In the News

  • Diego Leal, 18, and his attorney Jeffrey Tenenbaum listen to testimony at Wednesday’s preliminary hearing. The teen is being tried as an adult with his co-defendant, 16-year-old Fabian Roman for the Dec. 7 murder of Raymond Sevilla, 17, at Dos Amigos Park. LOS BANOS - Whether there were two shooters or one at a Los Banos park in December when Sureños gang members arrived and allegedly ...
    Continue Reading
  • LOS BANOS - A gang homicide court hearing was postponed earlier this week in Los Banos, but there were conflicting accounts regarding the reasons for the delay. Attorneys involved in the case said Wednesday’s hearing for homicide defendants Fabian Cruz Roman, 16, and Diego Leal, 18, was tabled, in part, due to the large number of people inside and outside the courtroom. The crowd included ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Jury questionnaires were handed out Tuesday, a week ahead of a trial for two defendants charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of an Atwater man in 2012. Miguel Rivera, 30, and Cindy Maciel, 24, have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the Oct. 26, 2012, stabbing death of 23-year-old Ryan Williams during a large brawl at an Atwater bar on Sycamore Avenue. Jury ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - The man accused of killing a Merced taxicab driver in January bragged about the incident but also told people he “messed up” and “panicked” during a robbery, running away empty handed, according to Merced police reports examined by the Sun-Star. Joseph E. Castrillo, 18, and Dante M. Woods, 20, pleaded not guilty Monday to murder in the Jan. 5 shooting death of ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A man and woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Merced County Superior Court to coercing a teenage runaway into prostitution in Merced. Samuel L. Packard, 32, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of human trafficking of a minor for a sexual act. His co-defendant, Ashley M. Gonzalez, 21, pleaded guilty to a single count of pandering a minor over the age of 16, the Merced County District ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A homicide case from 2010 was postponed again this week after two witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing in Merced County Superior Court. Carlos Anthony Gallegos, 29, of Salinas, has pleaded not guilty to murder and carjacking in the death of Jorge Luis Zamora, 54, who was found shot to death June 29, 2010, in his apartment on I Street in Los Banos. Officers discovered the body ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A trial was scheduled Thursday for a man charged with killing a Los Banos resident in 2010. Carlos Anthony Gallegos, 29, of Salinas, has pleaded not guilty to to murder and carjacking in the death of Jorge Luis Zamora. Zamora, 54, was found shot dead June 29, 2010, in his apartment on I Street in Los Banos. Police discovered the body after neighbors reported an odor coming from his home, ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Closing arguments were heard Tuesday in the case against a Dos Palos teenager charged with killing a rival gang member last year. Ryan O. Suarez, 16, has pleaded not guilty to killing John Cordero-Juarez on June 23, 2013, at Reynolds Park in South Dos Palos. If convicted, the teenager, who has been charged as an adult, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. A jury of ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - The key witness in a gang-related homicide trial testified Wednesday that the teenage defendant opened fire in a South Dos Palos park, stood over the fallen body of John Cordero-Juarez and fired again. That, however, is a different story than she told in January during a preliminary hearing in the case against 16-year-old Ryan O. Suarez, according to the defense attorney. Opening ...
    Continue Reading
  • Justin Nappi, 22, reads a statement before being sentenced Thursday to seven years in a state prison for the 2012 DUI death of Jayden Thomas, 10. LOS BANOS - Justin Nappi was sentenced in a Los Banos courtroom Thursday to seven years in prison in the 2012 DUI death of a 10-year-old headed home from a youth football game. Nappi, who has accumulated 577 days credit, will likely serve about five ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Two men charged with assaulting Merced police officers last month returned to jail Thursday after a judge increased their bail at a hearing in Merced County Superior Court. Judge Marc A. Garcia on Thursday raised bail from $76,000 to $250,000 for Nathan Schindler and Michael Stucky, both 24, according to the court clerk’s office. David Elgin, the supervising deputy district attorney ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Two men accused of stealing nine urns filled with human remains are scheduled to appear today in Merced Superior Court. Marc Reid, 55, is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday before Judge Mark V. Bacciarin Alleged co-conspirator Richard Madsen, 68, is scheduled to receive his trial date today, according to court records. Both men have pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen felony charges in ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Two Merced gang members received 13-year prison sentences each on Friday for their roles in attacking a teenager with a machete earlier this year. Isaac Sanchez Jr., 18, and Uriel Soto, 20, cut a package deal with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office to avoid longer prison terms, officials in the case said. Sanchez pleaded no contest to an assault charge and admitted a gang ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED – The trial of a couple accused of killing a Planada woman and kidnapping her baby was in its final stage Thursday, with prosecutors calling the female defendant “the brain” and her boyfriend “the muscle” in the murder-kidnap plot. Maria Ceja Robles and Jose Augustine Velarde are accused of killing Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja on Dec. 2, 2010, and kidnapping her ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED – Faking a pregnancy using pillows and being drugged against her will. Those were just two of the many claims made by Maria Teresa Ceja Robles, the Planada woman accused of murder and kidnapping, during her testimony in court Friday. Ceja Robles and defendant Jose Augustine Velarde are accused of killing Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja on Dec. 2, 2010, and kidnapping her 2-month-old son, Anthony ...
