Boyfriend of slain reality TV star sentenced to 16 years to life

The boyfriend of Los Angeles police officer-turned-reality-TV attorney Loredana Nesci was sentenced Sept. 19 to 16 years to life in prison for her murder, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.

Nesci, the star of SundanceTV’s “Loredana, Esq.,” was killed in 2015 inside the Redondo Beach home she shared with Robert Reagan, 53. She was 47.

“The news of her death destroyed our life, and we will never be the same,” her father, John Nesci, said in a statement read during Reagan’s sentencing in Torrance Superior Court. “All of a sudden, in the dark of the night, everything was stolen from her and from all of us.”

Nesci was an avid body builder whose show followed her life as a tough, hardworking attorney in the Riviera Village. Her young son, Rocco, was featured in several episodes.

A statement written for the sentencing by Robert Nesci, the victim’s brother, described a troubled relationship between the couple — one that Nesci was preparing to leave, prosecutors said.

“She wasted years of her life, gifted you with so much money, and foolishly believed in your stories,” he wrote.

Reagan was “distraught” when he called police to the home in 2015 to report an emergency, Redondo police Sgt. Fabian Saucedo said.

“It was kind of weird, actually. He didn’t say anything. It’s one of those things we call an ‘unknown trouble call,’ ” Saucedo said at the time. “It was very vague, like, ‘What’s going on?’ ”

Police automatically respond to 911 calls, so they drove by Nesci’s home — where Reagan waited outside, Saucedo said.

“He gave them details of what may have occurred, and as a result, [the officers] decided they better go in and check the welfare. That’s where they found the body,” Saucedo said at the time. “Obviously it was some kind of domestic dispute; otherwise, it wouldn’t have led to this.”

After police discovered Nesci’s body, Reagan was arrested.

His defense attorney contended in court that the stabbing was in self-defense and that Nesci fell on the knife during a struggle.

An autopsy revealed that Nesci was stabbed at least four times in the abdomen between her breasts and belly button. Reagan waited more than five hours after the stabbing to call police, contacting an attorney first.

A native of Connecticut, Nesci joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996 and worked as a patrol officer in the Southwest Division, according to a biography on her website. An LAPD spokeswoman declined to confirm that Nesci was a former employee, citing privacy issues.

Nesci said she was among the officers present during the North Hollywood shootout in 1997.

Her career with the LAPD was brief. She left the department in 1998 and enrolled in law school at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. In 2004, she returned to California and melded her legal career with pursuits in entertainment and media, including hosting a radio show on KCAA-AM (1050).

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Photo: Robert Reagan grimaces as he is found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of girlfriend Loredana Nesci. 

Credit: Brad Graverson, Los Angeles Daily News via AP

The boyfriend of Los Angeles police officer-turned-reality-TV attorney Loredana Nesci was sentenced Sept. 19 to 16 years to life in prison for her murder, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.

Nesci, the star of SundanceTV’s “Loredana, Esq.,” was killed in 2015 inside the Redondo Beach home she shared with Robert Reagan, 53. She was 47.

“The news of her death destroyed our life, and we will never be the same,” her father, John Nesci, said in a statement read during Reagan’s sentencing in Torrance Superior Court. “All of a sudden, in the dark of the night, everything was stolen from her and from all of us.”

Nesci was an avid body builder whose show followed her life as a tough, hardworking attorney in the Riviera Village. Her young son, Rocco, was featured in several episodes.

A statement written for the sentencing by Robert Nesci, the victim’s brother, described a troubled relationship between the couple — one that Nesci was preparing to leave, prosecutors said.

“She wasted years of her life, gifted you with so much money, and foolishly believed in your stories,” he wrote.

Reagan was “distraught” when he called police to the home in 2015 to report an emergency, Redondo police Sgt. Fabian Saucedo said.

“It was kind of weird, actually. He didn’t say anything. It’s one of those things we call an ‘unknown trouble call,’ ” Saucedo said at the time. “It was very vague, like, ‘What’s going on?’ ”

Police automatically respond to 911 calls, so they drove by Nesci’s home — where Reagan waited outside, Saucedo said.

“He gave them details of what may have occurred, and as a result, [the officers] decided they better go in and check the welfare. That’s where they found the body,” Saucedo said at the time. “Obviously it was some kind of domestic dispute; otherwise, it wouldn’t have led to this.”

