Friday, January 6, 2017

Robert Durst Case, Pretrial Hearing 1

UPDATE 1/11/17 11:30 AM - Continued edits for spelling, clarity
UPDATE 1/7/17 12:15 PM -
Continued edits for spelling, clarity
UPDATE 1/7/17 11:15 AM -
Minor editing
UPDATE NOTE 2:15 PM -
Editing of entry for spelling/clarity later tonight. Sprocket.

Friday January 6, 2017

8:25 AM

I'm here at the Airport Courthouse for a pretrial hearing in the Robert Durst case. Robert Durst is charged with the December 2000 murder of his long time friend, Susan Berman. Berman was found dead in her Benedict Canyon home from a single gunshot wound to the back of her head. Durst was charged in her murder in March 2015 after the final episode of the HBO documentary, The Jinx.

Although I sent notice that I planned on attending the hearing, there is no guarantee I will get a seat.

8:33 AM
Security station has changed at the courthouse.

I see local radio station KFI's Eric Leonard enter the cafeteria and get a coffee or tea before he heads out.

10:03 AM
Waiting in the media line.

Lead defense attorney Dick DeGuerin arrived earlier. Huge prosecution team arrived at the last minute. We are waiting on Judge Mark Windham to finish his morning calendar. There are 20 reporters in line. We've been ordered by the PIO to fill the first two rows with no empty seats.

Terri Keith is here Miriam Hernandez is here from local ABC. Marisa Gerber from the LA Times, Andrew Blanksiein and Robert Dean from Dateline. There are reporters from Reuters, Daily News, CNN, TMZ and others.

I believe the reporter from Fox News is from the local channel 11. Almost forgot, People Magazine's  Christine Pelisek, who broke the Grim Sleeper case is here. She's writing the book on that case.

The court's Public Information Officer is counting heads. The media cameras are already being set up inside. I think the LA Times has the pool still camera.

10:17AM
Inside Dept. 81 West. Judge Mark Windham is on the bench. We are crammed into tight folding down seats. There are about 22 reporters or more. We fill up every seat in the first and second rows.

The layout of the courtrooms at the Airport courthouse is not a typical layout. The Judge's bench is in the far left corner, the witness box is in the center and the jury box is on the right. Exactly like the courtroom in the Dawn DaLuise case that was held in this courthouse.

DeGuerin is at the defense table with co-counsel David Chesnoff. On the prosecution team is DDA John Lewin, DDA Habib Balian, and another prosecutor I recognize but I don't know his name.

Clerk asks, "Counsel ready?"  I hear "Yes."

The bailiff goes to retrieve Durst.

10:23 AM
The back row in the gallery is filled with young fresh faces, most likely interns with the DA's office. I did not see anyone here that looked like relatives of Durst or the victim.

10:34 AM  ROUGH NOTES NOT EDITED.
Case is called. Durst is wheeled in backwards in a wheelchair. Now turned around . He's in a suit.

Appearances please.
David Chesnoff
Durst is wheeled into the courtroom.

Lewin is naming his team. DDA Dave Yaroslavsky. I miss the name of the second deputy DA.

The court explains the hearing. We're today to discuss conditional examinations. People have asked that for two examinations on Feb 14 and two more [later].

The court want's to focus discussion today. The court reads into the record California statues regarding what the people are requesting.

[California law] allows either party to have conditional examination if witness is 65 years of age or if the witnesses life is in jeopardy. Law requires the name of the witness and address.  There may be other circumstances but those are the ones [here?]..

Penal code calls for three days notice of the hearing. Court must set time and place. Court reads the law governing conditional testimony.

The people have field a single application for just one witness and that is Dr. Albert Cooperman (sp?) and the application states that Dr. Cooperman is over the age of 65. People provided discovery for this sometime in November.

Defense is objecting to any conditional examinations. Court has read all moving papers.

DeGuerin gets up to address the court.
Your honor, the court has said that ... I think that the prosecution has misinterpreted  the statute. ... DeGuerin recognizes that the court only wants one counsel to speak, but he asks the court if his  co-counsel Chesnoff can address the court. Mr. Chesnoff is capable of speaking on his own.

