Courtroom Roundup

Includes high-profile cases as well as noteworthy incidents

By VCR Staff 03/27/2014


Joshua Packer/Faria Beach slayings, case pending
The high-profile death penalty case of Joshua Packer, accused in the Faria Beach slayings of a couple and their unborn fetus, is currently on hold.


The State Supreme Court agreed in December to rule on whether or not Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy followed the law when she rejected an evidentiary hearing on whether to remove prosecutor and Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Frawley from the case. It will not rule on whether Frawley should be removed.


Packer’s defense attorneys contend that Frawley should be removed from the case because Frawley’s children spent time with Packer in a Christian youth group. The defense plans on calling his children to testify during the penalty phase and with Frawley as a prosecutor, it could severely affect the case at the stage. Murphy had denied the request, saying that Packer and Frawley’s children knew each other only briefly.


Frawley said he thinks the Supreme Court will make its decision sometime this year. If the court rules against the defense’s request, the trial will begin shortly after. If the court rules in favor, then the evidentiary hearing will begin.


Packer, a former Ventura High School student, is accused of repeatedly stabbing and ultimately killing Brock and Davina Husted, who was pregnant at the time, in their home in Faria Beach just north of the city of Ventura. Their two other children were in the home but were not injured. Packer has also been charged with special circumstances of armed robbery and one count of forcible oral copulation on Davina Husted while using a knife.


Peter Foy II sentenced to six years in prison


Peter Charles Foy II, son of Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, District 4, has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted for trafficking in drugs and money laundering.


In June, Foy II was charged with three counts of transportation of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to transport a controlled substance, as well as four counts of money laundering and second-degree burglary.


On Feb. 10, Foy pleaded guilty to transporting the drug oxycodone, to felony money laundering and to failure to file his income tax return.


Foy was sentenced in 2012 to a year in prison after pleading no contest to conspiring to manufacture a human growth hormone. Instead, Foy was placed on a three-year term of probation and was arrested again in August during that time.


Of the remaining 10 charges, including second-degree burglary, Senior Deputy District Attorney Derek Malan was unwilling to say if they would be dropped if the six-year term was definite, but added that they may have been dismissed when Foy pleaded guilty earlier in February.


T.O. burglary suspects arrested

A month-long investigation netted three individuals suspected of identity theft, burglary and thefts from vehicles.


Michael Rodriguez and Nastaza Schmidt are alleged to have been involved in more than 30 vehicular burglaries in the city of Thousand Oaks alone, but could be implicated in break-ins in Newbury Park and Westlake Village as well. A female present during the arrest was brought in on an outstanding warrant.


Thousand Oaks Police Investigations and Special Enforcement Units arrested the suspects at a hotel in Newbury Park. At the scene, several pieces of evidence, allegedly related to vehicle burglaries committed in Agoura Hills just hours prior to the arrests were found. Additional evidence allegedly related to previous burglaries as well as methamphetamine were also located in their motel room.


The suspects are allegedly to have used the credit cards gathered from burglaries to make thousands of dollars of fraudulent purchases at retail stores throughout the county.


Simi Valley Councilman apologizes after arrest for DUI


Simi Valley City Councilman Steve Sojka, 49, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in El Segundo on March 12. Sojka has served on the City Council since 1998.


On Monday, March 24, he released an announcement the stated:


“As the son of a former police chief, I understand and respect the rule of law and I’m disappointed in my decisions resulting in my arrest. However, my actions were on my time. Until such time as this matter is clarified and rectified, I will continue to represent the community as a dedicated council member.”


He is the son of former Simi Valley Police Chief Robert Sojka, who served from 1977 to 1980. Sojka was released on $5,000 bail and is due back in court on June 17.

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