After police discovered Nesci’s body, Reagan was arrested.

His defense attorney contended in court that the stabbing was in self-defense and that Nesci fell on the knife during a struggle.

An autopsy revealed that Nesci was stabbed at least four times in the abdomen between her breasts and belly button. Reagan waited more than five hours after the stabbing to call police, contacting an attorney first.

A native of Connecticut, Nesci joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996 and worked as a patrol officer in the Southwest Division, according to a biography on her website. An LAPD spokeswoman declined to confirm that Nesci was a former employee, citing privacy issues.

Nesci said she was among the officers present during the North Hollywood shootout in 1997.

Her career with the LAPD was brief. She left the department in 1998 and enrolled in law school at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. In 2004, she returned to California and melded her legal career with pursuits in entertainment and media, including hosting a radio show on KCAA-AM (1050).

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Photo: Robert Reagan grimaces as he is found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of girlfriend Loredana Nesci. 

Credit: Brad Graverson, Los Angeles Daily News via AP

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Man who killed Fox executive having an affair with his wife gets 11 years in prison

Evan Smith’s voice got louder then turned to a hiss. He clenched his jaw and glared at the man in handcuffs — a convicted drug dealer who beat his father to death and buried him in a shallow grave.

“Give this man the maximum today for savagely ripping my dad out of my life,” Smith told a judge in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The judge gave a small nod, and a family friend in the audience mouthed, “Amen.” The defendant, John Lenzie Creech, stared ahead, expressionless.

The powerful plea came Tuesday during a hearing in which Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus sentenced ​​​​​​Creech to 11 years in prison for his role in the 2012 slaying of Smith’s father, Gavin, a 20th Century Fox executive whose decomposed body was found in the desert more than two years after he disappeared.

Before handing down the maximum sentence allowed by law, the judge turned to address Creech: “Frankly, you’re a cold and cruel person.”

A jury in July rejected prosecution arguments that Creech, 45, committed murder when he killed Gavin Smith after catching him in a romantic tryst with Creech’s wife, but the panel convicted him instead of voluntary manslaughter.

After Smith disappeared on May 1, 2012, authorities searched for clues at the spots he’d last been seen, and the Fox executive’s family offered a $20,000 reward. By the next spring — as speculation started to shape into painful reality — sheriff’s investigators confirmed that Smith likely had been killed, and they named a person of interest: Creech, who was by then serving an eight-year sentence for selling and transporting cocaine. Authorities had found Smith’s missing Mercedes-Benz stained with dried blood and parked inside a Simi Valley storage locker tied to Creech. But still, no body.

A few days before Halloween in 2014, a man hiking in the desert near Palmdale stumbled on a shallow grave. The bones and skull — still covered with a clump of hair — belonged to Smith, the coroner confirmed.

At Creech’s murder trial this summer, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace argued that the drug dealer had deliberately killed Smith after catching him in the passenger seat of his car with Creech’s wife, Chandrika Cade. Smith and Cade met at a drug rehab facility in 2008, the prosecutor said, and began an on-and-off affair that year.

The night of the killing, Grace said, Creech used an iPhone app to pinpoint Cade’s location in West Hills, where she’d met Smith at a secret spot. Creech then sneaked up on them and committed “an act of almost stunning brutality,” the prosecutor told jurors. The defendant, Grace said, beat Smith to death with his bare fists. Cade — who was granted immunity from an accessory-after-the-fact charge by prosecutors in exchange for her testimony — fled the scene.

At trial, Deputy Public Defender Irene Nuñez told jurors that her client acted in self-defense after Smith choked him, gouged at his eyes and threatened him with a tool resembling a hammer and an ice pick. Creech testified that Smith had punched him in the face.

“I defended myself,” Creech told jurors, adding that he’d left the scene but returned soon afterward to find Smith slumped backward in the seat of the car. Creech said he frantically checked Smith’s neck for a pulse, and it dawned on him that he likely was dead, but he feared calling 911 because he had a criminal record.

“If there was any chance of him being alive,” Creech said during the trial, “I would’ve taken him to the hospital.”

Creech later testified that he’d said a little prayer for Smith while burying his body in the desert.

In finding Creech guilty of voluntary manslaughter, jurors found him not guilty of first- and second-degree murder — more serious charges that could’ve earned Creech a life-behind-bars sentence.

