A Lancaster mother was ordered to stand trial Wednesday on murder and assault charges in connection to the death of her 7-month-old son in 2018.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daviann L. Mitchell rejected a motion by the defense claiming there was insufficient evidence in the case, moving forward the trial for Anaiyah Alise Perry, 22, according to court records.
Perry is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death, according to Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
On Nov. 6, 2018, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call in the 44000 block of Moccasin Place, according to investigators.
Perry’s son, Royal, had head and neck injuries. He was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he died the next day, prosecutors said.
An autopsy was conducted and determined the boy died from blunt force trauma to the neck, according to court records.
On Sept. 11, 2019, Perry was arrested by detectives and has remained in custody since then in lieu of $2 million bail, according to LASD inmate records.
Perry is due back in court for an arraignment on April 22 and could face a potential life prison term with the possibility of parole, if convicted as charged.
Huntington Park Man Indicted For 15 Trader Joe’s Robberies Across Southland
A federal grand jury Friday named a Huntington Park man in a 21-count indictment that accuses him of robbing 15 Trader Joe’s stores throughout Southern California during a three-month crime spree.
Gregory Johnson, 43, was named in a superseding indictment charging him with 15 counts of interference with commerce by robbery, five counts of knowingly using and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
His arraignment on the superseding indictment has not been scheduled. A June 22 trial previously was scheduled in this matter.
Johnson previously was charged via two-count information on Feb. 8 in connection with the robbery of a Trader Joe’s in Chino Hills on Dec. 4, 2020. Friday’s indictment charges him with 19 additional felonies.
According to the indictment, from Aug. 28 to Dec. 4, 2020, Johnson robbed Trader Joe’s stores in Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Chatsworth, Pasadena, Culver City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Agoura Hills, Brea, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Chino Hills, and attempted to rob Trader Joe’s stores in Simi Valley and Corona.
During many of the robberies, Johnson allegedly brandished a handgun. On two occasions, Johnson allegedly robbed stores in Rancho Palos Verdes and Brea, and returned weeks later to rob them again, according to procedures.
On Dec. 4, 2020, Johnson and his son, Gregory Eric Johnson, 20, of South Los Angeles, were arrested after law enforcement learned of the Chino Hills Trader Joe’s robbery. A witness gave law enforcement a description of the Johnsons’ getaway car and its license plate, according to court documents.
If convicted of all charges, Gregory Johnson would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each robbery charge, seven years in prison for each firearms use charge, and 10 years imprisonment for the felon-in-possession of a firearm charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On March 15, Gregory Eric Johnson pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with interference with commerce by robbery for robbing Trader Joe’s stores in Chatsworth and Chino Hills in December 2020. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 12, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.
Lawsuit Filed Against LAUSD Alleges Sexual Abuse By Fourth-Grade Teacher
A lawsuit was brought against Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on behalf of a 17-year-old girl who allegedly was sexually abused by her teacher years earlier when she was a fourth-grade student at a Canoga Park school.
The plaintiff is identified only as Jane S.N. Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court negligence suit filed Wednesday. The suit seeks unspecified damages. It was brought on her behalf by her mother because the plaintiff is a minor.
A LAUSD representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The suit alleges the girl was abused by Rene Tenas, a teacher at Hart Street Elementary School, between August 2013 and June 2014.
“Tenas sexually harassed, abused and molested Jane S.N. Doe on multiple occasions by willfully and unlawfully committing lewd and lascivious acts upon … her,” the suit alleges.
Tenas groomed Doe by telling her he would help her with her homework, and he kept her and other female students in his classroom during recess, lunch and after school for his sexual gratification, the suit states.
Neither the LAUSD nor the school administration took any action to restrict Tenas’ interaction with minors, the lawsuit alleges.
Subsequent to her alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Tenas, the plaintiff began making a connection between her present physical and emotional problems and her experiences as a student at Hart School, the suit states.
The suit further alleges that the LAUSD had actual or constructive knowledge” that Tenas had previously engaged in dangerous and inappropriate conduct with children, including sexually abusing other minors at Hart,” but “conspired to and did knowingly cover-up and failed to take reasonable steps” to avoid future sexual misconduct by Tenas with students.
After pleading no contest in October 2018 to two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, Tenas, then 39 and of Canyon Country, was sentenced the next month in Van Nuys Superior Court to five years in state prison.
