OCDA Says You Have the Right to Self-Incrimination

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store

By R. SCOTT MOXLEY , OC Weekly

Despite competing tasks, Orange County prosecutors and public defenders routinely engage in cordial backslapping. They’ll chat about their personal lives, tell jokes and share lawyerly gossip during court breaks. Defendants sometimes wonder if that coziness means the trial that left them convicted wasn’t genuinely adversarial.

But a huge, bitter rift over alleged “unconscionable” prosecutorial cheating recently shattered that comradery. At open court sessions this month in two, high-profile homicide cases, hostilities erupted between once-friendly lawyers. Voices were raised and fingers pointed. As punctuation to assurances this war has only just begun, one of the parties slammed a stack of documents on a wooden courtroom table.

Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders fired the opening salvo on Feb. 7 when he filed an explosive 505-page motion claiming his investigation uncovered “compelling evidence of shocking misconduct” by local law enforcement. The alleged corruption involves a systematic effort to violate the rights of pretrial, arraigned defendants who’ve invoked their constitutional right to not answer government questions, especially without the presence of a defense lawyer. According to Sanders, homicide and gang prosecutors working with police detectives and sheriff’s jail deputies have repeatedly circumvented the law by employing in-custody informants who befriend unsuspecting targeted defendants and ask probing questions.

“There has been a systematic effort to violate the 6th Amendment,” said Sanders, who represents Daniel Wozniak and Scott Dekraai, both of whom have admitted guilt but hope to avoid the death penalty.

Criminal defense attorney Kenneth A. Reed is paying attention to Sanders’ accusations. Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) cops arrested Vanesa Zavala, one of Reed’s clients, for the Jan. 19 beating death of Kim Pham. Invoking her constitutional rights, Zavala refused to answer questions and requested legal counsel. SAPD nonetheless sent an undercover cop into her cell to trick her into talking. The tactic alarms Reed, but Brian Gurwitz—a former OC prosecutor now in private practice—says California courts allow cops to deceive arrestees. “The public may be startled to learn that Miranda protections don’t apply when someone thinks he or she is talking to a fellow inmate. Until the arraignment, the police can ignore the suspect’s refusal to speak to them by using a fake inmate to ask questions.”

But there’s no doubt arraigned defendants are shielded from such duplicity, according to Sanders, who says he discovered prosecutors violated this protection while studying thousands of pages of documents and listening to hours of surreptitious jail recordings prosecutors strenuously fought to keep secret but ultimately surrendered after a judge ordered their release.

“The court-ordered discovery reveals investigatory and discovery practices by [prosecutors] that are rooted in deception and concealment; an unchecked and lawless custodial informant program overseen by the Orange County district attorney’s office (OCDA); and a string of prosecutions which confirm a culture that confuses winning with justice—prosecutions marked by repeated and stunning Brady violations, suborned perjury and a myriad of other misconduct,” Sanders told Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals. “Scary stuff is going on in Orange County courthouses.”

(In the Brady case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is unlawful for prosecutors to hide evidence favorable to a defendant.)

Sanders singled out Dan Wagner, head of the DA’s homicide unit and the prosecutor in the Dekraai case, for “terribly troubling and unethical” conduct. He says in his motion that Wagner actively engaged in plots to encourage Dekraai to unwittingly reveal defense strategies for the upcoming March 24 trial, managed document hiding, shielded notoriously unreliable informants from scrutiny, and helped to craft the false story that these informants acted without government prodding or enticements.

Wagner denies any wrongdoing and has contemptuously labeled the accusations as scandalous.

Matt Murphy, Wagner’s DA colleague who is handling the Wozniak case, also took issue with Sanders’ complaints that the OCDA used the informant known as “Inmate F”—a despicable Mexican Mafia, career criminal—to trick that defendant into talking. Murphy equally denies a role by his office in an MSNBC Lock Up broadcast that featured Wozniak speaking confidently in his cell without the knowledge of Sanders. It wasn’t his fault the public defender lacked “client control” and that Wozniak said “a bunch of stupid stuff,” the prosecutor said.

On Feb. 14, in front of Superior Court Judge James A. Stotler, Murphy declared there’s not “a scintilla” of evidence he participated in either controversy, and he prodded the public defender to prove his accusations. “Today’s the day to put up or shut up,” said a seething Murphy. “I didn’t talk to [MSNBC] before, during or after [their broadcast].”

