Federal judge changes ‘life sentence’ of cop killer, makes him now eligible for early release

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BOSTON, MA- A federal judge recently reduced the life sentence for the individual who was convicted for his role in the 1991 death of Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley.

According to reports, Judge William E. Smith’s order could mean that Alfred Trenkler could be released from federal prison in as little as six years.

Trenkler was convicted of building the bomb that killed Officer Hurley and severely wounded his partner, Officer Frank Foley when they responded to a call on October 28, 1991 of a suspicious device in a Roslindale driveway. 

Both Officer Hurley and Officer Folely were members of the Boston Police Bomb Squad. Trenkler was one of two men convicted in the case and was originally given a life sentence for his role in the death of Hurley. 

However, in 2020, Trenkler petitioned the Federal Bureau of Prisons for a “COVID-19 compassionate release.” Trenkler’s lawyers claimed that the high COVID-19 infection rate at USP Tucson where he was incarcerated in addition to his severe heart condition, put him at great risk.

Judge Smith denied Trenkler’s COVID-19 release request, citing the prison’s falling infection rate and the fact that Trenkler had just received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Judge Smith wrote:

“Because Trenkler has received his first shot of the Moderna vaccine and because of the state of the virus at USP Tucson has significantly improved, the Court concludes that Trenkler’s heightened risk for severe COVID-19 does not rise to the level of extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”

Judge Smith also reviewed Trenkler’s case and found problems with his life sentence, an issue that reportedly has dogged the case practically since Trenkler was convicted back in 1993. Judge Smith found that the sentencing judge did not have the authority to impose a life sentence.

Smith’s ruling also cites the federal First Step Act, passed in 2018, which gives judges the power to reduce sentences. As such, Judge Smith reduced Trenkler’s life sentence down to 41 years.

Trenkler, who is 65-years-old, has already served 28 years of his sentence. The revised sentence which would now include “good time,” means that Trenkler could be released anywhere from six to 13 years from now. Judge Smith wrote:

“In the Court’s view, a sentence of 41 years would be one that reflects the seriousness of the offenses, promotes respect for the law, and provides just punishment for the offenses, while taking into account the history and characteristics of Defendant.”

Smith added:

“While the Court cannot second guess the jury’s verdict, it can, in determining the appropriate sentence, administer justice with a measure of mercy, even for one who is convicted of a heinous crime.”

Officer Hurley’s family is deeply disappointed with the judge’s decision to reduce the cop killer’s sentence. Leanne Hurley Teehan, Officer Hurley’s daughter, said:

“The victims have no rights anymore. It’s heart-wrenching to be honest.”

Teehan, just like her father, is a Boston Police Officer. She added:

“It is just physically and mentally draining our family. It’s never-ending.”

The Boston Police Department (BPD) release the following statement:

“The Department is saddened by the recent ruling of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island reducing the sentence of Alfred Trenkler stemming from a conviction for his involvement in a 1991 bombing which killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley and seriously injured Boston Police Officer Frank Foley.”

The statement added:

“Our thoughts remain, as they always have, with the families of these officers and with the countless members of the Boston Police Department who put their lives on the line every day.”

Trenkler will be eligible for parole in eight years. 

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Soros-backed LA district attorney says he won’t seek death penalty for cop killer, an admitted gang member

February 20th, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Friday, February 19th, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announced that he will not seek the death penalty for an admitted gang member who killed a police officer and his own cousin.

According to reports, Michael Christopher Mejia, 30, is awaiting trial on charges stemming from February 20, 2017. One of Mejia’s victims was 53-year-old officer Keith Boyer, who was responding to a report if a traffic collision in which Mejia had been involved.

While trying to flee the scene of the crash, Mejia shot Boyer and another officer, Patrick Hazell. Hazell survived a shot to the abdomen. Officer Boyer did not survive his gunshot wound.

