March 2023 Newsletter

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Newsletter  |  March 2, 2023

District Attorney Gascón, L.A. Innocence Project 
Seek Factual Innocence of Maurice Hastings

DA-NL202303-Maurice Hastings

District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office has determined exoneree Maurice Hastings should be found factually innocent for a 1983 murder he did not commit.

In a news conference, District Attorney Gascón was joined by Mr. Hastings and Paula Mitchell, director of the Los Angeles Innocence Project at California State University, Los Angeles, for a tour of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

Mr. Hastings served more than 38 years in state prison for the 1983 murder of Roberta Wydermyer and two attempted murders. He narrowly escaped being sentenced to death and was sentenced in 1988 to life in state prison without the possibility of parole after his first trial resulted in a hung jury. 

Now, Mr. Hastings will ask Judge Ryan to grant him the legal finding that he is factually innocent that will clear his name and possibly obtain relief. After four months of investigation since the conviction was vacated, the District Attorney’s Office firmly believes that Mr. Hastings should be found factually innocent and that Kenneth Packnett was the actual killer.


Man Charged With Murdering
L.A. Bishop David O’Connell

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D.A. George Gascón announced that Carlos Medina was charged with killing Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell at his home in Hacienda Heights on February 18.

Medina (dob 5/26/61) was charged with one count of murder and a special allegation that he personally used a firearm.

Bishop O’Connell was found fatally shot at the scene.


Watch it on TikTok.

Watch the full news conference.

Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Murder of 12-Year-Old Boy in Off-Duty Crash in South Gate

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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricardo Castro has been charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter when he crashed his vehicle into another car, killing a 12-year-old boy and injuring two others in South Gate.

Castro (dob 4/27/94) was charged with one count each of murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing great bodily injury.

On Nov. 3, 2021, at about 3:55 p.m., Castro was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed on Firestone Boulevard in South Gate when he collided with another vehicle whose driver was making a left-hand turn. The speed limit on the street is typically 35 mph but is reduced to 25 mph when schoolchildren are present.


Watch it on TikTok.

Watch the full video.

Taking a Stand Against Gun Violence

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Weeks after a mass shooting in Monterey Park that took the lives of 11 people, D.A. Gascón joined Board Chair Hahn, Supervisors Solis and Horvath, Monterey Park Mayor Jose Sanchez and Alhambra Mayor Adele Andrade-Stadler to address the gun violence epidemic affecting our nation.

Recently, the Board of Supervisors declared gun violence a public health crisis in L.A. County.

In addition, the supervisors unanimously approved a series of motions authored by Board Chair Hahn and Supervisors Solis and Horvath to strengthen gun regulations in L.A. County.

Watch the full news conference.

Enhancing Services to the Most Vulnerable

DA-NL202303-0216 Statement LADA

D.A. Gascón announced that he will restructure and centralize the specialized divisions that prosecute crimes involving intimate partner violence, sexual assaults, child abuse, hate crimes and elder abuse.

The restructuring will enhance services to the most vulnerable in our community while also increasing the well-being of those deputies dedicated to pursuing justice for these victims.

Learning From Tragedy

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D.A. Gascón and Bureau of Information Chief Arcos recently met with Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John Tien, Supervisor Hilda Solis, and L.A. County department officials to discuss January’s mass shooting in Monterey Park.

Celebrating Black History Month


LADA recognizes and honors, top row from left: Tanishia Wright, Tiffiny Blacknell, Chandrea Parker, Kimberly Toney and Michael Robinson; second row from left: Monica Drake, Gilbert Wright, Charlotte Rougeau, Edward "Kyle" Kyle and Stephanie Pearl Mire, just a few in our team of African descent.

African American Advisory Board
Mental Health Forum


We thank those who joined us for our African American Advisory Board Mental Health Intervention Forum on Feb. 25.

Thank you to our African American Advisory Board members who led this event and to panelists Darlesh Horn of Department of Mental Health; Melissa Franklin and Andrea Welsing of Department of Public Health; and Shantise Fields of Speak Truth Therapeutic Services.


Crisis Response Team

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Thanks for joining our virtual forum on February 22. LADA’s Bureau of Victim Services Director Tanishia Wright discussed the formation of the Crisis Response Team and its role during incidents of mass violence such as mass shootings. Viewers met our BVS crisis response team.

Watch here.

Welcome New D.A.s

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We congratulate and welcome our new deputy district attorneys to the LADA family!

Ten new DDAs were sworn in by D.A. Gascón at a ceremony at the Hall of Justice.

Watch it on TikTok.


New Investigators Sworn In

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Congratulations to our new LADA investigators who were sworn in by Chief Robert Arcos recently.

We also congratulate our investigators and other members of the Bureau who were recognized for their work and dedication to Los Angeles County.


Action Planning Workshop

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The Bureau hosted an Action Planning Workshop at The California Endowment. Our Trust, Communication, and Inclusion working groups came together in collaboration to further strengthen the Bureau. We thank everyone for their participation and hard work.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we raise awareness about the online warning signs.

If you need assistance, call the 24/7 Nat'l Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 866-331-9474, text “loveis” to 22522 or chat at


Career Day for Kids

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LADA's Bureau of Investigation’s Sr. Investigator Roberto Estrada, Cyber Crime Division, recently participated in a Career Day at Germain Street Elementary School in Chatsworth. Students learned about Sr. Investigator Estrada’s work at LADA and in law enforcement.


L.A. County’s Healing Space

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Thank you to everyone who joined us at L.A. County’s Healing Space event at the Earvin Magic Johnson Community Center.

Special thanks to Supervisor Holly Mitchell and all County departments who came together with activities to promote our community's well-being.


Langston Bar Installation


D.A. Gascón joined in celebrating honorees and the incoming Board at the annual Langston Bar Installation and Scholarship Awards Gala at the Taglyan Complex in L.A.

Congratulations to all award recipients and the incoming Board, including LADA DDAs Kim Toney and Noelle Brown!


DA-NL202103-LADA in the news

District Attorney Gascón Announces Plan to Expand Specialized Prosecution of Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence

‘Reign of Terror Ends Today’: Tesla Driver Charged in Multiple Road-Rage Attacks: Prosecutors

Across from immigration court, a fake L.A. law practice lured the unsuspecting, D.A. says

Ex-LA County Deputy to Stand Trial in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man in Car

Former CHP officer charged with assaulting woman during traffic stop

LAPD sergeant is charged in crash that injured motorist during pursuit

We're Hiring!


LADA’s Bureau of Investigation is hiring a D.A. Investigator – Drug Recognition Expert to work on drug-impaired driving and drug-related cases. Applicants must meet all BOI Investigator hiring requirements and be available to work any assignment at BOI or L.A. County.  

Apply here.


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