Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Project Fighting Chance


Great day! We were able to present a $1,000 check to Project Fighting Chance on behalf of our Bureau of Investigation team who received the money at the California Peace Officer CopsWest Charity BBQ! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In The News: Three Redlands Unified schools compete in county Mock Trial semifinals

When the county’s Mock Trial competition continues, three Redlands Unified schools will be among those hoping to advance to the next round.

Redlands, Redlands East Valley and Citrus Valley join Rancho Cucamonga’s Los Osos High School in the semi-finals beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the San Bernardino Justice Center, 247 W. Third St.

Redlands and REV are powerhouses in the competition, with RHS going for its 15th county title as the defending 2016-17 champion. REV, which last won the title in 2015-16, hopes to capture its eighth, while Los Osos and Citrus Valley are in the hunt for their first wins.

Kenneth Carpenter, Citrus Valley’s mock trial teacher/coach, said his team is excited to move forward in the competition and has “strong returners” and a “passion to win.”

“That’s what’s is really impressive,” he added. “They definitely want to win, and that’s the goal. We are definitely the underdogs … and that’s what motivates us to work harder.”

Semi-finals runs for two days and will conclude Wednesday, Dec. 5. The teams heading to the finals will be announced that evening. It is guaranteed a school from RUSD will make it to the next round, but to secure their spot, Citrus Valley will have to defeat Los Osos. Meanwhile, crosstown rivals RHS and REV will compete to see which team advances.

Finals will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Foothill Law and Justice Center, 8303 Haven Ave., in Rancho Cucamonga.

The 36th annual San Bernardino County Mock Trial Competition simulates a criminal case, allowing students to act as principal courtroom characters representing both sides of the case before a real judge. This year’s case focuses on People v. Davidson, a murder case featuring a pre-trial argument on the Fourth Amendment, according to a news release.
The competition began Nov. 1 and is sponsored by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

The county winner moves on to the state finals in March.


Click here to read the story online at The Redlands Daily Facts.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Animal Cruelty Conviction


A Fontana man who beat, tortured and poured hot water on his girlfriend’s blind pit bull was convicted of 2 counts of felony animal cruelty. He faces 7 years and 4 months in state prison. This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus and the West Valley Division support staff.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Storytime at the Library!

Story Time at the San Bernardino Public Library this morning was so much fun! Dozer and Lupe were even issued their own library cards.


 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Awarded Special DUI Prosecution Grant



SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Those arrested for DUI in San Bernardino County, especially repeat offenders and those involved in fatal or injury crashes, can expect to face highly trained, specialized prosecutors, funded by a $211,883.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The grant to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office will fund a Vertical Prosecution team that will work cases from arrest through conviction and sentencing.

"I will always remember CHP Officer Ruben Rios who lost his life to a drunk driver while on duty protecting the public," said District Attorney Mike Ramos. "Officer Rios had spent so much of his time as an officer educating the community about the dangers of drinking and driving. We can’t say or do anything to bring him back, but we can carry on with the work that was near and dear to his heart. This grant will allow us the chance to add more resources to protect our citizens and ultimately hold those who decide to drink and drive responsible for their actions.”

In 2015 there were 85 deaths and 1,997 serious injuries as a result of DUI crashes in San Bernardino County. Funding from this DUI Prosecution Grant will aid the San Bernardino County Attorney’s Office in handling cases through each step of the criminal process from crash scene to sentencing, prosecuting both alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases.

Prosecution team members will work with California’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training Network to expand knowledge and resources in the office by obtaining and delivering specialized training, including the emerging problem of drug-impaired driving. Team members will share information with peers and law enforcement throughout the county and state. 

“Vertical prosecution teams working serious DUI cases get the positive results needed,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will be working to help keep the streets across San Bernardino County safe for everyone.”

While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office supports the new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

Funding for the program comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Deputy District Attorney Jack Liu is currently assigned to the unit.

Since his assignment in the Fall of 2015, DDA Liu has trained over 600 police officers regarding the investigation and enforcement of DUI/DUID cases. More recently, in an effort to combat the rise in opioid and marijuana use by drivers, DDA Liu spearheaded an effort by the District Attorney’s Office to bring Drug Recognition Expert training to the county. 