Sanders called the prosecutor’s adamant denials “histrionics” and said he was ready to defend the content of his motion, a document with 20,000 pages of exhibits. But Stotler—who cringes when legal battles turn rancorous—declined Murphy’s request to settle the dispute during that pretrial hearing. “This issue isn’t on the calendar for today,” he reasoned.

As a remedy for the OCDA’s alleged “outrageous government conduct,” Sanders wants Wagner and Murphy barred from seeking the death penalty in either of his cases. Or, he wants what he sees as a more trustworthy California Attorney General’s office to replace the pair. His cause took bigger steps inside Goethals’ court. That judge, a former defense attorney and homicide prosecutor, said transparency and ethics are critical to the criminal-justice system. He unsealed the public defender’s brief that for a week had been blocked from public viewing at the request of Wagner.

“There has been a systematic effort to violate the 6th Amendment,” said Sanders, who represents Daniel Wozniak and Scott Dekraai, both of whom have admitted guilt but hope to avoid the death penalty.

Criminal defense attorney Kenneth A. Reed is paying attention to Sanders’ accusations. Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) cops arrested Vanesa Zavala, one of Reed’s clients, for the Jan. 19 beating death of Kim Pham. Invoking her constitutional rights, Zavala refused to answer questions and requested legal counsel. SAPD nonetheless sent an undercover cop into her cell to trick her into talking. The tactic alarms Reed, but Brian Gurwitz—a former OC prosecutor now in private practice—says California courts allow cops to deceive arrestees. “The public may be startled to learn that Miranda protections don’t apply when someone thinks he or she is talking to a fellow inmate. Until the arraignment, the police can ignore the suspect’s refusal to speak to them by using a fake inmate to ask questions.”

But there’s no doubt arraigned defendants are shielded from such duplicity, according to Sanders, who says he discovered prosecutors violated this protection while studying thousands of pages of documents and listening to hours of surreptitious jail recordings prosecutors strenuously fought to keep secret but ultimately surrendered after a judge ordered their release.

“The court-ordered discovery reveals investigatory and discovery practices by [prosecutors] that are rooted in deception and concealment; an unchecked and lawless custodial informant program overseen by the Orange County district attorney’s office (OCDA); and a string of prosecutions which confirm a culture that confuses winning with justice—prosecutions marked by repeated and stunning Brady violations, suborned perjury and a myriad of other misconduct,” Sanders told Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals. “Scary stuff is going on in Orange County courthouses.”

(In the Brady case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is unlawful for prosecutors to hide evidence favorable to a defendant.)

Sanders singled out Dan Wagner, head of the DA’s homicide unit and the prosecutor in the Dekraai case, for “terribly troubling and unethical” conduct. He says in his motion that Wagner actively engaged in plots to encourage Dekraai to unwittingly reveal defense strategies for the upcoming March 24 trial, managed document hiding, shielded notoriously unreliable informants from scrutiny, and helped to craft the false story that these informants acted without government prodding or enticements.

Wagner denies any wrongdoing and has contemptuously labeled the accusations as scandalous.

Matt Murphy, Wagner’s DA colleague who is handling the Wozniak case, also took issue with Sanders’ complaints that the OCDA used the informant known as “Inmate F”—a despicable Mexican Mafia, career criminal—to trick that defendant into talking. Murphy equally denies a role by his office in an MSNBC Lock Up broadcast that featured Wozniak speaking confidently in his cell without the knowledge of Sanders. It wasn’t his fault the public defender lacked “client control” and that Wozniak said “a bunch of stupid stuff,” the prosecutor said.

On Feb. 14, in front of Superior Court Judge James A. Stotler, Murphy declared there’s not “a scintilla” of evidence he participated in either controversy, and he prodded the public defender to prove his accusations. “Today’s the day to put up or shut up,” said a seething Murphy. “I didn’t talk to [MSNBC] before, during or after [their broadcast].”

Sanders called the prosecutor’s adamant denials “histrionics” and said he was ready to defend the content of his motion, a document with 20,000 pages of exhibits. But Stotler—who cringes when legal battles turn rancorous—declined Murphy’s request to settle the dispute during that pretrial hearing. “This issue isn’t on the calendar for today,” he reasoned.

As a remedy for the OCDA’s alleged “outrageous government conduct,” Sanders wants Wagner and Murphy barred from seeking the death penalty in either of his cases. Or, he wants what he sees as a more trustworthy California Attorney General’s office to replace the pair. His cause took bigger steps inside Goethals’ court. That judge, a former defense attorney and homicide prosecutor, said transparency and ethics are critical to the criminal-justice system. He unsealed the public defender’s brief that for a week had been blocked from public viewing at the request of Wagner.

