Courts/Law

Suspect arraigned in murder of church worker driving through gang war (Updated)

Documented gang member Dionicio Crespin Torrez Jr., 24, pleaded not guilty to murder, Friday, March 17 at the Vista Courthouse in connection with the murder of an Escondido woman who drove through a violent gang turf confrontation on the way home from Bible study. Torrez could face the death penalty. Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freehand denied bail citing “the allegations and my concern for public safety.” “On…


Legal analysis of Hunter art take-down

For several weeks earlier this year, an odd battle was waged in the halls of the U.S. Capitol over a controversial work of art by a high school student placed there after an art competition in St. Louis. At issue is whether the Architect of the Capitol had the right to direct the permanent removal of the painting, or whether doing so violated the student’s…


Fragozo pleads guilty to voter fraud count

Facing 13 counts of election and voting fraud, Escondido Union School District (EUSD) trustee Jose Fragozo Monday pleaded guilty to one of the lesser felony counts in a plea bargain agreement. The remaining 12 charges were dismissed. Fragozo entered his guilty plea mere hours after a 55-member jury pool was brought into court. They were being interviewed about participating in a trial expected to last…


‘Operation Hotel Tango’ — San Marcos human trafficking ring trio faces trial

A San Marcos man, San Marcos woman and Carlsbad woman are set to begin facing the music 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 27, charged with suspicion of human trafficking, pimping and pandering following a  yearlong investigation by the multi-agency Human Trafficking Task Force. The three suspects will be subject to a status conference at that time pertaining to their cases at Department 12 of San Diego…


As Jose Fragozo’s legal world turns

Another day, another day in court has been set for Escondido Union School District Trustee Jose Fragozo. Judge Carlos Armour called for a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, June 22 following Fragozo pleading not guilty to 13 felony charges related to allegedly misrepresenting his place of residence to run for school board. Fragozo’s attorney Victor Torres entered the plea. A preliminary hearing last month found enough…


Ex-SDSU football player sentenced in I-15 on-ramp death of Caltrans worker

Former El Camino High School and San Diego State football star Reginald Grigsby Jr., 32, was sentenced this week to six years in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter without intoxication. That was the maximum penalty allowed by law. Grigsby pled guilty to the charge in March. During sentencing this week. Grigsby apologized for what he had done to the victim and his family. “I’m truly…


Wild times in world of people behaving badly (Updated Dec. 10)

People were behaving exceedingly badly this month and it wasn’t due to the full moon, was there a full moon? North Escondido woman dead, husband flees scene, later discovered dead by suicide (Editor’s Note: Juan Garcia was found dead by police at his North Broadway home late Wednesday, Dec. 10. San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies entering the home to clear it of clues in order…


Alice in Wonderland scenario continues for former Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher

Former Escondido Police Chief’s Jim Maher’s contentious employment end game finished in a swirl of controversy in 2012 that just got curiouser and curiouser on Monday. Maher had filed a breach-of-contract suit last year contending he was owed $75,000 of a negotiated $150,000 job buyout. On Monday, his attorney told a reporter that the suit had been dropped. Rick Pinckard, Maher’s current attorney — Robert…


Who is Eduardo Castro and why is the FTB publicly shaming him?

In all, 20 people throughout San Diego County—some married couples—made the list of shame for not paying the money they owe the state. Altogether, local delinquent taxpayers owe more than $9.1 million. Good news always first. Somebody from Escondido made a top 500 money list. Bad news, it’s the list of the top 500 delinquent taxpayers in the state of California courtesy of the state…