    Continue Reading
  • MODESTO - The Stanislaus County Superior Court is trying to determine whether a 33-year-old Turlock man is mentally fit to face criminal charges of sexually abusing a teenage girl. Robert Daniel Gomes is accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child, sodomy, oral copulation with a person younger than 14 and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than three years younger. The alleged victim, ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Prosecutors in the trial of a couple accused of killing a Planada woman and kidnapping her baby focused on the female defendant Friday, saying she was a willing participant in the plot. Those remarks came during the second day of opening statements in the trial of Maria Teresa Ceja Robles, 34, and Jose Augustine Velarde, 38, who are both charged with murder in the Dec. 2, 2010, death of ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED – A former school bus driver accused of inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old high school student was spared jail this week after reaching a deal with the prosecution. Efrain Orozco, 58, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute Wednesday. He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to stay away from the victim, according to Deputy District ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED – The case of five defendants accused of killing two men outside the Club Azul nightclub in Los Banos has come to a close, as all of the defendants have accepted plea agreements with the Merced County district attorney’s office. Prosecutors say the victims, Angel Rodriguez, 30, and Ruben Sanchez, 34, were members of the Mongols biker gang, while the defendants are members of the ...
    Continue Reading
  • LOS BANOS - The suspected drunken driver involved in a traffic collision that killed a Los Banos fifth-grader earlier this month appeared in a Los Banos court this week, as family finalized funeral plans. Justin Nappi, 20, was at the Robert M. Falasco Justice Center on Wednesday for a preliminary examination and bail review hearing. Nappi stood without speaking, wearing glasses and a gray T-shirt ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED – A 58-year-old school former bus driver pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Merced County Superior Court over accusations of inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old high school student. Efrain Orozco is charged with one count of felony attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor — a charge which could mean up to 18 months behind bars, if he is convicted. Orozco, who’s ...
    Continue Reading
  • LOS BANOS - Footage from video surveillance cameras could play a role in the case against five defendants accused of killing two members of the Mongols biker gang outside a Los Banos nightclub last summer. They made a brief appearance in court Wednesday in the double homicide case. Twin brothers Armando and Mando Lopez, 22; along with Francisco Esquivel, 21; Joe Castillo, 26; and Isaac Bermea, 19, ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A Livingston High teacher charged with having sex with her teenage student was released from jail Monday afternoon after a Merced County judge reduced her bail by 70 percent. Judge Marc Garcia lowered defendant Melody Carter-McCabe’s bail from $250,000 to $75,000 after hearing arguments from attorneys on both sides during a bail review hearing Monday morning. Jeffrey Tenenbaum, ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - The 43-year-old husband of slain Peterson Elementary School teacher Diane Romero could reach a plea agreement with prosecutors this week, which might put him in prison for life. Attorneys revealed in court Monday they expect a settlement in the case of Rodolfo “Rudy” Antonio Romero, 43, the sole suspect in the September 2010 stabbing death of Diane Romero, 44, at the ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A Merced man accused of murdering his wife — a school teacher — is back at the Merced County Jail after state doctors concluded he’s fit to stand trial. But his attorney is challenging whether the defendant is indeed sane. Rodolfo “Rudy” Antonio Romero, 43, is the sole suspect in the September 2010 stabbing death of his wife, 44-year-old Diane Romero, at the ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Three people convicted of killing a 40-year-old man to reap benefits from a nearly $1 million life insurance policy were sentenced to prison Tuesday in Merced County Superior Court. Laura Hernandez, 38; son Erick Camarillo, 21; and Edgar Garcia, 18, pleaded no contest in August to killing Alberto Rodriguez Macias, 40, on March 14, 2010, near Dos Palos. Hernandez, the ringleader and the ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A drunkard with a taste for violence — or a desperate slave to the sins of the bottle? Jurors are facing those conflicting perspectives in the trial of Jose Paz, a farmworker who pumped three bullets into his boss, but then dropped the victim off at Mercy Medical Center. Attorneys on both sides presented opening statements Friday. The victim in the shooting, 60-year-old Edward ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A heartless robber bent on revenge or the target of a set-up by a drug-addled ex-girlfriend? Those opposing viewpoints were offered by attorneys Wednesday during closing arguments in the trial of Joey Cardoza, who’s accused of committing a brutal April 27 home invasion at the home of a 56-year-old Atwater woman. If convicted, Cardoza faces 20 years in prison. Jurors will continue ...
