Friday, June 27, 2014

Michael Gargiulo Pretrial 19; Cameron Brown 3rd Trial, Pretrial 17 & Alberd Tersargyan

Michael Thomas Gargiulo, booking photo, date unknown

Lauren Sarene Key, 4 years old
UPDATE 11/2614: add Tersargyan's other name.
8:23 AM
I'm at the downtown  criminal court building with Mr. Sprocket. A few minutes ago, DDA Daniel Akemon and an assistant quickly passed and entered Dept. 105, Judge Bowers courtroom. I believe they are both working on the case of Damascio Ybarra Torres who shot some doctors at Cal USC Medical Center., sometime in 2003 or 2004.  DDA Akemon was just assigned to follow that case. It's a complicated, mixed sentencing case. Then DDA Akemon heads down to Dept. 109 to get a new date on the Alberd Tersargyan (aka Albert Harutyunyan) case.

DDA Craig Hum, who is prosecuting the Brown case arrives with an assistant. When Dept. 107 opens, DDA Hum and his assistant head in side.

8:32 AM
Mr. Sprocket and I head into Dept. 107.

Brown is already here, sitting at the defense table.
He’s sitting in the chair at the end of the fable so he’s facing us.

Patty Brown is here in the second row. Her body is turned facing toward her husband.  She hands a paper to the bailiff, and the bailiff hands the paper to him.  Brown is wearing black, horn rimmed glasses.

The bailiff leans in to answer a question Brown has. DDA Hum and the court reporter are chatting. This is the earliest that Brown has been brought up, but Judge Lomeli is in trial at the moment so I’m sure that’s why it’s happening so quickly.

I ask Judge Lomeli’s bailiff (the same bailiff I first met in 2007 during Spector 1) if Gargiulo has been brought up yet. He calls and checks for me. No, not yet.

I’ll leave the courtroom in a few minutes to cover the Gargiulo hearing and Mr. Sprocket will take over taking notes on this case.

Mr. Sprocket and I are at Olive View Hospital so that he could register for a Cardiac Rehab Program and to get some additional blood tests.

I thought I would give a quick update on Michael Thomas Gargiulo. When he came out of the holding area, he was completely bald. No side burns, no mustache. No facial hair whatsoever.  It was a stark change.

I also obtained a copy of the prosecution's motion that was filed today. This motion is to introduce at trial, crime scene evidence and expert testimony from a retired FBI Behavioral Analyst, Mary Ellen O'Toole.  You can read the motion, HERE.

Gargiulo hearing continued in Part II....

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dawn DaLuise Case: Pretrial Hearing 3 - Preliminary Hearing

Dawn DaLuise at a prior court hearing.

UPDATE 6/24: spelling, clarity, grammar, added court ruling on bail reduction request

8:12 AM
I’m on the 8th floor of the Airport Courthouse, waiting for Dept. E, Judge James R. Dabney’s courtroom to open. I was a bit alarmed by the lax security through the security scanners this morning.  It appeared that many employees walked through the scanner carrying items or with bags over their shoulders. They did not appear to be wand scanned afterwards. I can’t be positive, but it also appeared that with the walk through scanner went off for some members of the general public, they were not wand scanned either.

I was the first person on the eighth floor this morning. There is one other gentleman at this end of the hall now, and about three others at the other.

When I left the house at 7:15 AM, I thought I would not get here in time. Traffic was quite jammed up on the 405 South for the first few miles.  Once I got past Sunset Blvd., things opened up. I was already on the freeway when I realized I forgot to take my lunch   that Mr. Sprocket had gotten ready for me the night before.

I have no idea how long this preliminary hearing will go, or if it will even go off as planned today.  Mr. Sprocket has two doctor appointments on Wednesday that will probably take most of the day, and this Friday, are three hearings downtown on the same date in the Cameron Brown, Michael Gargiulo and Alberd Tersargyan (aka Albert Haroutunyan). I won’t be able to attend all three, but maybe I can attend two of them.

8:25 AM

I’m betting that the prelim won’t start until 9 or 10 AM. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are  a few other pretrial hearings that Judge Dabney has to clear before the prelim.

8:34 AM

I'm inside Dept E. Judge Dabney is not on the bench. I'm going to use my laptop to type until it looks like things are getting started.

Someone behind me is whispering my name.Oh. My. God. I can't believe it. It's ALAN JACKSON!!! We step outside to get caught up. Jackson tells me he does miss the DA's office, but he is very happy working on civil litigation cases.

9:04 AM
I forgot to mention that Jackson did ask how Mr. Sprocket was doing.

9:05 AM
No Philip Dube yet. The courtroom gallery is less than one-third full.  There are about twelve attorneys in the well. Jackson, his co-counsel and DDA Amy Carter (pretty, glasses, auburn hair in a ponytail today) are off to my right chatting in the aisle.