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Our payment plans have been proven to help families afford their loved ones’ bail, without a large financial burden. We offer 0% interest, and all payments are divided into low monthly rates. 20% Discounts for veterans and active military are available. With our quick, 24/7 bail service, zero interest, and an affordable payment plan, we are easily the best option for all of your bail bond needs.

The central aim of San Diego Bail Bond Store is to attain the speedy release of your relative, friend or loved one. We offer comprehensive bail bonding services. Whenever you need us, we are available.

To set up a free consultation, call 619-232-9807 or click here to request an appointment online.

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Talking to People as They Get Released from OC Jail at Midnight

By Gustavo Arellano
OC Weekly

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store News

At 12:05 every morning, Santa Ana Central Jail releases its first inmates of the day from the Intake and Release Center out to the gates that open up to W. Sixth Street, to free bed space for incoming prisoners.
“As soon as midnight hits we can kick them out the door,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Jeffrey Hallock said. “We can release them.”

Reasonable enough, right? But let’s all agree midnight isn’t exactly the best time for someone to leave jail. So the Weekly visited on two consecutive nights to interview folks who were just leaving jail and get their thoughts on their new-found freedom

The first person we interviewed was a woman who requested anonymity. She seemed startled when approached by the Weekly, but after identifying ourselves, she loosened her arms from a tight fold and agreed to speak.

Although she denies it herself, the inmate was detained for domestic violence. For two days, she wondered about the state of her children.

“What was really hard was not knowing what the hell’s going on,” the woman said. To comfort herself and try to make the two days go by quickly, she slept the majority of the time in her cell.

There are three things you can do for free in jail, she said: sleep, watch television or read. She also had the choice to call a relative or friend, but they’re collect calls. To avoid any extra costs, the female inmate decided to wait upon release to hear about her family.

After her sentence was served, the guards informed her at about 8:30 p.m. that it was time to leave. At that time, deputies are up and running, counting every head and making sure the person whose name is on the paperwork from court, is indeed the correct person.

The time it took from the call of freedom to the time she walked out of the gates of jail: three hours.

“We waited too long to get our clothes, we waited too long for everything,” the inmate said.

Upon getting released, she said that most people want to contact someone to pick them up at that ungodly hour. Luckily, her phone hadn’t died from the time she was detained, so she was able to call someone. But she still understands the hardship that inmates who don’t have a cell phone (at least one that isn’t out of battery) go through after being released.

“[A charged cell phone] is our life line,” the former inmate said. “I didn’t know any number but my parent’s number–that is it. I didn’t know my kid’s number–nothing.” She held up her phone as if she was holding Wonka’s Golden Ticket in her hand.

After answering a few questions, she walked away, determined to fight in court and get full custody of her kids. Just because she was in jail, doesn’t mean she isn’t sane, she said.

It’s 1:25 a.m. Abel Betancourt is released. As I drank my hot coffee, he approached to ask if I had a phone he could use to call his mom to pick him up. After speaking to his mom, they agreed he’d walk a block down to meet her after she was done fully waking up.

Age 19, Betancourt was detained for burglary. After serving about a week, he was done with his jail time. His release, though, was a surprise for himself and his mother.

“You go to court and they totally fuck you over,” Betancourt said. “They tell you your charges and that’s it. You have to wait for another hearing. They keep adding time and then you never really finish your time.”

His worry was whether or not his mother was going to answer his phone call. It’s late at night or so early in the morning when inmates get released, and people are usually, understandably sleeping at that time.

After not seeing anyone released out the jail gates for an hour, I call it a night.

At 12:05 every morning, Santa Ana Central Jail releases its first inmates of the day from the Intake and Release Center out to the gates that open up to W. Sixth Street, to free bed space for incoming prisoners.
“As soon as midnight hits we can kick them out the door,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Jeffrey Hallock said. “We can release them.”

Reasonable enough, right? But let’s all agree midnight isn’t exactly the best time for someone to leave jail. So the Weekly visited on two consecutive nights to interview folks who were just leaving jail and get their thoughts on their new-found freedom

The first person we interviewed was a woman who requested anonymity. She seemed startled when approached by the Weekly, but after identifying ourselves, she loosened her arms from a tight fold and agreed to speak.

Although she denies it herself, the inmate was detained for domestic violence. For two days, she wondered about the state of her children.