Before the judge sentenced Creech on Tuesday, Grace, the prosecutor, read a letter from Marques Johnson, who played college basketball with Smith at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden in the 1970s. Smith — No. 55 — was tall and played the game with a sense of joy, wrote Johnson, who now works for the Milwaukee Bucks. His former teammate, Johnson said, had an irreverent sense of humor and always filled the locker room with laughter.

As Dylan — another of Smith’s three sons — addressed the court, he described his father as someone who loved action. When his sons skimboarded, surfed or played basketball, he joined in. He also was exceedingly kind, Dylan said, choking up at the thought of his future children never meeting his father.

When Smith’s wife, Lisa, stood behind a lectern, her hands shook and she took deep breaths to quiet her sobs. Not only had Creech stolen Smith’s life from them, she told the judge, but also his death. For two years before his body was found, his family hadn’t been able to fully mourn. Years later, she said, she couldn’t help but think of her husband’s body rotting as it sat inside a car parked in the garage of Creech’s friend’s home.

Her son Evan, simmering as he listened to his mother’s painful memories, punched a bench in the courtroom. A few moments later, Lisa turned to look at Creech and shook her head.

“He needs to be in walls,” she said, “like the animal that he is.”

The probation officer who wrote a pre-sentencing report for the judge said that Creech “poses a potential threat to the victim’s family and society,” and suggested he serve prison time.

Toward the end of the hearing, Marcus, the judge, explained that one thing he considers in deciding a sentence is whether the defendant displayed a high degree of viciousness. In this case, he said, “The answer is ‘yes.’ ” The judge said he was shocked by Creech’s argument at trial that he hadn’t sought immediate medical help because he worried how he’d be perceived as an ex-convict. He’d had a “moral obligation as a human being,” Marcus said, to call for help.

While he has to respect the jury’s verdict, the judge said he hadn’t accepted the defense argument that Creech went out searching for Cade that night because he was concerned for her safety, as she’d been drinking that day.

“He was well aware that his wife was seeing somebody else,” the judge said. “He went out there for the two oldest motives: jealousy and pride.”

Photo, above: Convicted drug dealer John Lenzie Creech was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the 2012 slaying of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith.

Photo, right: Evan Smith, son of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, gives a victim impact statement as defendant John Lenzie Creech is sentenced.

Credit: Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Evan Smith’s voice got louder then turned to a hiss. He clenched his jaw and glared at the man in handcuffs — a convicted drug dealer who beat his father to death and buried him in a shallow grave.

“Give this man the maximum today for savagely ripping my dad out of my life,” Smith told a judge in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The judge gave a small nod, and a family friend in the audience mouthed, “Amen.” The defendant, John Lenzie Creech, stared ahead, expressionless.

The powerful plea came Tuesday during a hearing in which Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus sentenced ​​​​​​Creech to 11 years in prison for his role in the 2012 slaying of Smith’s father, Gavin, a 20th Century Fox executive whose decomposed body was found in the desert more than two years after he disappeared.

Before handing down the maximum sentence allowed by law, the judge turned to address Creech: “Frankly, you’re a cold and cruel person.”

A jury in July rejected prosecution arguments that Creech, 45, committed murder when he killed Gavin Smith after catching him in a romantic tryst with Creech’s wife, but the panel convicted him instead of voluntary manslaughter.

After Smith disappeared on May 1, 2012, authorities searched for clues at the spots he’d last been seen, and the Fox executive’s family offered a $20,000 reward. By the next spring — as speculation started to shape into painful reality — sheriff’s investigators confirmed that Smith likely had been killed, and they named a person of interest: Creech, who was by then serving an eight-year sentence for selling and transporting cocaine. Authorities had found Smith’s missing Mercedes-Benz stained with dried blood and parked inside a Simi Valley storage locker tied to Creech. But still, no body.

A few days before Halloween in 2014, a man hiking in the desert near Palmdale stumbled on a shallow grave. The bones and skull — still covered with a clump of hair — belonged to Smith, the coroner confirmed.

At Creech’s murder trial this summer, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace argued that the drug dealer had deliberately killed Smith after catching him in the passenger seat of his car with Creech’s wife, Chandrika Cade. Smith and Cade met at a drug rehab facility in 2008, the prosecutor said, and began an on-and-off affair that year.

