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A criminal defendant has a right to testify in his own defense. But exercising that right carries risks. He could make a bad impression. The government could conduct a damaging cross-examination. And if the jury’s verdict necessarily reflects a flat rejection of his testimony, he could be deemed to have sought to obstruct justice through perjury, triggering a sentence enhancement under Section 3C1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines. But if that enhancement is too readily applied, it could “chill”

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CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8 EL CAJON (CBS 8) – A 21-year-old custodian from El Capitan High School accused of sending explicit texts to a 14-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty in court Friday. He was arrested last week after a girl turned her phone over to authorities and they arranged a meeting. Elias Morales didn’t say much in court Friday, but legal documents obtained by CBS

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SAN DIEGO – A man accused of leaving a threatening voice message at the San Diego office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and sending a threatening email to the organization’s office in Washington, D.C. pleaded not guilty today to seven charges with hate crime allegations. John David Weissinger, 53, faces about five to six years in prison if convicted. He was allowed to remain free on his already posted $50,000 bail. Deputy District Attorney

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In the hours after his arrest a year ago on charges that he fixed college basketball games while at the University of San Diego, Brandon Johnson told federal agents he was informed of the point spreads, received money after games and solicited a former teammate to potentially participate in the scheme. But USD’s all-time leading scorer insisted, tearfully at times, that he never actually altered a game. “I didn’t go in no game to throw

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The 85-year old doña of a female-controlled immigrant smuggling ring was sentenced in a U.S. court Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison in case that appears out of place during a time when smuggling has been controlled by powerful and violent organizations. Felicitas Gurrola was charged with moving up to 80 people a month past border inspectors at the nation’s busiest border crossing in San Diego by having them assume false identities. Her method

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Virginia Kelly Found Guilty Of Grand Theft The former head of a Latino foster parents organization was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in jail, followed by 120 days of home confinement, for hoarding more than 12,000 donated toys meant for needy children. Virginia Prieto Kelly, 75, had faced a maximum of five years in prison, but San Diego County Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian opted for a low-end term that will be followed by three

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This one has me scratching my head in puzzlement. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday that the “talk of the downtown courthouse” has been a case that alleges an inappropriate sexual relationship with a former partner at the Pacific Law Center, Alan E. Spears. The firm had been having troubles enough before now, having been dogged by complaints in recent months by former clients, former lawyers and even the Better Business Bureau. Last month, in

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Retired Navy intelligence officer sold aircraft parts By Onell R. Soto STAFF WRITER October 19, 2005 A retired Navy intelligence officer from Escondido admitted yesterday that he worked with a Pakistani arms dealer living in Mexico to export aircraft engine parts illegally. G. Charles Budenz II, 57, faces more than six years in prison after he pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to three counts of exporting defense articles without a license. He was

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