Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

While I'm recovering from this upper respiratory infection, I'm working on my "20 acts of kindness" to honor the children lost in Newtown, by doing something that brings me joy: sewing.

This holiday season, join me in giving a kindness to someone who isn't expecting it. 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Under the Weather

A short note to T&T readers.

On Monday, December 3rd, along with my friend Matthew McGough, I attended the swearing in ceremony of Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County's first female and first black District Attorney.  It was a very nice ceremony held at USC's Galen Center.  USC is where Lacey graduated from law school.

By chance, Matthew and I saw DDA Shannon Presby who asked to sit with us. Before I had time to write up my notes on the ceremony, I started to feel under the weather.  It's now Friday, and I'm in full flu mode with muscle aches, clogged sinuses, a scratchy, inflamed throat, a fluctuating temperature and clogged lungs.  The sofa is where I've been spending most of this week, trying to rest.

The last time I had the flu, it developed into a form of viral-induced asthma, which left me with a horrible cough that lasted for over four months. I've never been diagnosed with asthma, but I believe with the way things are going, I am susceptible to developing the lingering deep cough again.

Unfortunately, this means I missed the Lonnie Franklin, Jr., pretrial hearing this morning, and I might also miss the next Kelly Soo Park hearing on December 11th.

I hope T&T's loyal readers will be patient with me.  I'll do my best to get well as soon as possible so I can get back down at the courthouse and report on the cases you're interested in.


Saturday, December 1, 2012


This page will be updated and corrected as more information is added. Sprocket.


Preliminary Hearing Witness List

July 29th, 2013 - DAY 1
1. JUAN GUZMAN (LAPD Patrol Officer, first responder)
Guzman was one of the first officers on the scene. He responded to a radio call of "shots fired."  He discovered the four bodies.

2. CHRISTINA NEAL (Ex-girlfriend of defendant, Ka Pasasouk)
Neal was at the residence before the event. The defendant threatened her with a gun that he touched to the back of her head. She fled to a neighbors yard.  She was hiding in the bushes of a neighbors yard when she heard gunshots.

3. SHERELLE BAX (Full name: Sherelle Evelyn Gorgina Owens Bax. aka "Evelyn" Present at the residence during the shootings) Bax saw Pasasouk and Howard Alcantara with weapons. Bax was threatened by Pasasouk with a gun. He pointed it at her, threatened to kill her was pistol whipped. Heard the gunshots.

July 30th, 2013 - DAY 2
3. SHERELLE BAX (testimony continued)

4. GEORGE DIAZ (LAPD Robbery-Homicide Detective; investigated the case)
Diaz interviewed Bax. Her interview was video taped and recorded.  Testified as to the inconsistencies in her testimony verses her initial statements to police. Visited the crime scene.

5. DANDY ABRENICA (Lived at the Devonshire residence with John Doe and Ronald)
Lived in the upstairs apartment.  Roommate of John Doe. Was at the scene on Dec 1st and 2nd. Testified to what he saw and heard that night. Saw Pasasouk and Howard Alcantara with weapons. Believes he may have heard Pasasouk's voice say, "Put your hands up. Get down." Before hearing gunshots.

(Requested Anonymity. Sprocket) (Lived at the residence with Dandy and Ronald)
Lived in the upstairs apartment. Roommate of Dandy. Was at the scene in the evening of Dec 1st and morning hours of the 2nd.  Testified to what he saw and heard that night. Believes for certain he heard Pasasouk say, "Put your hands up. Get down." Before hearing gunshots.

July 31st, 2013 - DAY 3 Part II (morning session)
6. JOHN DOE (Requested Anonymity. Sprocket) (testimony continued)

7. LOURDES PACHECO (Full name: Maria Lourdes Pacheco. Visitor to the Devonshire residence.)
Pacheco arrived at the residence with Howard Alcantara around noon.  She was waiting for a ride home.  She was still at the residence when the incident occurred.  Saw Pasasouk and Alcantara with weapons at the scene.  Described the weapons and who had which gun.  Testified to the events she witnessed before and after hearing shots fired. Took a security DVD system from the residence at the request of Alcantara after the event.  Eventually told police and directed them where she hid it for recovery.  Was later charged and convicted of a crime related to this event.

