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Jan 14 - Panel to discipline California judge for hiding evidence as a prosecutor



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 3 days ago '11        #1
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Jan 14 - Panel to discipline California judge for hiding evidence as a prosecutor
 

 
The Commission on Judicial Performance alleges that Judge Michael Murray failed to disclose that police reports had been fabricated in the death of an LA County sheriff’s deputy

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The state Commission on Judicial Performance has launched disciplinary proceedings against an Orange County judge who failed as a prosecutor to disclose that police reports had been fabricated in a murder case involving the death of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.

The commission on Jan. 5 alleged that Superior Court Judge Michael Murray violated disclosure laws and used the falsified CHP reports to convict a former Long Beach man for causing the traffic death of Deputy David Piquette, who was driving to work about 5 a.m. in July 2006.

A stove stolen from a Riverside County construction site had fallen from a pickup truck driven by defendant Cole Wilkins, landing on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim. Piquette, 34, died after swerving into a cement truck allegedly to avoid the stove. Wilkins was convicted of murder and sentenced to 26 years to life, which ultimately was reduced by appellate courts to manslaughter and four years in prison. By then, he had served 13 years and was released.

An investigation by the California Highway Patrol initially concluded that Piquette’s driving — not the stove — was the primary cause of the accident. But a sergeant later had the report changed to support the prosecution’s argument that Wilkens was to blame. That same sergeant then changed another traffic report that had concluded driving speed and not the stove caused three other collisions in the area. He shredded the original report, according to the commission’s charging document.

The sergeant told co-workers he did so “because they did not feel they could obtain a murder conviction with the deputy sheriff being at fault for the crash,” the commission said.

Murray was the main prosecutor on the case and was told of the fabrications, but he said the forgeries had no bearing on the murder case, according to the judicial commission. Murray was elected to the bench in June 2016.

Said the commission: “You violated your obligations under Brady v. Maryland … which mandates the disclosure of evidence favorable to the accused that is material either to guilt or punishment.”


Special masters appointed by the state Supreme Court will conduct a hearing and the commission then has the ability to censure, suspend or remove Murray from the bench. Murray’s attorney, Edith Matthai, did not return a message seeking comment.

Over the years, Murray — a West Point graduate and formerly one of the brightest stars in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office — had been criticized by judges and appellate justices for his conduct in the Wilkins case.

The commission’s charging document says Murray was notified several times during the Wilkins case by different parties that CHP traffic reports had been doctored. A CHP investigator told him officers there didn’t believe Wilkins should be prosecuted for murder. He was even confronted by an Orange County Register reporter and a deputy district attorney, Larry Yellin, who had taken over the case.

Murray denied to Yellin, who is now a judge, that he knew anything about reports being falsified. He also told the reporter it was irrelevant, the commission said.

A CHP a*sistant chief also approached Murray with concerns about the reports.

The document said Murray told the CHP official the reports didn’t matter because Wilkins was a fleeing felon and eligible for murder charges, even though he was about 60 miles from the site of the stove theft and arguably no longer fleeing.
The commission said Murray failed in his duty to investigate the forgeries and turn over any exculpatory evidence to the defense team. The defense attorney already had notified Murray that he planned to argue that the collision was the driver’s fault because he was speeding.

Still, Murray kept quiet — not investigating, not disclosing, according to the commission.

As for Wilkins, he recently received appellate court permission to sue the CHP, but not the prosecutors, for misconduct

visit this link https://www.eastbaytimes. .. -a-prosecutor/
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4 comments
 

 3 days ago '08        #2
WarviewVA 
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Expose em all
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 3 days ago '07        #3
carltouss619 
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So he is able to sue CHP, the ones who wrote a truthful report but not the people responsible for putting him in prision
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 3 days ago '20        #4
Xiox  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
Props total: 47260 47 K  Slaps total: 8673 8 K
Who unmasked the man for this travesty ?
Another case of whyte boys being evil again !
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 3 days ago '04        #5
Prometheus 
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Whatever is done in the dark..



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