Friday, July 27, 2012

BREAKING in #SheriSangji case: UC charges dropped, Harran case separated

From Michael Torrice's in-courtroom reporting, 3 tweets by Jyllian Kemsley:
First tweet: #sherisangji court update from @mmtorrice: UC and Harran case separated (1/3) 
Second: UC charges dropped in exchange for acknowledging responsibility, improved safety measures, memorial scholarship (2/3 #sherisangji) 
Third: Harran case cont to 9/5 to consider defense motion per LA Times* http://t.co/xBQYoKcW ; full story coming at cen.acs.org (3/3 #sherisangji)
*re: the Baudendistel gambit

On that second tweet, it looks to me like UCLA Chancellor Gene Block's moves (the increased laboratory safety emphasis, founding the UC Center for Laboratory Safety) has paid off. It will be fascinating to see what the "acknowledging responsibility" means.

2:49p Eastern: From Kim Christensen at the Los Angeles Times:
Felony charges against the University of California Regents stemming from the 2009 death of UCLA research assistant Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji were dropped Friday in return for a pledge of comprehensive safety measures and the endowment of a $500,000 scholarship in her name. 
“The Regents acknowledge and accept responsibility for the conditions under which the laboratory operated on December 29, 2008,” the agreement read in part, referring to the date that Sangji, 23, suffered fatal burns. 
[snip] Friday’s agreement, announced at a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, does not affect Harran’s charges. University of California officials said Friday they stood by him and would continue to pay his legal expenses.  
[snip] Harran was to be arraigned Friday, but that was postponed until Sept. 5 to allow the judge to weigh defense motions, including one this week that alleges the state’s chief investigator on the case, Brian Baudendistel, committed murder as a teenager.
...The motion contends that the Cal-OSHA investigator is the same Brian A. Baudendistel who, in January 1985 with two accomplices, lured Michael Myer from a bar in the Northern California town of El Dorado to a remote area to rob him of $3,000 worth of methamphetamine. As he rolled up on his motorcycle, Myer, 26, was killed by a shotgun blast. Another teenager admitted to being the shooter, but said Baudendistel had supplied the weapon.
UPDATE: C&EN's story by Michael Torrice and Jyllian Kemsley is up and it's a good one. Links to the agreement between the LA District Attorney's office here. A link to "Defendant Patrick Harran's Notice of Motion and Motion for Franks Hearing, To Quash Arrest Warrant, and Demurrer to Felony Complaint" is here. (It's really good reading.)

2 comments:

  1. Unstable IsotopeJuly 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Fascinating - are they perhaps throwing Harran under the bus? Acknowledging responsibility could mean that they stop saying Sangji was responsible for her own death. That would hurt Harran I think.

    What changes are being made to safety at UCLA?

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    Replies
    1. "What changes are being made to safety at UCLA?"

      Does not matter. In two years the students who were there during the accident, knew the victim well will graduate and were scared spitless will graduate. Safety campaign will blow over and everything will go back to its original state. I've seen it twice already.

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