Chesnoff addresses the court.
As experienced counsel, we are not in the habit of trying to create issues that don't exist. This is a unique situation and that's ..... Just going to add a few things. in essence, the State of California has had over a decade to prosecute this case. The initial statements of this case... the investigation was not done very well.

Chesnoff mentions the HBO documentary The Jinx. We've had all these years and all the discovery ... and we've only recently received discovery in this case and it's voluminous.

These are provisional witnesses for trial and we haven't even had a preliminary hearing yet.
Why should we have a trial [of these witnesses] when we haven't even had a preliminary hearing yet?

Mentions the big media interest of the case balanced against the rights of the defendant. They [the defense] don't understand the state's theory. They have a idea they are going to try three murder cases ... one which he's been acquitted of and one he's never been charged with.

Talks about witnesses being taken out of order... and bias. Suggest to the court that prelim be set and that we do preliminary hearing that we not have secret witnesses and secret hearings. We know that the witnesses are over 65 but we don't know what the alleged threat is.

Mentions the defense experience with Federal work and Federal judges and how things go on in Federal court. Only ask this proceeding [be conducted?] in a orderly way, so that we can examine these witnesses in an orderly way.  Now talking about future events and the potential make up of the jury.

Complains about inflammatory things being said in the pleadings. Complains about ex parte meetings with the judge. "If the purpose of the ex parte was to keep something secret, ...."
Mr. Durst is in custody .Mr Durst is in a wheelchair. All his conversations have been listened to, and that somehow he poses a thread, without knowing what it is that was ... a threat makes it imperative that you approach most cautiously.

John Lewin counters Chesnoff's oral argument.
Hope the court will indulge me me. I don't know what steps can we take. That the court ...

I can barely hear Lewin. I'm not close and he's speaking somewhat softly.

We are here to ... for one reason, to set the conditional examination. We're not here to bring up my interview with Mr. Durst. We/re not here to talk about other issues. We're here for one issue only.

Defense said let's set up preliminary hearing.  I have emailed them no less than 30 times. I've asked for dates for preliminary hearing when they will be ready and the response I've gotten is, I don't know.

Lewin continues.
A lot of logistics, a lot of information. If they can't be prepared in one month for one witness, how are they going to be prepared for a complete preliinary hearing?

Defense has talked about the rules of application. I'm not aware of any case that says when discovery is to be provided. ...

[Penal Code?] 1335 would require that these intentional examinations could not be done prior to preliminary hearing. That's completely wrong. It can.

The defense is taking the approach that [they] can't be ready for anybody. Lewin argues for conditional examination.

Durst is wearing a blue striped shirt.

Dr. Cooperman. is basically talking about one issue in this case. They are well aware of Dr. Cooperman. The case in Galveston in 2003 .... The defense were intimately aware of the points of Kathey Durst's death. Dr. Cooperman allegedly received a phone call from Kathy Durst. That phone call took place in 1982.

We believe that call was made by Susan Berman. "That man kills witnesses. ... That's what he does." That's what he did with Morris Black.  Back to Dr. Cooperman. That was his sole involvement in [this?] case.

Lewin talks about Durst's defense team.
We have five, well paid, nationally known lawyers in this case. There are others that are working on this case that are not coming to court.

Lewin goes over the amount of material that the defense would have to go over, to prepare for Dr. Cooperman. He mentions a few documents. A one hour interview which was taped and the transcript [turned over]. That's approximately the complete discovery. And we are told that they cannot be prepared. I'm going to describe this very charitably. The defense arguments ... have a distant relationship with the facts.

Lewin reads from a defense Email about questioning Dr. Cooperman. Lewin documents his communication with the defense about witness Dr. Cooperman. In December, he got a call from one of the defense lawyers, asking where the interview transcript of Dr. Cooperman was in discovery. The idea that we are hiding discovery ... "They've been given 150,000 pages of discovery. The idea that we are somehow not turning over discovery, doesn't even pass a cursory review of the facts."

Dr. Cooperman is 85 or 86 years old. The defense is in no hurry to protect damaging discovery in this case.

In their motion they mention that there are numerous "secret witnesses." There are two. The court knows of both. We made an ex parte motion to the court, where we detailed the reasons why in the process and the manner reviewing it. The court found good cause and approved of what we were doing. Lewin states, I cannot tell them who the secret witnesses are but I can at least tell them the dates. We have bent over backwards in every way possible.

