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NEWS
By Adolfo Flores | November 8, 2013
As a woman on the witness stand described how she was attacked in a violent rampage that left her husband and daughter dead, the man accused of the crimes erupted in anger in an Orange County courtroom Thursday. "That's not what happened," Iftekhar Murtaza said, loudly enough to interrupt Leela Dhanak's testimony in the 2007 double-murder case. Murtaza, 29, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's father, Jayprakash Dhanak, 56, and sister, Karishma Dhanak, 20, and attempting to kill Dhanak before setting fire to their Anaheim Hills mansion in 2007.
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NEWS
March 9, 2013
Police are investigating a 23-year-old Irvine resident's death as a suspected suicide, according to the county coroner. The man was found dead Friday afternoon at 4300 Campus Drive on the UC Irvine campus after university police received a call at 5:01 p.m., according to the coroner's office. UPDATE: The UCI LGBT Resource Center and campus police are reporting that the resident was a transgender male known for his activism in the university's LGBT community. We previously reported the gender as female, based on information provided by the coroner's office.
NEWS
March 17, 2001
Deepa Bharath SANTA ANA -- Seconds after Eric Bechler told a packed courtroom that he loved his wife and did not kill her, a Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Judge Frank F. Fasel said he agreed with a 12-member jury, which on Feb. 1 found the 33-year-old man from Newport Heights guilty of first-degree murder for bludgeoning his 38-year-old wife, Pegye Bechler, on a boat and then dumping her body in the ocean in trash bags filled with weights.
NEWS
By: | August 16, 2005
Testimony will continue today in a hearing in Orange County Superior Court to decide whether two men and one woman will stand trial in the alleged killing of a Newport Beach couple. Skylar DeLeon, 26, his wife Jennifer Henderson-DeLeon, 24, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 40, all of Long Beach, are expected to appear in court on charges of murdering Tom and Jackie Hawks, who went missing in November after allegedly selling their yacht. Two other men charged with the murders, Myron Gardner, 42, of Long Beach, and Alonso Machain, 21, of Pico Rivera, will be tried separately, a judge ruled Friday.
NEWS
June 2, 2004
Deepa Bharath The defense in a high-profile gang-rape case will ask the judge today to admit testimony of a pornography expert attorneys say will contradict a witness for the prosecution who suggested the defendants drugged the girl. Greg Haidl, son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann are accused of raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl and sexually assaulting her in Don Haidl's Corona del Mar home. The jury trial for the teenagers, which began on May 3, has come to an abrupt standstill this week because defense attorney Pete Morreale's son met with a traffic accident on Friday.
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | September 14, 2011
SANTA ANA - A UC Irvine professor overstepped his boundaries when he told students that no disruptions were allowed during the Israeli ambassador's visit last year, according to testimony given during Wednesday's Irvine 11 trial. According to UCI comparative literature professor Rei Terada's testimony, before introducing Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8, 2010, political science professor Mark Petracca, who emceed the event, told the audience he had the highest expectation for civility for the ambassador - a level that would exceed the respect given even during a joint session of Congress.
NEWS
December 9, 2003
Marisa O'Neil The new attorney for a former UC Irvine student convicted of sexually assaulting and torturing a 15-year-old-girl is seeking a new trial, this one in front of a jury. Newport Beach resident Brian Dance, 21, was convicted in July of three counts of forced penetration, one count of torture and one count each of robbery and criminal threat. He had previously waived his right to a jury trial and faces a possible life sentence for beating a girl he had met on the Internet and carving swastikas on her face on the UCI campus.
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 Denys Oberman | November 1, 2012
Newport Beach city leaders are going to extraordinary lengths and expense to convince taxpayers that Measure EE is "for their protection," and that the passage of the 38 items will "increase efficiencies. " One must ask, Why? I urge citizens and voters to think about the consequences of Measure EE: Are taking away of our rights, and loosening conflict-of-interest regulations, "protections," or are they simply ways for the city to steamroller unreasonable regulations and make decisions which may not be in the public interest?
NEWS
December 9, 2004
Jeff Benson Elizabeth Loftus calls it the highest national award she could receive as a psychologist, but the distinguished UC Irvine research professor might not always clearly remember being notified that she won it. If her theories come to fruition, Loftus will have to factor in the occasional mind distortion, contaminated memory and unreliability of eyewitness testimony. And maybe, just maybe, she'll determine she got caught up in the moment.
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