“What was really hard was not knowing what the hell’s going on,” the woman said. To comfort herself and try to make the two days go by quickly, she slept the majority of the time in her cell.

There are three things you can do for free in jail, she said: sleep, watch television or read. She also had the choice to call a relative or friend, but they’re collect calls. To avoid any extra costs, the female inmate decided to wait upon release to hear about her family.

After her sentence was served, the guards informed her at about 8:30 p.m. that it was time to leave. At that time, deputies are up and running, counting every head and making sure the person whose name is on the paperwork from court, is indeed the correct person.

The time it took from the call of freedom to the time she walked out of the gates of jail: three hours.

“We waited too long to get our clothes, we waited too long for everything,” the inmate said.

Upon getting released, she said that most people want to contact someone to pick them up at that ungodly hour. Luckily, her phone hadn’t died from the time she was detained, so she was able to call someone. But she still understands the hardship that inmates who don’t have a cell phone (at least one that isn’t out of battery) go through after being released.

“[A charged cell phone] is our life line,” the former inmate said. “I didn’t know any number but my parent’s number–that is it. I didn’t know my kid’s number–nothing.” She held up her phone as if she was holding Wonka’s Golden Ticket in her hand.

After answering a few questions, she walked away, determined to fight in court and get full custody of her kids. Just because she was in jail, doesn’t mean she isn’t sane, she said.

It’s 1:25 a.m. Abel Betancourt is released. As I drank my hot coffee, he approached to ask if I had a phone he could use to call his mom to pick him up. After speaking to his mom, they agreed he’d walk a block down to meet her after she was done fully waking up.

Age 19, Betancourt was detained for burglary. After serving about a week, he was done with his jail time. His release, though, was a surprise for himself and his mother.

“You go to court and they totally fuck you over,” Betancourt said. “They tell you your charges and that’s it. You have to wait for another hearing. They keep adding time and then you never really finish your time.”

His worry was whether or not his mother was going to answer his phone call. It’s late at night or so early in the morning when inmates get released, and people are usually, understandably sleeping at that time.

After not seeing anyone released out the jail gates for an hour, I call it a night.

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Orange County Bail Bond Store & Bail Bond Storeman by OCBailnow

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store in Orange County,CA stands out from the rest with our many years of experience in the industry and a caring, highly professional approach.

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Santa Ana Bail Bond Store in Orange County,CA stands out from the rest with our many years of experience in the industry and a caring, highly professional approach. The breadth of our knowledge and services we offer are sure to please even the most discerning of clients. Santa Ana Bail Bond Store would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the bail bond industry.

Our company is based on the belief that our clients’ needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs.

We provide bail bonds and have local bail agents throughout California and professional bail bonds services to the residents of Orange County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County. We are available to be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days including holidays. To speed up the process we are able to do bonds in-person, fax, or emails. We will also come to you if needed.

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To make an appointment, call 714-973-2245 or click here to request an appointment online.

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Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is a reliable name in Orange County,CA

Orange County Bail Bond Store, Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is a reliable name in Orange County,CA

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If a loved one has been arrested, the first step you should take is to post bail immediately. At Santa Ana Bail Bond Store, we offer 24/7 bail bond services to free your loved one quickly. Being professionals in the field for almost a decade, we understand an arrest can happen at the worst of times and often without notice. That is why you need a professional by your side at all times, and Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is a reliable name in Orange County,CA. Securing your release or that of a loved one is painless and swift when you turn to us.

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Posting of bail takes no longer than 15 minutes if you seek help from professionals.
When a loved one has been arrested with a bail option, you are offered two choices. You can either choose to pay the entire bail amount in cash upfront or invest in a bail bond.

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We are open to communication at any time of day every day-even on holidays. At Santa Ana Bail Bond Store, your freedom is important to us. If you have any questions, concerns or doubts about Santa Ana bail bonds or the bail bond process, do not hesitate to call. We are happy to answer your questions patiently.

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We are here for you during hard times.

Here at Santa Ana Bail Bond Store, we treat each client with the respect that they deserve. We understand that for most people the bail bonding process can be overwhelming and very stressful. Our staff is trained to provide the best information for you to make an informed decision as to if the bail bonding process is right for you.

When you call Santa Ana Bail Bond Store you will speak directly to a person, not a answering service! From the time someone is arrested until time they have their day in court, we are with them every step of the way.

When Might I Need A Bail Bond?

  • Assault or Domestic charges usually have mandatory bonds
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The central aim of Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is to attain the speedy release of your relative, friend or loved one. We offer comprehensive bail bonding services. Whenever you need us, we are available.