Lewin tells the court about helping the defense getting into the jail to see their client on a weekend.

Lewin continues.
We originally filed our motion regarding our special master, I only put in the transcript, the limited part, that Mr. Durst unequivocally waived. The defense responded to that, accusing me of improper and deceptive tactics. They did that, knowing they had that tape and transcript for months.

Lewin goes over the timeline of events of defense motions filed and the claims that the defense has made against Durst's frailty and not a threat to anyone.

Numerous conversations with defense about the admissibility of the Morris Black case and the standard for admissibility. Lewin states that they have evidence contrary to the [fact?] that it was murder and not self defense.

Lewin explains more.
The defense is well aware of all these issues with respect to what we put in our motion because they know why he was arrested in the Galveston case. They knew before they filed their motion, they knew exactly why Robert Durst was a danger. They come back with, well, he's frail. I talk about Susan Berman, I talk about Morris Black.

And this was chilling. Lewin goes over the events where Durst was arrested for Black's murder. He [Durst] tells the security guard that he has to go to his car to get money. Durst makes another request to go to his car. Worried, [the security guard] she calls the local police. When the local police get there, Mr. Durst asks to be taken to his car, so he could get his ID from the glove compartment. This was very suspicious. They would not do it. That was a good thing. What was waiting in the glove compartment, was loaded 38.

Lewin argues, why, did Durst, who had money on him, continually ask to be taken to his vehicle where there was a loaded gun. Now discussions about another witness who testified, now deceased, where Durst showed up on her street dressed as a woman. ... Vernon Lajame, is a person he hold responsible for pushing the investigation into his missing wife.

When the defense said that Durst wasn't a danger, the defense did not address any of these issues in their motion. This is a man who has shown the ability and the desire to harm any witness in his way. We have two secret witnesses. The court has heart this information. The idea that the defendant's rights is being infringed, is absurd. It doesn't become relevant until one of those witnesses doesn't become available.

Lewin continues to argue to get the witnesses statements on the record before preliminary hearing.  Lewin adds that they got the defendant's last motion, and he had to laugh, and it's talking about his interview with the defendant and that it was improper. That interview does need to be litigated as to be a part of the attorney client privilege. We filed our motion yesterday as to why that intervew was legal and proper. Need hearing dates for when those issues will be litigated.

Lewin states that the defense has everything regarding all witnesses that will testify at the preliminary hearing. Lewin then tells the court that they Miriam Barnes ... This was a witness they found out about when they read the article in the NY Times. they are also possibly wanting to conditionally interview her as well.

Rafael Prado, they are also requesting to conditionally interview him also. He is not 65, but he is being treated for cancer. His testimony is relevant as to whether Kathy Durst ever made it back to her [condo] in 1982. Lewin states they will disclose on January 31, on secret witnesses. After these witnesses testify, then if defense wants to set case for prelim, then we could do witnesses at preliminary hearing.

And I said this to the court when I asked ex parte. I never said they should be ready in two months. What I do expect, if you aren't ready and you know that you're not going to be ready, then notify the court and the defense.

Lewin states that if defense is ready by a particular date, then they would not need to do the conditional examinations. We need to calendar the attorney client waiver motion.

Lewin wraps up his arguments.

Mr. Cheznoff, you can reply.

We have 150,000 pages in documents, we can't possibly be ready for trial, we have secret witnesses, and that Mr. Lewin says his interview with Mr. Durst is okay. He's disparaged the Galveston law enforcement and DA ... Mr. Lewin's constant request that we fit his schedule or as to how he things things should go along ... except that we need to do this and this on this date.

Complains that they will go into the disappearance of his first wife. It's whether or not that Ms. Berman was going to be a witness or not. We can't be ... when I said Alice in Woderland, when we go down one rabbit hole we [come out another place]. ... You're honor I ask you, let's proceed in an orderly pace. He told you that they most likely will be available for trial.

Continues to argue for Durst for due process. There must be order. We have to be able to have time to share ideas and to study. Now asks that Mr. Deguerin to address the Galveston accusations.

