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Santa Clarita City Council To Support Sentencing Enhancements For Murder Of Michelle Dorsey

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Dorsey Family Santa Clarita Murder

The Santa Clarita Clarita City Council is set to draft a letter supporting sentencing enhancements for the murder of Michelle Dorsey. 

A five-signature letter is expected to be sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, requesting support in urging the District Attorney’s Office to file sentence enhancements in the murder of Michelle Dorsey to the “full extent allowable under state law,” according to the agenda for the May 11 meeting.

Michelle Dorsey’s estranged husband, James Mathew Dorsey, is accused of fatally stabbing the 39-year-old mother of three in her Saugus home. 

The District Attorney’s Office filed five counts against the accused murderer but did not file any sentencing enhancements, according to the City report. 

“By failing to file any sentencing enhancements, law enforcement and criminal justice officials have stated that Ms. Dorsey’s accused murderer potentially faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” the agenda reads. 

If sentence enhancements were applied, consistent with state law and findings related to the murder of Michelle Dorsey, including special circumstances of lying in wait and murder committed in the attempt to kidnap, the potential maximum sentence for the accused murderer could be a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the report. 

As part of the series of special directives, unilaterally adopted in December 2020, District Attorney George Gascon issued Special Directive 20-08, restricting prosecutors from filing a range of sentence enhancements. 

Specifically, Special Directive 20-08 restricts the filing of any prior-strike enhancements, including the Three Strikes Law; gang-related enhancements; violations of bail; and Special Circumstances allegations resulting in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The City Council adopted a resolution of a vote of no confidence in District Attorney Gascon on March 9, citing significant concerns and opposition to some of the special directives adopted in December 2020, including Special Directive 20-08.

A GoFundMe has been created to support the Dorsey boys, ages 13, 11 and 9.

“Please help the Dorsey/Smith/Jordan family during this difficult time,” wrote Dayna Reed. “All donations will go to the boys and any extra costs the family will be accruing at this time.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Please keep their families in your prayers.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit here.

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Crime

Chiropractors Charged In $2.5 Million Auto Insurance Fraud, Kickback Scheme

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Los Angeles Courtroom-2

A dozen chiropractors have been charged in a $2.5 million insurance fraud and illegal kickback scheme involving automobile collision medical claims.

The scheme’s alleged ringleader, Yury Chernega, 49, of Studio City, faces four counts each of the aforementioned charges as well as one count of money laundering, according to Pamela Johnson, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges include allegations of taking more than $500,000 from about 30 insurance companies through fraud and embezzlement.

“Defrauding insurance companies is a serious crime that costs all of us in the form of higher premiums,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “We will continue to work with local, state and federal regulators to protect consumers from financial crimes.”

Prosecutors have charged the defendants with nine felony counts, including insurance fraud and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed in the healing arts or as a chiropractor, according to the D.A.’s Office. 

Three other San Fernando Valley residents were arrested in connection to the scheme including Bruce Householder, of Burbank, Alexander Royzman, of Granda Hills, and Payam Shayan, of Tarzana.

Canyon Country resident Luzan Madain was also charged with the alleged fraud, according to prosecutors. 

From 2014 through 2019, Chernega allegedly offered to refer new patients to other chiropractors in return for an illegal referral fee, through which he collected about $2.5 million, prosecutors said. The patients allegedly had been involved in automobile collisions. 

The defendants also are accused of filing false claims for medical services they never provided. The case stems from an ongoing case involving Chernega and 14 additional chiropractors filed in 2019. 

The case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Division and Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the California Department of Insurance, the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Arraignment for all but one defendant has been scheduled for June 29 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Arraignment for Royzman is expected to take place the following week. 

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Tujunga Man Charged With Domestic Violence Kidnapping, Murder Of Good Samaritan

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North Hollywood Shooting Kidnapping
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

A Tujunga man has been charged with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and fatally shooting a man who tried to intervene in North Hollywood. 

Shane Winfield Rayment, 37, faces one felony count each of murder, kidnapping, criminal threats, injuring a girlfriend, first-degree residential burglary with person present and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. 

“It’s especially tragic when a good Samaritan becomes a victim,” Gascón said in a statement.  “I send my heartfelt condolences to his family. Mr. Fletes will always be remembered for his heroic actions on behalf of another.”

On June 6, Rayment went to the North Hollywood home where his ex-girlfriend was staying and struggled with her when Roberto Conjeo Fletes attempted to intervene, prosecutors said. Rayment is accused of fatally shooting Fletes, 42, before fleeing with her. 

The woman was found on June 8 during a traffic stop in Hemet and Rayment was arrested. 

Hemet officers conducted a felony traffic stop and took Rayment into custody without incident.  

“The victim of the kidnapping, Jenny Downes, was discovered in the vehicle, battered and bruised, but alive,” investigators said.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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Crime

Detectives Investigating Deadly Sun Valley Shooting

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Police Lights Crash

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Valley Bureau Homicide are investigating a fatal Sun Valley shooting.

On June 9, about 11 p.m., LAPD Foothill patrol officers responded to the report of an assault with a deadly weapon on the 7900 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Sun Valley, according to the department in a statement.

Moments later, a second radio call was received just a few blocks down Laurel Canyon Boulevard for a traffic collision involving a 2021 Land Rover.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was involved in a dispute that ended in a shooting. 

The victim drove away from the scene and collided with parked vehicles on the 7600 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to detectives. 

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported the victim to a local hospital where he died during surgery.   

The victim is described as a 43-year-old, male from Los Angeles. The identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

As of Thursday, there are no suspects identified, according to the LAPD.

Anyone with additional information is urged to call Detective Steve Castro, Valley Bureau Homicide, at (818) 374-1925.  During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247.  

Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go directly here.

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