The Orange County Grand Jury released a report last week entitled “The Myth of the Orange County Jailhouse Informant Program.” The Grand Jury concluded there is no such program. Defense attorney allegations of misuse of jailhouse informants by the DA and Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies ultimately led the trail judge in the Salon Meritage murder case to replace local prosecutors with the California Attorney General.
The trial judge’s continuing frustrations with the defense allegedly not receiving documents from the prosecution recently led the court to consider taking the death penalty off the table in the case against Scott Dekraai, who stands convicted in the 2011 mass murder at Salon Meritage.
The DA’s Office has attributed the delays in providing documents to slow responses from the Federal government. The Grand Jury described the DA’s complaint’s as credible. In related news, the next hearing in the Dekraai case is scheduled for Monday, June 26.
The Grand Jury report said that issues of alleged violations of evidence sharing rules (called “discovery”) and misuse of informants would be more appropriately investigated by the California Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice than “the trial court for the largest confessed mass murderer in Orange County history.”
When the 28-page report was released, the DA’s office issued a statement essentially calling reports of an informant program a “witch hunt.”
The Grand Jury report said, “Significant media coverage, finger pointing, and speculative rhetoric have been published about the alleged jailhouse informant program that is said to exist in the Orange County jails.”
The report said that any violations of discovery were “limited to the actions of a few members of the OCDA and a few OCSD personnel.”
“However, the OCGJ found no evidence to support claims of a systemic, widespread informant program, and reports of such have been exaggerated in the press.”
The Grand Jury report was highly critical of news media coverage of the informant controversy, essentially declaring press accounts of an informant’s program as fake news. To read the report, visit http://www.ocgrandjury.org/pdfs/2016_2017_GJreport/2017-06-13_Informant_Report.pdf.
Crime Log Compiled by Charles M. Kelly
IN LEISURE WORLD
Thursday, May 25
Petty Theft—12:57 p.m.—Del Monte Drive, Mutual Unknown—The caller said someone took the caller’s trek hybrid bicycle between 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, and noon, Thursday, May 25. A few details were blacked out in the log. Report taken.
Vandalism—4:28 p.m.—Canoe Brook Drive, Mutual 3—The caller reported finding scratches on the bumper of his car on Tuesday, May 23. It appeared to the caller that the car was keyed. A few details were blacked out in the log. No suspect information. Felony vandalism report taken.
Wednesday, May 24
Suspicious Occupied Vehicle—7:23 a.m.—Seal Beach Boulevard—Police unit M7 while on duty contacted an individual in a car and arrested Luis Alberton Delasancha on suspicion of driving on a suspended or revoked license and lacking proof of insurance. Some details were blacked out in the log.
Reckless Driver—8:05 a.m.—Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard—The caller saw a minivan swerving in and out of traffic, and going up on the curb. As of 8:06 a.m., the caller had lost sight of the van in question. Police were unable to locate the minivan.
Grand Theft Report—8:05 a.m.—Catalina Avenue—The caller reported a tailgate stolen. A few details were blacked out in the log. The crime apparently occurred overnight. Report taken.
Dead Animal—8:13 a.m.—14th Street and Electric Avenue—The caller reported a dead, half-eaten, hollowed-out cat in the grass by the sidewalk. A few details were blacked out in the log. Referred to Long Beach Animal Care Services.
Disturbance—5:29 p.m.—Pacific Coast Highway—Police unit M7 while on duty apparently came upon a disturbance between a man and a woman. Some details were blacked out in the log. Police arrested John Burnett on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. Police also arrested Shannon Cofell on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
Domestic Violence—5:48 p.m.—Ocean Avenue—The caller told police that the male half of their relationship beat her up. Some details were blacked out in the log. As of 5:51 p.m. he was reportedly trying to break the door. Then he reportedly punched her. The caller declined medics. As of 5:53 p.m., she said she could still hear him saying something. She could hear sirens in the background. She could still hear him walking around. Police arrested Danny Smith on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. Police also arrested Kathleen Taylor on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
Thursday, May 25
Suspicious Person—2:38 a.m.—First Street—The caller saw a man try to jump over a fence onto someone’s property. Police unit 207 saw the man jumping over the fence. The man ran toward Pacific Coast Highway. Police unit S44 contacted the man at PCH and First Street. A few details were blacked out in the log. Police arrested Corey Lee Broadway on suspicion of public intoxication.
Hit and Run—9:22 a.m.—Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard—The caller said another car rear ended her car. Then he drove away. A few details were blacked out in the log. Police found no damage to the caller’s car from what was apparently a minor impact. The caller did not desire a report. Log entry.
Disturbance—11:28 a.m.—Electric Avenue and Main Street—The caller said a man in a wheelchair was riding along Electric Avenue, hitting cars with his hands to make the alarms go off. He asked the caller for money, yelled at her and took off again, hitting cars on Main Street with his hands. He was seen traveling northbound on Main Street from Electric. Police unit 107 contacted the man and apparently advised him to discontinue his behavior. He left the area. Log entry.
Grand Theft Report—11:32 a.m.—Fifth Street—The caller said someone took the tailgate off the caller’s truck during the night. No report desired.