DeGurein, I will try to address this without any ad hominen comments. I was there. We have something close to your 1101b. And that is, if you can't prove something, you can't present it. Prosecution conceeded that Mr. Durst had anything to do with the disappearance of Kathy Durst, much less that she had been killed. The prosecution also conceded, .... [explains who the prosecution atorneys were] ... They also conceeded there was absolutely no evidence that Robert Durst had anything to do with the disappearance of Kathy Durst. We actually went into that. We explain why Mr. Durst ended up in Galveston in disguise.  ... The other part about Galveston that I was there for, ....  is Mr. Durst's arrest in Pennsylvania at the Wegman's store. .... And that testimony doesn't amount to much.  We went through a hotly contested trial and 12 jurors ...  [concluded] that Mr. Durst was not guilty.

DeGuerin argues the 1101b compared to Texas 404 law. DeGuerin talks about conditionally examination of witnesses, when the purpose is to use that testimony at trial. ... Apparently they have everything in regards to Dr. Cooperman ... it's the other conditional, secret witnesses. They have withheld ... we don't know how much ... a number of files on these conditional witnesses.

And not to [?] another ad hominen, and we've been told, there are eight to ten, not two secret, conditional witnesses. So that's why we are opposing.

DeGuerin.
I can see a smile on Balian's face as DeGuerin argues to the court. He now brings up the three hour interview of Mr. Durst. It happened when he was in the air, flying to meet with Mr. Durst. Mr. Durst called his lawyers from the jail, before that interview. The prosecuiton had copies of the telephone calls, to his lawyers, before they went to talk to him in the jail .We think that needs to be litigated. One party should not go talk to the other side when they know he's being represented. We think that needs to be litigated. ... That was also improper. ... But that doesn't need to be spread in the public before hand. It was filed and it was available. The video and audio were filed. The media had it immediately. ... What we learned and they disclosed it to it. The media office made copies of those videos and audio and supplied it to the media. And that's what happened. I don't think that needs to happen in the future. There's a lot of things that are very favorable to Mr. Durst, that's in the discovery. And we could do that. [But we refrain from doing that.] We don't think that what's out there in discovery should be spread out there. .... before we ever get to trial.

We've gone way beyond what we are here today which is conditional witnesses. We need to know the identity of those witnesses .... before we go to trial. .... And the discovery that goes with those witnesses. ... We don't want to be shadow boxed. We don't what to know without knowing the prosecutions position is.

To follow the prosecution's theory ... the danger here. ... The first presumption is Kathy Durst, and there's no evidence [Durst had anything to do with that]. Talks about what happened in Galveston when that was put to the court.

Next presumption is if Kathy Durst is dead and or he had anything to do with that, then he killed Susan Berman. Ther'es no evidence of that. Then next presumption of that is ... that he covered up. ... When Kathy Durst first disappeared, ... Susan, being a writer, took responsibility for answering press inquiries. .... Then the presumption that Susan Berman covered up something. Then the next presumption is that Susan Berman contacted authorities [regarding Kathy's disappearance] and covered up something. .... This is when the investigation heated up again. ... There's no one from [the NY investigation] ... no one contacted Susan Berman. That's a fact.

DeGuerin, continues with his list of presumptions of the prosecution's case. Now mention's Susan Berman's father and his supposed Mafia connections.

DeGuerin talks about the secret witnesses and the [objectie?] of fear.

Court.
Thank you so much for providing so much context. First let's talk about the application that's pending, conditonal examination of Dr. Cooperman. People have demonstrated that witness is over 65. Discovery was provided in November. Not unreasonalbe to sechedule examination for him.

As for the second, unidentified for him. I have no applicaiton regarding this witness. I think the suggesiton may be this witness may be in jeopardy. Although I don't have three days notive for that, it's in substantial compliance. It's a witness is a material informaiton about the case. And the people state that he is also over 65, and that Mr. Lewin states he is also over 65, won't get into whether his life in si jeopardy, he is over 65.

There is no case law on discovery, mentions case law People v. Herado, conditional exam done 2.5 years before trial. Reason for that was interragatory appeal. Court approved delay of discovery until seven days before that hearing.