During a hearing at Norwalk Courthouse, Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron said that he had been ordered to remove the death penalty consideration, despite his own objection and that of Deputy District Attorney Geoff Lewis. Dameron said in a statement:

“Over the objection of Mr. Geoff Lewin and I and despite our attempts to prevent this from happening, we’ve been ordered to remove the death penalty as punishment consideration in this case.”

Prosecutors had announced in 2018 that they would seek the death penalty against Mejia. The reversal comes two months after DA Gascón was sworn into office. Gascón, who said he has a “mandate from the public,” has vowed that the office would not longer pursue the death penalty.

Whittier Police Chief Aviv Bar and two of the victim’s family members spoke at the hearing, with the chief asking for all of the applicable charges and penalties to remain in place. Chief Bar said that Boyer’s loss has been devastating to their department and that they will never be the same.

Boyer’s son, Josh Boyer, called the day his father died, “the worst day of my life” and said he wants some justice. Don Clark, Boyer’s stepfather, said that the reversal was a “punch in the gut.” He told Jedediah Blia, host of “Fox & Friends”:

“People don’t realize how hard it is on the families. What Gascón’s doing, not only to our family, but to the cousin’s family, but to so many other families…that’s absolutely horrendous.”

Mejia also killed his own cousin, Roy Torres. Upon hearing the news of the reversal of the death penalty, Tiffany Garcia, one of Torres’ relatives said:

“I will be his voice, but this isn’t justice.”

During a taped video with police, Mejia initially claimed to not remember either of the killings because he was “high on drugs,” but later admitted to all the killings and shootings saying, “all three of them had it coming.” He said:

“They just got a taste of an L.A. gang member, real L.A. gang member. You know what I mean?” 

He added:

“And nope, I don’t feel sorry because I know they would’ve dropped me, they wouldn’t feel sorry for my family.”

During a 48-minute interview in a hospital jail ward eight days after the killings, Mejia said:

“I guess you guys have everything down. Smoked my cousin, smoked the cop…I mean, what else do you guys want? I shot another cop.”

When asked by homicide investigators about what happened with Torres, the defendant said that his cousin should have “kept his nose clean” and said that he had “warned him.”

In addition to the murder counts, Mejia was charged with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon with two prior convictions: second-degree robbery in 2010 and grand theft auto in 2014.

The charges also include allegations that Mejia personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he committed the crimes “for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang.”

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District attorneys union files court order against newly appointed Los Angeles DA Gascon to force him to uphold the law

January 1st, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA- After an entire month of suffering under the radical leadership of newly appointed Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) have filed a lawsuit against their boss in an attempt to force him to uphold the law.

According to the ADDA and their lawsuit:

“The suit asks that District Attorney George Gascón follow California state constitutional and statutory law. These laws, enacted by the voters and the state legislature, tested and deemed constitutional by the judiciary, must be respected by the executive.”

The suit, which has been filed by the union representing about 800 prosecutors, is alleging that Gascón has ignored laws mandated by constitutional and statutory authority. The ADDA is seeking a write of mandate from the court, which would compel Gascón to rescind several of his new policies, declaring them “invalid and illegal.”

Gascón had campaigned on a judicial reform platform and immediately acted on his campaign promises once he took office. He ordered his prosecutors, the deputy district attorneys to drop all sentencing enhancements, such as gang affiliation during the commission of the crime or using a firearm.

The president of the ADDA said in a statement:

“While an elected District Attorney has wide discretion in determining what charges to pursue in an individual case, that discretion does not authorize him to issue blanket policies that violate established law.”

Sentencing enhancements are intended to act as extra punishments, added on to the charge of an underlying offense. Gascón’s special directives, such as ending those enhancements, are his idea of increasing public safety “without over incarcerating.”

https://twitter.com/joyfyre1/status/1344678250144940033

However, after a national outcry, Gascón later amended that policy, allowing enhancements for cases involving “the must vulnerable victims,” including hate-motivated crimes, child abuse, and human sex trafficking.

