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NEWS
By Joseph Serna | January 23, 2012
SANTA ANA — Family and friends of a slain Newport Beach businessman cried and hugged in a courtroom here Monday when the second of two killers was convicted of murder. Following almost four hours of deliberations, a jury of nine women and three men convicted Nanette Packard-McNeal, 46, of murder for financial gain in the 1994 shooting of her then-boyfriend, Bill McLaughlin. Eric Naposki, a former NFL player, was convicted last summer of pulling the trigger. While Packard-McNeal was with McLaughlin, she was also dating Naposki on the side.
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NEWS
By Lauren Williams | November 4, 2011
A small number of inmates who will be tracked by probation instead of parole agencies will soon be released in Costa Mesa, authorities said, adding that some of the tracking will fall on local police. Under the newly enacted public safety realignment plan, the non-serious offenders are being released into probation rather than parole. Parolees who violate conditions of their parole are being sent to jails instead, which helps ease state prison overcrowding. Responsibility for the so-called "three nons" — nonviolent, nonserious and nonserious sex offenders — on Oct. 1 shifted to local agencies like the Orange County Probation Department.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | October 15, 2011
An Irvine man who kidnapped and raped a child and molested two others was denied parole Tuesday, according to prosecutors. Drew David Lambert, 32, formerly of Irvine, was sentenced to 15 years to life in August 1996 and is serving his sentence at California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi. In a news release Tuesday, Orange County prosecutors said Lambert approached a 6-year-old girl in the children's section of a Laguna Niguel bookstore and used a child's book to lure her to the men's restroom, where he assaulted her. Lambert was 16 years old at the time.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | October 5, 2011
After hearing from the victim's daughter and the prosecutor on the case, on Wednesday the state denied parole for a Costa Mesa woman who killed her husband and then froze, cooked and tasted portions of his body over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991. Omaima Aree Nelson, 43, has served about 20 years of her 27-years-to-life sentence for killing William Nelson, 56. According to court testimony in her trial, she ate portions of his ribs and other remains. The original prosecutor on the case, Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Randy Pawloski, and the victim's daughter, Margaret Nelson, attended the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hearing to urge the board not to release Nelson, according to the D.A.'s office.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 30, 2011
COSTA MESA - A bill introduced by state Sen.Tom Harman (R-Costa Mesa) and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this week seeks to bring crime-victim notification into the 21st century. Senate Bill 852 takes effect immediately, and enables the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to update various persons affected by violent offenders about the attackers' status through email, along with the traditional phone call and certified mail. "California's victim-notification system was antiquated and with this bill, victim notification will be brought into the computer age," Harman said in a news release.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | September 29, 2011
COSTA MESA — A former Costa Mesa resident who killed her husband and then cooked and ate parts of his body nearly 20 years ago is scheduled to appear before a parole board. Omaima Aree Nelson is seeking early release from her 27-years-to-life sentence for murdering William E. Nelson, 56, over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991. The Orange County district attorney's office opposes freeing her on the grounds that her crimes were especially heinous, and that she had a history of violence before killing her husband.
NEWS
July 5, 2011
A former Costa Mesa man convicted of punching his girlfriend's 7-month-old son and causing his death was denied parole Tuesday, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Mahmoud Fathi, 52, was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison in 1990 after punching 7-month-old Daniel Teodurezcu in the stomach on Nov. 29, 1983, causing a 5-centimeter internal tear in the boy's abdomen and three fractured ribs, prosecutors said. Daniel died the next day, after his mother noticed he was having trouble breathing and took him to the doctor.
NEWS
July 1, 2011
The Orange County district attorney's office expects to fight against parole Tuesday for a Costa Mesa man convicted of killing a 7-month-old. Anthony Mahmoud Fathi, 52, was convicted in 1985 of punching his girlfriend's son in the stomach while she was in the shower, prosecutors allege. The blow caused fractured ribs, an internal 5-centimeter tear, swelling to the abdomen and bleeding to the rectal area, later leading to the child's death, according to a D.A. news release.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams, lauren.williams@latimes.com | June 23, 2011
COSTA MESA — A former Costa Mesa dentist convicted of killing three patients in his care can be released from prison, an appellate court has ruled. A state Court of Appeal late Wednesday reinstated parole for Tony Protopappas, 66. The court order overturned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's December decision to block a parole board recommendation to let Protopappas go, said the dentist's attorney, Rich Pfeiffer. Protopappas was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder 26 years ago for killing three people in his dentist's chair during the early 1980s, according to Daily Pilot archives.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | December 30, 2010
The attorney for a Costa Mesa dentist convicted of killing three people in his dentist chair more than 20 years ago expressed confidence Thursday that he can win his client's freedom even after the governor rejected a parole bid earlier this month. Attorney Rich Pfeiffer said that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to keep Tony Protopappas, 65, in Folsom State Prison flies in the face of a recent Court of Appeal opinion. In a petition that Pfeiffer plans to file next week with the Santa Ana appellate court, he will remind the court that a three-judge panel there determined in March that Protopappas doesn't pose a public threat.
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