 'any material to harass.'  Judge Ohta muses, "If the defendant says, here is the reason I need it ... and here is why I need it at trial, then it falls outside..." He then continues, addressing the people. "You don't know what it is so you don't know how to make [your objections] it specific." Akemon responds, "I know that the La County jail has said they will not turn over policies [manuals]."  Judge Ohta then comments that he's had cases where defendant's did receive that or similar information.

Judge Ohta then rules. He addresses Gargiulo. "The easiest way to do this ... tell me why you need this and you can do that under seal."  Gargiulo tells the court that they can put the other subpoenas aside for a moment (the three issued before 1/1/14) but he needs the medication/LA Co. Sheriff's one. Gargiulo then mentions that he could write his motion.

Judge Ohta tells Gargiulo that he doesn't want to put anything aside. He then tells him, "You don't have to write a motion. You just need to tell me why. ... If it's something that might fall under one of these items [in the prosecution's motion] then they [people] can tell me to further articulate."  He then addresses the people on their motion. "I can't do 1040. I can't do that. I can do everything else."

Gargiulo tells the court that the protocol for medication policy, "They [people? jail personnel?} said it falls out of 1040." Gargiulo then mentions his concerns about taking up so much of the court's time.  Judge Ohta addresses that concern. "Don't you worry about it consuming my time."  Gargiulo replies, "I'm just tryng to get this as quickly as possible." Judge Ohta asks, "Have you SDT's those policy manuals?"  (I miss the answer.)

Judge Ohta states that this will be a two step process.  Gargiulo is to present in writing, why he needs what he's subpoenaed. Once he receives that, he will review it in camera on the record and the record will be sealed. "I will not immediately reveal to you [contents]. ... We'll come back to court, and [I'll?] tell the prosecution if any items trigger any of their (concerns?)."  Judge Ohta will then give the prosecution the opportunity to fine tune their objections.

Judge Ohta then tells the defendant that the prosecution also filed a request for discovery compliance by the defense. The defense has not filed any discovery with them under 1054.3.  Since the request has been made, Judge Ohta is asking the defense if they have any discovery.

Gargiulo tells the court, "We don't have anything yet. ... biggest struggle is to get a hold of witnesses."

Judge Ohta then mentions that he wants each side to develop a timeline of where the case is going.  Once that's done, then you [defendant?] file pretrial motions to contest anything.  Judge Ohta tells the parties, "It's a good idea to have an idea of an end date." He wants to set a time for return to court. 

Gargiulo responds, "I think issue is being able to interview witnesses." He mentions something about an investigator going to Las Vegas and not being able to get a hold of anyone. Judge Ohta responds, "I'm not asking you to justify ... What I said is, lets set some time frames. ... If I agree with them we will begin to set marks on dates."

There is then discussion about when/how Gargiulo will get his document to the court explaining why he needs the information in his SDT's. He's told that he doesn't have to have a court date, he could mail in the document. Amazingly, Gargiulo then tells the court, "I do have those all finished. I just didn't bring them (today?)."  He then tells the court that he will give them to his investigator to give to the court.  Judge Ohta again tells Gargiulo that he will look over everything on the record and that the record will be sealed.  If it's necessary, he will alert the DA if there are issues.

April 18th is selected as the return date. On that date, they will set timelines and a schedule on that date. And that's it for the hearing.

10:45 AM
I'm down in the cafeteria getting a bite to eat before I write up my notes.  Lately, I've been staying down at court to finish my write up before I head home. After I get settled, I get a call from Mr. Sprocket. He tells me he only had a short window of time to pick me up from the train station, so I will need to head towards home as soon as possible.

One of his customers had an emergency and Mr. Sprocket was picking up parts to fix the problem right away.  Note to small business owners. When you decide to try to clean your refrigeration system condenser coil yourself (that cools your reach-in freezer), make sure you really know what you’re doing. You could potentially damage your coil beyond repair. The cost of a new coil will guaranteed be much more expensive than the money you thought you’d save by cleaning the coil yourself.