July 31st, 2013 Day 3 Part III (afternoon session)
8. WANITO MENDOZA (AKA "Jun" Visitor at the Devonshire residence)
Testified as to what he witnessed and heard the night of the incident.

9. JAMES KING (LAPD Robbery Homicide Detective)
Assisted in the investigation. Searched the residence and searched the bedroom occupied by Neal and Pasasouk.  Recovered a live cartridge from a laundry hamper in the room.

July 31st, 2013 Day 3 Part IV (afternoon session continued)
10. DAN MYERS (LAPD Robbery Homicide Detective - Lead Investigator on case)
Went to the scene. Observed the recovery of cartridge casings near the decedents by criminalists. Observed all four autopsies and the recovery of the bullets by the various deputy coroners.  Testified to the inconsistencies of Neal's testimony verses her statements to detectives.

Compared the cartridge casings recovered at the scene to each other. Determined they were all fired from the same weapon.  Compared the live round to the cartridge casings. Came to the opinion that the live round had been cycled through the same weapon that fired the spent cartridge casings.

Michael Gargiulo Case: Pretrial Hearing 5

Michael Thomas Gargiulo, date unknown


Last pretrial hearing 10/29/12

UPDATE: changed number of arson fires from 100 to 49; number of charges are about 100.
November 28th, 2012
It’s raining on my trip into downtown and traffic is a mess.  After a frustrating time on surface streets and the freeway, I tell Mr. Sprocket that there’s no way I’m going to make it in time if I take the train.  He will have to drive me into downtown.  An argument begins and I have to explain several times that dropping me off one train stop closer will not help. I’m going to be late.

In an earlier life, Mr. Sprocket drove limo’s in the New Jersey, New York tri-city area and he goes into overdrive applying those skills . He was able to drop me off on the Temple Street plaza in time to get to the 9th floor outside Dept. 108.  I’m relieved. I know Judge Ohta usually takes the bench not long after 8:30 AM.

The 9th floor hallway is pretty empty and I take a seat to wait.  Across the hall from me, I see defense investigator Christian Filipiak. He’s wearing a perfectly tailored suit and deep in conversation on the phone.

As I wait for Judge Ohta courtroom to open, DDA Sean Carney, who is assigned to the Gerhard Becker case comes out of Dept. 107 for a moment.  (My friend Matthew and I have been attending the Gerhard Becker preliminary hearing in Dept. 42 on the 3rd floor and it’s been an interesting experience.)  I’m pleasantly surprised to see him, but my guess is the hearing he’s in Dept. 107 for is the Harry Burkhart case,  a German man facing 100 charges relating to 49 arson fires in Hollywood.

When Carney sees me, he comes over to say hello and ask what case I’m following on 9th.  I tell him it’s Michael Gargiulo, the “Chiller Killer.” I outline the alleged victims, the fact that the defendant has chosen pro per and the DDA who’s on the case, Daniel Akemon.

8:30 AM I get inside Dept. 108.  There are two women in the gallery. There’s obviously a case currently in trial.  There are two DDA’s at the prosecution table, one older with white and gray hair and black framed glasses.  The other DDA is much younger.

8:34 AM Filipiak enters Dept. 108.  He takes a seat in the well in the chairs set up against the back wall.  When Filipiak sees me he smiles, waves and comes over to ask me about my “trifecta” over Thanksgiving.  I tell him we celebrated by seeing three films over three days: Argo, Flight and Lincoln.

The older DDA at the prosecution table is working on getting their PowerPoint presentation on the overhead screen in focus.  The text reads: People v. Karawia & Allan Terrill Bailey.

