The preliminary hearing of the six adults and minors charged in the July 2007 stabbing death of Lorenzo Carachure has come to a close. The defendants are ordered to stand trial on all charges-murder, attempted murder, and gang enhancements for five of them and accessory to murder and a gang enhancement for the sixth. During the course of the preliminary hearing, the court of Judge Clifford Anderson was closed to the public because, according to prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren, Anderson felt that doing so was necessary to ensure a “fair trial.” “The judge was largely concerned about the safety of the witnesses,” said defense attorney Joe Allen. “Courtroom security was certainly a concern in this case because of ongoing gang hostilities. Once he felt the courtroom was secure, he re-opened it,” Allen said
Though the temporary closure of the courtroom during preliminary hearings seemed unusual, Almgren noted that such measures have been taken before and that a legal precedent existed for Anderson’s decision. With the preliminary hearings finished and all individuals held to answer to the charges, the court is scheduled to reconvene on September 19. The defendants are being represented by Allen, James Crowder, Steven Buynak, Joseph Martinez, Samuel Eaton, and Neil Levinson.