Federal Judge May Take Action To Address Homelessness Crisis In Los Angeles
A federal judge held a hearing Thursday in a tent outside a skid row women’s center to discuss the increasing homeless population in Los Angeles and seek solutions on how to address the crisis.
U.S. District Judge David Carter oversaw the first court session of 2021 in a 10-month attempt to settle a federal lawsuit seeking to compel Los Angeles city and county officials to quickly address the homelessness crisis.
The plaintiff is the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights — a coalition of nonprofit organizations, service providers, small-business owners, residents and community leaders — that has thus far won an agreement between the city and county to provide 6,700 beds, 6,000 of which are due in two months.
About 8,000 beds are already in place for the needy, but bureaucratic tangles and neighborhood resistance to interim or supportive housing have continually blocked the path forward, according to the L.A. Alliance.
Last Friday, Carter visited Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles to see first-hand the living conditions of thousands of unhoused Angelenos.
Carter called the crisis “an ever-increasing spiral of death,” calling upon Los Angeles officials to address the increasing situation across the city.
In a letter on Sunday, Carter stated that “while some ad hoc efforts were made to respond to the crisis presented by the storm,” it was through the efforts of Councilman Kevin de Leon, Union Rescue Mission, the Downtown Women’s Center and other nonprofits “that additional suffering and loss of life was averted. These conditions cannot be allowed to continue.”
While in past months the court has focused on relocating the homeless away from freeways, “nothing substantial has been done to remediate the appalling and dangerous conditions in Los Angeles’ Skid Row,” Carter wrote, noting that 1,383 homeless persons died in the city and county of Los Angeles last year, a 32% increase of the number of homeless deaths recorded in 2019.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin blasted the city and county as “structurally incapable” and not “nimble or forceful enough” to adequately respond to the homelessness crisis, and called for a judicial consent decree under Carter’s supervision to compel immediate action. If the parties agree, such a decree would end the lawsuit with a settlement giving Carter power to order the city and county to build shelters and provide services.
Dozens of projects spanning Los Angeles are moving forward to bring over 7,000 housing units for those experiencing homelessness in the next three years.
In an update to the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday, Ann Sewill, general manager of the Housing and Community Investment Department, discussed the status of Proposition HHH, which was approved by voters in November 2016.
The proposition was designed to increase supportive housing production from 300 units a year to 1,000 every year for 10 years.
Sewill said the city is working on 124 Proposition HHH-funded projects, with a total of 7,961 in the pipeline — 961 more than the initial goal of 7,000. Those include:
— seven facilities, with 489 units, completed and occupied or have people moving in;
— 44 facilities, with 2,779 units, currently under construction;
— 16 facilities expected to close construction financing by spring 2021;
— 28 facilities expected to close construction financing by the end of 2021; and
— 29 facilities still assembling financing but expected to close by the end of 2022.
Officials expect to have all 7,961 units completed by 2024.
The average Proposition HHH subsidy is $135,000 per unit, Sewill said, but there is additional funding from the county, state and other sources.
“Each of these requires its own application, and the process of securing and complying with the requirements adds costs and time to the process. We estimate that the additional cost may be as much as $50,000-$80,000 per unit in extra time, carrying costs, legal costs and requirements,” she said.
“But the net gain is about $210,000 a unit, so not only does this make the city’s dollars go further and produce more homes here, but in truth, many of the requirements help make the developments more stable.”
As an example, she said tax-credit programs require higher energy efficiency, which adds construction costs but reduces operating costs over the project’s lifetime.
One of the projects already finished is a tiny home village in North Hollywood, created in partnership with the nonprofit Hope of Valley and L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian.
Ken Craft, CEO of Hope of Valley, said this innovative project is the first of its kind in Los Angeles, but won’t be the last.
“This is the very first tiny home community in the City of Los Angeles,” Kraft said. “Personally and for Hope of the Valley, we are honored to the provider for the first one. I believe in this model, this will be a viable, sustainable for many people who are coming off the street.”
A January 2020 count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found there were more than 66,400 homeless people living in Los Angeles County – – the largest single concentration in the state. That included more than 41,000 within the city limits. Both figures were up more than 12% from the previous year. The annual count was not done last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Note: City News Service contributed to this report.
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