Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brian C. Yep will be asked this morning to recuse a prosecutor who, according to a motion on behalf of the family of a murdered man, is a former deputy public defender who, after becoming a special assistant to District Attorney George Gascón, continues to fight for the interests of criminal defendants.
The recusal is sought in a case where, at stake, is whether a man who committed a gang-related slaying two months shy of his 18th birthday will remain in prison, potentially for life, or be freed in less than a year—with the prosecutor favoring his release.
Attorney Kathleen Cady of the Dordulian Law Group in Glendale is seeking the banishment of Deputy District Attorney Alisa Blair from the case of People v. Andrew Cachu. In her motion, filed Friday, Cady argues that while the recusal of prosecutors should be a rare occurrence, Blair, through “sustained efforts and actions…, both surreptitiously and overtly” has “effectively abandoned the prosecutorial duty to seek justice and to avoid the appearance of impropriety,” necessitating her ouster.
Potential Life Sentence
Family members of Louis Amela, who was fatally shot in the back by one of two bullets fired at him on March 31, 2015, by Cachu—at the age of 17 years and 10 months—want the court to keep in place Cachu’s 2017 sentence by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Blanchard of 50 years to life in state prison. Under a law not in effect at the time of the procceedings before Blanchard (but retroactive to cases not yet final), that outcome would require a finding by Yep pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code §707 that a transfer of the case from Juvenile Court to the adult court was appropriate.
However, Blair has told Yep: “We will not be conducting a transfer hearing at any point.”
Blair has boasted, according to the motion, of being the principal architect of a special directive issued by Gascón on Dec. 7, his first day in office—along with several other decrees (the enforcement of some having since been preliminarily enjoined). Gascón’s “youth policy” says, in part:
“The office will immediately END the practice of sending youth to the adult court system. All pending motions to transfer youth to adult court jurisdiction shall be withdrawn at the soonest available court date, including agreeing to defense counsel’s request to advance.”