There is a video camera set up, most likely for the DaLuise preliminary hearing.  Because the the layout of the courtroom, I'm hoping the camera won't pick up up in the background. The podium is in the center, inbetween the defense and prosecution table, so it is difficult to see the witness.

9:15 AM
Philip Dube arrives. He goes to the interview room to speak to his client.  Jackson greets familiar faces in the courtroom.

9:20 AM
Judge Dabney takes the bench. The first case is called. The defendant is not present.  Second case is called.  It's interrupted while Jackson, his co counsel and DDA Carter approach the bench on their case.  The second case is finished then Jackson's case is called. It's set over for July 8.

Then the Dawn DaLuise case is called. A different attorney steps up. It's not public defender, Philip Dube.   The people filed a motion to continue the case. The prosecutor DDA Steggell is in trial. DaLuise's new attorney objects. DaLuise is not willing to waive time. The new attorney reminds the court that when he was here last week, and took over the case, the court wanted to be sure he was ready for prelim on this date.  The defense is ready. The Judge asks the people if the cases falls under 1054a, or (I believe) family law.  The people respond it does not.

The Judge states he's inclined to decline the people's request. The people state that Mr. Fullerton is ready to step in and try the case for the people. Steggell hands off the prelim to DDA Fullerton. DDA Steggell tells the court that it will take the investigating officer about a half our to get to court. The prelim will resume about 10:00 am. DDA Steggell then speaks to an older, Spanish looking couple seated to my left, and tells them that it will be delayed until about 10:15am.  I'm guessing this is the intended victim, Gabriel Suarez's  relatives.  DDA Steggell then speaks to DaLuise's new attorney, a tall and handsome, younger looking black man.

I follow DaLuises's new attorney out of the courtroom and introduce myself. I ask if he is the new attorney taking over for Mr Dube. He replies yes. I ask if I could get his name or his card. He doesn't have a card on him, but he tells me his name.  His name is Jamon Hicks, of Douglas Hicks Law Firm.

I've got to get back up to the 8th floor.

10:12 AM
I'm back inside the courtroom. Judge Dabney is not on the bench. DaLuise's new attorney, Mr. Hicks, was in the cafeteria working when I left.

T&T readers, this may be the last preliminary hearing that I will be able to attend for some time. I don't know what the future will bring. I don't know where life will take me, but I am going to have to find permanent work of some kind, if Mr. Sprocket and I are to survive and save our house.  If you have appreciated T&T's in-depth trial coverage in the past, consider making a donation.

10:15 AM
The court reporter is over at the bailiff's desk and where a jovial conversation is in progress.  Mr. Hicks arrives with a rolling cart.  There appear to be several people in the gallery for other cases, but I don't know why they haven't been called yet.

10:43 AM
We are waiting for DDA Fullerton to return. Judge Dabney left the bench. I overheard someone in the well state that the witness is still about 20 minutes away.  The man sitting next to me yawns, and it becomes contagious. I yawn in response. It didn't help that I was up until 11:00 pm getting an order from my Etsy store ready to ship out. Very grateful my neighbor is able to drop it off at the post office for me.

10:45 AM
Judge Dabney is still off the bench. DDA Fullerton returns and starts setting up his files. I overhear him tell Mr. Hicks that if he plays the video, it's over an hour.

5:50 PM
Short update here to let you know Judge Dabney's ruling. I will have a full update sometime tomorrow.

Judge Dabney stated that Ms. DeLuise believed Mr. Suarez was responsible for the stalking/ harassment providing for ample motive.  The defendant referenced "taking someone out." She sent the victim's name to Christopher Geile. She sent a photo of the victim's residence (a four-plex building) [and I believe, how to identify the unit]. "It does appear to me that the offence has been commited ... and should be held to anwser."

The defense then argued to have lower bail. The prosecution objected to lower bail stating there was no change in circumstances. The court just ruled that she should be held to answer. The court denied a reduction in bail.

The court sets the arraignment for July 7th in this courtroom. After arraignment, the case will be sent to Matrix Court. (My understanding Matrix court is similar to Dept. 100 in downtown Los Angeles. It's the Master Calendar court.)

I will also add that the defendant made a noteworthy admission during a taped interview LA County Sheriff's Detective Steven McCaulley (after the investigation turned from a harrassment/stalking case to a solicitation for murder) when he confronted her with her emails and texts she sent to various people.

Detective McCaulley, after confronting her with the emails and texts, he advises DaLuise to get some advice before making any other decisions. He reminds her that, ....from February 6th on, when you started talking about taking this guy out."  DaLuise responds, "I know."

My understanding of this exchange in the taped interview, (when I heard it in court and the full exchange) DaLuise admits here, that's what she was trying to do, solicit someone to "take Suarez out."

To be continued Tuesday, June 24.....