    Continue Reading
  • J. Marchini Farms clerk faces 7 to 10 years in prison. LE GRAND - A 58-year-old woman accused of stealing nearly $1 million from Le Grand-based J. Marchini Farms will soon be headed to state prison after pleading no contest to two counts of embezzlement and check fraud. Beverly Roan reached an agreement with prosecutors last Thursday and faces seven to 10 years in prison. She’ll also be ...
    Continue Reading
  • Girlfriend of defendant is a key witness for the prosecution. MERCED - The jury trial of a man accused of beating a 56-year-old Atwater woman during a brutal home invasion is scheduled to begin today in Merced County Superior Court. Prosecutors say Joey Edward Cardoza, 34, committed the robbery with girlfriend Kimberly Suzanne Grace, 31, during the early morning hours of April 27 at a residence in ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A man, who didn’t give a “tinker’s damn” about a court restraining order, determined to commit murder over a failed relationship. That’s how Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II characterized the case of 41-year-old James White, on trial on accusations of firing two bullets into 33-year-old Stephen Jackson, killing him. Attorneys on both sides ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - The trial of accused killer James White was rocked by a seismic development Thursday, as a key witness who had gone missing appeared in court, giving testimony that could be a deciding factor in the case’s outcome. Benito Aguirre told jurors his version of what happened March 8, 2007, the day Stephen Jackson was fatally shot at G Street and Cone Avenue. White, who is accused of ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A deliberate and vicious murder, fueled by jealousy and rage. That’s how Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II described the case of James Evertt White, who stands accused of gunning down 33-year-old Stephen Antoine Jackson on March 8, 2007, because of a feud over a woman. Testimony in White’s trial kicked off Tuesday, and attorneys on both sides gave opening ...
    Continue Reading
  • Trial delayed while defendant goes to state mental hospital MERCED - A 42-year-old man accused of stabbing his schoolteacher wife to death will be sent to a state mental hospital before his trial can move forward, a Merced County judge ruled Monday. Judge Marc Garcia determined defendant Rudy Romero is mentally incompetent to stand trial. He’s accused of killing 44-year-old Diane Romero at ...
    Continue Reading
  • Attorneys get time to review information about the case. MERCED - The couple accused in the brutal killing Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja and the abduction of her 2-month-old son were in court Thursday morning. Maria Teresa Ceja Robles, 33, and her husband, Jose Augustine Velarde, 37, were escorted into the courtroom separately, both handcuffed and wearing yellow jail uniforms. Robles looked around the room ...
    Continue Reading
  • Jeffrey A. Tenenbaum, pictured on the right, attorney for Rudolfo Romero who pleaded not guilty in the stabbing of his wife school teacher Diane Romero, during his arraignment Thursday, September 30, 2010 morning in Merced County Superior Courtroom two with Superior Court Judge Marc Garcia presiding. Photo: MARCI STENBERG — Merced Sun-Star. MERCED - In his first public appearance since the ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A 37-year-old burglar who stole from more than a dozen residences, including that of a Merced County Superior Court judge, is heading to prison after making a plea agreement with prosecutors. Kevin Puglizevich was sentenced to 12 years, eight months in prison Wednesday after pleading no contest to eight counts of first-degree burglary, including enhancements, because there were people ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Accusations of unbridled greed, threats to abort an unborn baby and a $5,000 hit on a man’s life. Those details emerged Monday during a court appearance by three people accused of murdering Alberto Rodriguez Macias, 40. Macias’ wife, Laura Hernandez, 37, her son Erick Camarillo, 20, and Edgar Garcia, 16, are accused of killing Macias on March 14 near Dos Palos. A fourth ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Nancy Salas, the former UCLA student who sparked a massive police search in May after faking her own disappearance, was sentenced Friday to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. Salas, 22, appeared before Merced County Superior Court Judge Glenn Ritchey and changed her not-guilty plea to no contest to a misdemeanor charge of providing a false report to police, said ...
    Continue Reading
