San Diego District Attorney banner
Cold Case Homicide Indictment Announced
Target Sued for Dumping Hazardous Waste
Cop Killer Sentenced to Life in Prison
DA Warns of Budget Threat to Public Safety
Teacher to Stand Trial for Molestation
DA Case Files
DA Dumanis announces a 2003 cold case homicide solved; shooter indicted.San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced that a cold case homicide from 2003 has been solved and James Carter, 35, has been indicted by the Grand Jury on two counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of attempted murder. Two women were killed by gang crossfire when they stopped at Dr. J's Liquor store following New Year's Eve church services. The shooting rocked the community in Southeast San Diego.  "These innocent victims were caught in a gang revenge shooting that shook the community and left law enforcement with very few leads," said DA Dumanis. District Attorney Investigators and San Diego Police investigators worked tirelessly to develop new leads and piece together evidence. In the process, law enforcement was able to solve two other gang-related murders, seize 15 guns, convict 35 gang members of unrelated crimes and avert two gang-revenge shootings.
Target Sued for Dumping Hazardous WasteRetail-giant Target Corporation is alleged with systematically and routinely dumping hazardous wastes into the environment, according to a lawsuit filed by prosecutors across the state. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office joined 19 other California District Attorneys, the State Attorney General and the Los Angeles City Attorney in claiming that more than 200 Target stores throughout the state improperly disposed of various hazardous wastes and materials, including pesticides, paint, aerosols and oven cleaners over an eight-year-period. "Target officials were warned years ago of this unlawful practice, but decided to illegally dump the hazardous waste anyway," said DA Bonnie Dumanis. All 19 Target stores in San Diego County were involved in the hazardous waste violations. The District Attorneys and the Attorney General are requesting Target be required to manage its hazardous waste lawfully and be liable to civil penalties that result from their violations.   
DA Dumanis meets Senator Barbara Boxer in Washington, D.C.
A documented gang member received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for murdering Oceanside Police Officer Dan Bessant. Meki Gaono, now 20, was only 17-years-old at the time of the murder making him ineligible for the death penalty. Prosecutor Tom Manning told the jury that Gaono killed 25-year-old Bessant without provocation. Bessant was hit with a single shot from a scope rifle. Gaono's co-defendant Penifoti Taeotui was also convicted of murder in a separate trial and sentenced to life in prison. 
Money held in the scales of justice.San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis and the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) have urged Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to abandon his administration's proposal to commute the sentences of criminal aliens in state prisons in order to refer them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. Such a policy is not only dangerous to public safety, but would "confer on criminal aliens benefits that are not available to inmates who are citizens of the United States," the prosecutors' association said. CDAA also took issue with the administration's proposal to reduce so-called "wobbler" offenses, i.e., crimes that can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors, to straight misdemeanors, citing a host of unintended consequences that would "subvert prosecutorial efforts in numerous ways."

Crimes such as grand theft, vehicle theft, identity theft and other fraud offenses rob Californians of millions of dollars each year. "Eliminating the ability of prosecutors to charge such "wobbler" offenses as felonies will jeopardize public safety by "blurring the lines between degrees of criminality such that participants in complicated, high-dollar theft rings would be subject to the same punishment as petty thieves," said Dumanis.  CDAA urged the public to contact their representatives in Sacramento and tell them to vote against any such proposals.  You can find your local representative on the San Diego County Registrar of Voters' Web site.
A local fifth-grade teacher who allegedly had sexual relations with two of her students will stand trial on several child molestation charges. Adrienne Feistel, 35, was ordered to stand trial on 12 felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child and if convicted, faces more than 10 years in state prison. Feistel coerced her young male victims into performing sex acts for a number of years. One boy, now 15-years-old, testified during the preliminary hearing and said the abuse began two months into his seventh grade year.  Feistel who is free on $50,000 bail is set to return to court on July 8 for an arraignment and trial date.
BRAE HANSEN, 19, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering her 63-year-old stepfather in their Rolando home. Hansen's brother, NATHANIEL GANN, 20, who played a role in the slaying, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life.
AL BREON MCKIERNAN, 23, was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison for driving under the influence, evading police officers and felony hit-and-run. Police officers attempted to pull McKiernan over after he almost hit nearby pedestrians, but McKiernan sped off, hit a parked car and then hid in a lagoon.
MICHAEL RENE GONZALES, 44, was sentenced to 26 years-to-life in state prison for fatally stabbing a stranger 11 times at a carpet recycling business last year.
TRAVIS CHRIS WEBER, 44, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist in Alpine. Weber who was an unemployed 'drifter' had a series of previous drunk-driving convictions and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
On The Record
July 2009

Quick Links
Join the DA on
Facebook logo