Tag Archives: entertainment

Mother gets 15 years to life for killing, dumping newborn

Article Tab: valencia-booking-juana-muSANTA ANA – She was the baby with no name, a child who an Orange County jury found was killed by her mother immediately after a secret birth.

For two years, the body of the girl born at 6.3 pounds, 17 inches, sat in a morgue. And, for almost as long, Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh hung her picture among other photographs of victims at his office from cases he has prosecuted.

He also gave baby Jane Doe a name: Precious.

“There are cases that test your view of humanity and nothing comes close to this case,” the longtime prosecutor told Superior Court Judge Carla Singer on Friday during the sentencing of Juana Perez Valencia, 21, who wept as he spoke.

“It killed me that the only person who was thinking about (the baby) was me. This defendant never had any thoughts about this victim. I hope the day will come when she comes to terms with this,” Baytieh said.

On Friday, Singer sentenced Valencia to 15 years to life in state prison for the murder of her daughter. She said Valencia knew she was pregnant, several people offered to help with the pregnancy, and she knew about the resources available to deal with it.

“I still don’t know how this could have happened,” Singer told Valencia. “It was obvious to everyone, including your sister, that you were pregnant.”

An Orange County jury in September found the Anaheim woman guilty of second-degree murder for suffocating the newborn and discarding her in a restaurant trash bin shortly after birth. The jury also convicted Valencia of felony assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death, a charge that Singer set aside Friday, saying it was in the interest of justice.

“Even though (the baby) lived for a short period of time, she suffered immeasurable harm” at the hands of someone who was instinctively supposed to protect and nurture her, Baytieh told Singer. Valencia “held the baby in her arms and she murdered the baby. She deserved better.”

On Dec. 22, 2009, Valencia, 19 at the time, gave birth to the baby girl in a restroom at Sombrero’s, a Mexican restaurant in Stanton, where she worked as a food server.

Her defense attorney described Valencia as a “naive, inexperienced girl,” contending that she inadvertently suffocated the newborn while giving birth to her unassisted, not afterward.

“Humans are imperfect and sometimes we’re going to have imperfect results,” attorney Calvin Schneider told the judge at sentencing.

“So I am seeking justice in the sentence,” he said, asking for probation for Valencia. She apologized to the judge.

“I’d like to say I feel very bad and for you to forgive me for what I did,” the woman said through a Spanish-language interpreter. “I am sorry for everything.”



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situtation.


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COLORADO: Accused gunman charged

In this courtroom sketch, suspect James Holmes, third from right, sits in district court Monday, July 30, 2012, in Centennial, Colo., during his arraignment where he was formally charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the shooting rampage at an Aurora movie theater, on July 20. From left are: Prosecutors Karen Pearson and Richard Orman; District Judge William Blair Sylvester; suspect James Holmes; and defense attorneys Daniel King and Tamara Brady.

Accused Colorado gunman and former UC Riverside grad James Holmes made his second court appearance this morning, where he was charged with 142 counts – including 24 counts of first degree murder. Read more about it on the PE Crime Blotter blog.




If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situtation.


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LAKE ELSINORE: Suspect shot by police, chase ensues


Lake Elsinore police shot a man early Tuesday morning when they confronted a suspicious suspect.

Residents reports the person in the area of the 18200 block of Collier Avenue in Lake Elsinore about 5:30 a.m. When police arrived, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies confronted the man, leading to the shooting. Sheriff’s officials did not say what prompted the deputies to shoot.

A chase ensued after the shooting, which ended in the 2500 block of Spring Street.

The suspect has not been identified and his condition is unknown.



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situtation.


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Actor’s death eerily similar to film role

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In the true-life movie about a high school teacher who made a difference in the lives of her students living in a gang-infested neighborhood, a character narrowly escaped death in a gang shooting.

But in real life, the actor who played that character died in the arms of his friends after he was shot in an eerily similar act of gang violence.

Erin Gruwell, the idealistic teacher who inspired the movie, remains involved in the fight against gang violence: She was in the courtroom Friday offering support to the family of the murdered actor when the last of five defendants were sentenced.

