In the Pasadena Courthouse This Week

Published : Monday, January 7, 2019 | 5:41 AM

This week, four high-profile Pasadena criminal cases will move forward in the Pasadena Courthouse of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Here’s an update and profile of each of these cases:

Preliminary Hearing Setting for Alex Edward Evans, January 7

Alex Edward Evans, 30, faces one count of murder with an allegation of using a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon, for allegedly killing his 67-year-old mother at the home they shared on September 24, 2018.

The victim, identified in the criminal complaint as Katrina E, reportedly died from multiple stab wounds in the home in the 1000 block of North Mentor Avenue, according to records at the Pasadena Police Department. The case remains under investigation.

Evans faces 26 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail is scheduled at more than $2 million.

Deputy District Attorney Lindley Heher is prosecuting.

 

Preliminary Hearing Setting for Donte Antoine Fox, January 8

Donte Antoine Fox, 22, is charged with one felony count each of murder, vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run driving resulting in death, grand theft of an automobile and driving or taking a vehicle without consent, in connection with the hit-and-run death of a motorcyclist in Pasadena on October 6, 2016.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said the felony complaint includes allegations that Fox was convicted in 2016 of first-degree residential burglary.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges in July.

Records of the case show Fox allegedly stole a Tesla Model S 85D and later crashed into motorcyclist Oscar Chavez, 60. The victim died at the scene and the defendant reportedly fled and remained at large until his arrest on June 21.

Fox faces more than 36 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail is set at more than $2.1 million.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich is prosecuting.

 

Preliminary Hearing Setting for Lance Anthony Semkus, January 8

Lance Anthony Semkus, 74, of Pasadena, is charged with one felony count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, mayhem, attempted second-degree robbery and two counts of cruelty to an animal.

He is also facing charges which include allegations of great bodily injury and use of a knife.

On January 4, 2018, Semkus pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On October 23, 2017, Semkus allegedly attempted to drag a 19-year-old Pasadena woman and her dog into his vehicle in front of a pet store in the 3300 block of Sierra Madre Villa Avenue. Passersby saw what was happening and came to her aid. The suspect fled in a black SUV.

About an hour and a half later, Semkus reportedly approached a 26-year-old Winnetka woman and slashed her throat with a knife outside of a strip mall in the 600 block of South Arroyo Parkway. She screamed and fought Semkus off, but suffered severe injuries to her hand and neck.

The suspect fled in an SUV and was tracked by the Pasadena police helicopter in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue near California Blvd. Officers conducted a traffic stop and arrested him.

The woman was taken to a local hospital.

Semkus, said to be a Vietnam veteran who once served in the Burbank Police Department, is being held in lieu of $10 million bail. He faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 32 years to life in state prison if convicted.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich is prosecuting.

 

Pasadena Case Being Heard in Los Angeles: Sentencing for Danny R. Wooten, Tyrone Collins, January 11

Danny R. Wooten, a 55-year-old former management analyst for Pasadena’s Public Works Department, and Tyrone E. Collins, 59, were convicted on November 6, 2018 of charges stemming from the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the city.

Jurors found Wooten guilty of 53 felony counts, including embezzlement by a public or private officer, misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest. He was acquitted of four counts of conflict of interest and one count each of embezzlement by a public or private officer and public officer crime.

Collins was convicted of 10 felony counts each of embezzlement by a public or private officer and misappropriation of public funds.

Jurors also found true allegations that more than $500,000 belonging to the City of Pasadena was taken in the embezzlement.

Wooten could face up to 24 years in state prison, while Collins could face 15 years behind bars, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus ordered them to be taken into custody following the jury’s verdict, but their lawyers had asked the judge to allow Wooten and Collins to be placed on electronic monitoring and to remain free while awaiting sentencing.

Melody Jenkins, a former temporary City employee, was cleared in March last year of charges in connection with the embezzlement scandal.

 

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