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By Sue Thoensen | February 21, 2008
Stepping into the role of a character diametrically opposed to your own beliefs is a huge challenge for any actor. Kevin Dobson, whose performances include roles in the movies “The French Connection” and “Klute,” as well the television series “Kojak” and “Knots Landing,” did just that, leaving his own moral judgments at the door in order to portray bigoted Juror No. 10 in “Twelve Angry Men,”...
NEWS
January 30, 2001
Deepa Bharath SANTA ANA -- After nearly 18 hours of deliberation, jurors on Monday still had not reached a verdict about whether Eric Bechler murdered his wife during a boating trip off Newport Beach three years ago. Bechler is accused of hitting his 38-year-old wife, Pegye, on the head with a dumbbell and dumping her in the ocean. He has continually pleaded not guilty, saying she disappeared, probably underwater, after the speedboat she was driving was hit by a wave as she towed him on a bodyboard.
BUSINESS
By Purnima Mudnal | July 29, 2006
A 21-year-old woman represented by a Newport Beach law firm has won a $3.25-million jury verdict in a food poisoning case against a Dana Point restaurant. An Orange County Superior Court judge has yet to rule on the verdict, which was handed down July 11. Alexis Sarti, of San Clemente, suffered a rare form of food poisoning after eating an ahi tuna appetizer at the Salt Creek Grille. Bremer, Whyte, Brown & O'Meara LLP represented Sarti in the lawsuit. Tim McCune, president and co-founder of Salt Creek Ltd., which runs the restaurant, said he and co-founder Pete Truxaw are appealing the jury's verdict.
NEWS
From L.A.Times and Daily Pilot reports | September 23, 2011
Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson said the so-called Irvine 11 students were "motivated by beliefs" when they disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine. Wilson said he took that into consideration in sentencing the 10 students, who were found guilty of conspiring to disrupt — and then disrupting — the speech, to three years of informal probation and no jail time. Wilson said they must complete 56 hours of community service. If they complete it within a year, the informal probation will be terminated.
NEWS
February 4, 2001
-- Sean Hiller THOUGHTS FROM THE SCENE: After arriving at the courthouse in Santa Ana less than 10 minutes before the verdict for Eric Bechler was read, I took a deep breath and composed myself. I was thankful I had not missed one of the biggest stories in our area in years. Bechler's trial for the murder of his wife, Pegye, off the coast of Newport Beach caused a sensation. Once the courtroom doors opened, it was a media frenzy -- every person for him or her self.
NEWS
June 14, 2005
Andrew Edwards Baja Sharkeez on the Balboa Peninsula is a sports bar -- not usually the kind of place people go to watch the news while they down a beer and hamburger. But things were a little different Monday. About 40 to 50 bar patrons watched and listened in surround sound as a Santa Maria jury acquitted pop singer Michael Jackson of child molestation and other charges Monday, Sharkeez manager Sean Swentek said. "People were into it. I think people were surprised," Swentek said.
LOCAL
May 21, 2008
by Joseph Serna and Daniel Tedford Janene Johns’ daughter howled in shock Wednesday after her mother was found guilty of killing Costa Mesa teacher Candace Tift in a car accident two years ago. Then Lauren Johns fell into sobs as she hugged her mother before she was led off into custody. Meanwhile, Tift’s family members applauded the verdict as it was read in the courtroom, and several cried with joy. Johns, 53, of Irvine was found guilty on all counts after hitting Tift with her Lexus Aug. 23, 2006 as Tift was riding her bike.
NEWS
October 24, 2000
Deepa Bharath SANTA ANA -- Tears of momentary joy and deep sorrow flowed in the courtroom Monday afternoon when a jury declared Steven Allen Abrams legally sane when he drove his car into a crowded Costa Mesa preschool playground in May 1999, killing two children and injuring five others. The jury's decision, which came after about three hours of deliberation, ensures either the death penalty or life in prison for Abrams, 40. If the 12-member jury had decided he was insane, Abrams could have spent the rest of his life in a mental institution or until a psychiatrist decided it was safe to release him. Jurors instead will determine Abrams' punishment in the third phase of the trial, which begins Thursday.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | February 19, 2009
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is guilty of killing Newport Beach retirees Tom and Jackie Hawks for money, a jury determined Thursday. He was the third person to be convicted of the slayings. Kennedy, 43, was found guilty of two counts of murder with the enhancements, leaving only two potential sentences: life without parole or death. Prosecutors will begin opening statements Monday before the same jury, now in the penalty phase of the trial, where they will argue that Kennedy’s role as “muscle” in the scheme to kill the Hawkses deserves the ultimate punishment.