To make an appointment, call 714-973-2245 or click here to request an appointment online.

 

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Santa Ana Bail Bond Store Offers Affordable Bond Payment Plans

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If your loved one has been put in jail call Santa Ana Bail Bond Store for bondsmen services with over 25 years of experience serving Santa Ana and Orange County, and with a 24 hour a day and 7 days a week bail service and payment options may apply. We are the best option for speedy, reliable bail service in Santa Ana. We offer service in Anaheim, Westminster, Tustin, Huntington Beach, mission Viejo and surrounding area of Orange County. We also have local and statewide service and if your not sure if the bond process is right for you or if you just need to know how it works, we offer free over the phone consultation. Get Santa Ana Bail Bond Store and give us a call today at 714-973-2245

Our payment plans have been proven to help families afford their loved ones’ bail, without a large financial burden. We offer 0% interest, and all payments are divided into low monthly rates. 20% Discounts for veterans and active military are available. With our quick, 24/7 bail service, zero interest, and an affordable payment plan, we are easily the best option for all of your bail bond needs.

The central aim of Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is to attain the speedy release of your relative, friend or loved one. We offer comprehensive bail bonding services. Whenever you need us, we are available.

To make an appointment, call 714-973-2245 or click here to request an appointment online.

 

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Santa Ana Bail Bond Store of Orange County offers bail bond service to Orange County and the surrounding areas of the state of California. Our bail bondsmen provide quick, efficient service to make the process of securing a loved one’s release as painless as possible.

Bail occurs when a judge ends the incarceration of an individual upon receipt of security, usually a sum of money, to ensure the individual will appear in court at a later date.

In the American legal system, bail is the primary way to secure the freedom of someone who has been imprisoned and alleged to have committed a crime. Bail bonds also allow time for an individual to prepare a defense without restriction.

Because no two alleged offenses are the same, the bail amount will differ with each offense. Additionally, a judicial official may take other circumstances into mind when determining the amount of bail. It must be remembered, though, that all bail amounts are at the discretion of the judicial official (Judge or Magistrate) present.

When trying to determine the bail amount or conditions of release that have been set by the county of incarceration, feel free to contact our Santa Ana Bail Bond Store Agents by calling 714-973-2245 for immediate assistance.

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State approves $80 million for Musick jail expansion

Irvine City Council opposes construction of the proposed 384-bed facility and has 2 lawsuits pending against the county.

Musik Jail Expansion - Santa Ana Bail Bond Store

Bringing the James A. Musick jail in Irvine closer to a major expansion, a state board on Thursday awarded Orange County an $80 million construction grant.

The proposed 384-bed facility would focus on rehabilitation, with classrooms and therapy rooms in addition to minimum- and medium-security dorms.

While officials say the model is good for society, it hasn’t swayed opponents who have been fighting expansion plans since 1998. The Irvine City Council opposes construction, and has two lawsuits pending against the county. Near Musick, developers are building million-dollar homes, heightening tension.

“It’s good for Orange County overall,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who represents that area, said of the award, “but there’s still concern from the residents.”

The Board of State and Community Corrections approved the county’s grant, part of $500 million for similar projects throughout the state. Orange County received the maximum allocation. Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties also each received $80 million. The funds, from Senate Bill 1022, are designed for rehabilitative facilities. Inmates at Musick would participate in therapy and work with probation and social services on a strategy for re-entering society.

“It’s going to provide us an opportunity to introduce new programs into the jail that will help reduce recidivism,” sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

Irvine filed a lawsuit Jan. 8 requesting an injunction against construction. This and another pending lawsuit challenge the county’s environmental impact report. In October, Irvine lost a legal fight against a separate 512-bed expansion, which is planned to begin construction in 2016. Today, Musick has 1,322 beds.
Irvine council members expressed frustration Thursday, and the mayor appeared open to discussions with county officials.

“We would like to have a chance face-to-face to discuss our concerns and then come up with some way they can mitigate our concerns,” Irvine Mayor Steven Choi said.
Spitzer said he, too, wants to negotiate.

“I’m reaching out to the Irvine City Council to see if there’s any interest in a cap, or (a restriction on) the type of inmate,” Spitzer said. “But I’m worried that we’re going into an election season, and council members will make this an election issue.”

Some counties are planning to appeal Thursday’s awards, and that could affect the distribution to other counties. The Board of Supervisors is expected to accept the grant in July, and construction is targeted for summer 2017.

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