People there argues the defense has not right to discovery.  Assumes there is a right ot discovery, and also assumes there should be limitations under 10.4.7. Here, I'm concerned with this idea of "secret" witnesses. Court mentions another case Alvarez, where witnesses remained secret throughout the trial. Mentions US vs. Edwards, witnesses could not remain unidentified throughout trial, but discovery was limited. ... I did receive a showing, exparte, of two additional witnesses. It's similar to what was described to people's the opposition. If you look at pages 3-7 and the declaration ... it all applies to other witnesses. That was the supplemental in camera.

The standard of 1054.7 is to possible danger to witnesses. Court mentions another statute regarding life in jeopardy, danger.

The problem is that the defense ability to contest [the evidence]. I don't easily allow a showing ex parte, I don't automatically accept it. There was a showing prima facia, .... the standard is possible danger, and it seems that it's only reasonable that there is a danger as described by Mr. Lewin in his moving papers.  ... there was evidence presented and there is evidence of a possibility of danger. And I need to balance the defendant's right ... with the safety of witnesses. And it's twofold. ...

The court continues to argue the weighing factor and cites the rulings he's relying on in his ruling.  Mentions one case as well as Alvarado.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

ROBERT LOUIS BAKER & MONICA SEMENTILLI QUICK LINKS

This page was last updated on 08/04/2018 at 11pm PT. Sprocket
ROBERT LOUIS BAKER & MONICA SEMENTILLI QUICK LINKS

CASE #BA452975

Murder of Fabio Sementilli, 49, on 1/23/2017

MAJOR PLAYERS
JUDGE: Ronald Coen, Dept. 101, as of 02/27/18
DEFENDANT: Robert Louis Baker dob 5/2/1962 (01) (5016213 LASD booking#)
DEFENDANT: Monica Sementilli  dob 01/10/72 (02) (5016191 LASD booking#)
DEPUTY DA: Beth Silverman
DEPUTY DA: Melissa Opper
DEFENSE BAKER: Michael Semmrin, Alternate Public Defender
DEFENSE SEMENTILLI: Leonard Levine & Blair Berk

SHORT, CASE SUMMARY
People's complaint alleges Sementilli and her lover, Baker, were having an affair for over a year before her husband's death. Prosecution alleges Sementilli conspired with Baker to murder her husband, Fabio Sementilli for financial gain (special circumstance); 1.6 million insurance policy on Fabio's life. People also allege the special circumstance of lying in wait. Fabio was stabbed to death in his home January 23, 2017. Baker and an unknown co-conspirator were seen on surveillance video approaching the Sementilli residence on foot.

NOTE: Full case docket (clerk minute notes) from 06/16/17 to 04/19/18 can be found HERE.

T&T PRETRIAL COVERAGE
04/19/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 1
05/09/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 2
06/05/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 3
06/28/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 4
07/30/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 5
10/02/2018 Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker, Pretrial 6
12/13/2018

DOCUMENTS
08/18/2017 Indictment 
08/31/2017 Defense Motion To Seal Grand Jury Transcript
08/31/2017 People's Response Motion To Seal Grand Jury Transcript
02/05/2018 Defense Opposition To Media Request To Broadcast Court Proceedings
04/10/2018 Defense Reply to Opposition Motion to Seal Grand Jury Transcript

NEWS ARTICLES
06/16/2017 LA Times -Wife of slain hairdresser charged with capital murder along with her boyfriend
08/07/2017 Daily News -Conspiracy charged added against wife and alleged lover
03/02/2018 Toronto Sun -Black Widow, boyfriend allegedly plotted Toronto stylist's murder
03/02/2018 Crime Watch Daily -Video
03/10/2018 CBS 48 Hours Episode 
04/29/2018 Toronto Sun- Fabio Sementilli Murder: Sex Packet Indictment Ordered Unsealed
 
Monder Criminal Law Group - case analysis

Social Media & Media Links
Modern Salon.com posthumus bio
Instagram
Picsbu Instagram viewer
Fabio Twitter
Fabio Facebook (Last post 1/22/2017, the day before his murder)
Fabio LinkedIn
Hairbrained Archive - Sementilli page
Fabio Obituary

Relatives & Friends of Victim (mentioned in CBS 48 Hours episode)

