Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lifer Parole Unit secures 5-year parole denial

1987 Article from the San
Bernardino Sun
In 1986, at age 42, the Inmate James Noffsinger and his live-in girlfriend got into an argument.  He ended up hitting her three times with a baseball bat. 

When that didn't kill her, he stabbed her 24 times in the chest with a screwdriver, puncturing both lungs. Noffsinger then moved the body into the garage.

After rigor set in, he sawed her body into pieces and put the parts, including the head, in paper sacks in the refrigerator. 

He put her torso in a dumpster at his work and then fled to Northern California. He told the probation officer that “it was an accident.”  In 2014, he told the psychologist, “I’m sure it won’t happen again … I know now it’s wrong to do something like that.” 

At yesterday’s parole hearing, Noffsinger told the board that he killed her because he was mad that she wouldn’t shut up.  He had no choice but to hit her with the bat because it was leaning against the wall in the room.  He received a 5 year denial.

This case was assigned to Deputy District Attorney Connie Lasky of the Lifer Parole Unit. The original case was prosecuted by former Chief Deputy District Attorney Clark Hansen III.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Adelanto gang member convicted of 2009 double murder sentenced to death

An Adelanto gang member convicted of the 2009 double slaying of 28-year-old Ealy Davis, Jr. and 26-year-old Shameka Reliford has been sentenced to death.

On Oct. 3, James Ellis, 28, was found guilty by a jury of two counts of First Degree Murder and one count of Active Participation in a Criminal Street Gang. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegations of lying in wait, murder during the commission of a robbery, murder while an active participant in a criminal street gang and multiple murder which made Ellis eligible for the death penalty.

Based on the jury’s recommendation and the evidence presented during the Penalty Phase, Judge Eric M. Nakata sentenced Ellis to death in Victorville Superior Court Friday.

“Seeking the death penalty is one of the single most difficult decisions I have to make, and it is reserved for the worst of the worst criminals,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “When we seek the death penalty, it is important to remember that it is not a reflection of our brutality, but rather an expression of our disdain for the defendant’s brutal actions.”

On Nov. 23, 2009, Ellis plotted with three other men and a woman to rob Ealy Davis:

Forrest Taylor, 30, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole May 14, 2013.

Sandra Smith, 37, of Adelanto, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison Feb. 6, 2012.

William Jacobs, 30, of Adelanto, was sentenced to 13 years, 8 months Feb. 19, 2016

Joseph Bowen, 22, of Victorville was sentenced to probation for being an accessory after the fact Jan. 6, 2012.

On Nov. 23, 2009, Forrest Taylor, William Jacobs, Joseph Bowen and Sandra Smith were gathered at Smith's residence in Adelanto. During this gathering, there was discussion about a desire to acquire drugs and money. One of them suggested robbing a drug dealer. During the planning process, Ellis produced a handgun and showed it to the others.

Smith then suggested they rob Davis, a drug dealer she knows. Smith knew Davis because he was dating her half-sister Shameka Reliford.

According to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Britt Imes, who prosecuted the case, Smith provided Taylor with Davis' cell phone number. Several phone calls were placed to lure Davis to a secluded area near Westside Park Elementary School.

At the agreed-upon meeting place, Ellis approached Davis’ car. Davis was seated in the driver's seat and Shameka Reliford was in the right front passenger seat. Two other passengers were in the backseat.

Ellis asked Davis, "Do you got me?" and Davis replied "Yes."

This exchange was repeated, and then Ellis took a step back, produced a handgun and fired 4 to 5 times into the vehicle. Davis was killed immediately, and Reliford was taken to Victor Valley Community Hospital, where she later died.

“The defendant has demonstrated a desire to continue a life of violent gang behavior up to and through the prosecution of this case,” said Imes. “While seeking the ultimate punishment is a tough decision for all involved, I am pleased that a hardworking and dedicated jury representing the communities of this county held the defendant responsible for his actions and provided the families some sense of justice.”

This case was investigated by the Adelanto Police Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide Division.

Gang member sentenced to state prison


Gang member Raul Martinez sentenced to 32 years to life for stabbing a man because he wouldn’t give him a cigarette. This case was prosecuted by DDA Lloyd Masson and the Central Division staff and investigated by the Highland Police Department.

Monday, June 12, 2017

News from the Morongo Basin...

Last Wednesday Intern Carissa Rarick officially became an attorney and was sworn in by The Honorable Rod Cortez at the Joshua Tree Courthouse. Carissa recently passed the Bar and has been an invaluable asset to the Morongo Basin District Attorney office.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

California District Attorneys Association’s annual Advanced Environmental Enforcement Conference

Lead Consumer & Environmental
Protection DDA Douglas Poston (along
with Circuit Prosecutor Bob Nichols,
left, and Alameda Co. DDA Kevin
Wong, right) conducts a class
on the successful prosecution
of British Petroleum.   
This week District Attorney Mike Ramos provided the opening welcome speech at the California District Attorneys Association’s annual Advanced Environmental Enforcement conference. 
The training event is attended by the most seasoned environmental prosecutors who work to protect California’s natural resources. 
A strong supporter of enforcing environmental laws locally and statewide through the SB County Consumer & Environmental Protection Unit, DA Ramos’ remarks were well received by prosecutors from across the state as well as Attorney General staff. 
District Attorney Ramos commended the group for leading the country in environmental work, and as president of NDAA carries that message to the rest of the U.S.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

San Bernardino man sentenced to 185 years to life in state prison for human trafficking

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A San Bernardino man was sentenced today to 185 years to life in state prison for human trafficking.

A jury found 29-year-old Demetrius Manning (pictured left), of San Bernardino, guilty in May 2015 of human trafficking, rape, false imprisonment, criminal threats, felony assault and kidnap for rape. 

According to Lead Deputy District Attorney Melissa Rodriguez, who prosecuted the case, Manning had met the 23-year-old victim and lured her in by telling her that he could help her with her music career.

“When she got to his residence she realized that he didn’t have any interest in helping her with her music but forced himself on her, raping her and forcing her to perform other sex acts,” said Rodriguez, who is the lead prosecutor of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. 

During the incident, Manning told the victim that he was going to make her work as a prostitute under the name “Treasure” and that she would turn all of the money over to him.

“Thanks to the great work of the San Bernardino Police Department and our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, we took another trafficker off the streets,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “We will continue working collaboratively with all of our law enforcement partners to prevent future victims and combat human trafficking in this region.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Congratulations to Karen White on her recent 2017 Award for Excellence

Karen White of the District Attorney's Office exemplifies the Countywide Vision in action by taking on the roles of three people when the department was in need.  Karen contributed to Public Safety by ensuring that critical portions of the District Attorney's Bureau of Administration continued to function through a period of reduced staffing. She prioritized work, streamlined processes, and supported her coworkers throughout this period.  She performed above and beyond the call of duty, and did so without complaint, allowing the District Attorney's Office to continue its Public Safety mission without disruption.