The night of the killing, Grace said, Creech used an iPhone app to pinpoint Cade’s location in West Hills, where she’d met Smith at a secret spot. Creech then sneaked up on them and committed “an act of almost stunning brutality,” the prosecutor told jurors. The defendant, Grace said, beat Smith to death with his bare fists. Cade — who was granted immunity from an accessory-after-the-fact charge by prosecutors in exchange for her testimony — fled the scene.

At trial, Deputy Public Defender Irene Nuñez told jurors that her client acted in self-defense after Smith choked him, gouged at his eyes and threatened him with a tool resembling a hammer and an ice pick. Creech testified that Smith had punched him in the face.

“I defended myself,” Creech told jurors, adding that he’d left the scene but returned soon afterward to find Smith slumped backward in the seat of the car. Creech said he frantically checked Smith’s neck for a pulse, and it dawned on him that he likely was dead, but he feared calling 911 because he had a criminal record.

“If there was any chance of him being alive,” Creech said during the trial, “I would’ve taken him to the hospital.”

Creech later testified that he’d said a little prayer for Smith while burying his body in the desert.

In finding Creech guilty of voluntary manslaughter, jurors found him not guilty of first- and second-degree murder — more serious charges that could’ve earned Creech a life-behind-bars sentence.

Before the judge sentenced Creech on Tuesday, Grace, the prosecutor, read a letter from Marques Johnson, who played college basketball with Smith at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden in the 1970s. Smith — No. 55 — was tall and played the game with a sense of joy, wrote Johnson, who now works for the Milwaukee Bucks. His former teammate, Johnson said, had an irreverent sense of humor and always filled the locker room with laughter.

As Dylan — another of Smith’s three sons — addressed the court, he described his father as someone who loved action. When his sons skimboarded, surfed or played basketball, he joined in. He also was exceedingly kind, Dylan said, choking up at the thought of his future children never meeting his father.

When Smith’s wife, Lisa, stood behind a lectern, her hands shook and she took deep breaths to quiet her sobs. Not only had Creech stolen Smith’s life from them, she told the judge, but also his death. For two years before his body was found, his family hadn’t been able to fully mourn. Years later, she said, she couldn’t help but think of her husband’s body rotting as it sat inside a car parked in the garage of Creech’s friend’s home.

Her son Evan, simmering as he listened to his mother’s painful memories, punched a bench in the courtroom. A few moments later, Lisa turned to look at Creech and shook her head.

“He needs to be in walls,” she said, “like the animal that he is.”

The probation officer who wrote a pre-sentencing report for the judge said that Creech “poses a potential threat to the victim’s family and society,” and suggested he serve prison time.

Toward the end of the hearing, Marcus, the judge, explained that one thing he considers in deciding a sentence is whether the defendant displayed a high degree of viciousness. In this case, he said, “The answer is ‘yes.’ ” The judge said he was shocked by Creech’s argument at trial that he hadn’t sought immediate medical help because he worried how he’d be perceived as an ex-convict. He’d had a “moral obligation as a human being,” Marcus said, to call for help.

While he has to respect the jury’s verdict, the judge said he hadn’t accepted the defense argument that Creech went out searching for Cade that night because he was concerned for her safety, as she’d been drinking that day.

“He was well aware that his wife was seeing somebody else,” the judge said. “He went out there for the two oldest motives: jealousy and pride.”

Photo, above: Convicted drug dealer John Lenzie Creech was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the 2012 slaying of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith.

Photo, right: Evan Smith, son of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, gives a victim impact statement as defendant John Lenzie Creech is sentenced.

Credit: Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Man sentenced for shooting ex-girlfriend to death in Pacoima

A man was sentenced Sept. 11 to 113 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in the head at a Pacoima residence, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

On June 20, Michael Jerome Parks, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of G’Teasha Elayne Fisher, 33. The special allegation was also found true that Park used a knife and handgun to commit the crime. 

On Sept. 7, 2016, Parks strangled, stabbed, then fatally shot Fisher after convincing her to meet at his uncle’s home in Pacoima, prosecutors said. Parks then fled and was arrested the next day in Las Vegas. 

Parks has convictions dating back to 1985, including for robbery, possession of cocaine for sale, and assault with a firearm. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

A man was sentenced Sept. 11 to 113 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in the head at a Pacoima residence, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

On June 20, Michael Jerome Parks, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of G’Teasha Elayne Fisher, 33. The special allegation was also found true that Park used a knife and handgun to commit the crime. 