On Oct. 16, 2017, DDA Liu co-hosted the county’s first ever DRE training at the Ontario Police Department, which allowed over 40 police officers to be trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.
 
 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Meet Dozer and Lupe at the San Bernardino Public Library


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- As part of county’s ongoing Vision2Read program, K9 Dozer and K9 Lupe will participate in the San Bernardino Public Library’s upcoming story time.

Lupe and Dozer are both black Labrador Retrievers who were selected as district attorney facility dogs based upon their temperament and interaction with children. Both dogs went through extensive training at the nationally-accredited Assistance Dogs of the West, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Lupe was born Oct. 4, 2013, and Dozer was born April 11, 2013.

Lupe is assigned to the West Valley Division and Dozer is assigned to the Central Division.

As part of the District Attorney’s Special Victims K9 Unit, their primary mission is to comfort child victims and reduce the understandable fears they have about having to go through the court process as a victim and/or witness. Most recently, Dozer and Lupe travelled to Nevada with their advocate handlers to assist in comforting the victims and family members of the Las Vegas shooting. 


“We are excited about this upcoming event with the city library,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “It gives our office the chance to interact with our young readers and focus on the importance of reading!”

The free reading program will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Room at the Feldheym Central Library, 555 W. Sixth Street. For more information call the library at (909) 381-8235 or visit their website at
www.sbpl.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SBPLfriends/

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Scenes from last night's Mock Trial competitions

Deputy District Attorney J. Crocker presiding in San Bernardino.


Supervising Deputy District Attorney Britt Imes presiding in Victorville

DDA Kathleen Fultz and DPD Paul Henderson scoring



Witness for Encore High School taking stand, being sworn in by bailiff for Silverado High School

The Honorable Harold T. Wilson presiding


DDA Casey Cunningham and DDA Leonard Chang scoring

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DDA Rick Lal Selected by the EPA to Teach Advanced Environmental Crimes Training Program


DDA Rick Lal was recently selected by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be one of only 6 prosecutors from around the State to teach at their prestigious Advanced Environmental Crimes Training Program in Central California.

This intensive program brings together sworn law enforcement and peace officers along with environmental regulators as part of an Environmental Crimes Task Force that over the course of two weeks works on every aspect of a hazardous materials investigation including interviews, surveillance, inspections, operations planning, and executing a search warrant at a mock HazMat site (see below). 

As one of the EPA’s most popular instructors, DDA Lal instructed students in small groups on both federal and California environmental law, with drafting detailed environmental search warrants, operations planning, and executing an environmental search warrant – ultimately culminating in a jury trial to demonstrate how events in the field translate into evidence inside a courtroom.


Monday, November 6, 2017

SBCPAA Donations Drive to Benefit Our Veterans

In honor of all of the brave men and women who have served the various branches of our military, the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association (SBCPAA) will once again host a donations drive to benefit the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) and the California Disabled Veterans Association (DAV).

Friday, November 3, 2017

Magician convicted of murder of Big Bear Lake man

A Big Bear Lake man was convicted by a jury of first degree murder Monday for shooting and murdering a man.

On April 12, 2016, 55-year-old Frank Popovich Jr.—a magician who owns the Black Fox Trading Co. in Big Bear—went to a local nightclub in Big Bear and saw the victim, 42-year-old James Clark, in the back parking lot.

According to Deputy District Attorney Larissa Ruescher, who prosecuted the case, Popovich and the victim knew each other as friends and the victim had even worked in the defendant’s business.

After less than three minutes, Popovich started shoving the victim and pointing his finger in the victim’s face. The victim did nothing to defend himself and showed no signs of aggression towards the defendant. 

Popovich was not visible for ten seconds and then a flash of a gun muzzle went off and the victim’s body dropped to the ground. 

“In a scene that was captured on surveillance video, the defendant then walked over to the victim’s head area and slapped the victim in the head,” DDA Ruescher said. “The defendant then walked to the feet of the victim, took the cigarette from his left hand, and continued to smoke it for a full thirty seconds while standing over the victim’s body.” 

Popovich faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison when sentenced next month.