Mirella Rota Sementilli, sister of deceased
Luigi Sementilli, son
Isabella Sementilli, (daughter, 16; found father)
Gessica Sementilli (daughter, age unknown)
Maria Sementilli (mother of victim)
Davide Verre (stepfather of victim?)
Lorendana Picillo (sister of victim)
Joe Mercurio, Fabio friend
Kristin Woolever, Fabio colleague
Pete Castellanos, Fabio colleague

Elyse Bleuel, friend of Monica

ROBERT LOUIS BAKER & MONICA SEMENTILLI - Case Docket 06/16/17 to 04/19/18

This page was last updated 04/28/18 at 11:30am PT. Sprocket 
Main Quick Links Page can be found HERE.

BAKER & SEMENTILLI CASE DOCKET

Baker LASD Booking #5016213
Sementilli LASD Booking #5016191

NOTE: I have received copies of the case docket for Baker & Sementilli from their arrest under LA086223 and continuing with the superceding indictment BA452975. I have copies of  Baker's docket under BA452975. Next trip to court, I will get Sementilli's. Rather than publish the docket pages, I have put the docket information into a readable format. Sprocket

SUMMARY of Clerk Docket for LA086223 & from 06/16/17 to 08/18/17
Case #LA086223 [I have copies of Baker & Sementilli's docket. I have combined the information in the two dockets into one stream. Sprocket]

06/16/17 Van Nuys Dept. 100. Complaint Filed LA086223. Case called for arraignment; DA Brenda Christine Lee. Baker represented by Max A. Fantozzi, Public Defender (PD). Sementilli represented by Leonard Levine, private counsel. Arraignment and plea for both continued to 06/29/17.

06/28/17
Van Nuys Dept. 100. Media Request Granted.

06/29/17
Van Nuys Dept. 100. DA Beth Silverman. Sementilli represented by Jill M. Janotta, private counsel. Baker is represented by Max A. Fantozzi, PD. Both defendants waive arraignment, reading of complaint and statement of constitutional and statutory rights. Both defendants plead not guilty to count 01, 187(a). Court orders pre-plea report; both defendant's counsel do not consent to a pre-plea interview. Orders defendants to next court date, preliminary hearing setting for 08/07/2017, Dept. 120.

08/07/17
Van Nuys. Matter is called in Dept. 112 for Dept. 120. Amended complaint is filed adding Count 02, PC 182(a)(1). DA Beth Silverman. Baker represented by Robert Kayne, PD. Sementilli represented by Leonard Levine, private counsel. Both defendants waive arraignment, reading of complaint, & statement of constitutional and statutory rights. Both defendants plead not guilty to Count 02 182(a)(1). Baker's counsel files motion to continue. Sementilli's counsel does not waive 60 calendar days for arraignment. Next court date is 08/14/17 for prelim setting/resetting in Dept 120, Van Nuys.

08/09/17
Baker's notice of motion and motion to continue filed.

08/11/17
Defendant's continued opposition to motion to continue on behalf of co-defendant Robert Baker filed.

08/14/17
Van Nuys Dept. 120. Case called for prelim setting/resetting. DA Tannaz Mokayef standing in for Beth Silverman. Baker represented by Robert Kayne, PD. Sementilli represented by Leonard Levine, private counsel. Media request filed. Order on media request signed and filed.
Next scheduled event, 08/17/17.

08/17/17 Van Nuys Dept. 120. Case called for prelim setting/resetting. DA Beth Silverman. Baker represented by Robert Kayne, PD. Sementilli represented by Leonard Levine, private counsel. Over [both] defendants objection, camera will be allowed for today's proceedings.
Baker's docket states next pretrial hearing 09/28/17. Sementilli's docket states next pretrial hearing 08/28/17.

Case #BA452975 [NOTE:
I have a copy of Baker's docket. I will get Sementilli's docket on next trip into downtown LA. Sprocket]

08/18/17 Central District Dept 100. Case called for initial filing. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant (Baker) is not present in court and not represented by counsel. Valerie Aenlle-Rocha DDA is present as Grand Jury Advisor.

At 11:45 AM, the Grand Jury returns into court with 18 members present. The foreperson presents the following indictment to the court and states that fourteen or more grand jurors were present and concurred in the return of the indictment. The court finds the indictment to be true bill.

