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14May/13Off

Police Search for Former Billionaire Club Member and Ex-Convict for Manslaughter Charges

San Francisco just before sunset. This panoram...

San Francisco just before sunset. This panorama was taken at the Twin Peaks and is stitched from 12 portrait format images. For stitching PTGUI was used. Français : San Francisco au coucher du soleil. Vue panoramique depuis Twin Peaks réaliée en assemblant 12 images format portrait avec PTGUI. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In August of last year, Edmond Ralph Capalla was hit and killed by a taxi cab while crossing the street in San Francisco. Justice has not been served, but it can be now.

San Francisco police are searching for Reza Eslaminia, a once wealthy man whose previous trial in the 1980s opened the public’s eyes to the Billionaire Boys Club, onto whom to press charges. He was connected to the 1984 death of his father and was later sentenced to life in prison. However, in an appeal, the charges were dropped and he moved to San Francisco after being freed.

Eslaminia and his father, Hedayat Eslaminia, a former Iranian government official lived in exile in the Bay area. Eslaminia became a member of the Billionaire Boys Club while living with father. This social club was an investment group that recruited sons of billionaires to join in on get-rich-quick schemes. The death of Eslaminia’s father was suspected to be a kind of botched extortion job.

Eslaminia and an associate were brought to trial. They were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole. In 2000, Eslaminia’s conviction was overturned and he was released from prison. He then began working as a taxi driver in San Francisco.

On the night of Capalla’s death, Eslaminia was driving his taxi and ran a red light. He then hit another car, spun out of control and crashed into Capalla, who was crossing the street. Police immediately arrested him for the crime, but a judge ruled that there was not enough evidence to charge him for a felony and he was released.

Law enforcement is now filing charges against him for misdemeanor manslaughter. The warrant was released on March 29 and he has still not been found. Eslaminia is also wanted in a 2008 DUI case from Los Angeles on a separate warrant.

Once he is arrested, he will be tried and faces possible jail time. It is important that he is captured, as his criminal record needs to be addressed and so future offenses can be stopped.

Accidents happen far too often, unfortunately. Whether it’s a vehicle crash, hit and run or pedestrian collision, it is important to enlist an accident attorney.

The post Police Search for Former Billionaire Club Member and Ex-Convict for Manslaughter Charges appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

6May/13Off

Northern California Limo Unexpectedly Catches Fire and Kills a Bride and Four Bridesmaids

Car on fire

Car on fire (Photo credit: jenswedin)

In the San Francisco Bay area, tragedy struck Saturday night when flames erupted in the back of a limo transporting nine women on their way to a wedding party. The cause of the fire is being investigated and is still unknown, but it did claim the lives of five of the women, including the bride.

Neriza Fojas, a recently wed nurse from Fresno, and her friends were on their way to a party at a hotel where her new husband was waiting. Though wed already in the States, Fojas and her husband were traveling to the Philippines in a month to have another ceremony in which her whole family could join.

Fojas along with four other friends could not escape the vehicle before the flames reached them.  As the limo made its way to the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, the women complained about a smell of smoke to the driver, Orville Brown. He pulled over when he could and after he exited the limo, he saw that the back of the vehicle was on fire. Though the attempts from him and passing motorists to help the passengers escape were not futile, the fire burned too quickly to ensure safe releases for all of them.

Brown is the only one who escaped without injury. Two of the four remaining passengers, Jasmine De Guia and Amalia Loyola are in critical condition and being treated for smoke inhalation and burns. The other two, Nelia Arellano and Mary Guardiano are also in the hospital, but the inhalation and burn injuries are considered moderate.

Three of the ladies managed to leave the vehicle through the rear passenger door before the fire reached them and one exited through the partition between them and the driver. It appears that the remaining women were also attempting to exit that route, but could not escape in time. Their bodies were found at the partition.

The four women who were killed with Fojas are unknown currently as their bodies are severely damaged and will require more investigation to make accurate identifications. Their remains as well as the limo are being tested for any fire accelerant or any toxics that could explain the cause and intensity of the fire.

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The post Northern California Limo Unexpectedly Catches Fire and Kills a Bride and Four Bridesmaids appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

3Jul/12Off

Identity of Man Killed in 101 Freeway Accident is Confirmed

The standard California state route marker con...

The standard California state route marker consists of a white numeral on a green shield (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday, July 1st, a man was killed in a crash on the 101 freeway. Jose A. Ocana Hernandez was finally identified on Tuesday, July 3 at the Marin County Coroner’s Office. He had been driving home on a Sunday morning when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

His 1993 Honda Civic collided into the center barrier of the freeway. It is here where investigators believe that Hernandez may have over-corrected himself, causing him to go across the freeway and to hit a guardrail. His vehicle stopped at a ditch near the guardrail. Police officials are not sure whether Hernandez had been sleepy when he drove or if he had been speeding. Hernandez was declared dead on the scene. Anyone with information about the accident was asked to contact police officers.

Hernandez had finished working his night shift at San Rafael health care facility and headed home around 7 a.m. It was when he was driving home on the northbound side of the 101 highway that he crashed. Driving under the influence was not suspected in this incident. The accident took place around 7:45 a.m. south of the San Antonio Road which is close to the Sonoma county line.

The accident caused both of the 101 northbound lanes to shut down. One lane reopened again less than an hour later at 8:40 a.m. The other lane stayed closed but then was reopened at noon. The crash caused a bit of traffic and for cars to be backed up for about two miles.

We all fear accidents and we all hope for our loved ones safety when they are out on the road. Hernandez’s family must be distraught at the sudden death of their loved relative. An unexpected and grievous accident is never wanted.