On Sept. 7, 2016, Parks strangled, stabbed, then fatally shot Fisher after convincing her to meet at his uncle’s home in Pacoima, prosecutors said. Parks then fled and was arrested the next day in Las Vegas. 

Parks has convictions dating back to 1985, including for robbery, possession of cocaine for sale, and assault with a firearm. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Man sentenced for murder of victim found in plastic storage container

A man was sentenced Sept. 13 to 16 years to life in state prison for fatally stabbing an acquaintance who body was found in a plastic storage box, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

On Aug. 8, a jury found Kenneth Mullen Watkins, 29, guilty of one count of second-degree murder for killing Terry Nigale Benjamin, 52. The special allegation was also found true that he used a knife to commit the crime. 

On Jan. 12, 2016, Benjamin’s sister reported him missing. Days before, residents at Benjamin’s apartment complex complained of a foul smell, according to prosecutors. 

The apartment building owner entered Benjamin’s unit on Jan. 23, 2016, and discovered his body stuffed into a 45-gallon storage container, prosecutors added. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Watkins stabbed Benjamin several times on Jan. 4, 2016. He then cleaned up the crime scene, bagged the evidence and piled the bags on top Benjamin’s body after stuffing him in a container, prosecutors said. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

A man was sentenced Sept. 13 to 16 years to life in state prison for fatally stabbing an acquaintance who body was found in a plastic storage box, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

On Aug. 8, a jury found Kenneth Mullen Watkins, 29, guilty of one count of second-degree murder for killing Terry Nigale Benjamin, 52. The special allegation was also found true that he used a knife to commit the crime. 

On Jan. 12, 2016, Benjamin’s sister reported him missing. Days before, residents at Benjamin’s apartment complex complained of a foul smell, according to prosecutors. 

The apartment building owner entered Benjamin's unit on Jan. 23, 2016, and discovered his body stuffed into a 45-gallon storage container, prosecutors added. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Watkins stabbed Benjamin several times on Jan. 4, 2016. He then cleaned up the crime scene, bagged the evidence and piled the bags on top Benjamin’s body after stuffing him in a container, prosecutors said. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Long Beach man sentenced to prison for killing young stepdaughter

 A Long Beach man who slashed his 9-year-old stepdaughter’s neck in what prosecutors said was an attempt to cover up months of sexual abuse was sentenced September 14 to 41 years to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Jacinto Trujillo, 37, pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and oral copulation with a child under 10 years old. He was ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.

On the evening of April 27, 2012, Trujillo was walking with the girl in Long Beach when he pulled out a razor blade and cut her neck, prosecutors said. He left her, bleeding, in a nearby church parking lot.

The following morning, a witness found the girl’s body in the parking lot of the Los Altos United Methodist Church, prosecutors said. A short distance away, officials said, Trujillo was bleeding from self-inflicted stab wounds.

At the time, prosecutors said Trujillo killed the girl, whom he had raised since she was an infant, out of fear she would reveal that he had been molesting her.

During the investigation, prosecutors said, Trujillo admitted to sexually abusing the girl multiple times and killing her.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

 A Long Beach man who slashed his 9-year-old stepdaughter’s neck in what prosecutors said was an attempt to cover up months of sexual abuse was sentenced September 14 to 41 years to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Jacinto Trujillo, 37, pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and oral copulation with a child under 10 years old. He was ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.

On the evening of April 27, 2012, Trujillo was walking with the girl in Long Beach when he pulled out a razor blade and cut her neck, prosecutors said. He left her, bleeding, in a nearby church parking lot.

The following morning, a witness found the girl's body in the parking lot of the Los Altos United Methodist Church, prosecutors said. A short distance away, officials said, Trujillo was bleeding from self-inflicted stab wounds.

At the time, prosecutors said Trujillo killed the girl, whom he had raised since she was an infant, out of fear she would reveal that he had been molesting her.

During the investigation, prosecutors said, Trujillo admitted to sexually abusing the girl multiple times and killing her.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Deshaun Anthony White, 37

Deshaun Anthony White, a 37-year-old black male, died Thursday, Sept. 14, in Florence-Firestone, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. The cause of death is pending.

Deshaun Anthony White, a 37-year-old black male, died Thursday, Sept. 14, in Florence-Firestone, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records. The cause of death is pending.

from http://homicide.latimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized