Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Inside the News: September 11, 2013



San Bernardino man convicted of human trafficking
Lori Fowler, San Bernardino Sun

SAN BERNARDINO >> For the first time since Prop. 35 was passed in California, a local man convicted Tuesday of pimping could face a life sentence in prison.

Christopher Lee Knox is the first defendant locally to face an elevated sentence following his conviction of human trafficking with the use of force allegation, officials said.

Prop 35, which was overwhelmingly passed by voters last year, increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions.

“The defendant took advantage of this vulnerable victim, physically assaulted her, and used her to traffic sex,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said. “Today’s verdict was the perfect example of how this was going to work,” he said of Prop 35.

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Convicted Pimp Faces New, Harsher Penalty
Brandon Lowrey & Tony Shin, NBC

A man convicted Tuesday of forcing a teen into prostitution in San Bernardino is the first to face new, harsher penalties for human trafficking offenses, authorities said.

Christopher Lee Knox, 28, faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced. Authorities said that Knox was a pimp who brutalized prostitutes under his control, beating them and zapping them with a stun gun disguised to look like a cell phone.

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Trial continues for Victorville man accused of murder
Rebecca Howes, Daily Press

VICTORVILLE • Testimony continued Tuesday in the murder trial of Maurice Hunt, 35, of Victorville, who is accused by prosecutors of killing a 20-year-old Victorville woman with a car on June 20, 2011.

The San Bernardino County district attorney’s office believes Hunt purposely drove his aunt’s white Cadillac into several people attending a party at an apartment in the 14700 block of Mesa Drive, killing Mercedes Toi Bradley.

Deputy District Attorney Lisa Crane called several witnesses on Tuesday including Christopher Dicola, a mechanic who testified that the Cadillac the defendant drove that day was free of mechanical defects, specifically regarding the brakes, steering and acceleration systems of the vehicle.

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