Disturbance—4:53 p.m.—Main Street—The caller, relaying third-hand information, reported that a man in a wheelchair created a disturbance. An individual apparently bought the man in the wheelchair food and the man became hostile when he was offered something he didn’t want. Police unit 107 contacted the man inside the location. Some details were blacked out in the log. Police warned the man against trespassing and advised the people at the location to call back if the man returned.
Friday, May 26
Suspicious Person—4:41 a.m.—Pacific Coast Highway—The caller reported seeing a man in the alley behind the location lighting up an unknown object. The caller thought the man might have been using illegal drugs. The caller said the man kept walking back and forth in the alley. Police unit 207 contacted the man. He was smoking a cigarette. No further law enforcement services were required.
Transient Complaint—8:13 a.m.—Westminster Avenue—The caller said a man was sleeping in front of the location with his pants down. An employee tried to check on the man, but he didn’t respond. The caller told dispatch the man was moving around. A few details were blacked out in the log. Police unit 106 interviewed the man in the field.
Animal Complaint—8:17 a.m.—Hazelnut Avenue—The caller was on a walk and a dog kept trying to come at him. The caller said the dog jumped at him each time the caller took a step. The caller tried to walk away as the dog was in a yard on Hazelnut. Message delivered to Long Beach Animal Care Services. Police located the owner and cancelled the call to Animal Care Services. Police unit 106 determined that the dog was not aggressive, just playful. Assisted.
Arrest—6:04 p.m.—Seal Beach Boulevard—The caller reported a car weaving in lanes of traffic and stopping for no apparent reason. The driver was a woman traveling southbound on Seal Beach Boulevard. Some details wee blacked out in the log. Police arrested Anabell Gonzales on suspicion of drunken driving.
Arrest—10:54 p.m.—Pacific Coast Highway—The caller said a woman would not leave the bathroom. The caller could provide no further description of the woman. Some details were blacked out in the log. Based on a warrant out of Pasadena, police arrested Juliana Cole on suspicion of public intoxication.
Saturday, May 27
Traffic Stop—1:29 a.m.—Neptune and Ocean—Police stopped a car. A few details were blacked out in the log. Police arrested Steven Holeman on suspicion of drunken driving.
Disturbance—4:14 p.m.—Electric Avenue—The caller said a woman with a cart was screaming at passers by, cursing and using racial epithets. Police unit 106 confirmed that the woman was yelling, but determined no crime had occurred. No further law enforcement services were required.
Disturbance—5:14 p.m.—Pacific Coast Highway and 12th Street—The caller said a woman jumped out of a truck. A man had the woman in a bear hug. The caller speculated that he might have been attempting to drag her. The caller lost sight of the truck and did not know where the man parked it. According to the caller, the woman was heard screaming to be let out of the truck before she jumped out. By 5:18 p.m., the caller said the man drove off. He was last seen on Electric Avenue. The woman was walking on Landing, traveling toward Electric. A second caller reported seeing the truck going westbound on Electric Avenue. According to the second caller, the truck almost struck multiple kids as they were crossing the street. Some details were blacked out in the log. Police determined that there was a verbal dispute with the man in the truck. Report taken.
Arrest—5:59 p.m.—Marina Drive and First Street—The caller said a man seemed to be “out of it.” A few details were blacked out in the log. Police arrested Alexander Connelly on suspicion of public intoxication.
Fireworks—9:03 p.m.—14th Street—The caller said three men were lighting fireworks in the alley to the rear of the location. Police unit 207 contacted two juveniles and an adult. It turned out no fireworks were involved. The juveniles were trying out a flint starter with a parent. The officer counseled the three on safety issues and fire regulations.
Welfare Check—9:38 p.m.—Ocean Avenue—The caller said two men were drunk and swimming only in their underwear. A few details were blacked out in the log. Based on a warrant, police arrested Samuel Chavez on suspicion of possession of illegal drug paraphernalia and arrested Jesse Chavez on suspicion of public intoxication.
Sunday, May 28
Arrest—1:05 a.m.—Anderson and Pacific Coast Highway—The caller said a car traveling northbound on Pacific Coast Highway, north of Anderson, was swerving and cutting people off. A few details were blacked out in the log. Police arrested Michael Robinson on suspicion of drunken driving.
Suspicious Person—8:08 p.m.—Montecito Road—The caller reported a man on the property that the caller was told sells drugs and was not supposed to be on the property. A few details were blacked out in the log. Dispatch attempted to contact security at the location, but the call went to a voicemail that had not been set up. Police were unable to locate the man.
Monday, May 29
Suspicious Person—7:41 a.m.—12th Street and Electric Avenue—The caller said a man in a jacket might be smoking crack. The man was gone when police arrived.
Disturbance—12:01 p.m.—Pacific Coast Highway—The caller said a man was walking around the parking lot. He yelled and threw a lighter at a customer. Some details were blacked out in the log. The man threatened the caller at a location at Driftwood. At 12:17 p.m., he was seen going toward Balboa. At 12:18 p.m., he threatened an individual in a wheelchair. The caller said he appeared to be angry. The caller was waiting outside the location with an elderly neighbor. The angry man was last seen going northbound on Balboa. Police were unable to locate him.
Tuesday, May 30
Pedestrian Check—4:25 a.m.—Bolsa and Seal Beach Boulevard—Police unit S24 stopped a pedestrian and arrested Cassandra Nuesa Rosenfeldt on suspicion of public intoxication and based on a warrant also arrested Rosenfeldt on suspicion of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.