Law and Disorder 10-25

The County Civil Service Commission this week denied Sheriff Bill Brown’s request for a rehearing of an earlier meeting in which the board found Brown had unlawfully disciplined former employee Shawn Terris when she attempted to organize a union. Terris, whose position was eliminated this summer, was disciplined for disobeying a direct order and has since filed a lawsuit against the county for wrongful termination. Terris also alleged that Brown committed perjury while testifying during an earlier commission hearing, and she is attempting to pursue criminal action against him.


Four suspects alleged to have murdered 16-year-old Lorenzo Carachure during a July 2007 stabbing on the Westside will face charges when their case heads to trial in April 2010. On 11/23, Judge Clifford Anderson set a trial date of 4/16 for defendants Ruben Mize, Bryan Medinilla, Raul Diaz Jr., and Ricardo Nava. The trial is estimated to last four weeks.


A DUI warrant served on 11/18 turned into an arrest for more serious charges after police found weapons inside the home of an 18-year-old on the first block of South Voluntario Street. As they first approached the young man’s residence, detectives reportedly glimpsed a metal baton inside and backed off to obtain a search warrant. After searching the house, officers seized the baton as well as fully loaded Glock 10mm handgun and arrested the youth on weapons possession.


The California Court of Appeal denied a petition from Orson Mozes’s ex-wife Christen Brown on 11/17 arguing that she was entitled-as child support payments-to the $301,971 in cash and gold coins Mozes had in his possession when he was arrested. Mozes pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining money through false pretenses and is currently serving a prison term. Judge George Eskin, after a lengthy hearing, had denied Brown the money, which he ordered split among Mozes’s 59 victims.


A man was arrested on 11/19 for allegedly peering through the window of a woman’s Bath Street residence. According to Lt. Paul McCaffrey, police responded to the location at 4:24 a.m. after a caller reported a prowler in the next-door neighbor’s backyard. There, they found a man standing on a garbage can and peering into the window with his pants unzipped. McCaffrey said the woman who lived there was a stranger to the suspect. The officers arrested the 30-year-old Oxnard man and booked him on a “peeping tom” charge.


The County Sheriff’s Department completed a record year of marijuana eradication, announcing on 11/18 that it had discovered 22 illegal grows that resulted in the removal of 238,335 plants. These figures were a dramatic increase from last year when the department reported eradicating 16 illegal grows with 67,556 plants. Officials estimate the street value of the seized marijuana this year exceeded $720 million, and that the amount of plants removed averaged out to about half a plant for every resident in Santa Barbara County.


Seven separate crashes occurred within minutes of each other on 11/20 during an early-morning pileup of 11 vehicles on the “Gaviota curve” of southbound 101. According to both drivers and responding sheriff’s deputies, most of the crashes were blamed on foggy windshields. No one was seriously injured and all lanes were cleared by 9 a.m. CHP officers reported that so many of the same make of car-Honda Accord-were involved, that authorities began referring to those involved by what they were wearing.

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