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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Mitrice Richardson Lawsuit Ruling Delayed

The Los Angeles Independent reports:
 A judge said Monday that he was inclined to grant motions to dismiss portions of two lawsuits filed by the parents of a woman who was released from custody by sheriff’s deputies in the middle of the night despite exhibiting bizarre behavior. But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William F. Fahey did not immediately rule. After hearing arguments,said he wanted to mull the issues further and would have a final decision by the end of the week.Mitrice Richardson, 24, went missing in September 2009. The Cal State Fullerton student’s body was found last Aug. 12 in Malibu Canyon by deputies and park rangers who were looking for illegal marijuana farms.

The judge said he does not believe the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in Agoura Hills is as isolated as described by attorneys in their court papers.

“We’re not talking about up in the hills,” Fahey said. “You describe it as some remote area — it’s not. It’s right in the heart of [the city].”

Richardson was arrested and briefly incarcerated after exhibiting strange behavior and failing to pay a bill at Geoffrey’s, an oceanside restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Investigators said she apparently had a mental breakdown after being awake for as many as five nights, according to diaries found in the car she was driving.

Sheriff’s deputies summoned to the restaurant searched Richardson’s car and found some marijuana, prompting them to impound the vehicle.Richard’s divorced parents, Michael Richardson and Latice Sutton, last year filed separate wrongful death suits against the county that have since been consolidated.

Michael Richardson’s case names Sheriff Lee Baca as a defendant and Sutton’s case identifies Malibu/Lost Hills Station Capt. Tom Martin. As part of their motions, defense attorneys want both men dismissed from the case on grounds they have governmental immunity. Read More....
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