Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No ruling yet on Santana, Vasquez

by Tom Nadeau

At the last formal Yuba County Superior Court hearing in early June on the epic ethics case, People v. Santana, Vasquez, Judge John Darlington said he would probably rule within a few weeks whether he would dismiss it, or let it go to trial.

But here it is late July and the retired Nevada County judge has uttered nary a word on his decision on the motion he took under advisement in the first week in June.

The parties haven't said much, either.

“We have not yet received a ruling from Judge Darlington,” defendant Jesse Santana confirmed Monday.

Back in June, Darlington declined to give a date-certain deadline for his ruling, but he did set a hearing on the motion for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 8.

Yuba-Sutter attorneys Santana and David Vasquez were indicted by the Yuba County grand jury two years ago, based on evidence District Attorney Patrick McGrath presented alleging that the two lawyers had acted unethically in negotiating a financial settlement between tow truck operator Joseph Griesa and an underage female employee – “SA” – who claimed he had allegedly harassed her sexually.

The main charge is bribery ... Read more »

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leary fraud trial to start Sept. 8

by Tom Nadeau

The trial of former Elk Grove City Council member Michael Leary, charged with legal wrong-doing in a property transfer deal, will start Sept. 8, a Sacramento County judge ordered Tuesday.

Judge Gary Ransom also set one final trial readiness hearing for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

Leary, 49, is charged with four felony counts arising from a challenged 2006 transfer of title for a $610,000 residence at 3301 Marina Cove Circle, Elk Grove.

The alleged victim in the disputed deal was Leary’s former live-in girlfriend, Alyc K. Maselli. The charges against Leary include grand theft and forgery.

Leary has pleaded innocent to all charges in the matter of People v. Leary, #09F07685. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 12 years in state prison and fined some $75,000. He remains free on bail pending trial.

Many documents, week-long trial ... Read more »

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Schatz trial set; no word on venue change

by Tom Nadeau

There is no word yet on whether an alleged child killer couple will try to move their scheduled November trial out of Butte to another California county – possibly Yuba, Sutter or Tehama – due to intense local publicity.

Kevin Paul Schatz and Elizabeth Hazel Schatz of Paradise were arraigned June 24 on a charge of murder in connection with the Feb. 6 death of a 7-year-old adopted daughter.

The girl died from injuries the Schatzes allegedly inflicted after she mispronounced a word. The pair also faces separate criminal allegations of torturing another adopted girl, aged 11, causing great bodily harm.

Both defendants have pleaded innocent to all charges. If convicted, they both face life terms in state prison. Their case file numbers are #CM032008 for Elizabeth and #CM032009 for Kevin.

Their case has drawn keen media interest, ranging from CBS television news and local newspapers to a slew of religion-related Internet blogs.

Grim details ... Read more »