“We want to be eternally connected with this family who has endured so much and has been a pillar of strength and courage and epitome of what it means to overcome adversity,” Gruwell said.

Gruwell had bright eyes and high hopes when she walked into her high school English classroom at Long Beach Wilson for the first time in 1994.

Her idealism was tested immediately when she was confronted with students who had been written off by some within the educational system as the “unteachables,” who came from poor, uneducated and racially-divided backgrounds and who lived in neighborhoods where gang violence was a fact of life.

But Gruwell, who grew up in Newport Beach, did not give up on her kids. She managed to challenge those hardcore teenagers to reach their potential, in part by encouraging them to write about their perceptions on such topics as hatred, racial differences and tolerance in personal journals that she provided out of her own pocket.

Her dedication and persistence paid off, as all 150 “Freedom Writers” who entered her classroom as freshmen later graduated from Wilson High and entered college.

That’s the premise of a book “The Freedom Writers Diary,” written by Gruwell; an ABC documentary, and eventually the 2007 true-life movie “Freedom Writers,” which starred two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as the inspirational Gruwell. The movie grossed $43 million worldwide.

In one scene, rival gang members fired shots at one of Gruwell’s students — a character named Grant Rice – in a drive-by as he walked out of a convenience store. The shots missed their intended target, but struck and killed another young man.

Armand Jones, the actor who played Rice in the movie, was an 18-year-old Long Beach man who in real life attended Cerritos Junior College, was active in his church, worked as an intern at NBC, and was an aspiring rap artist who went by “Young Prozpect,” according to news accounts.

Rice – the character – survived his gang encounter in “Freedom Writers.”

But Jones – the actor – wasn’t so lucky.

On March 17, 2006, shortly after a celebration at the Boogie nightclub in Anaheim to mark the end of filming of “Freedom Writers,” Jones had his own encounter with gang members.

He walked into the bathroom at a nearby Denny’s Restaurant just as a group of Long Beach gang members were robbing two of his friends of jewelry, cell phones and shoes, according to police reports. Then they robbed Jones too — at the point of a gun — before running into the parking lot.

Jones followed.

He was shot once in the upper torso just as he emerged from the restaurant. He stumbled back inside, according to witnesses, where he collapsed and died. Ronnell Spencer, one of Jones’ friends who also had been celebrating at the Boogie, was shot in the head during the confrontation but survived.

Several Long Beach gang members were eventually arrested and charged with the special circumstances first-degree murder for their roles in the robbery and killing of Jones, plus several gang allegations and penalty enhancements.

Gang members Stanley Simons, Charles Michael Reynolds and Yolanda Brown were all tried by juries last year, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for their roles in the gang-motivated killing.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals gave identical sentences to co-defendants Jarrell Kelly, 23, and Nicholas Diogenes Valerio, 25, who were tried and convicted on similar charges last month.

“You are a person who deserves to be removed from society for the rest of your life, and that’s what’s going to happen,” Goethals told Kelly.

When Valerio received an identical sentence, his mother Chevelle Valerio, sobbed and ran out of the courtroom.

Sitting in the courtroom gallery watching was Gruwell, the former teacher who tried to make a difference with her students at Long Beach Wilson.

She went on to become a professor at Cal State Long Beach and is now the director of the Freedom Writers Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose aim is to provide educational resources to teachers so they can challenge and educate at-risk students.

Gruwell has not been a high school teacher for more than a dozen years, but she never stopped teaching young people how to cope with the challenges of today’s world.

She attended Friday’s sentencing to honor Jones’ family.

“As a teacher I am always looking for lessons that I can learn … I felt like their student,” she said. “I was humbled by their story.”

Gruwell met Jones’ mother, Adriane Videau, a hairstylist, for the first time in May when the sentencing hearing was delayed.

She gave Videau a signed copy of the “The Freedom Writers Diary,” after writing a note inside the book while in the courtroom:

“Dear Adriane, in the loving memory of Armand – may his legacy live on, may he be a beacon of hope and may he inspire others to write what needs to be written, tell what needs to be told, sing what needs to be sung! Lest we forget … with much love.”

“There you go sweetheart,” Gruwell said, handing Videau the book.

“Thank you,” replied Jones’ mother.

