Carson Juvenile Case, Two Felonies, Settled for Misdemeanor

It was alleged that our fifteen-year-old client and an individual described as “uncle” to our client walked up to the porch of a neighbor’s house in Carson.  It was about 11:30 p.m.

The client had been challenged to a fight by two teenagers who lived in the house and who had just joined the Northside Wilmas, at least according to the police.

Standing on the porch were four people.  The “uncle” stated to the four people on the porch, “[W]e need to fix this.”  One of the four people on the porch, the mom to two juveniles ages 13 and 14, replied “yes we do.”  Our client then allegedly pulled out a pistol and, holding it in his hands, pointed it at the four people on the porch.
 
He then pointed the gun over the house, above the heads of the folks on the porch, and fired three to four rounds.
 
The individuals on the porch took evasive action to hide or run off the porch when the shots rang out.  Two of the people allegedly on the porch later did not want to speak to police.

Police responded to the scene quickly, but were unable to find any casings or the firearm.  Police also dispatched a helicopter to look for our client.

Our client was then arrested almost right in front of the house where the shooting allegedly took place. 

Police used a gunshot residue (GSR) kit to examine and swab both hands of our client.  Our client was allegedly intoxicated by alcohol at the time and did admit to this to the police.  According to the police, the GSR kit showed positive results.

LA Sheriffs then canvassed the area of the alleged shooting and spoke to one witness, who lived across the street from the house and a few doors down.  He said he heard two or three shots at about 2330.  Sheriffs also spoke to another witness, who said that at about 2345, she heard six gunshots. 

Our client was then arrested and taken to Los Padrinos juvenile facility in Downey.  He was arraigned two days later on charges of violating Penal Code § 245(a)(2), assault with a deadly weapon, a firearm, and Penal Code § 246, shooting at an inhabited dwelling.  Both were felonies with significant exposure (time in custody).
 
Our client’s mom attempted to discuss the case with the public defender at the Inglewood juvenile court (on the twelfth floor), but she refused to spend more than about fifteen seconds with her.  Bail was denied for our client due to the gang allegations, as well as the very serious felony charges.

She thus contacted Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg Hill.  Greg was retained and visited the client at Los Padrinos the next day, a Saturday.  At the next court appearance, Greg substituted in for the public defender and renewed the request for own recognizance release for our client to the custody of his mom, but the judge denied the request.

Greg then prepared a Defense Position Letter with a mitigation packet for the prosecutor and asked to have the GSR evidence retested, as our client believed his hands had fireworks residue on his hands that caused the positive test.
Almost three months later, the retest of the GSR evidence was finished.  It was now negative for GSR.
 
Combined with the Defense Position Letter and witness problems, the District Attorney then agreed to resolve the case for a misdemeanor charge of negligent discharge of a weapon only.  The two initial felony charges were dismissed, much to the relief of the client and his mom.

The client was then released the same day.

His family had moved away from Carson to a new area and the client was able to re-enter high school the very next day.  He was placed on Home on Probation (HOP) with strict curfew rules and gang diversion counseling, as well as a requirement by the judge that he perform 100 hours of community service and ordered to submit to drug testing.  The client was very happy to have the case resolved as it was and avoid the two very serious felonies. 

For more information about juvenile case issues, please click on the following articles:
  1. What Is Home on Probation (HOP) in a Juvenile Case?
  2. A Juvenile Court May Not Automatically Transfer Case to Adult Criminal Court without a Hearing
  3. When Must a Juvenile Be Sentenced to a Juvenile Facility?
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