While Hernandez’s accident only involved him and his car, other accidents are caused by careless driving. When out in the road, we cannot always be 100% sure if the people around us are being careful, vigilant drivers. Sometimes, texting, talking on the phone, and even eating can easily distract a driver. These distractions are what cause many accidents out in the freeway as well as in the side streets. It is important to be a defensive driver when other people on the road threaten your safety.

Also, if you have been the victim of personal injury involving a car accident, do not hesitate to consult with an attorney today to see what next steps you should take. Or if you have lost someone in a wrongful death accident, do not let the guilty party get away. Unsafe environments and negligent drivers can cause harm to innocent victims; don’t let these people get away. Call a San Francisco car accident attorney today and file a claim to let your voice be heard.

29Jun/12Off

San Francisco Lawyer Charged in Hit-and-Run Accident

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco.

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawyers aren’t shady, but there are a selected few who give them a bad name. Since lawyers are supposed to be well-versed in law terms, you would think that they would know how to conduct themselves in trying situations. Spencer Freeman Smith, an attorney for a San Francisco law firm, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, June 27 to a felony of a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Smith, a 33-year old man from San Ramon, was arrested in May for hitting Bo Hu and driving away at the scene of the crime. Bo Hu, a man from China, was either walking or riding his bike when Smith struck him. Hu was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident had taken place on Dougherty Road at around 11:30 p.m.

The 57-year old victim had suffered from a wrongful death. His family must be morning their loss. Families of wrongful death victims sometimes have a hard time understanding why these types of unnecessary accidents happen. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, know that you have some legal options you can take. A preventable accident should have never happened to you and you must allow for justice to come through.

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean

Shaft-driven bicycle Photo © by Jeff Dean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unluckily for Smith, he did not specialize in car accidents and personal injury. Spencer Freeman Smith was an employment litigator and handled cases involving wage disputes, sexual harassment, whistle-blowers, wrongful termination, and discrimination. He worked for Financial District law firm, Smith Patten.

Not being careful and hitting a pedestrian is already bad enough, but to fatally hit them and then run away is even worse. Any good Samaritan would have at least stopped and stayed at the scene of the crime. Instead, Smith ran and left fallen car parts on the road. These forgotten car parts helped investigators link the crime to the person.

Records showed that Smith had recently bought a black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550—the same car that matched the parts left on the road. And when officials searched Smith’s home, they found a Mercedes-Benz in his garage. There were major damages on the car which indicated that Smith had been involved in some kind of accident. The damages were on the windshield and front end of his car. The missing car parts on his car matched the car parts found on the road.

There were video surveillance recordings and cell phone records that indicated Smith was present at the scene of the crash. It was also confirmed that he was the one driving. Smith was also contacted two days after the crash by police officers, prompting Smith to immediately state that he was involved in a car accident.

Currently, Smith is free on a $60,000 bail. He is due back in court on August 8.

Since Smith was a lawyer, you would automatically assume that he would do the right thing when the accident occurred. However, he did not and is now facing the consequences of his actions. If you have lost somebody to a wrongful death accident, do not hesitate to speak with a San Francisco car accident lawyer and start fighting for your rights today.

15Jun/12Off

Parents Accused Of Killing Daughter’s Pimp

English: Golden Gate Bridge at looking south-s...

English: Golden Gate Bridge at looking south-south-east by night looking south across the Golden Gate towards San Francisco. Français : Pont du Golden Gate la nuit. Image prise en regardant vers le sud-est vers San Francisco. For more languages SEE BELOW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The San Francisco County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against a husband and wife accused of killing their 17-year-old daughter’s pimp.

Laprell Gilton, 38 and Lupe Mercado, 37 tried to persuade their misguided daughter to break ties with Calvin Sneed, a 22-year-old pimp and gang member from Compton.

 

The Bay Area couple claimed that they sought the help from law enforcement to no avail. They reportedly added their daughter’s name to several missing and exploited children registries.

Prosecutors argue that the couple stalked Sneed before they actually killed him. On the night of May 27, the couple tried to kill him in North Hollywood, but they failed.

The couple succeeded in their second attempt to kill Sneed. The murder took place in San Francisco near Candlestick Park. Sneed was shot to death in his car in the early morning hours of June 4. Gilton fired a round from a .40 caliber gun and murdered him.

Both Gilton and Mercado will be arraigned on June 20. They are currently being held on a $2 million bond. Each faces one count of murder, one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

Gilton, who has been in trouble with the law before, also faces a charge of possessing a firearm as a felon due to a 1995 drug-related conviction.

Gilton and Mercado began dating in middle school. The couple, who have three younger boys, were concerned about their daughter after she left home about a year ago. They found out that their daughter was appearing in escort advertisements and believed that she was working for Sneed.

The couple has a right to be concerned about their daughter and her questionable behavior. Obviously, they messed up when they raised her. That’s probably why she ran away. Had she grown up in a more ideal family environment, she probably would have never even encountered a loser like Sneed in the first place.

The problem is the couple took the law into their own hands and resorted to murder rather than allowing this to unfold in the criminal justice system. Worse still, we only know their side of the story that is based on how they perceive the situation. What about Sneed’s side of the story? How did he perceive the situation? Was he really a pimp? We may never know for sure because dead men tell no tales. Now this girl’s parents face serious prison time for murder if they are convicted.

If someone you love was killed because of negligence, you may want to talk with a personal injury lawyer and file a wrongful death lawsuit. A trained injury lawyer can help you collect compensation for your loss.