8:42 AM  DDA Daniel Akemon arrives and checks in with the court clerk.  He then places a stack of paper at the end of the defense table.  He’s wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a burgundy patterned tie.

Akemon and Filipiak greet each other, smile and shake hands.  They go over papers that will be handed directly to the defendant.  It looks like Akemon then adds more papers to the stack on the defense table.

When the defense attorney for the current case in front of Judge Ohta arrives, two ladies sitting to my right in the gallery greet him and give him hugs.

Akemon and Filipiak continue to chat.  I can overhear snatches of what they are discussing, the imaging and duplication of a hard drive. I believe it’s Filipiak who then says, “...we will have what you have. ... Then I’ll have my guy talk to (your guy?) and they can talk tech to each other.”

I then lose the ability to listen in on their conversation because the voices of the two women and the current case defense attorney in front of me are drowning out Akemon and Filipiak's voices.

8:46 AM Judge Ohta comes out from the back chamber area.  He’s wearing a dark blue and white stripe shirt with a green and dark blue diagonal tie.  It’s an eye-popping contrast.

I believe Judge Ohta addresses Akemon and Filipiak, “Should I bring out Mr. Gargiulo?”  “Yes, your honor,” is the response.

The court reporter takes her seat and Ohta’s clerk also comes out from the back area.  Judge Ohta is now in his robes and takes the bench.  Judge Ohta starts a conversation with one of the defense attorneys in his current case about one of counsel’s cases.  Akemon greets the younger prosecutor on the current case and they chat.  Judge Ohta greets Filipiak.

When Gargiulo is brought out he looks quite different.  His hair is slightly longer from the last hearing and he has grown his mustache out.  It’s quite full and drops down beyond the line of his lips.  Judge Ohta makes a comment directed at Gargiulo.  “You look different every time I see you.”

We go on the record in Gargiulo.  Judge Ohta asks Gargiulo if he needs a moment to confer with Filipiak.  Gargiulo and Filipiak go over the the stack of papers in front of him at the defense table.

The case number SA068002 is called.  Judge Ohta indicates the parties who are here for the record.  Judge Ohta continues, “We are zero of 90 today.”  Judge Ohta mentions coming back in January of next year and asks Gargiulo what day he would like to return.  Gargiulo tells the court, “I don’t have a particular day...”  Judge Ohta offers Monday, January 28th, 2013.  Gargiulo responds, “That date is fine.”

Judge Ohta then brings up a motion filed by the defense some time ago but never addressed.  “My clerk tells me you filed a motion to have one hand free in the attorney room.”  (This is a room at the Men’s Central Jail facility where I believe both hands are shackled.) Gargiulo tells Judge Ohta, “The issue is when I have to bring out discovery for the investigator ... It has to do when ...”  Gargiulo explains about handling a large stack of papers, and if he accidentally drops a paper and the difficulties involved with picking those papers up.  Judge Ohta then mentions something about the visual effect of that image of him struggling with those papers. I believe Gargiulo then tells the court that if he has a court order to have one hand unshackled while in the room, then the jail will comply with that order.

Judge Ohta grants the defendant’s motion.

Then Gargiulo asks the court for an exparte medical order which I believe Judge Ohta grants.

DDA Akemon then informs the court that he has turned over to the defense a fourth set of discovery and a receipt for this fourth set.  There was a fifth set of discovery he provided to Filipiak and that also was provided to the defendant.  “I also gave Mr. Gargiulo page numbers 20,302 to 20,373.  ... That receipt is also logged.”

And that’s it.  Gargiulo is taken back into the jail holding area.

As I’m leaving the courtroom, Akemon greets me and mentions that he’s sorry I came down for such a short hearing.  I tell him it’s fine, that I’ve been attending the preliminary hearing in the Gerhard Becker case.  I give a brief outline of the case, the name of the prosecutors and that it’s being held in Judge Tynan’s courtroom.  Akemon mentions that Sean Carney and Francis Young are both great attorneys.

