On August 20, six people were injured and one killed as the result of a crash that took place in Coronado. According to reports, two of the injured victims were children. The accident occurred on Silver Strand State Highway after a Jeep crossed the center line near Pomona Avenue, crashing into two vehicles driving in a southbound direction. One of those involved died at the scene before first responders arrived.

News reports claim police believe alcohol was a factor in the deadly crash. The driver of the Jeep who crossed the center line was said to be in critical condition at an area hospital at the time of reports.

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a serious offense in California. However, when someone operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes a wreck in which someone sustains injuries or loses his or her life, the situation becomes far more serious. In this case, an individual may be charged with DUI causing injury according to California Vehicle Code 23153 VC. The prosecutor may charge this offense as a misdemeanor or felony; felony charges leave those found guilty facing harsher punishment.

Many people are curious about a commutation of sentence, and what it actually means. Basically, there is no impact on whether a defendant is guilty; it is simply a reduction in the sentence given a defendant by the governor of the state. A type of clemency, a state’s governor may reduce a defendant’s sentence, for example from 20 years to 10 years, however the governor must receive a recommendation from the state parole board before he or she can grant a commutation of sentence.

When the imprisonment is the result of a federal conviction, the only person who may commute the sentence is the President.

In addition to a reduced prison term, a commutation of sentence may also result in court-ordered fines being reduced.

Lawsuits involving potentially dangerous or defective drugs are extremely common today. One example that’s been in the news recently is Risperdal, a drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson for the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and the irritability that can result in those with autism.

Countless lawsuits have been filed against the pharmaceutical giant in recent months after young male patients taking Risperdal have reportedly developed female breasts, according to an article at Bloomberg.  In fact, last year Johnson & Johnson had to pay $70 million in damages after a Philadelphia jury sided with a teen from Tennessee, the largest amount ever awarded in a case involving Risperdal.

Earlier this month there were some 18,500 pending lawsuits across the U.S. and Canada involving injury from taking the drug, a condition known as gynecomastia (breast growth in males) against J & J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, its subsidiary. The majority of the cases at that time were filed in Missouri, Pennsylvania, and California however other claims were still pending in numerous courts in both countries. While Johnson & Johnson faced many lawsuits in 2016 involving pelvic mesh, talcum powder, and hip implants, cases involving Risperdal and gynecomastia continue to evolve.

Just over a week ago, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted a sad Thanksgiving message reminding voters that thanks to immigration policies in the U.S., not all families get to spend Thanksgiving together. Sanders had just released an immigration plan two days prior to the tweet, which calls for policies that reform detention programs and deportation, welcome immigrants into our country, and provide a “legislative roadmap to citizenship” for immigrants. According to the article at Bustle.com, there are currently 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Sanders’ plan supports uniting families instead of tearing them apart. According to his website, Sanders believes we are a nation of immigrants. As the son of an immigrant, Sanders’ father came to the U.S. from Poland, completely broke. Sanders says that his family’s story is an example of the story of America, one in which families come to the U.S. to work hard and provide a better future and freedom for their children. In his plan, Sanders wants to bring back undocumented immigrants who have been deported if they have immediate family living in the country; this is according to USA Today.

Sanders’ plan includes six specific reforms designed to assist immigrants, which some have called radical. Among these reforms Sanders wants to respect local communities while making certain our border remains secure, dismantle detention centers and deportation programs which he calls “inhumane,” help the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. obtain citizenship via a fair and swift legislative roadmap, and reverse the criminalization of immigrants while making access to justice easier.

On Wednesday November 18, a 29-year-old Downey police officer was shot to death while sitting in his own car. According to news reports at Fox News, Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Galvez, a former Marine, was in plain clothes and sitting in his own vehicle when two men ran up and opened fire on Galvez.

News reports state that in all, three attackers were arrested within hours of the shooting, which authorities believe occurred as the result of a botched robbery. The three attackers were 16, 18, and 21 and were reportedly on the lookout for someone to rob when they saw the officer sitting in his car.

Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. said that Galvez had just ended his shift when the attack happened, and that he believed the attackers did not know he was a police officer when they attempted to rob him. Corina did not believe Galvez saw the young men coming toward him. The gunshots were heard by another officer who chased the suspects as they fled into Montebello. SWAT officers swept surrounding neighborhoods in their attempt to capture the three men; the getaway driver was arrested a short time later, and a gun found that was believed to be the one used in the shooting.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving in a reckless manner can leave you facing criminal charges at any time of year, however the odds greatly increase on a holiday such as Halloween. While Halloween is a fun time for not only children and teen but grown adults who often attend parties, safety should be top priority.

