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Showing posts from October, 2009

Change of Venue Motion Granted in Mehserle Case

In the highly-publicized trial of former BART police officer accused of murdering Oakland resident Oscar Grant, the defense's motion to have the trial moved out of Alameda County has been granted. Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson ruled that the defense had shown that Johannes Mehserle could not get a fair trial in Alameda County for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant on the platform of BART's Fruitvale Station in Oakland early New Year's Day. A hearing is to be held to determine where the trial should be held. In support of his ruling, Judge Jacobson wrote that: "The incident is viewed by many as being a case about race relations between the police and minority communities . . . In essence, this case is an allegation of murder under color of law, inseparably entwined with a broad-scale political controversy."The centerpiece of the defense's argument to move the trial was a telephone survey it commissioned of 397 Alameda County residents. It found that 9…

Recent Case Holding: People v. Bleich (denial of factual innocence motion)

The dismissal of terrorist threat and stalking charges against a Southern California pharmacist did not warrant a finding of factual innocence, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.

The Court rejected Ida Bleich’s request for the finding, concluding that other evidence did not completely exonerate her, but instead provided a strong basis from which a reasonable person would believe she committed the offenses.

An employee at the CVS Pharmacy accused his supervisor (defendant Bleich) of leaving a profanity-laden message on his voicemail in the middle of the night. The recorded call apparently threatened to slit the employee’s hroat and put him in a body bag, among other things. An officer with the El Cajon Police Department made a copy of the message on a cassette-recording device, and police confronted Bleich at the pharmacy where she worked when another CVS employee—listening to the message on the cell phone—identified her as the caller and corroborated the allegations of ha…

New DA in Alameda County

Alameda County's new DA is now Nancy O'Malley, who has replaced Tom Orloff. She was his chosen successor to serve out the rest of his term, which expires in 9 months. Then, it will be up to the voters to elect a new DA.