A young Florida man was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2007 slaying of former Washington Redskins’ player Sean Taylor. Eric Rivera, Junior, who is now 23 years old, was convicted on both murder charges and armed burglary charges after a jury in Miami deliberated for 16 hours over four days. Rivera, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, had been facing first-degree murder charges after confessing in a video-taped session with local police that he had fired the shot that killed Taylor after kicking in the door to the professional football player’s bedroom. Rivera later claimed that his confession had only been given to police under coercion and with the threat of danger to his own family. Rivera also claimed while testifying on the witness stand in his own defense that it was another defendant in the case who brought the weapon and fired the shot that killed Taylor. Rivera also claimed to have had no prior knowledge of the burglary attempt that was to be made on the night in question until he was in a car with the rest of the defendants. On November 24, 2007, Rivera and four other men broke into Taylor’s Miami-area home hoping to find large quantities of cash that Taylor was reputed to leave around his home. According to statements from all five defendants, they expected the house to be empty as Taylor’s team was scheduled to play a football game out of town. However, Taylor was home at the time because of an injury. Taylor confronted the group of young men with a machete just outside his bedroom door and was shot in the thigh. The wound opened the femoral artery in Taylor’s thigh and he essentially bled to death before he arrived at a local hospital. Taylor’s then-girlfriend Jackie Garcia-Haley and the couple’s 18-month old daughter were home with Taylor at the time of the incident. Neither were hurt. Taylor, who had been selected to play in the Pro-Bowl twice, was just 24 years old when he died. According to police reports, the exact murder weapon was never found. Investigators believe that the 9mm handgun used in the shooting was stuffed into a sock and thrown into the Everglades. The plan to burglarize Taylor’s home was hatched several weeks before the shooting when several of the defendants were at a birthday party for Taylor’s half-sister, Sasha Johnson. Johnson, who lived in Fort Myers and was an acquaintance of Rivera’s, was given a purse containing $10,000 in cash by her brother, which she opened in full view of everyone at the party. Rivera testified that some of the group members expected to find between $100,000 and $200,000 in Taylor’s home the night of the burglary.
Tagged as: armed robbery, burglary, Murder
A Maine man has pleaded not guilty to several counts of burglary after reportedly stealing from campers and nearby homes in order to survive in the wilderness just outside of Rome, Maine. Christopher Knight, who is 47 years old, told police that he left his childhood home at the age of 19 and walked into the Maine wilderness, where he has survived alone ever since. Knight admitted to investigators that he lived off of food and supplies that he stole in hundreds of robberies over the years. When police arrested him in April, they claimed he had stolen food and supplies from a nearby summer camp for the disabled. At the time of his arrest, police found his backpack full of bacon, marshmallows and Sweet Tarts candy. Local police have attributed as many as 1,000 robberies to him and say he has stolen a variety of things besides food that included electrical tape, flashlights, propane and even video games. After his arrest, police searched the woods and found his campsite, which they say was stocked with a tent, sleeping bags and even a cook stove. The camp was hidden in a crevice among boulders on a hillside of evergreen trees less than half a mile from the nearest house. Knight made a court appearance earlier today where he pleaded not guilty to seven counts of burglary and six counts of theft, in spite of admitting to investigators in the case that he had, indeed, stolen a variety of items over the last couple of decades. Knight and his defense attorney are hoping to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors in the case that would allow him to avoid more jail time as he has been in police custody since April. His attorney has also ordered an evaluation from Maine’s Pre-Trial services in order to work on a plan for reintegrating Knight back into society when he is eventually released from custody. Knight is currently being held on $25,000 bail. If a plea agreement cannot be reached, Knight’s trial is scheduled to start on October 8 and jury selection would have to begin later this week. Since his arrest, Knight has become a media sensation. The public has been fascinated by him and several offers have been made to him to tell his story. The attention he has garnered since his arrest has earned him not only a proposal of marriage, but an offer to pay his bail from an anonymous stranger. The presiding judge in Knight’s case has since made stipulations that no third party would be allowed to pay Knight’s bail for him.
Tagged as: burglary, theft
Los Angeles police discovered a petty theft ring that stole bicycles. Undercover detectives in exposed this Los Angeles theft ring after they met a man in Santa Monica to buy a bicycle that he had posted on Craigslist the same day the bike's true owner had reported it stolen off Olympic Blvd in Downtown L.A.
This crime was fairly obvious because the particular bicycle that tipped police off was unique, a Sirrus bicycle which retails for about $600. When authorities went to meet the man, he pulled a bicycle out of his Mercedes' trunk, and when his accomplice came into the Motel Room sting operation, they saw he had bolt cutters and many other bicycles. This sting also uncovered several counterfeit bills, a computer and a printer for making counterfeit bills.
Theft crime penalties can be serious, even for misdemeanors. It can lead to imprisonment, large fines, restitution, community service, probation and/or parole if the defendant is found guilty. Normally these crimes range from such petty theft crimes as stealing some food from a grocery store to more severe felonies such as grand larceny.