“She’s changed a lot of kids’ lives,” Videau said.

Every year, Gruwell’s foundation provides college scholarships to about a dozen students from Wilson High.

This year the group offered one to a student not from Wilson: Armand Jones’ sister, Ahlia, 17, a senior at Jordan High.

To contribute and to learn more about the foundation, visit



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situtation.


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Casey and Cindy Anthony Wear Caylee’s Ashes Around their Necks

Casey and Cindy Anthony Wear Caylee's Ashes Around their Necks | Casey AnthonyAlmost a year after her acquittal in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, Casey Anthony is living life in seclusion, rarely venturing out for fear she will be recognized. But perhaps the strangest thing about her life now is the macabre memento that Anthony, 26, keeps around her neck.

Late last year Anthony reconciled with her mother Cindy, who recently sent Casey a gift – a necklace containing Caylee’s ashes.

According to several sources close to both women, Cindy wears an identical necklace herself. “Casey told me it was the way the Anthony women would be together forever,” a friend of Casey tells PEOPLE.

Since walking out of jail on July 17, 2011, Anthony has moved around Florida, now settling in the West Palm Beach area. Spending most of her days online, Anthony has put on about 20 pounds, according to the friend.

In an interview with Piers Morgan last month, Anthony maintained that she did not kill her daughter, and that she has been misunderstood.

One person who isn’t buying it: attorney Jeff Ashton, who prosecuted the case against Casey. “I’m I’m not going to get all weepy at the thought of Casey not being able to go out and party,” he tells PEOPLE. “She brought it all upon herself, and she has to live with it – which is incidentally a luxury that Caylee will never get.”

For much more on Anthony’s strange life in hiding, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands today


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Andy Griffith Dead: Actor Dies At Age 86

Andy Griffith DeadActor Andy Griffith died on Tuesday morning in Dare County, North Carolina,reports

Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie confirmed to the website that an ambulance went to the 86-year-old’s home at 7 a.m. this morning.

Griffith’s good friend and former President of the University of North Carolina, Bill Friday, told WITN that the actor had passed away. The AP and CNN also confirmed the news. Details surrounding the actor’s cause of death have not been released at this time.

Griffith was best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show,” which ran from 1960 to 1968, and later known for his role as a criminal defense lawyer on “Matlock,” which ran from 1986 to 1995. The actor was honored with the the TV Land Legend Award in 2004, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005. Griffith was also a singer and musician, and his 1996 album “I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns” went platinum.

The television icon had been dealing with health issues for years. In 1983, Griffith was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome — a disorder that affects the nervous system.

“Guillain-Barré has left me with permanent pain in both feet, but like an unwelcome guest, it isn’t so bad when I stop paying attention to it. Challenges and pain will continue all my life, I know, but with Cindi at my side to remind me to accept God’s grace, I’ll go forward and continue to work with love and happiness,” he toldGuideposts magazine in 1996.

In May 2000, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack.

He is survived by wife Cindi and his daughter Dixie. Son Andrew Jr., known as Sam, died in 1996, reports MSNBC.


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Teen Mom Jenelle Evans And Fiance Arrested And Jailed

Teenmom“Teen Mom” star Jenelle Evans and her fiance were both arrested and jailed on Saturday, reports

The troubled mom, whose feuds with Gary Head have been a recurring feature on the show, called the police after a fight with Head, who was promptly arrested, according to her Twitter account. And she was reportedly arrested for drug possession,reports The two have now been bailed out, reports Teen Mom Talk.

Naturally, the whole drama was played out on Twitter, tossing the whole concept of TMI out the window.

Head tweeted: “F**k that crazy b*tch @PBandJenelley_1. I finally packed my sh*t and left that b*tch.”

To which, Jenelle responded: “@gary_head more like ‘she called the cops on me and I ran out of that b*tch.”

Then Head tweeted: “@PBandJenelley_1 u called the cops when I took my ring back and already ha my cloths packed,” Gary tweeted. “How you think u jumped the county so fast.”

Later, Gary’s brother, Travis Head, confirmed the saga by tweeting: “Man f**k that b*tch!!!! My bro in jail.”


If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situtation.


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