There are still more than 100 enhancements in California’s penal code. Prosecutors are still barred from pursuing them for allegations of using a handgun in a crime, defendants listed in the state’s gang database, or for having prior felony convictions. ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall said:

“Los Angeles County prosecutors have been placed in an impossible position. Do we follow our legal and ethical responsibilities and risk getting disciplined, even fired, by our new boss? Or do we follow his policy directives and risk losing our California State Bar Cards and by extension, our ability to practice law anywhere in the state? We’re asking a court to answer those questions.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the union argued that prosecutors should pursue or forgot sentencing enhancements using “case-by-case discretion,” basing their decisions on the circumstances of a crime and a defendant, not a “rubber stamp blanket prosecutorial policies barring the wholesale enforcement of criminal laws.”

The union asserted that Gascón’s prohibition on enhancements for prior strikes violates the state’s three-strikes law, which in the union’s view, requires prosecutors to seek longer sentences for defendants with previous convictions.

The union also contended that Gascón, a local executive branch official, is encroaching on the authority of the courts in ordering his deputies to move to withdraw enhancements allegations. If a judge refuses those motions, as several have in recent weeks, line prosecutors have been instructed to file new charging documents without the enhancements.

In doing so, the union argued that the district attorney’s office is making an end-run around the court’s authority. Gascón did not end all sentencing enhancements and his plan to do so along with other elements of his progressive agenda, have been met with immediate resistance.

In a statement provided to The Daily Wire, Gascón  said:

“Data shows these harsh tactics compromise our community’s long-term health and safety, create more hardened criminals and victims, and therefore are not in the interests of justice. After a summer of unrest, Los Angeles County voters embraced this new, modern approach.”

He added:

“The will of the voters must not be mistaken as a commentary on the hundreds of Deputy DAs who labor, day in and day out, to protect the public. They are public servants who have earned our utmost respect and gratitude.”

He continued:

“They certainly have mine and a sincere invitation to join me in making these much-needed changes. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, this new approach will take some fine-tuning and a tolerance for chance. I invite open and respectful debate based on facts, however, the people have spoken, the direction is clear and in the end, we all want the same things..safety and equal justice under the law.”

óóThe ADDA a court order that would compel Gascón to rescind the directives and declare them “invalid and illegal,” as well as a temporary restraining order that would bar Gascón and his administration from enforcing the directives.

On December 30th, a judge denied the temporary restraining order that was requested in the suit. This is not the same as dismissing a case. A judge instructed Gascón’s lawyers to submit written arguments for why he should not be enjoined from enforcing the contested directives and set a hearing on the issue for February 2nd. Gascón has until January 15th to file papers supporting his position. 

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LA District Attorney backs down after backlash, will allow ‘sentencing enhancements’ cracking down on criminals

December 19th, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA – It appears that the pushback coming from multiple directions has worked with relation to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s initial banning of introducing sentencing enhancements against individuals prosecuted. 

Shortly after being elected as the L.A. County DA, Gascon become the center of both a media and public frenzy regarding his take on instructing his prosecutors that alleged criminals would not face any sort of sentencing enhancement for their alleged crimes. 

This move by Gascon resulted in creating panic among the public, as crimes motivated by hate, those who kill the young or elderly and numerous other crimes rife with disturbing elements wouldn’t be doled out a sentence reflective of their crimes. 

But as of December 18th, Gascon announced that his office will be backpedaling on the abolishment of sentencing enhancements and will be applying them moving forward for “cases involving the most vulnerable victims and in specified extraordinary circumstances.”

What this means is that deputy DAs can seek to apply sentencing enhancements for cases including hate crimes, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking and certain financial crimes.

In the memo that Gascon released in relation to his reversal of his initial directive pertaining to abolishment of sentencing enhancements, he’d proclaimed that he’d received the feedback from the community, victims or crimes and deputy district attorneys and adjusted his position accordingly. 

It would’ve been difficult for Gascon to have not heard or seen the backlash against his then-hot take on sentencing enhancements. CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News – the media coverage of the matter at the time did not place Gascon in a positive light in the least. 