In this particular crime, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will have a number of challenges. While stealing one bicycle might be petty theft, stealing multiple bicycles could lead to a felony theft charge. That, plus the counterfeit charge is a federal charge, meaning the entire crime could be charged in federal court.
A theft crime requires the skill of an experienced Los Angeles criminal attorney. If you want to avoid jail time and prison, you should contact the law offices of Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin.
Tagged as: burglary, theft
Serious burglary crimes can carry years of jail time, heavy fines and even financial restitution, which is why anyone charged with such a crime needs a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with a track record of success. A recent burglary case involved a specific set of stores.
The Orange County district attorney’s office has charged three people with burglary and grand theft in association with 28 cases which they believe are tied to a Los Angeles-area crime ring that allegedly targeted Apple Store customers through Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Those charged are said to have allegedly followed Apple Store customers that were thought to have computers that they would leave unattended in vehicles after leaving the stores. Once the customers left their cars unattended, that’s when the alleged burglars would make their moves. Manhattan Beach Police are also looking into 15 cases that are tied to the Village Mall Apple Store in Los Angeles. Authorities suspect that the crime ring is involved with these and other cases throughout Southern California.
Burglary and grand theft charges in California are serious and can carry lengthy jail sentences in county or state prisons. These two offenses can either be considered misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value or type of property that is stolen. There are, however, several defenses that can be used when facing a burglary and/or grand theft charges that can result in reduced or dropped sentences. Some of the most common defenses against grand theft charges include; consent, property, lack of intent and claim of right. A skilled and professional Los Angeles criminal defense team can maneuver through the court system in order to reduce your sentencing or have your charges dropped with an effective defense strategy.
The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP can help develop a defense strategy that can be beneficial to you. If you have been charged with a burglary or grand theft, contact us immediately. We will aggressively fight on your behalf to make sure that you are given a fair trial in court and help avoid the consequences of a felony on your record and possible jail time. Our firm is recognized as one of the leading firms in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Judicial Districts so you can have complete confidence in the services that we provide, contact us immediately.
Tagged as: burglary, theft
Los Angeles burglary defense attorneys work tirelessly to defend people who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. At Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, our defense attorneys have a long track record of successfully defending burglary charges in Los Angeles area courts.
Recently, the Los Angeles Police Department has arrested six people in connection with the burglary of the homes of several high-profile actors and actresses. Video surveillance footage from the homes of actresses Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge led to the arrest of four teenage girls, one teenage boy, and a 27 year-old man. Rachel Lee, Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames, Alexis Neiers and Nicholas Frank Prugo are all between the ages of 18 and 19 and most were classmates at Indian Hills High School in Agoura. Police allege that the girls targeted famous people that they had seen on television, watching appearances of them before deciding which items they wanted and which homes they would break into. They would then track the celebrity’s movements and schedules through paparazzi photos and news of upcoming appearances. The group would pick a time to break into the celebrity’s home when they were scheduled to be either out of town or at an event. According to police, the group usually focused on jewelry and clothing.
For the most part, Tamayo, Ames, Neiers and Prugo kept the items they had stolen, but Ray Lopez, a 27 year-old bar tender, is accused of helping them sell some of the stolen goods. Los Angeles police reported that the burglaries took place between October of 2008 and September of this year at the homes of Lohan and Patridge, actresses Paris Hilton and Rachel Bilson and actor Orlando Bloom. While the four girls were arrested last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney has yet to file formal charges against them.
A burglary is a criminal offense taken very seriously in Los Angeles. Because burglary combines theft and the illegal entering of another person’s home, it is generally considered a felony criminal offense and is often punished with several years in jail. Certain burglary offenses are also often considered a “Strike" under California’s “Three Strikes" laws, entitling the defendant to harsher punishments with each felony conviction and possible life in prison after the conviction of a third eligible felony criminal offense. There are, however, different kinds of burglary, some more serious than others. First Degree Burglary is the illegal entering of a private residence (or attached rooms) with the intention of stealing something. First Degree Burglary also refers to the illegal entering of a boat, aircraft, trailer, warehouse or railroad car and is punishable by anywhere from two to six years in a state prison. Second Degree Burglary, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense, generally pertains to the illegal entrance of businesses and cars, or any place not covered in First Degree Burglary. It is most often the charge in shoplifting crimes. In the case of First Degree Burglary, the theft of property from the building does not actually need to have occurred. All the prosecution has to prove is that the defendant intended to steal something.
If you have been charged with a burglary, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Our attorneys have a combined five decades of courtroom experience in defending against burglary charges and we will fight for you.
Tagged as: burglary, los angeles burglary defense attorney
Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin LLP has been recognized as one of the best U.S. law firms, based on the experience, professionalism, and ethics of its criminal defense lawyers and attorneys. We aggressively defend clients in all Southern California courtrooms on state and federal charges, including DUI, DMV, misdemeanor, felony, juvenile cases, in the following communities and courthouses.