Arrest warrant in the amount of "no bail" is ordered issued and held until date and time indicated below. On people's motion, the arraignment is set on calendar for date and time indicated below. The DA states this is a superceding indictment of case number LA086223. The prosecutor is directed to give notice to defense counsel of the arraignment date and time. Next scheduled event 08/25/17.

08/25/17 Central District Dept 100. Case called for arraignment. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant in court and represented by Robert Kayne, PD. John Neiderman, Grand Jury Advisor appears from the DA's office. On people's motion, the indictment is unsealed. A copy of the indictment is given to defense counsel. People request the defendant be arraigned. At request of co-defendant, arraignment and plea is continued to 8/30/17 in this department. Defendant waives time for trial plus 60 days. Later: Matter is recalled at the request of the people. People renew request for arraignment and no change is made in the courts order. At request of defense, date of 8/30/17 is vacated and the matter is continued to 8/31/17 in this department for arraignment and plea.

08/31/17 In Central District 100. DA Beth Silverman. Baker represented by Robert Kayne, PD. Defendant is arraigned. Defendant pleads not guilty to count 01 187(a). Defendant pleads not guilty to count 02 182(a)(1). Court orders defendant to appear on next court date. Court addresses media requests. Over the defense objection, court permits camera coverage, but the defendant may not be filmed. People state the decision for penalty is still pending. Defendant is arraigned, pleads not guilty and denies all allegations. Matter is set for pretrial conference and trial setting on November 2, 2017. Co-defendant has filed a motion to seal the grand jury transcripts. Motion is set for September 7, 2017.

09/07/17 In Central District 100. DA Beth Silverman. Public Defender Robert Kayne is present. Mr. Kayne, declares a conflict. Alternate Public Defender, by Rick Sternfeld, is appointed. Motion to seal Grand Jury transcripts filed 08/31/17. Case continued to 11/02/17. Media request has been filed. Court denies said motion.

10/31/17 People's response to motion to seal grand jury transcripts is received and filed this date.

11/02/17 In Central District 100. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court and represented by Brock Hammond, Alternate Public Defender. Second Alternate Public Defender Michael Simmrin. People state the penalty decision is still pending.

Defendant Sementilli will be requesting the pre trial date of December 12, 2017 and orally notices 995 and discover motions for said date.

Motion to unseal the grand jury transcripts is pending. Defendant Baker requests the motion be continued. Defendant Sementilli has filed a 1050 penal code motion for this motion.

Pre trial conference and motion to unseal the Grand Jury transcripts are continued to December 12, 2017.

Defendant Baker voices concerns over location of holding cells while in the courthouse. The court states this is a Sheriff's Department issue, and suggests counsel discuss it with the Sheriff's Department.

12/04/17 Confidential motion under seal is filed and order for face to face visitation is signed and filed under seal.

12/12/17 In Central District 100. DA Tannaz Mokayeff.  Defendant is present in court and represented by Brock Hammond Alternate Public Defender.  Penalty decision still pending. DA Tanazz Mokayeff is specially appearing on behalf of the people. Beth Silverman is not present.

Defense's motion for release two laptop computers belonging to Gessica and Isabella Sementilli is heard and granted. The order is signed and filed this date.

The pretrial conference/trial setting is continued within the time period for January 4, 2018, in Dept. 100 as day 23 of 90. Court orders the defendant to appear on the next court date.

01/03/18 At 3:00 pm Notice of motion to set aside the indictment is received, filed and given to the court to review. Matter prev set/remain on calender.

01/04/18 In Central District 100. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender. Hearing on the media request is heard and argued. The defense state their objection to the media request. The people have no objection to the media request. Defense objection is sustained. Media coverage is not allowed this date.

The people of the State of California are no longer seeking the death penalty as punishment for the above named defendant. [Baker.]

Waiver and agreement form is not filed. Defense counsel is ordered to file said document on or before next court date.  Notice that the death penalty is no longer being sought is signed, filed and forward to the appropriate parties this date.

Matter is continued in Dept. 100 for pretrial conference/trial setting on 02/08/18.

01/04/18 at 2:00pm. Booking #5016213 / Penalty decision still pending.

