On The Record


The Monthly Newsletter from

San Diego County District Attorney

Bonnie Dumanis


January 2011

Bonnie smiling

Murderer Sentenced in Carlsbad Homicide Case 


A Mexican man who raped and strangled an elderly woman at a Carlsbad senior housing complex in 2001 was sentenced to 34 years to life in prison. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek prosecuted the case.


GavelAlejandro Avalos Fernandez, now 34, stood in a glass booth to the side of the courtroom during sentencing. He stared at the floor as the daughters of his victim, 84-year-old Gladys Conrad, told the court how he had ruined their lives.


San Diego Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein read the sentence ---- the maximum term allowed by law.

Fernandez pleaded guilty in October to the first-degree murder and rape of Conrad, and the 2004 attempted rape of a 64-year-old woman in Los Angeles. Mexican authorities arrested him in Mexico City in January 2009 after excellent investigative work by the Carlsbad Police Department.  Fernandez was linked to both of the crimes through DNA evidence. 

"SAFE Team" Sex Offender Audits Doubled in 2010


The San Diego SAFE (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) Task Force more than doubled the number of sex offenders who were audited in San Diego County during 2010 according to a new report.  

safe team

The District Attorney's Office is a dedicated member of the SAFE Task Force. 


During 2010, 2,062 sex offenders were contacted through audits.  That number is up from 960 who were contacted in 2009.    SAFE provided tactical support and manpower to nine local police departments for audits in those regions.   


Audits are an essential part of public safety, said DA  Bonnie Dumanis, because they confirm the location of known sexual offenders for law enforcement and the community.


"Even more important, audits tell us when someone is in violation of registration laws or engaging in other criminal activity."

Dumanis Sworn in For Third Term as District Attorney


Several San Diego County elected leaders were sworn into office during the Board of Supervisors' first meeting of the new year.


The incumbents, who were all re-elected last year, are Supervisor Bill Horn, who also was elected board chairman by his colleagues; Supervisor Ron Roberts; District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

Swearing In
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders swears in DA Bonnie Dumanis for her third term in office.

Following her swearing in, Dumanis acknowledged the difficult financial times, noting her office "can't only be tough on crime. We have to be smart on crime." She said stopping "the revolving door of recidivism" was one way to fight crime and the cost associated with it.


Sheriff Bill Gore, who was appointed to the county's top law enforcement post in 2009, also was sworn in. He was elected in June 2010.

Hate Crimes Forum Works to Keep the Community Safer

Representatives from several local and federal law enforcement agencies had a message for residents in Hillcrest on Monday night: We're here to keep you safe.

Members of the District Attorney's Office, San Diego POlice Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, and FBI all participated in a public forum on hate crime and public safety, moderated by City Councilmember Todd Gloria.


The audience watched a presentation, listed to speakers and participated in a question-and-answer session.

Hate Crimes Forum

"Even in difficult times, we are aggressively allocating resources to combat these kinds of crimes," Gloria told the audience. "This is a priority for us. We are partners in this effort."


San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Oscar Garcia gave a half-hour PowerPoint presentation defining what constitutes a hate crime.

Undercover Operation Nets 34 in Car Theft Ring

An eight-month undercover operation conducted by the Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT),in cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, resulted in grand jury indictments of 34 defendants, most of whom are affiliated with local gangs.
Charges include auto theft, selling stolen vehicles, sale of controlled substances, illegal gun sales, and insurance fraud.


"Dozens of gang-related car thieves have been put out of business thanks to extraordinary cooperation between law enforcement," said DA Dumanis.  "RATT's hard work continues to have a significant impact, lowering auto theft dramatically in the past few years."


As part of "Operation Gangbusters," undercover officers purchased stolen cars, drugs and weapons at various undercover locations in San Diego.


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Steven Sinclair, 26, was sentenced to nine years in prison for punching a woman in the face during an attempted sexual assault at City College.


Vick "Vicky" Pathak, 24, pleaded guilty to corporal injury on a spouse causing great bodily injury and personal use of a weapon -- a wire hanger.   He was sentenced to 14 years in state prison.


Michael Edward LaChappa, 33, will be sentenced to 26 years in state
prison when goes back before an east county judge this month. 
LaChappa pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count of robbery stemming from separate cases.


The Employees of the San Diego District Attorney, in partnership with the Community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.