Friday, March 7, 2014

Michael Gargiulo Case, Pretrial Hearing 16

Michael Gargiulo, date unknown

UPDATED 8:12 PM: clarity, spelling, additional notes
UPDATED
6:45 AM
There is a pretrial hearing this morning in the Michael Gargiulo case. The prosecution filed their motion to quash Gargiulo's subpoenas to (I believe) law enforcement agencies and the City of Monterey Park. Gargiulo will either have a response to the prosecution's motion, or he might be presenting something in camera with Judge Ohta today, supporting his right to serve these subpoenas.

I will have an update after the hearing today.

Update Below:
7:15 AM
I took the Orange Line today so Mr. Sprocket could use my car to pick up parts at a supplier in the west valley. His work car has been sick for quite a while now and the White Whale Work truck is not that economical on gas. We try to be budget minded whenever we can.

The Tobias Dustin Summers case has a hearing in Dept. 101, Judge Coen’s courtroom today that I will probably miss. I’ve been keeping an eye on that case ever since it was transferred from Van Nuys to downtown. Summers and his partner in crime, Daniel Martinez are charged with the March 27th, 2013 kidnapping and rape of a ten-year-old Northridge girl. DDA Laura Knight Jackson is prosecuting.

KFI’s Eric Leonard was in the Van Nuys courtroom for the preliminary hearing last year.   I’ll never forget hearing Leonard’s audio report where a detective testified that the victim, at one point during her abduction, asked Summers something to the effect of: "Is this your job?” She was asking him if kidnapping kids and raping them was what he did for a living.

I can’t be in two courtrooms at once, and I don’t know that many DDA’s on a personal basis to contact them and ask them out of the blue what happened at their hearing that I missed. There are also several cases I’d love to follow but they are in courthouses too far away from me to be practical to cover.  At the Norwalk Courthouse, there is a case where a victim was discovered in concrete. At the Inglewood Courthouse, there is a cold case where a former Inglewood Councilman was murdered. These are just a few of the many cases I'd like to find out more about.

8:22 AM

I’m on the 9th floor. There are about a dozen people here. One of Gargiulo’s investigators, Chris Nicely is here. The lobby seemed like it had less people than what’s here on the 9th floor. There’s definitely a case in progress at this end of the hall. More people arrive. A family with two young children, one of them looks to be less than a year old.  The baby starts to cry.  Across from me is a bald, distinguished looking gentleman who has a three inch thick white binder on the bench beside him. He’s reading the paper.  I don’t see a badge at his belt so I’m not sure how to place him. I notice his footwear: black cowboy boots.

A man who is most likely an attorney nods hello to the balding man. He takes the bench seat beside him and starts reading a paper.  A young looking, uniformed officer arrives and peers into the low window of Dept. 108.

8:28 AM

Now it’s a little boisterous as several conversations are going on at once. More attorneys arrive. A pretty, female DDA greets the balding man and they exchange hugs.

Two more attorneys clear security. Dept. 105 opens and people start to head into Judge Bowers, Jr.’s courtroom.  The woman  DDA goes into Dept. 105 and the balding man heads into Dept. 107.

The hallway is still a bit boisterous. A handsome black defense attorney is chatting with another defense attorney on the bench across from me.

8:33 AM

Dept. 108 opens, but no one goes inside. Judge Ohta’s bailiff carries some clothing into his courtroom. 

8:36 AM
I see DDA Akemon and Dameron clear security so I start to pack up my laptop and head inside.

8:37 AM
Inside Dept. 108, I take a seat in the second bench row.  Investigator Nicely is a few steps behind me. Nicely takes a seat in the last bench row. Judge Ohta's clerk is at her desk.  This clerk was Judge Kennedy's clerk during the James Fayed case and later the Kelly Soo Park case. I notice the big container of Red Vines on the clerk's counter is mostly empty. Right beside the container, it looks like there is a box of some sort of chocolate treats. I also notice that in three different locations, the phone number to the courtroom is posted high on the walls in large type.

8:45 AM 
Another DDA arrives. He greets DDA Daniel Akemon and temporarily sets his files at the prosecution table. Investigator Nicely goes up to the clerks desk. It looks like he is presenting some papers. Now the other DDA goes over to the clerks desk before leaving Dept. 108.

The LAPD officer who was in the hallway enters and has a brief conversation with Judge Ohta's bailiff. He takes a seat in the courtroom.  It's a good bet the Judge Ohta is in trial, and this is a witness in another case.

