Gang member’s conviction tossed

first_img“In sum, considering the potential prejudicial impact of the gang-related evidence (with its related limiting instructions) against the great weight of the independent evidence of Albarran’s guilt on the underlying charges, I cannot conclude a gross unfairness has occurred that undermines my confidence in the jury’s verdict,” Perluss wrote. The majority ruling said the trial judge should have granted Albarran a new trial on all charges. “Evidence of threats to kill police officers, descriptions of the criminal activities of other gang members, and reference to the Mexican Mafia had little or no bearing on any other material issue relating to Albarran’s guilt on the charged crimes and approached being classified as overkill,” the ruling said. At trial, the prosecutor argued the motive for the shooting was to gain respect and enhance the shooter’s reputation, essentially to earn respect within the gang, the ruling said. “In our view, however, there was insufficient evidence to support the contention that this shooting was done with the intent to gain respect. On the contrary, the motive for the underlying crimes, in particular the shooting, … was not apparent from the circumstances of the crime,” the ruling said. [email protected] (661) 267-5744 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Albarran was convicted of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and attempted kidnapping for carjacking and was sentenced in 2005 to life in prison. Albarran presented an alibi defense from a number of family members and friends who testified he was at a party with his family in Sun Valley at the time of the shooting, the ruling said. “They ruled that the evidence was far more prejudicial than probative, and that it was so prejudicial that it would have inevitably interfered with the jury’s ability to make a fair determination as to the charges themselves,” said William Genego, Albarran’s appellate attorney. “By adding an allegation that this was done to promote a gang, they were then able to bring in all sorts of evidence that they would not be able to bring in otherwise.” Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Sokoler said his office is deciding whether to seek review of the appellate court ruling with the California Supreme Court. He did not want to comment further. Presiding Justice Dennis Perluss dissented, saying there was compelling evidence supporting the jury’s verdict, including three positive eyewitness identifications and an admission of involvement by the defendant. A state appeals court has thrown out an Antelope Valley gang member’s attempted-murder conviction, ruling that gang evidence presented against him was prejudicial. The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling, if not reversed by a higher court, means that Adan Albarran will get a new trial on charges stemming from a 2004 shooting outside a Palmdale house during a birthday party. “This case presents one of those rare and unusual occasions where the admission of evidence has violated federal due process and rendered the defendant’s trial fundamentally unfair,” the majority wrote in a 2-1 decision. “Given the nature and amount of this gang evidence at issue, the number of witnesses who testified to Albarran’s gang affiliations and the role the gang evidence played in the prosecutor’s argument, we are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the error did not contribute to the verdict,” the justices wrote. last_img read more

Aussies slam ref after World Cup penalty blow

first_img0Shares0000An 85th-minute equaliser by Syria’s Omar al-Soma (top) raised harrowing memories of the 1997 play-offs, when Australia drew 1-1 with Iran in Tehran but were held 2-2 at home to go out on away goals © AFP / MOHD RASFANMALACCA, Malaysia, Oct 6 – Australian players and media slammed the referee after Syria’s controversial late penalty dented their hopes of reaching next year’s World Cup following a 1-1 play-off draw in Malacca.The Socceroos remain in the box seat ahead of Tuesday’s second leg in Sydney, where the eventual winner will go into a final play-off with the CONCACAF federation’s fourth-placed team. But Omar al-Soma’s 85th-minute equaliser raised harrowing memories of the 1997 play-offs, when Australia drew 1-1 with Iran in Tehran but were held 2-2 at home to go out on away goals.Forward Robbie Kruse even claimed Iranian referee Alireza Faghani — who farcically gave him a yellow card when he went down with a serious injury in the 2015 Asian Cup final — was itching to give the penalty.Australia’s football coach Ange Postecoglou Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said he was ‘bemused’ by the referee’s decision © AFP / MOHD RASFANAustralia were 1-0 up after Kruse’s first-half goal but the crucial moment came when Mathew Leckie made contact with al-Soma in the box as they both went up for a header.“It was evident to everyone it wasn’t a penalty,” Kruse told Australian media, adding: “You expect that from this referee, we’ve had him before.“I think he wanted to give it as soon as he made contact.”Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said he was “bemused” by the decision, while Leckie called it “very poor”.“It wasn’t like I (made) body contact and tried to put him off, I actually won the header. I don’t know what went through the ref’s mind to give a penalty,” Leckie said.“Everyone’s pissed off about the whole situation because I think everyone in the world that watched the game knows it wasn’t a penalty.”– Under the pump –The Herald Sun said Australia were “robbed” of victory, while one Fox Sports columnist questioned the wisdom of using a referee from Iran, which has close ties with Syria.More worryingly for Australia, they were under the pump for much of the second half, when Soma had a header deflected on to the post and Omar Khribin saw a free kick flash just wide.Postecoglou said his team had struggled with Malaysia’s hot and humid conditions but that it would be a different story in Sydney, when he can call on a number of fresh players.“We want to play really high-tempo and really go at them and test them,” Postecoglou said, adding: “We won’t make tactical changes but we’ve got some players that didn’t play tonight who are in good form and good condition.Australia’s coach Ange Postecoglou said his team had struggled with Malaysia’s hot and humid conditions © AFP / MOHD RASFAN“We’ll make some changes to the XI. When we’re at home we want to attack aggressively. They’ve got to score a goal, they’ve got to open up a little bit at some point. We’ll make sure we take advantage of that.”Australia, who joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006, are attempting to reach their fourth straight World Cup and fifth overall.Syria are striving to make their World Cup debut after a fairytale qualifying run that has defied the raging civil war in their home country.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more