Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


A-Town Daily News

Josephine Gastelo, 48, of Atascadero, has been appointed warden at the California Men’s Colony by Governor Brown, where she has been acting warden since 2015 and has served in several positions since 2007, including chief deputy warden, associate warden and correctional business manager.

She held several positions at Pleasant Valley State Prison from 1994 to 2007, including staff services manager, associate governmental program analyst and staff services analyst. She was a staff services analyst at North Kern State Prison from 1993 to 1994 and held several positions at California State Prison, Corcoran from 1988 to 1993, including personnel specialist and office assistant.


Jim Holt, Santa Clarita Valley Signal

One year after he was arrested for threatening another motorist with a fully automatic assault weapon, a Canyon Country man is behind bars in state prison serving a two-year sentence, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said.

Mark Guerrero, now 39, began serving a two-year prison sentence at the North Kern State Prison in Delano on May 20, state prison records show.

Elizabeth Warmerdam, Courthouse News Service

An inmate's original plea agreement must be honored even though the superior court allowed the prosecution to make a last-minute amendment to the criminal complaint that left the inmate with an indeterminate life sentence, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday.

Michael Cuero pleaded guilty in 2005 to causing bodily injury while driving under the influence and unlawful possession of a firearm. He also admitted to a single prior strike conviction and four prison priors.

Lifer inmate’s art inspires, resonates at B’nai Abraham
Toby Tabachnick, Senior Staff Writer, The Jewish Chronicle

The drawing was done with a ballpoint pen, and the artist is not renowned — in fact, he is serving a life sentence at the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, Calif. — but the framed image in the hallway near the entrance of B’nai Abraham may be one of the congregation’s most valued pieces.

The ink-on-paper drawing depicts two young people donned in tallit and surrounded by the tree of life, tefillin and other Jewish symbols. It was created in honor of this year’s class of confirmands, according to Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, spiritual leader of the Butler, Pa., congregation.

Hoa Quach, My News LA

A man charged with killing a 79-year-old Hollywood woman nearly 44 years ago admitted to police that he killed a Santa Monica couple in 1980 and was involved in a series of burglaries at high-rise apartment complexes, according to a prosecutor, but a defense attorney said there is “reasonable doubt” about his involvement in the 1972 killing.

Harold Holman, 69, was taken from court in a wheelchair to a courtroom lockup to listen to the proceedings on a speaker after telling a judge he was “not going to be part of a media circus” — in an apparent reference to a TV camera being allowed in court for the start of his trial for Helen Meyler’s Aug. 27, 1972, bludgeoning death.

The Bakersfield Californian

An inmate at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi died on June 28. Richard Arriola, 51, of Long Beach complained of illness and became unresponsive.

His condition declined until his death. A postmortem examination will be scheduled by the coroner’s office to determine cause and manner of death.

Jess Sullivan, Daily Republic

VACAVILLE — A Vacaville man found guilty of murder at the close of a January 2013 jury trial lost his appeal Thursday in a San Francisco court.

Rico M. Espitia is serving a sentence of 50 years to life and is currently locked up Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad.

Espitia, a gang member, shot and killed Quinten Nears in the parking lot of a Vacaville apartment complex on the night of July 30, 2011.

Ted Talks: Redemption song
Lou Simms, CCT News

John Legend is an American singer, musician and philanthropist. He uses music to improve humanity and spread love. He has done this and even penetrated prison walls. A place where the redemption song truly needs to be sang. Transformation is possible even in jails.

The question that Legend poses is one that wonders if it was possible to look at prisons differently. What if the rehabilitation of prisoners was done with love and compassion as the foundation? The society would be healthier and safer for children to be raised in.


Pauline Repard, The San Diego Union-Tribune

An employee at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa has been suspended and an investigation launched after he was caught trying to smuggle in contraband, a prison official said Friday.

Staff working on a tip stopped the employee before he entered the prison, and confiscated the contraband on Sunday, said Lt. Philip Bracamonte, spokesman for the prison.


Jazmine Ulloa, The LA Times

A death row inmate is escorted at San Quentin State Prison. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

An initiative that aims to speed up executions in California qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot on Thursday, making it one of two competing measures voters will weigh on the death penalty.


By Robert Rodriguez, The Fresno Bee

It’s sometimes hard to figure out what Greg Bergersen and Rick Quesada enjoy more: being owners of an award-winning winery or talking about their days as correctional officers in some of the state’s toughest prisons.

Truth is, it’s both. As part of a law enforcement brotherhood, Bergersen and Quesada represent a tight-knit group of officers who are proud of the work they do.

Record-Bee Staff

Sacramento  Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure on Friday providing Lake County resident Luther Ed Jones with $936,880 in compensation for the 18 years wrongfully spent in prison.

Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Bill Dodd made the announcement Friday afternoon. Jones, now 71, has been facing significant medical issues, making the issue of his compensation more urgent.