2009 DETECTIVE CASES

 

These are actual case files from the offices of Armando Zatarain Investigations, an Orange County Detective (OC PI). We have either changed or omitted last names to protect the innocent and all parties concerned. Please read on to see how we can assist you with sensitive situations and problems. Armando Zatarain thanks the attorneys involved for their team work, cooperation and legal expertise in helping to resolve some very serious cases.

Terrorist Threats

Our client Danny was charged in Orange County with three counts of brandishing a handgun. He was also charged with three counts of terrorist threats. Danny was not guilty of any of the charges. He is a fine young man with aspirations of becoming a police officer. This case had resulted from a misunderstanding and poor lighting conditions. These facts coupled with Spanish speaking victims under stress resulted in Danny going to trial on the aforementioned charges. Armando interviewed the "victims" and discovered that this was a case of misperception. The gun was actually an asthma inhaler. Armando explained the victims statements to the attorney. Danny refused to take a deal. The attorney, Daniel Grupenhagen succeeded in convincing the jury that what the "victims" believed they saw had in fact, not occurred. Three counts were dismissed by the prosecutor after trial. He was found not guilty on one count and two counts were hung 11-1 and 10-2 for not guilty. All charges were ultimately dismissed.

-- Attorney Daniel C. Grupenhagen; Costa Mesa, CA

Forcible Rape

Our client Larry is a former peace officer. He was charged with two counts of forcible rape, unlawful sex with a minor and false imprisonment. He faced approximately 12 years in prison. Armando investigated this case on behalf of Larry and his attorney, Jeannine Stewart. The alleged victim was an honor student and a star athlete. Why would she lie? The investigation revealed inconsistencies in her story and behavior. The case began to unravel at the preliminary hearing. Larry was steadfast in his innocence; he refused to take a deal. On January 20th, a jury trial began in Pomona Superior Court, Los Angeles County. On January 22nd after approximately 2 1/2 hours of cross examination the victim's lies became transparent. Among other things the "victim" had been calling Larry to arrange a tryst. This was confirmed through phone tolls. The District Attorney's office dismissed all charges against Larry.

-- Attorney Jeannine Stewart; Santa Ana, California

Attempted Murder

In 2009, Armando was asked by Attorney Jay Glaser to assist him in an attempted murder investigation. Jay sat Armando down in Jay's down-town Long Beach office. The video showed a heavily bandaged women sitting upright in a hospital bed. The woman's head was completely bandaged except her nostrils, one eye and her mouth. In the video she positively identified the person that had shot her in the face three times, as her son-in-law, of approximately eight years, Armando silently wondered "what am I going to do with this case?"

Armando met with the client's family. They were hard working, God fearing; wonderful people. Armando then met with the client. He's a very nice man; adoring father of a little girl; with no prior arrests; he had never owned or even shot a gun.

The investigation led Armando to discover that family, friends and acquaintances considered the victim a pathological liar including her own son who testified on behalf of the client. She was mentally unstable, having attempted suicide on multiple occasions. She was disliked maybe even hated by neighbors; tenants and even family members. She gave contradictory versions of the shooting and the shooter. She told a different story each time she was asked. In truth, she had no idea who shot her but blamed her son-in-law because she disliked him and she thought him the person most likely to have done it. Attorney Jay Glaser took all this and painted a portrait of the victim as someone not to be believed. After a two week trial the client was found not guilty and set free after being in custody for approximately two years.

-- Attorney Jay Glaser
Long Beach