John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in clinical trial advocacy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
Former Fresno police Deputy Chief Keith Foster’s trial on federal drug conspiracy charges has been set for May 9, 2017 – more than two years after he and a handful of others were arrested.
Foster and the other defendants were in federal court in Fresno on Monday. They will be due in court again on Sept. 19 for a status hearing. Foster was Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer’s second-in-command, and many believed he would one day succeed Dyer. He resigned shortly after his arrest last year.
ad more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article84910867.html#storylink=cpy
The Fresno Bee covers the federal civil rights trial over the shooting death of Veronica Lynn Canter by two Fresno police officers. According to Bee reporter Pablo Lopez's twitter feed (@beecourts), the jury went out to deliberate at 2:35 p.m. on the question whether the two officers used excessive force during their confrontation with Ms. Canter.
"A Fresno federal jury found Humberto Bucio Delgado, 41, of Mexico, guilty of possession of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute the drug June 8 after a two-day trial." Fresno Bee, 6/10/16 Case No. 1:14-cr-271-LJO.
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article83061022.html#storylink=cpy
The tragic case of a suicidal Marine Corps veteran who called 911 and asked police to kill him ended Thursday when a federal civil-rights jury ruled that three Sanger police officers with assault rifles did not use excessive force – nor were they negligent – when they riddled his body with bullets in June 2012.
The jury’s verdict in U.S District Court in Fresno was a dramatic ending to a trial that gave a rare glimpse into an officer-involved shooting: A bystander videotaped it as it unfolded. The officers didn’t know about the videotape when they gave their account of the incident to Fresno County sheriff’s investigators.
The 12-second video shows five officers facing Salinas, who was unarmed and standing in a flower bed. The officers had formed a skirmish line, a police tactic in which officers stand side by side.
Officer Robert Pulkownik shot Salinas twice with a shotgun that fires beanbags. Simultaneously, Sgt. Jason Boust and officers Angela Yambupah and Preston Little fired 22 rounds at Salinas with assault rifles, striking him 11 times as he left the flower bed outside a business on Academy Avenue.
The officers were 10 to 15 feet from Salinas before they opened fire. Fresno County sheriff’s Sgt. Joshua McCahill, who assisted on the call, pointed a handgun at Salinas but did not fire his weapon.
The video wasn’t enough to sway the jury of five men and three women, who voted unanimously to find the officers had done nothing wrong.
Today was Day 9 in the Fresno excessive force civil rights jury trial, Esperanza Brooke v. City of Sanger, No. 1:13-CV-586-AWI. The Bee's Pablo Lopez described the trial before Judge Ishii as determining "whether the three [Sanger] officers were justified in killing 46-year-old Charles “Charlie” Salinas, a Marine Corps veteran with a history of alcoholism, mental illness and a desire to die." Here are links to his coverage of trial Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5.
Today, a Fresno jury found a defendant guilty of one count of enticement of a minor in United States v. Torres, No. 1:13-CR-390-AWI. On Monday, a Fresno jury found a former Fresno National Guard Recruiter guilty of wire fraud in a scheme to obtain bonuses in United States v. Cuenca, No. 1:14-CR-106-DAD.
On Tuesday, E.D. Wash. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian found a Fresno man guilty of filing false liens on federal bankruptcy judges after a 1-day bench trial in U.S. v. Halajian, No. 1:14-CR-208-SAB. Judge Bastian heard the case after all judges in the EDCA were recused.
After a 5-day trial, a Sacramento jury found a Redding man guilty of marijuana cultivation and distribution offenses and money laundering. U.S. v. Kash, No. 2:12-CR-330-KJM.
I try to note all EDCA verdicts so let me know of any I miss.
On Tuesday, a jury found four defendants guilty in a Fresno tax refund fraud scheme after a 3 1/2 week trial before Judge Ishii, No. 1:13-CR-362-AWI. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a fifth defendant. In Sacramento, another jury found two defendants guilty in a mortgage fraud case before Judge Shubb. No. 2:12-CR-328-WBS.