Max Szabo, a deputy DA and spokesman for Gascon’s transition team, commented on Gascon’s recent change of heart on the matter:

“He’s making changes based on the feedback he’s gotten and based on the concerns that he’s gotten, to ensure that in cases involving vulnerable victims enhancements can and may be brought.”

However, not all previously available sentencing enhancements are coming back to the proverbial table. 

Apparently, prosecutors within L.A. County will still not be able to utilize sentence enhancements related to crimes linked to gang affiliation and also the “Three Strikes Law” from 1994 will not longer be sought by the office.

As mentioned earlier, Gascon’s take on sentencing enhancements was not scoring him the type of political points he’d thought it would’ve.

So much so that even prosecutors under his leadership were clamoring that a complete removal of these enhancements were not right. 

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Here’s our previous report on when Gascon’s sentencing enhancement debacle was in full swing and hosting widespread controversy. 

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LOS ANGELES, CA – It would be an understatement to say that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is having a tough time making fans following his recently achieved election. 

With sweeping policy changes, such as removing sentence enhancements (which can affect matters like those who committed hate crimes), Gascon is now coming under scrutiny again with a leaked email suggesting his office plans to retaliate against a judge for not complying with his office’s policy changes. 

An email originating from Gascon’s office contained the following with regard to a recent matter presented before Judge Shellie Samuels’ court: 

“I reviewed the transcript and discussed this matter with the DA. The judge justified her denial by stating (in part) that she disagrees with the DA’s policy changes.

“Based on this justification it shows that she is prejudiced against our office.

“Please ensure that no other matters are assigned to her court and follow the procedures outlined in CCP 170.6.”

The mentioning of CCP 170.6 is implying that Judge Shellie Samuels bears some sort of bias against the DA’s office, as said code of civil procedure reads as follows: 

“A judge, court commissioner, or referee of a superior court of the State of California shall not try a civil or criminal action or special proceeding of any kind or character nor hear any matter therein that involves a contested issue of law or fact when it is established as provided in this section that the judge or court commissioner is prejudiced against a party or attorney or the interest of a party or attorney appearing in the action or proceeding.”

Whether or not Judge Samuels actually made comments that would qualify as falling under California’s anti-bias laws isn’t clear.

But it wouldn’t be surprising to hear about someone openly disagreeing with what Gascon has set into motion. 

Recently, Gascon said that he’d afford no exceptions in the eradication of sentence enhancements.

Sentence enhancements are things like someone having prior convictions, a crime motivated by hate, gang involvement and much more. 

Not to mention, Gascon’s office will no longer seek the death penalty or even life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Numerous family members of murder victims were contacted since December 7th, being informed that all sentence enhancements were going to be dismissed as well. 

Lodie Pollard was one of those contacted, whose son Michael Pollard, Jr. was burned to death in a fire intentionally set at a recording studio back in 2018. 

This mother who’d violently lost her son feels as though the newly elected DA is making the pain from her loss all the more worse: 

“It was brutal and horrific, and it still hurts every day. And my heart hurts more today of what Gascon is doing and taking away.”

Also, accused double murderer Rhett Nelson is going to have all special circumstance allegations and enhancements against him dropped. Nelson is accused of murdering LASD deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano and Russian skateboarder Dmitry Koltsov back in 2019. 

That would mean that, if convicted, Nelson could still get paroled. 

Even some of Gascon’s own prosecutors are against the new reforms.

Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami has been known to bring justice against child abusers and murderers. Yet, while trying to stifle back tears, he can’t understand why anyone would want to afford lighter sentences to those who hurt children: 

“I just don’t understand why we’re not trying to prosecute child murderers to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hatami explained that Gascon is even sending people into the courtroom to monitor what prosecuting attorneys are doing – making sure they abide by his new policy changes: 

“A lot of DDAs are really scared. They are sending people to court to monitor what we say.

“They are working with the public defenders and alternate public defenders to intimidate us and document what we do and what we say.”

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