There will be many more pedestrians out and about on the streets of Los Angeles as kids go trick-or-treating, which means the risks of an accident increase. Children and teens often don’t pay a lot of attention to their surroundings, and some costumes are difficult to see after dark. A child may dart out from between parked cars on the side of the roadway. It is vital to pay strict attention to the roads, and to avoid any type of distraction whether by a cell phone, eating, or even engaging in conversation with passengers. Most important of all, do not get out on the roadways if you’ve been drinking! The last thing you want to face is a DUI charge, or even worse – an accident that injures someone as a result of impaired driving.

What if you’re attending an adult Halloween party where alcohol will be served? There are lots of options other than getting behind the wheel. If you intend to partake of alcoholic beverages, be sure you have a designated driver. If this isn’t possible, call a taxi to take you home, or spend the night at the host’s home or a nearby hotel that’s within walking distance. Call a friend to come pick you up. There is absolutely no reason to be driving after you’ve had a few drinks, so make plans ahead of time.

Over the Labor Day weekend, Riverside police began searching for a man after a six-year-old girl claimed she was sexually assaulted by the man, whom she let into the home. According to one news report at ABC 7, police were called to a home near an elementary school in the 5400 block of Picker Street at approximately 6:30 a.m. on September 6th.

The girl’s mother said that the man came up to her daughter’s window and woke her up, telling the girl he had a surprise for her mother, whose birthday is this month. The girl told her mother that once she let the man inside the house, he touched her. The girl was told by the man to change her clothes, at which point he began touching her over the clothing according to the girl. News reports say the man fled the home quickly when the girl began to panic.

A news report at KTLA 5 stated the girl got away from the suspect and was trying to go notify her parents when the man left and fled in a pickup truck. The little girl said she did not know the man, however she described him to a sketch artist as having a thin build, dark hair, and in his late 50’s. He is thought to be about 5′ 7″ tall, and may be Hispanic as the victim said he had an accent. She also described his left eye as being “droopy.”

On Friday July 10, Long Beach Police Dept. detectives arrested a man in connection with the July 4th murder of 38-year-old Allen Estes who was found stabbed to death at Anaheim Street and Dawson Avenue. According to news sources, 24-year-old Norman Matthew Perdon, Estes’ former roommate, is accused of the killing. He is now facing murder and weapons charges.

Authorities say Perdon fatally stabbed Estes during an argument, and that a dispute had been ongoing that stemmed from the time they spent as roommates. Estes was reportedly stabbed in the early morning hours and was found by police near the intersection at approximately 5:30 a.m., where he succumbed to his injuries. News reports did not reveal details of the ongoing dispute between the two men.

At last report, Perdon was being held in the Long Beach jail on more than $1 million bail.

On Tuesday, June 16, 53-year-old Anthony Glen Gorospe was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading no contest to one charge of attempted murder and two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, according to a news article at the Press-Telegram.

Gorospe, a resident of North Long Beach, allegedly fired at the city code enforcement inspector from inside the door at his residence, resulting in the loss of sight in the inspector’s left eye during a standoff that lasted nearly seven hours. The incident occurred in July of 2012 when the city inspector and a cleaning crew arrived at his home to begin cleanup after Gorospe had received numerous code violations. Gorospe held police and the inspector at bay for hours, and reportedly shouted at officers asking them to kill him during the standoff while he barricaded himself inside his home.

Gorospe was a reported hoarder, neighbors claiming that some of the rooms inside his home was filled with debris from the floor to the ceiling. However, many neighbors reported that Gorospe was a friendly man, and that he was kind to children. Some appeared in court to request that instead of prison, Gorospe be given psychiatric help. Brett Bush, the victim who was shot in the eye, stated to news reporters that he and the officers were only there because neighbors had asked them to come out. Bush said that at the time, he didn’t know if he would live or die.

Recently, James Bascue, a retired judge who left the LA Superior Court bench eight years ago, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer following a standoff in the Sawtelle community, according to a news article at the Daily News.

Los Angeles Police Dept. spokeswoman Officer Liliana Preciado said Bascue was being held on $100,000 bail at the time of reports. Police were called by the judge, who is now 75 years old, on Thursday to a townhouse located in the 1900 block of South Barrington Avenue; Bascue claimed he was a hostage at the townhouse, where police found him sitting on a couch armed with two guns upon looking through a window of the home. When police attempted to make contact with Bascue, he allegedly began loading a gun and magazines, firing a shot toward officers through the window, as well as a shot inside the home. Preciado confirmed that no one was hurt during the incident.

SWAT officers were called to the scene, however Bascue eventually walked out of the townhouse after calling a neighbor, who convinced him to come out. No others were inside the townhouse and no other suspects found.