NEWS
June 25, 2004
Deepa Bharath About seven hours into deliberations, jurors in a high-profile rape case on Thursday asked Judge Francisco Briseno if they should proceed to deliberate on other counts if they can't reach a verdict on the first count, court officials said. 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 in the assistant sheriff's Corona del Mar home. Prosecutors say the teenagers raped the girl and sexually assaulted her with various objects.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 13, 2013
A jury recommended the death penalty Wednesday for a Stanton man who strangled, raped and physically assaulted women around Orange County - including a masseuse in a Costa Mesa motel room - according to prosecutors. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of the story incorrectly said the masseuse in Costa Mesa was killed. The same jury found Waymon Livingston, 29, guilty Feb. 27 of one felony count of special-circumstances murder in the commission of sodomy, three felony counts of forcible rape and one felony count of aggravated assault, the Orange County district attorney's office said in a news release.
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NEWS
By Lauren Williams | November 15, 2012
Nearly 10 months after a jury found him guilty of misappropriating public funds, former Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard wants the verdicts overturned. Hubbard's counsel submitted an opening brief this week in the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal on grounds that he wasn't capable of committing the crimes of which he was convicted. "He was unjustly convicted, and I hope he'll be acquitted on appeal," said attorney Hillel Chodos, who along with co-counsel Philip Kaufler is representing Hubbard for the appeal.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | January 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard was convicted Monday of two felony charges for misappropriating public funds during his tenure as the schools chief for Beverly Hills. A jury in Los Angeles County Superior Court found Hubbard, 54, guilty of giving to a subordinate $20,000 in bonuses and increasing her car allowance without required school board approval. He was acquitted on a third felony charge that he illegally increased another subordinate's pay. Just after the verdicts were read, Hubbard appeared stunned and placed a hand on his face.
NEWS
From the Los Angeles Times | September 26, 2011
The room was packed full of people who gathered to applaud an unlikely bunch: a group of men who had been convicted of misdemeanors less than 48 hours ago. The men — part of the Irvine 11 found guilty of disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren — on Sunday told those gathered at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim of their activism and expressed gratitude for community support. At one point, the nine men stood to applause. On Friday, after deliberating for two days a jury found the 10 Muslim students guilty.
NEWS
From L.A.Times and Daily Pilot reports | September 23, 2011
Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson said the so-called Irvine 11 students were "motivated by beliefs" when they disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine. Wilson said he took that into consideration in sentencing the 10 students, who were found guilty of conspiring to disrupt — and then disrupting — the speech, to three years of informal probation and no jail time. Wilson said they must complete 56 hours of community service. If they complete it within a year, the informal probation will be terminated.
NEWS
By Ron Vanderhoff | April 22, 2011
Serious gardeners love a challenge, especially when it comes to zones, frost, temperatures and all that boring technical stuff. Tell a serious plant lover that you can't grow one, and they'll buy two. Tell them it's too tropical or too temperate, and they'll test it. Tell them it's too difficult to grow, and they'll dream about it all night long. Gardeners love to push the envelope. Peonies growing and blooming in Southern California is precisely one of these local challenges.
LOCAL
By Britney Barnes | February 26, 2010
SANTA ANA — An Orange County jury on Thursday found Rodney James Alcala guilty of five counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and multiple special-circumstances counts for torture, oral copulation and rape in the death of a 12-year-old Huntington Beach resident in 1979 and four Los Angeles women in the late 1970s. It was Alcala’s third guilty conviction for killing Robin Samsoe of Huntington Beach. He has twice been convicted and sentenced to death, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.
NEWS
January 27, 2010
A Costa Mesa man is guilty of killing a local nanny from behind the wheel of his car as she was crossing a Newport Beach street in 2008. A jury of seven men and five women Wednesday found Martin Burt Kuehl, 42, guilty of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for fatally hitting 32-year-old Martha Ovalle in August 2008 as she crossed Westcliff Drive near Dover Drive. Whatever it was, jurors said after delivering the verdict, something distracted Kuehl enough that from the time he made a left turn onto Westcliff to the time he hit Ovalle, he was not paying enough attention to the road.
LOCAL
By Joseph Serna | November 19, 2009
The Orange County Superior Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the conviction of Janene Johns, who fatally struck local teacher Candace Tift with her car in 2006. In a unanimous decision, associate justices Raymond J. Ikola, Richard D. Fybel and William F. Rylaarsdam affirmed Johns’ conviction and Orange County Superior Court Judge Daniel McNerny’s sentence. Attorneys argued the case in front of the appeals panel in mid-August. Decisions can take up to 90 days to be issued.
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