When the hearing is over, I head down to Judge Tynan's courtroom to wait for the last day of the Becker preliminary hearing.  I'll be putting my notes up on the Becker prelim as soon as possible.

The next hearing T&T attended: 2/25/13


Ka Pasasouk, 4/3/13 
Photo Credit: Daily News David Crane

People v. Ka Pasasouk, 31 Case # LA 071942
Prosecution: Daniel Akemon
Defense: James Goldstein

Teofilo Navales, 49
Robert Calabia, 34
Jennifer Kim, 26
Amanda Ghossein, 24

In the early morning hours of December 2nd, 2012, Ka Pasasouk, 31, is alleged to have murdered four individuals outside an illegal boarding house in Northridge, California. The house was divided up into individual units.

Allegedly, Pasasouk got into an argument with Navales, possibly a property dispute, outside the residence and shot him. Calabia, Kim and Ghossein were shot immediately after.

Pasasouk fled Los Angeles to Las Vegas with three other individuals (Howard Alcantra, 30, Christina Neal, 33, Donna Rabulan, 30), where all four were arrested.  Alcantra was charged with robbery and aiding a felon.  Neal and Rabulan were charged with aiding a felon.

The case is tragic because in September 2012, Pasasouk was before Van Nuys Couthouse Judge Jessica Silver on drug charges.  According to a December 20th, 2012 LA Times article:
The district attorney's office has said it erred in telling Silver that Pasasouk was eligible for a Proposition 36 drug review program, which allowed him to receive treatment rather than prison time.
The Los Angeles County Probation Department had urged that he be sent back to state prison for "long-term detention" because of his lengthy criminal record. But Silver followed the recommendation of the D.A.'s office and ordered him to drug treatment.
Less than three months later, four people ended up dead.

Related Cases:
Donnamae Rabulan, 30 - Case # PA 077037. - In custody.
Rearrested 5/24/13. Allegedly drove shooter to Las Vegas.

Maria Lourdes Pachejo, 28 - Case # PA 077036. - Out on bail.
Arrested 5/23/13. Allegedly destroyed evidence in homicide case.


Arraingnment Hearing Charging Documents


10/7/15 Ka Pasasouk Jury Selection Begins
11/20/15 Ka Pasasouk Convicted of Four Murders

Preliminary Hearing
7/29/13 Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing
7/29/13 Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing Day1, Part II
7/30/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 2
7/30/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 2, Part II 
7/31/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 3
7/31/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 3, Part II
7/31/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 3, Part III
7/31/13 Preliminary Hearing Day 3, Part IV

Preliminary Hearing WITNESS LIST

Mainstream Media Reports
NBC.com Timeline of Events & Photos of Victims
12/2/12 Huffington Post Northridge Shooting Four Bodies
12/2/12 Daily News Four People Found Shot in Northridge
12/3/12 ABC Local Homeowner, Victims Families Speak Out
12/4/12 ABC Local 4 Suspects Arrested in Las Vegas
12/6/12 LAT Shooting Victims Identified
12/11/12 DA's Office Accepts Blame for Not Locking Up Suspect
12/6/12 LA Weekly Suspect Lucked Out of Prison
12/20/12 LAT Shooting Victim's Family Angry
1/17/13 KPCC Alleged Shooter Could Face Death Penalty
1/18/13Daily News Suspect Threatened 5 Others With Gun
04/2/13 Daily News Widow Wants Death Penalty for Pasasouk
04/05/13 KTLA Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
06/03/12 Two Females Charged with Assessory in Northridge Murders
07/29/13 KPCC Preliminary Testimony Begins in Northridge Shooting Case
08/01/13 KPCC Pasasouk to Stand Trial for 4 Murders 
01/16/15 Daily News - Lawsuit on Shaky Ground

Ka Pasasouk Facebook Page 
Donations For Jennifer Kim (victim)
Amanda Ghossein Memorial Fund (victim)
Obituary Page for Teofilo Navales (victim aka JoJo Burbank)