********** Without Legal File ***********
Motion for appointment of expert under evidence code 730 and 952 is filed this date. Order for appointing expert under evidence code 730 and 952 and appointment order professional appointee court expense are signed and filed this date.

01/22/18 at 4pm. Booking #5016213 / L.W.O.P. Media request for proceedings of 02/08/18 is filed. Counsel are notified as follows:

Tanazz Mokayeff, DDA
Beth Silverman, DDA
Michael Simmrin, DAPD
Leonard Levine, Pvt Counsel
Blair Berk, Pvt Counsel

02/05/18 at 4pm. Booking #5016213 / L.W.O.P.
DDA: Beth Silverman & Melissa Opper. People's response to motion to set aside the indictment is filed.

02/08/18 In Central District 100. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender. Matter is called for opposition to media request; motion to set aside the indictment; request to seal the motion to set aside the indictment; and response to motion to set aside the indictment.

All motions are continued to Feb. 27, 2018, in this department. Next scheduled event 02/27/18 995 PC motion.

02/27/18 In Central District 100. Case called for 995 motion. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court, and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender. The matter is called for motion pursuant to PC section 995. After argument from counsel, the court denies the motion as to counts 01 and 02.

The case is ordered transferred to Department 103 forthwith for all further proceedings, so ordered by the judge supervising the master calendar.

The defense having filed a declaration pursuant to Civil Code of Procedure section 170.6 as to the honerable Curtis Rappe, the case is ordered to re-assigned to Department 101, the honorable Ronald Coen, Judge presiding.

02/2718 In Central District Dept. 101. Case called for pretrial conference. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court, and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender.  DDA Beth Silverman / Melissa Opper present.

Peremptory challenge having been filed as to the honorable Curtis Rappe, the matter has been transferred to Department 101, the Honorable Ronald Coen for all further purposes.

Media request to permit coverage denied.

As more fully reflected in the notes of the official court reporter, the court discloses to all parties that Deputy District Attorney Melissa Opper was a former extern for Judge Ronald Coen and that Judge Coen attended the wedding of Melissa Opper.

Good cause having been shown, on stipulation of all parties the court orders the pretrial conference continued to the date of March 27, 2018 in Dept. 101.

03/27/18 Central District Dept. 101. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court, and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender.

The court has read and considered defense counsel's motion for appointment of expert.

The motion is granted and the order appointing Suzanna Ryan of Ryan Forensic DNA Consulting is signed and filed this date.

Court and counsel confer regarding co-defendant Monica Sementilli's outstanding discovery request.

The people address co-defendant Monica Sementilli's motion to seal Grand Jury Transcript filed on August 31, 2017.

Good cause shown and there being no opposition by the people on defendant's joint motion, hearing on the motion re sealing of the grand jury transcript and outstanding discovery issues is ordered set for the date of April 19, 2018 in Dept. 101.

04/11/18 at 8:00am. In camera hearing set on the non-appearance calendar for date and time indicated below: 04/12/18.

04/12/18 Case called for in camera hearing. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is not present in court and not represented by counsel. DDA: Beth Silverman/Melissa Opper. DDA Melissa Opper not present this date. In camera hearing held. Reporter's transcript sealed. Further proceedings remain set for April 19, 2018 in Dept. 101.

04/19/18 Case called for pretrial and motion. DA Beth Silverman. Defendant is present in court, and represented by Michael Simmrin, Alternate Public Defender. Deputy DA Melissa Opper is present in court.

Defense counsel joins in the motion to seal Grand Jury transcript, and motion to compel discovery.

Defense written motion to seal the Grand Jury transcript is heard, argued and denied.  The court orders the Grand Jury transcript unsealed. The court orders the defense reply be unsealed. The court's rulings are more fully reflected in the notes of the official court reporter.

Defense written motion to compel discovery is heard and argued. The court orders the search warrant unsealed. Court orders portions of the search warrant redacted as more fully reflected in the notes of the official court reporter.

The people concede at "6" of defense motion, and will perform phone extraction.

The people have received sealed records from "Sunlife" Insurance and will keep possession of the records, copy them for defense and return the originals to the court.

Defense stipulate to the chain of custody. Matter is continued to May 9, 2018 in Dept. 101.