Sunday, July 19, 2015

Michael Gargiulo Case, Pretrial Hearing 29

 Michael Gargiulo, in custody, 2008

June 15, 2015
8:15 AM
I'm in the hallway of the 9th floor. DDA Dan Akemon is here with a new law clerk. He tells me DDA Garrett Dameron is on vacation. The three of us chat for a short bit until DDA Akemon sees another DDA that he needs to talk to, and he's off.

9:00 AM
Inside Dept. 108.

Several attorneys are in the well for the case with three defendants that I wrote about in prior posts. This is the case where one of the defendants was brought out into the courtroom to speak with two women. It's a good bet this happened under court order by Judge Ohta.  I've never seen that happen before. Counsel are talking off the record, what to do with the case. Judge Ohta will be off the bench for two months. Another judge will step in to handle Judge Ohta's calendar.

Judge Ohta's schedule is discussed. His Honor comes back [from the appellate court] and starts the Johnson and Allen case September 8. All the attorneys in the current case are looking over their calendars and trying to juggle their schedules with the court to go to trial. DDA Joshua Ritter tells the court they will need three weeks for trial. There is discussion of possibly sending the case back to Dept. 100, Master Calendar Court, and then they get the luck of the draw as to which department the case lands in.

DDA Ritter tells the court they would like to schedule the case on the 22nd [July?] and take their chances on whatever Judge is put in Dept. 108.  Judge Ohta also tells counsel that Dept. 100 won't take a case for distribution to a courtroom unless it's 8 of 10. That's because Dept. 100 ensures 1382 issues do not get dismissed. Then Judge Ohta decides to have everyone back in chambers to discuss scheduling privately.

I step back outside into the hallway to work on my Lazarus oral arguments story. I pass DDA Akemon and Detective Mark Lillienfeld, chatting away in the ante chamber.

A bit later, DDA Akemon, Detective Lillienfeld and I are back inside Dept. 108. DDA Akemon and I chat about books we've recently read. We are waiting for defense counsel to arrive.

10:15 AM
Defense attorney Charles Lindner arrives with his son Abe, Lindner's paralegal. There are greetings all around.

Judge Ohta comes out from the back room area. Lindner thanks the court reporter for the transcript. Abe passes out documents to the prosecution. This could be Lindner's response to Gargiulo's 1382 request.

The friendly bailiff from Dept. 107 enters Dept. 108 from the custody area and says hello to the parties in the well. Greetings are exchanged and the deputy asks which case they are waiting on. This is the same deputy who was assigned to Judge Fidler's court during the first Phil Spector trial.

Lindner and Detective Lillienfeld have a discussion about a case, but I'm not positive it's this case.

DDA Akemon and Detective Lillienfeld quickly reads through the brief Lindner handed them.  After that, Lindner and DDA Akemon have a brief chat about California's death row.

Judge Ohta takes the bench and tells the bailiff to bring Gargiulo out. As usual, Gargiulo is in leg chains and his wrists are chained to his waist. Gargiulo appears to be smiling when he comes out. I He's carrying a file. He looks down at his file and doesn't speak to his counsel. Someone asks if a copy of Lindner's brief was given to Gargiulo.

Judge Ohta calls the case and all parties state their appearances for the record.  Judge Ohta gives a summary of what happened on Friday. Mr. Gargiulo, on Friday, gave notice to widrawal the general time waiver. The court asks if it's Gargiulo's intent to withdrawal his time waiver at the point.  Gargiulo replies, "That's correct, your honor."

Judge Ohta states for the record that the defendant has given notive to widtawal the general time waiver. That begins the 0/60.  Judge Ohta states the last day under 1382 is August 14.  Mr. Lindner filed a response to a speedy trial. Judge Ohta states, "The court read it. The motion to continue is premature. ... What I've read in [his?] response there, will be a motion to continue because of the amount of work that needs to be done. ...[The court} ... will not continue now. ... [The court] anticipates a motion to continue."

jDDA Akemon informs the court that he has a capital case in Dept. 109 [], that is tentatively scheduled to start February 2016. The people will be back in court on June 23 to discuss scheduling in that case. DDA Akemon asks the court if they can come back on June 29 or June 30.

Mr. Lindner has no problem with that return date.

The court asks the defendant, “Do you have a preference Mr. Gargiulo?” Gargiulo replies, “Oh, no. Not at all.”

The court tells the parties. “I have one case each of those days. Lets come back on the 30th.”

That puts the calendar at 15 of 60 on that date. The court states Mr. Gargiulo is ordered back for additional pretrial.

Mr. Lindner asks the court if he may be heard. “... I would like to make a record.” The court replies, “Sure.”

Mr. Lindner continues. “As you know the defendant stopped cooperating. Your honor, as you know, ... sent us back. ... He would not speak to us. ... I don’t know if I can prepare without [my] client speaking to me.”

I believe it’s Mr. Lindner who is worries about irreversible error. “Nothing he is doing now ... is not the first time this has happened in LA County.”  The court replies, “It’s not the first time [this has] happened to me either.”

Lindner pleads for Gargiulo to work with him. “I stand willing to work with him at any time.”

Note: On June 30, I had to help Mr. Sprocket with his business and couldn't make the hearing. However, I did make the following hearing on 7/14. Sprocket.

Prosecution 1101(b) Motion

Defense 995 Motion

Defense Response to Gargiulo's Request for Speedy Trial (1382)


Corbie said...

I have been greatly enjoying your blog! Thank you so much for doing this.

Is anyone else picking up the irony of Gargiulo whining about how much time he's spent, pre-trial, in jail while being the one mostly responsible the the largest portion of that delay? It's a little like the definition of "chutzpah": "A man throwing himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he is an orphan when he's on trial for murdering his parents."