Law and Disorder

Former Santa Barbara News-Press editor Jerry
sent out emails last weekend urging
support for the Lawyers Alliance for Free Speech
, a Santa Barbara-based organization formed last
September after the initial wave of News-Press firings and
resignations. The Alliance provides financial support to
journalists who become embroiled in lawsuits while trying to do
their jobs. Roberts explained that those wanting to help such
journalists – including Roberts himself, who is facing a $25
million lawsuit from his former employer, Wendy McCaw – can visit
jerryrobertsand to donate to and get more information
about the fund.

Authorities are still investigating a possibly
gang-related shooting at a Carpinteria Motel 6.
Shortly before 6 a.m. on February 17, Santa Barbara sheriff’s
deputies responded to reports of several shots fired into Room 257
of the Carpinteria Avenue motel. Twenty-year-old Lucy Freyes of
Goleta and 29-year-old Sergio Ortiz of Buellton were admitted to
Santa Barbara’s Cottage Hospital for non-life threatening gunshot
wounds. As of press time, no arrests had been made.

Two years after Manuela Ruiz died from a massive heart attack,
her family filed suit alleging negligent and intentional
infliction of distress, elder abuse, and
against pop singer Michael
and Santa Maria’s Marian Medical
. The civil suit, filed in Santa Barbara County
Superior Court on February 15, centers on the day Jackson was
admitted to Marian for flu-like symptoms in an apparent attempt to
skip out on his child molestation trial. To ensure the celebrity’s
privacy, hospital staff moved Ruiz, who was on life support after
suffering a heart attack that morning, to an examination room.
After the move – which involved temporarily taking Ruiz off a
respirator – Ruiz, 73, suffered a second and fatal heart


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