DDA Akemon and DDA Garrett Dameron intently check their smart phones.

8:55 AM
The pretty court reporter comes out and sets up her equipment. DDA Akemon leaves the courtroom for a moment. A female DDA enters and starts to set up her laptop and files at the prosecution table. She knows DDA Dameron and they exchange greetings and start to chat.

Judge Ohta comes out of the back area. He's not in his robes. He's wearing a white shirt. He looks over his desk for something and takes a book from several that are stacked side by side on the right side (his left) of his bench.

9:04 AM
Judge Ohta comes back out wearing his robe.  Another female DDA joins the first at the prosecution table.  Several people are in the gallery now, including the family with children that I saw in the hallway.

I hear Judge Ohta comment to his clerk, "It's cold in here." She smiles and nods in reply. I agree. I did not wear heavy enough of a sweater today.

Dameron, Akemon and the female DDA's chat about the difficulties of getting her computer hooked into the ELMO (overhead projection system) and the problems when the files or presentations don't load properly.  She mentions a problem she had at the Burbank courthouse, mentioning a specific court clerk.  Judge Ohta, quietly listening to the conversation interjects , "Blame the courthouse staff." There is now a pleasant exchange as to how Judge Ohta heard about this event.

9:07 AM
Gargiulo is brought out. He looks much the same as he did during the last hearing. I try to make a small sketch outlining the shape of Gargiulo's wide sideburns. Investigator Nicely steps up to the defense table and takes a seat by Gargiulo. They go over several papers.

Judge Ohta goes on the record in the Gargiulo matter. He states Gargiulo's appearance and that he's pro per. Akemon and Dameron state their appearances. Judge Ohta then gives a short synopsis as to what happened at the last hearing, and why there were discussions on how to proceed with the defendant's SDT's. They discussed different angles of approach. The court decided to step back to determine if the prosecution had authority to quash the defense subpoenas. Judge Ohta goes onto state that the prosecution filed supplemental points and authorities to quash the subpoenas and compel compliance.  The court asks Gargiulo if he received the prosecution's motion.

Gargiulo first states that he received it yesterday at the jail. After a moment or two he corrects himself and states he received it on Tuesday.

Judge Ohta, in commenting on the prosecution's motion, states, "I'm not sure this is right on point. ... I can talk about it without discussing a ruling."  Judge Ohta goes onto explain that the local rules for the court's self governance, don't necessarily trump the statutes covering court procedure. He also mentions that there is case law where a local rule is in conflict with (statutes/case law), the local rule is subservient.

Judge Ohta mentions something to the effect that there could be a review to see if the statute could be inconsistent with local rules. The purpose behind the local rule, is there should not be an abuse of the court process. The defendant could unknowingly or unwittingly, abuse the court (process). The local rule gives authority to the court to oversee its own processes.

Penal code 1326 (c), gives the court discretion to determine via an in camera hearing, if the defense is entitled to get the documents. The local rule addresses the issue at the front end, where 1326 addresses it at the other end, after the court agrees, in some part, that the subpoenas are valid.

Judge Ohta adds, "Certainly an argument could be made that the local rule and the statute is inconsistent. ... I'm not sure that there's evidence that Gargiulo is abusing the subpoena power. ... It's there to ensure no abuse ... I think I have the power to enforce if I think it's being (abused). ... "

Gargiulo is asked by the court to outline "who" he served subpoenas on.  Gargiulo responds: "Match.com, (Mark Monitor ?), AOL, LA County Sheriff's Medical Dept. (LASD), El Monte Police Department and Monterey Park Police Department."  Gargiulo also adds that there is an envelope addressed to his other investigator, Christian Filipiak but he has no idea what that envelope contains.  Gargiulo also stated that he withdrew the subpoenas for the LASD and the El Monte PD, and asked for that information informally from the DA.  I believe Gargiulo then tells the court that all these subpoenas are related to the defendant, himself.

Judge Ohta then tells Gargiulo, "I don't need you to get into the relevance. ... I just want to know what you have out there. ... If I went in camera, that bypasses the prosecution's right to quash."  Judge Ohta then addresses DDA Akemon, asking if it's still the prosecution's position that they still have the right to quash, and if they want to litigate that. He wants to know if the prosecution will sidestep this process.  Judge Ohta is asking the prosecution to outline their concerns about these subpoenas. I believe he wants a document prepared that Gargiulo would get the chance to approve or disapprove.

