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LAW AND DISORDER


A lawsuit to prevent the City of Goleta from implementing its General Plan has been launched by the newly formed Citizens for a Better Goleta (CBG), joined by the Shelby Family Partnership, LLC. The Shelby family seeks to develop land that is currently zoned for agriculture. CBG’s board of directors includes Chamber of Commerce activists who have long complained that city council policies inhibit new development. Although the suit was filed one week before election day, the plaintiffs’ attorney said the timing was merely coincidental: The CBG had to file within 30 days of the General Plan’s adoption by the City Council.

Attorneys laid the groundwork for the defense this week in the murder trial of Carlos Varela, who is accused of killing his former girlfriend, UCSB student Holly Lake, in 2005. Varela allegedly stabbed Lake to death in her car after the couple drove home from a Tom Petty concert. On Tuesday, the court heard from a forensic witness who testified that Lake had cheated on Varela – a point that defense attorneys used to argue that Varela had committed a crime of passion.

Philippe Carasso was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing Ramy Henwin in late 2001. Henwin, an American citizen of Syrian origin, was having tea with Carasso’s sister in his backyard when Carasso shot him twice with a shotgun. Carasso, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, first pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but later reversed his decision – to the chagrin of his lawyers – because he said he wanted to take full responsibility for his actions.

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