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Friday, February 28, 2014

Allegations of Illegal Informants in the Seal Beach Murder Trial

During a court hearing Friday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals said he was considered separating two phases of the trial for man accused of killing eight people, seven inside the Salon Meritage beauty salon in Seal Beach on October 12, 2011.

Scott Evan 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.

Within minutes, Seal Beach police arrested Dekraai a few blocks from the salon. 

Most recently, Dekraai, 44,  alleges that the Orange County Sheriff's Department has improperly used jailhouse informants to collect evidence against Dekraai. He argues that one informant, Inmate F, was housed near Dekraai and got the defendant to talk about the killings. Days after Dekraai was arrested and taken to the Central Jail Compex in Santa Ana, he was placed next to Inmate F. A few days later, Inmate F told deputies that Dekraai had spoken about the shooting, and offered details of the crime. 

According to prosecutors, they don't foresee calling inmate F to testify, however, they do plan on using recordings made of Dekraai in his cell. The recordings capture Dekraai discussing the crime and his mental state, according to court records.

Dekraai is set to face a jury trial on the charges March 24. He remains jailed without bail. He faces the death penalty. 

Charges of violent crimes such a murder, assault, and batter should be taken seriously, and traversed with the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal conduct, contact the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Brower & Associates.
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Ex-NFL Darren Sharper Charged with Sexual Assault by Los Angeles Prosecutors

Former VFL star Darren Sharper, 38, was charged Friday by Los Angeles prosecutors with drugging and sexually assaulting two women. Prosecutors said he's also under investigatin for allegedly attacking at least five other women in three other states.

Sharper is charged with seven rape and drug counts involving four women he allegedly met at a West Hollywood nightclub.

Court documents laid out a series of allegations against the five-time Pro Bowl selection. According to the court documents, Sharper would meet the women, oftentimes at a nightclub, and would then take them back to his hotel room or another location. Once there, Sharper allegedly gave them alcohol and the women would be rendered unconscious.

According to the report, some of the women allegedly awoke later to find Sharper assaulting them or a friend. Authorities said Sharper's DNA was found on one of the women during her medical exam.

Court documents revealed additional allegations in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Tempe, Arizona, that are all still under investigation.  In an unrelated incident stemming in New Orleans, a woman said she met Sharpe in Septemeber where she allegedly took a drink from him and woke up later to find him sexually assaulting her.

The former New Orleans Saints safety did not enter a plea when he appeared in court, and remains free on $200,000 bail. He has been ordered to surrender his passport, and to remain in Los Angeles, but to avoid the nightclub where he met four of his alleged victims. Sharper has played for the Green BAy Packer, Minnesota Vikings, and most recently worked as an analyst for the NFL Network. Sharper has been suspended without pay after his arrest.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, call an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight your charges and/or reduce your sentence. Call Brower & Associates, the Orange County criminal defense attorneys who will fight for your rights!
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Fontana Woman Suspected of Drunk Driving Kills Six

Driving under the influence can hold severe consequences such a large fines, suspension of your driver's license, and even jail time. However, if you're involved in an accident, driving under the influence can sometimes result in manslaughter or murder charges. 

This is the realty for 21-year-old, Fontana woman, Olivia Carolee Culbreath. Culbreath was allegedy driving a red Chevrolet Camaro the wrong direction on the 60 Freeway in Diamond bar on February 9, when she smashed into a Ford Explorer. She was charged Thursday with multiple counts of murder in connection with the accident, which killed six people.

Witnesses say Culbreath's car may have been traveling upwards of 100 MPH heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway when it collided head on with the Ford Explorer. 

At 17, Culbreath was convicted of drunk driving, according to the official at the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Bernardino County. 

Even hospitalized, Culbreath remains in custody in lieu of $6-million bail. Authorities have confirmed they found evidence suggesting that Culbreath was under the influence at the time of the accident, but thus far no charges have been filed. 

If convicted of the murder charges, Culbreath faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

Driving under the influence is both a criminal and a civil matter. If you or a loved one is accused of driving under the influence, call Brower & Associates to handle you case. The Law Offices of Brower & Associates applies an aggressive defense of individuals, resulting in a high success rate.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Case Continues Against Alleged Murders of Kim Pham in Santa Ana

 In January, we wrote about a case where a young woman, Kim Pham, was allegedly killed outside of a Santa Ana nightclub, and that two women were being charged in connection with the fatal beating. New information has arisen regarding the incident, and the trial continues. This is an update as to the case. 

The accused in this case, Vanesa Tapia Zavala and Candace Marie Brito, assert that it was Pham who threw the first punch. Prosecutors argue that escalated the situation into a homicide by punching and then kicking Pham into unconsciousness, ultimately causing her death. 

Today's preliminary hearing brought out further information about a third woman beating Pham and new cell phone evidence. Conflicting testimony has arisen as to whether who initiated the fight. One witness asserts that Pham began swearing and was restrained by friends. This account differs dramatically, from the account of Pham's friends, who say she was assaulted without provocation. 

This case has garnered enormous attention throughout its development, in part because initial reports said that dozens of bystanders watched the scene unfold and did nothing to help Kim Pham and, in part, because in an unexpected turn a detective revealed Monday that she had gone undercover, posing as an inmate to try to coax Zavala into talking, even though she had asserted her right to silence and requested an attorney. The judge stopped the detective from testifying and excused her. 

The case is developing as new information is being released and new witnesses are stepping forward. 

Charges of violent crimes such a murder, assault, and battery should be taken seriously, and traversed with the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal conduct, contact the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Brower & Associates.

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