Akemon outlines one of his main concerns. That the defendant might get information that puts someone (witness/victim) at risk. Judge Ohta tells him that the prosecution could lodge a document with him. "If I see there's something of that nature ... be in a position to redact some things. ... We could litigate something like that and then move into in camera," Judge Ohta offers.

Akemon states his number one goal is to get to trial as quickly as he can. It's important to get past this discovery issue. The prosecution still stands by their position that they do have (authority?) to possibly quash subpoenas.  There is the possibility that if the DA's office stands by the local court rule, and if that had to be litigated, they might have to bring in the Los Angeles County legal department.

(In my opinion, I don't think anyone wants to go down that route, of bringing in the LA County Superior Court's legal department!)

Akemon mentions his concerns about victim and witnesses rights being protected. He thinks they can approach a resolution on that. But he also asks, "What happens after today? Next month? ... (When?) we have more people subpoenaed?"  Judge Ohta responds, "If I think Gargiulo is abusing (the subpoena power) I will enforce it. ... I'm not sure I'm there yet (? or if I'll ever get there...) ... but I believe I need to be protective of people's interest .... every one's involvement." (I believe Judge Ohta is referencing Gargiulo's rights, not just the prosecution, victim's and witnesses.)

Akemon states his concerns are that law enforcement agencies are being subpoenaed. That witnesses or victims are being subpoenaed. The people are in agreement that the court can take the subpoenas (in camera?) and see if it's appropriate for the defendant to receive them.

Judge Ohta then tells the prosecution that he wants all the prosecution's concerns outlined in a document and present it to the court and to let Gargiulo know. DDA Akemon stands by his position that Gargiulo has no standing to subpoena law enforcement records.  He gives the example of the El Monte case, (where Gargiulo was thought to be a suspect at one time but is no longer a suspect) and if the defendant subpoenaed the murder book in that case.  Akemon outlines his concerns of victims and witnesses. Anything concerning victims and witnesses that should be redacted.

Judge Ohta believes the subpoenas to AOL and Match.com would not hamper Akemon's first concern about LE files but could relate to his second concern.

I believe it's at this point that Gargiulo states that these subpoenas all have to do with the defendant, himself. (My take on this is, Gargiulo wants to get documentation from these businesses for his time on AOL, for his time on Match.com)

His subpoena to the LASD has to do with LA Sheriff's medical. It's not the agency itself.  The Monterey Park subpoena is something for another individual for impeachment purposes.   Gargiulo believes the 1326 in camera would be the best route.

Judge Ohta tells the defendant that there may be issues that Mr. Akemon has concerns about.  Gargiulo tells the court, "I'm trying to get by this and not take up the court's time."  Judge Ohta tells Akemon to formulate his document and stipulation. Outline the DA's concerns. "And if Mr. Gargiulo agrees, he signs it."

Akemon asks outright if Gargiulo would let the DA's office see the subpoenas right now. He'd then make copies and return them to the court.  Gargiulo appears to pause for a moment before telling the court he would rather the court review the subpoenas in camera first, going through the 1326 process.

The DA's office will document their concerns and the court will take certain actions. Gargiulo will either agree or disagree with that. If Gargiulo disagrees, then the court will rule.  All parties were ordered to return in one week, March 14th.  Judge Ohta takes Gargiulo's waiver for a speedy trial and that's it for today.

Update 8:12 PM
I forgot to mention that when I was leaving the 9th floor, I took an elevator up a few floors then back down.  On the ride back down, I saw an interesting sight. It was a detective with a skate board in his hand getting on the elevator. It looked like there was a yellow evidence tag attached to the skate board.  The detective got off on the 9th floor. It's a good bet that skate board is a piece of evidence in a current case.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Michael Gargiulo Case: Prosecution's Motion to Quash Subpoenas Duces Tecum (SDT's)

Michael Thomas Gargiulo in custody; date unknown.

Today I received a copy of the prosecution's motion to quash Gargiulo's subpoenas duces tecum (SDT's) he served on the LA County Sheriff's and the City of Monterey Park.  You can read the full motion HERE.

The next Gargiulo pretrial hearing is March 7, 2014.