  • Nancy Salas. Ap Photo/Glendale Police Department MERCED - An attorney for Nancy Salas, a 22-year-old Glendale woman accused of lying to Merced police about being kidnapped, entered a not guilty plea in her absence during a brief arraignment hearing in Merced County Superior Court on Thursday. Jeffrey Tenenbaum, Salas’ attorney, said his client was at home in Glendale and didn’t have to ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - A 32-year-old man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl was set free Monday evening, after a Merced County jury acquitted him of rape charges. Raymond Dean Thompson was accused of committing a Nov. 1 rape in the bedroom of the teenager’s Merced apartment and was charged with seven felony counts. After deliberating for 13 hours, a jury of seven women and five men found Thompson not ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - The prosecution and defense both made passionate closing arguments Friday in the case of the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. Raymond Dean Thompson, 31, faces seven felony charges, including rape by force, sodomy by force, oral copulation by force, assault by means of force, burglary, criminal threats and committing a lewd act upon a child. The jury is still deliberating the case and ...
    Continue Reading
  • Attorneys provided opening statements Thursday in the trial of a Merced man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl. MERCED - Raymond Dean Thompson, 32, is accused of assaulting the girl during the early morning hours of Nov. 1 in the bedroom of her Merced apartment. He’s pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts, and his attorney claims there’s little or no evidence the girl was ...
    Continue Reading
  • MARIPOSA - After nearly two weeks of emotional and dramatic testimony, the fate of William Terry MacDonald, 64, of Hornitos is now in the hands of a Mariposa County jury. Both the prosecution and defense presented closing arguments on Tuesday afternoon. Late last week, MacDonald took the stand in his own defense. MacDonald’s testimony followed that of his oldest child, Lance Mac- Donald, Sr. ...
    Continue Reading
  • Testimony continues in MacDonald case MARIPOSA - A Mariposa County jury continues to hear testimony in the child molest case against William Terry MacDonald, 64, of Hornitos. After a full week of the trial, it appears the prosecution and defense believe there was a conspiracy behind the story. MacDonald had been awaiting trial in the Mariposa County Jail since he was arrested last summer. He was ...
    Continue Reading
  • Total of eight now in custody; detectives believe suspects are members or affiliates of gang. GUSTINE - Four more men are in custody for allegedly being involved in the fatal Nov. 6 stabbing of 33-year-old Bill James at a Gustine bar. That brings the total number of jailed suspects in the case to eight. Suspects Rafael Valdez, 26, Anthony Oseguera, 24, and Albert Aleman, 36, were arrested ...
    Continue Reading
  • MARIPOSA - Emotional testimony from the alleged victims of William Terry MacDonald’s systematic and generational child molestation marked the beginning of his criminal trial. Jurors began hearing from the victims on April 8. MacDonald, 64, of Hornitos, has been awaiting trial in the Mariposa County Jail since he was arrested last summer. He was originally charged with 17 felonies, with ...
    Continue Reading
  • MARIPOSA - The jurors filed into the courtroom in silence last Thursday. Accused murderer Christopher Michael McCurdy sat the same way, looking extremely anxious. McCurdy was set to hear the fate the seven-woman, five-man jury had for him after a week of deliberation. He was charged with the murder of Lonnie Ritter of Greeley Hill on Dec. 16, 2008. None of the jurors looked at McCurdy as they ...
    Continue Reading
  • MARIPOSA - In her final attempt to convince the jury of Christopher McCurdy’s guilt, Deputy District Attorney Kim Fletcher used the defendant’s own words to help her cause. The case went to the jury late Tuesday afternoon. McCurdy is accused of the Dec. 16, 2008, shooting death of Lonnie Ritter of Greeley Hill. He has said the act was in self-defense. Fletcher indicated that his claim ...
    Continue Reading
  • Defendants sentenced to a year in jail, probation MERCED - The son of Dos Palos Police Chief Barry Mann and two other young men pleaded no contest in court Monday to robbing a teenager in Merced earlier this year. Nicholas Mann, 18, Stanley Mosby, 18, and Roger Davis, 23, were each sentenced to one year in county jail for the incident, which happened June 5 in the 500 block of Rambler Road. Each ...
    Continue Reading
  • Livingston man says defendants retaliated after son quit gang MERCED - Testimony began this week in the trial of two men accused of shooting a 54-year-old man near Livingston, allegedly because the victim’s son had dropped out of a gang. One of the defendants is the victim’s own nephew. Steven Magana, 25, and Timothy Coronado, 22, are charged with attempted murder and several ...
    Continue Reading
  • MERCED - Jurors heard opening statements Tuesday in the trial of a 33-year-old Le Grand man accused of molesting four children and trying to prevent a fifth child from testifying against him in court. George Allen Leavitt is charged with 10 felony counts of child molestation, ranging from oral copulation to lewd and lascivious conduct with children under 14. He’s also charged with witness ...
    Continue Reading
  • The case has already gathered 100 pages of documents. MERCED - Four of the suspects accused of burning a Livingston woman to death did not enter pleas Friday because their court-appointed defense attorneys said they needed more time to investigate the case. This was the first time the men, shackled and in color-coded jail uniforms, had appeared in person before a judge for this case. They did not ...
    Continue Reading
Merced Criminal Defense Attorney

Office Location:

Tenenbaum Law Firm
800 West 20th Street
Merced, CA 95340
Directions [+]

Free Initial Consultation

(209) 384-3000

Follow Us On:

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.