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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog

 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dekraai to Plead Guilty in 2011 Seal Beach Massacre

The Brower & Associates Blog has been closely following the tragic Seal Beach Shooting trial, most recently blogging the allegations that an illegal informant was placed in Scott Dekraai's cell to illicit incriminating statements. 

In a new twist, Dekraai's attorney told an Orange County judge on Monday that Dekraai will plead guilty to eight counts of murder in the 2011 killings at a Seal Beach salon. The plea will preempt a jury trial that was to begin in June. 

Dekraii, 44, is accused of walking into the salon and shooting his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, before opening fire on others inside the business and a man in the parking lout outside. The former couple were involved in a child custody dispute at the time of the shooting involving custody of their 8-year-old son, Dominic. Dekraai had been seeking sole custody, but a court ordered report recommended against it.

Although Dekraai will plead guilty, he could still face the death penalty for the killing of 8 people at Salon Meritage. Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals will make a decision on the punishment at a later date. Dekraai's admission of guilt could be used as a mitigating factor by jurors who will recommend his punishment: life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. 
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mistrail Declared in Orange County Distracted Driver Case

A mistrial was declared in the distracted driving case against Jorene Nicolas, 31, who was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for a 2011 fatal accident. 



Prosecutors said Nicolas, of San Diego, collided with another driver on the 405 Freeway in Westminster while she was distracted. Nicolas was allegedly so distracted that she was unaware that traffice had come to a complete stop on the freeway. As a result, 23-year-old Deanna Mauer was killed in the accident after her car slammed into the center divider. 

According to prosecutors, her vehicle was traveling about 80 mph when she crashed into Mauer. The defense alleged Mauer swerved in front of Nicolas, and that the victim's brake lights either weren't working, or she didn't apply them right before the crash. 

Ultimately, the jury deadlocked in deciding Nicolas' fate. Jurors deliberated for about 16 hours before announcing they were unable to break the impasse. The vote was 11 guilty to one not guilty. Prosecutors asked for a new trial, and a trial setting conference has been set for May 16. 

If convicted, Nicholas may serve up to 6 years in prison. 

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Alleged Orange County Serial Killers Arrested in Connection with Four Murders

Orange County law enforcement officials have arrested and charged two registered sex offenders in connection with killing four sex workers, three of which went missing from Santa Ana last year.

Franc Cano, 27, and Steven Gordon, 45 were arrest in Anaheim, near to the Anaheim Recycling facility where the body of Jarrae Nykkole Estepp was found last month. 

Cano and Gordon both have been convicted of sex offenses and later fled California together. Court records state that both men were ordered to register as sex offenders for life after they were convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. Gordon was convicted in 1992 of the charge and Cano plead guilty in 2007. Both were sentenced to three years in prison.

Police believe that Cano and Gordon have known each other since at least April 2012, when the duo cut off their GPS devices and fled to Nevada for about two weeks before they were arrested. 

The four victims are among eight women killed in Orange County since February 2013. The four victims, which police know of so far, are: Kianna Jackson, 20; Josephine Monique Vargas, 34; Martha Anaya, 28; and Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21. Police said the men targeted the women because of their ties to prostitution, investigators suspect that there are more victims who have yet to be identified. 

Police are still investigating whether the men can be tied to other killings and have reached out to law enforcement around the country for help. 

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your charges and/or reduce your sentence. Call Brower & Associates, experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who will fight for your rights! 
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