Associated Press


Former Suge Knight lawyers deny witness-tampering charges

Two former lawyers for Marion “Suge” Knight have pleaded not guilty to charges that they conspired to pay off witnesses for false testimony in the rap mogul’s murder trial.

Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper entered the pleas Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to counts including conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Fletcher’s attorney Mark Geragos said outside court that the men’s indictment is a “full frontal assault on those who practice criminal defense.”

Culpepper, who was kicked off Knight’s case by a judge last week, emphatically denied that he tried to get witnesses to lie.

Knight is awaiting trial for murder and attempted murder after hitting two men with his truck outside a Compton burger stand in 2015. He has pleaded not guilty.

Associated Press



It’s grunion run time on the Southern California coast

It’s grunion run time on the Southern California coast.

The small, silvery fish flop onto beaches by the thousands from March through August in a predictable nighttime spawning ritual.

Danny Beckwith of the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla tells The San Diego Union-Tribune grunion runs are triggered when tides are at their highest, at the full and new moon, and continue for four consecutive days.

The fish ride waves onto beaches and the females wriggle into the sand tail-first to lay eggs. Males then curve around the females and release milt, which fertilizes the eggs.

The grunion are then carried back out to sea by successive waves.

Pepperdine University biology professor Karen Martin calls grunion the original surfers.

Associated Press



Boulder pushed off California overpass kills car passenger

The pregnant wife of a man killed by a boulder that crashed through the window of their car near Los Angeles is pleading for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for pushing the rock off an overpass.

The California Highway Patrol says someone pushed the 35-pound (16-kilogram), basketball-sized rock off a freeway overpass in Pasadena late Tuesday, sending it smashing through the windshield.

Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Lopez, who was in the passenger seat of the Toyota driven by his wife, was killed.

Guadalupe Gutierrez was unhurt, as was their 4-year-old daughter in the back seat.

Gutierrez fought back tears Thursday as she asked for potential witnesses to come forward.

The highway patrol says investigators believe someone purposefully pushed the boulder into westbound lanes of State Route 134.

Associated Press



Judge bars LA from enforcing nearly all gang injunctions

A federal judge barred the city of Los Angeles from enforcing nearly all of its remaining gang injunctions, according to a newspaper report on Thursday.

The order by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips is the latest blow to one of the city’s oldest and most controversial law enforcement initiatives, the Los Angeles Times said.

Phillips ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union is likely to prove that most of those subject to the remaining injunctions suffered a due process violation. The judge found the city did not give them an opportunity to challenge the civil restraining orders in court.

The decision is believed to mark the first time a judge has blocked Los Angeles officials from enforcing the injunctions, which were born from a time in the late 1980s and ’90s when gang activity in the city gained national attention. Their use has been credited by law enforcement with helping reduce gang-related crime.

The use of injunctions has been under increasing scrutiny since 2016, when the ACLU and the Los Angeles Youth Justice Coalition filed a lawsuit against the city.

Following an audit by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department, 7,300 people were released last year from the conditions of the injunctions, which are civil court orders that can restrict someone from associating with friends, or even family members, in neighborhoods considered to be havens for certain street gangs. Violating the orders can result in arrest.

Since 2000, the city has enforced injunctions against 79 separate gang sets, encompassing roughly 8,900 people, according to the city attorney’s office. There were about 1,450 people still subject to the orders after last year’s purge, according to a February court filing from the city attorney’s office.

Thursday’s order prevents the city from enforcing any injunctions that were granted before Jan. 19, 2018, the newspaper said.

In a statement, Los Angeles police officials said they would wait for guidance from the city attorney’s office before discussing the ruling. The city attorney’s office did not immediately comment.

Associated Press