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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Suspects Charged in Downey Police Shooting

(Photo Credit: KTLA Channel 5 News)
Last week, Downey Police Officer Ricardo Galvez was shot to death while sitting in his car in the Downey Police Department parking lot. Galvez was 29-years-old and a five-year veteran of the Downey police force.

Two days later, the first of three individuals believed to be involved in the murder, Abel Diaz (16), was arraigned and formally charged with one count of murder. The other two suspects—Steven Knott (18) and Jeremy Alvarez (21)—are expected to be arraigned on murder charges this coming Monday.

Initial reports indicate that the three suspects intended to rob Galvez, who reportedly was not in uniform or carrying his firearm at the time of the incident. However, multiple shots were allegedly fired from close range, killing Galvez.

After collecting evidence from the crime scene, reviewing video evidence of the incident, and receiving statements from the suspects, the police charged Diaz, Knott, and Alvarez with murder. 

Diaz is currently being held on $1 million bail. Knott’s and Alvarez’s bail will be determined at their arraignment next week.

It is unclear what role Diaz, Knott or Alvarez allegedly played individually in the shooting. More information and details will be disclosed as the investigation continues.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orange County California. With over three decades of experience, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with all types of crimes, including murder.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

California Death Penalty Lives On

This past week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal judge’s ruling that determined California’s death penalty system violated the Constitution.
In a unanimous decision, the federal court of appeals overturned U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney’s ruling from July 2014 that concluded the state’s death penalty procedures were arbitrary and unconstitutionally implemented.
Judge Carney concluded that the delay in executions between one prisoner and another created an arbitrary process in which it was unclear when or if a prisoner would be executed, or in any particular order.
Thus, Judge Carney found that California’s death penalty regime violated the Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled against the prisoner on appeal because of technical issues related to the procedure of the case. Consequently, the Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Carney improperly decided the matter and reversed his 2014 decision.
While the Court of Appeals noted that California’s death penalty system is considered dysfunctional and defined by extraordinary delays, the Court was unable to address these underlying issues because they raised new constitutional arguments that hadn’t been made at the lower court, a procedural violation.
As a result, the death penalty remains in effect in California. It is estimated that approximately 750 inmates are currently on death row in California.
Legal challenges against the death penalty in California will doubtless continue.
Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney based in Orange County, California. His practice of criminal law is extensive and includes representing persons charged with the most serious of crimes.
If you have concerns about a criminal law matter, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower may be reached at 714-997-4400.

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Former Voice of Charlie Brown Pleads Guilty

Peter Robbins, a child actor who provided the voice of Charlie Brown for several episodes in the 1960s, pleaded guilty last week to criminal charges in San Diego County.

Mr. Robbins, 59, was accused of making criminal threats against the San Diego County sheriff from his jail cell. Mr. Robbins was already in jail since February 2015 for violating the terms of his probation after being convicted for threatening an ex-girlfriend and stalking another individual. 

Prosecutors contended that Mr. Robbins wrote numerous letters that solicited assistance in killing the San Diego County Sheriff, William Gore, including one alleged offer of $50,000 for the act. Mr. Robbins has also expressed contempt for the judges overseeing his case, including Judge Robert O’Neill.

Mr. Robbins asserted that he is mentally ill and attributes his actions to his bipolar disorder. “I’m mentally ill….I’ve committed no crime,” Mr. Robbins said.

A sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for December 7. Mr. Robbins is expected to be sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

Issues related to mental illness do not arise infrequently in the criminal law. It is important to have a criminal defense attorney who understands how mental health issues impact not only a case, but a client’s life.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who practices in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented people charged with a range of crimes.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower today at 714-997-4400.

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Long Federal Investigation Results in Guilty Plea

A former West Hills resident who was on the run from the federal government for the past four years pleaded guilty to federal charges relating to his illegal importation of unique fish.

Isaac Zimmerman, 66, was indicted on 13 counts stemming from his importing and exporting of a protected South American air-breathing fresh known as Arapaima gigas.

The government alleged that Mr. Zimmerman--individually and/or through his company, River Wonders LLC--illegally imported the fish from Mexico and then sold and shipped them to multiple states.

The indictments further alleged that Mr. Zimmerman engaged in the falsification of documents, obstructed justice, made false statements, and violated the terms of his pretrial release by continuing his importation of the fish after his arrest.

Mr. Zimmerman, an American citizen, was extradited from Mexico to California in September after federal agents had been following Mr. Zimmerman’s international trail for over four years.

Though Mr. Zimmerman plead guilty, he will not be sentenced until February 2016. Mr. Zimmerman’s attorney was able to secure his client’s release on bond until the February sentencing hearing.

If convicted, Mr. Zimmerman faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Orange County, California. The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower handles federal criminal defense matters.

If you or someone you know is charged with a federal crime or receives notice that you are being investigated for a federal offense, contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

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