Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Congratulations DDA Melissa Monrreal

Congratulations are in order for Family Violence Unit lead Deputy District Attorney Melissa Monrreal of our Central Division in People v. Juan Carlos Lomeli, Jose Luis Lopez and Jorge Cinco (FSB1203785).
Defendant Juan Lomeli
On August 23, 2012, Victim Elias Esparza was working at a tire shop.  Victim Roberto Betancourt came into the tire shop for service.  Victim Betancourt was followed to the location by three defendants; Juan Lomeli, Jose Lopez and Jorge Cinco.  Upon their arrival to the tire shop, Defendants Lopez and Cinco got out of the vehicle and entered the tire shop wearing ski masks and carrying semi-automatic handguns.  Defendant Lomeli waited in the vehicle a block away.  Defendants Lopez and Cinco ran to where Victims Esparza and Betancourt were located and fired their weapons.  Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.  There were 18 casings located.   After the shooting, Defendants Lopez and Cinco ran up the street to where Defendant Lomeli was waiting.  All three defendants headed to Defendant Lomeli's sister's residence. 
Defendant Jose Luis Lopez

Several witnesses saw the shooting and the shooting itself was caught on video.  One witness followed the vehicle after the shooting and called 911.  During the emotional 911 call, the witness provided a play by play of where the vehicle was driving.  The defendants were unaware they were being followed.  That same witness watched as Defendant Lomeli exited the vehicle and entered his sister's residence with a duffle bag.  It was later determined the duffle bag contained guns and dark clothing consistent with the clothing worn by the shooters. 
Law enforcement arrived on scene and the witness was able to identify Defendant Lomeli as the driver.  The witness also relayed information that the two shooters jumped into the rear of the vehicle and he never saw them exit. 
Defendant Jorge Cinco
After over 30 witnesses testified as well as emotional testimony from the witness who had followed the defendants, the jury returned a swift verdict of guilty as to all counts and allegations.  After the verdict, the jury referred to the witness as a hero.  The jury also complimented Melissa for putting on a very detailed and organized trial. 
Melissa would like to thank Victim Advocate Esmeralda Isordia for all of her help with the victims' family members during the trail.  Melissa would also like to thank the Bureau of Investigation as well as her colleagues in the Family Violence Unit.

The defendants are facing 100 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Let's all give a round of applause to DDA Melissa Monnreal!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Christmas Day Killer Sentenced to Life Without Parole

On the afternoon of Christmas day in 2015, the defendant, Johnny Oliva, told his family that he needed to go to the store to get some cigarettes.  Instead, he made a few phone calls and lured the victim, David "Mouse" Bustamante, to the In-N-Out in Hesperia.  The defendant claimed he was going to pay him some money back.  
Victim Bustamante had no idea what was about to happen, stopped working on a tattoo for his client, and brought some of his mother’s tamales with him as a gift for the defendant.  When victim Bustamante got out of his car with the tamales, defendant Oliva began shooting him with a revolver.  He expended all 6 rounds into Bustamante's chest.  As victim Bustamante was being shot, one of the clients of the victim, who was in the victim’s car, heard the victim ask why the defendant was doing this.  The defendant began yelling out, “La Eme!”, “That’s what’s up, La Eme!”as he shot.  Defendant Oliva then returned back to his family gathering and ate dinner as if nothing had happened.
Detective Marc Goodwin of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department solved the case by using eyewitnesses, cell phone records, and video from In-N-Out cameras.  An LASD SEB team arrested defendant Oliva in a felony car stop. GPS data from recovered phones, social media evidence, jail calls, and data from the defendant’s On-Star vehicle system all helped prove the defendant was guilty.  
The key civilian witness' identities were sealed until 10 days before trial began, and one attempt to kill a witness was thwarted during the pretrial phase.  Gang Intelligence discovered that a kite with an order to kill the witness would be on the defendant's person, on a particular day. However, when Sheriff personnel tried to obtain the kite, the defendant swallowed it.
Defendant Oliva was found guilty of 1st degree murder with the special circumstances of having done the killing to further the activities of a street gang and lying in wait. He was sentenced to life without parole.
The District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation ran constant security throughout the duration of the case which was vital in bringing justice for the victim, David “Mouse” Bustamante.
Let's all give a round of applause to Deputy District Attorney Lloyd Masson for his outstanding work!
 (Victim Bustamante on Left, defendant Oliva on right)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Halloween Festivities

Take a look at some of the Halloween festivities at the various offices: 

The Morongo Basin crew turned their office into Dr. Kevorkian's office. 

From pumpkin decorating to door and cubicle decorating, potlucks, trick or treating and costume contests, a fantastic time was had by all.