D’Sant Angelo Stalls Her Sentencing
Claims Incompetent Legal Counsel, Jury Misconduct
Convicted nun scammer Denise D’Sant Angelo – notorious for her ability to draw out court proceedings against her – asked for and received a continuation of her sentencing hearing, claiming she had incompetent legal counsel, and also blaming prosecutorial and jury misconduct.
D’Sant Angelo, who already served a two-year sentence for stealing money from a fund intended to help keep a group of Santa Barbara nuns from being evicted, faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison after a jury convicted her in May on six counts of felony financial elder abuse and six counts of felony grand theft, as well as a count of unlawful practice of law.
She told the court last week, after dropping private defense attorney Joe Allen who represented her at trial, that she was not going to be represented by the public defender’s office, and instead would represent herself. D’Sant Angelo told the court she needed to get case files from Allen, and said she only needs 30 days to create her motion for a new trial. D’Sant Angelo indicated she received inadequate counsel, saying that Allen didn’t have time for her trial needs. She also claimed prosecutor Brian Cota had allowed for false testimony, but when pressed by the judge, she had trouble being specific.
Cota told the court there was no reason for another continuance, pointing out the next hearing would be roughly 70 days after D’Sant Angelo’s conviction. “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is a simple case,” he said.
Ochoa firmly indicated he would give her until August 22, but no longer.