EXPERIENCE

SSprotrait2Steven Schreiner is considered to be one of the elite trial lawyers in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with over twenty-seven years of experience as a Deputy District Attorney. He has been an officer of the Court and a member of the California State Bar since his admittance in 1986.   He has proven to be  extremely successful in both jury trials and other courtroom litigation, possessing a vast  reservoir of legal knowledge.

Mr. Schreiner is now seeking election to the Los Angeles Superior Court, where this vast courtroom experience and legal knowledge can best serve the public.   His commitment to serve the community and to his position as Deputy District Attorney has earned him the endorsements of  numerous fellow prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officials, and Superior Court Judges.    

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • 25-year Service Award from Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Tried over 200 felony jury trials.
  • Prosecuted over 75 murder trials, including special circumstance and death penalty cases.
  • Lectured for law enforcement agencies on courtroom testimony and sentencing law.

 

HIGH PROFILE CASES

People v. Orozco  August 2013

Defendant Luis Orozco and Luis Garcia, Compton Tortilla Flats gang members and two Lueders Park Pirus, Shawn Verrette and Frank Ervin set up a Long Beach drug dealer to be robbed and murdered.  The case was extremely complex due to the cell phone evidence derived from cell phone records and cell site hits as well as voluminous wiretap evidence.

Due to the complexity of the case and the presence of four defendants, the case took six weeks to try.  Jury deliberations began just after the Trayvon Martin verdict. The jury announced it was hung after four days and gave a number of race based reasons for it.  The court ordered a 10 minute re-argument from each party and seven days later, the jury reached verdicts as to all three murder defendants.  Orozco, Verette, and Ervin were each found guilty of First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances.

In January of 2012, the court heard a motion for new trial.  Although no objections were made at the time of the argument, the defense claimed the language used by the prosecution in re-argument was prejudicial.  The court found that was not the case, but nonetheless granted the motion for a new trial based on juror misconduct.

 People v. Halvorsen     February 2011

Reversal of a 1987 Death Penalty case originally tried by Dinko Bozanich.  Halvorsen shot and killed two men in Wilmington and shot two other men in Long Beach who survived; all of this took place during the course of a one hour killing spree.  The final victim Eugene Layton was getting out of the shower at his house when Halvorsen came to his door.  Halvorsen shot him twice in the chest.  Despite these grievous wounds, Layton disarmed Halvorsen and tried to shoot him with it but the gun was empty.  Layton then pushed Halvorsen into a china cabinet and cut Halvorsen’s throat with a piece of shattered glass.

In the ensuing chaos, Halvorsen was picked up by an ambulance coming to pick up Layton.  When they arrived at Layton’s house, he was loaded into the same ambulance with Halvorsen.  When asked by police who shot him, Layton pointed to Halvorsen’s gurney and said that guy right there.  The 2011 jury also returned a death verdict.

People v. Martinez     October 2009

Santiago Martinez was originally tried for the murders of two of his girlfriends, Christina Wilkerson and Myra Orozco. He wanted Wilkerson to sell dope for him, but she refused.  Orozco’s sin was refusing to help in disposing of Wilkerson’s body.  His sister and parents however, did help out when Martinez threatened to kill them all if they did not help.

Perhaps the most compelling testimony was that of a juvenile who had the misfortune to share a cell with the defendant in California Youth Authority.  The witness flew in from Korea to testify and struggled through a description of the defendant’s forcible oral copulation and sodomy while he screamed for help.  Due to these crimes and his endless history of violence and weapons in jail, the jury returned a death verdict.

People v. Landers and Vigeant     July 2009

Defendants Landers and Vigeant entered into a drug deal with victim David Pettigrew.  They gave him a computer in exchange for an ounce of cocaine.  When Pettigrew did not come through with the cocaine in a timely fashion, they went to his home in Long Beach along with co-defendant Hernandez—a severely wounded Iraq War veteran—who shot Pettigrew in the head.  All were convicted of murder with special circumstances.

People v. Mosley     September 2008

Barry Mosley raped and strangled Bessie Conter and also strangled her mother, Shirley Austin, in 1999.  In 2000, he raped, sodomized, and strangled Adrienne Reed in her apartment.  After he had done so, he raped and strangled her 8 year old daughter, Jane Doe.  Jane Doe was the sole survivor of the attack, and ultimately testified at his trial, along with six other prior rape victims.  This jury also returned a death verdict.

People v. Jomo Kenyatta Bland      December 1999

The case involved a conflict between Rollin 20’s victim Kenneth Wilson and an Insane Crip defendant.  Defendant approached victim’s car and asked if he was “Kebo” from the 20’s.  When the victim responded in the affirmative, Bland fired numerous rounds into the car, killing Wilson and severely injuring two 15 year old passengers.

The court gave a transferred intent instruction to the jury on the issue of whether the defendant’s premeditation to kill Wilson could be transferred to the minor passengers.  In a published opinion, the court reversed as to the finding of premeditation on the attempted murder counts and created new law.

People v. Jones     July 1998

Kiongozi Jones was a shot caller in the Long Beach Insane Crips.  Jones was originally tried by Judge Patrick Connolly, but the jury hung 8-4 for not guilty in the guilt phase.  In the retrial, Jones was convicted of the murder of a rival Longo gang member as well as the murder of a witness to that crime, and the attempted murder of three other witnesses.

Jones was convicted of these murders and attempted murders.  In the penalty phase, the jury learned of two other uncharged murders and two attempted murders he committed.  Due to the incredible history of violence and complete lack of mitigating factors, the jury returned a death verdict.

People v. Fountano     May 1998

This case was particularly tragic.  Fountano cut off the victim in the drive through line at Jack in the Box.  When the victim, a freeway work crew chief, gestured in protest, Fountano walked over to his car and shot him in the head.  The victim was also a pastor in his church.  The witnesses were very reluctant to testify but, after much pleading and persuading, eventually did so.  One of the witnesses was even threatened while in custody and en route to the court on the county jail bus.  Fountano was found guilty of First Degree Murder.

People v. Quincy Collins     February 1998, March 2001

Quincy “Q-Ball” Collins, was a Rolling 20’s Crip who murdered Sean Crosby in Long Beach and then fled to Delhi, Louisiana.  When Long Beach Police Department Detectives tracked him down, they found that Collins was in the hospital suffering from his own gunshot wound.  Collins asked his cousin to retrieve the murder weapon and throw it in the swamp.  His cousin could not bear to throw out a perfectly good gun, so he hid it and ultimately led police to it.

Not surprisingly, the cousin was uncooperative at trial.  The Ouachita Parish DA brought the cousin to court and through the Interstate Compact, he was compelled to come to Long Beach to testify.  Unbeknownst to the People, defense counsel had advised the witness to wait until he was called to assert the Fifth Amendment, when it would be too late to get an immunity agreement from Ouachita Parish.  The court then allowed the tape of his statement to be played under the Statement Against Interest Exception to Hearsay.

Collins’ conviction was reversed due to the hearsay being admitted.  It was retried in 2001, and he was again convicted of First Degree Murder.

People v. Brown     October 1997

Duane Brown was a Gardena Payback Crip who confronted four Gardena High basketball players outside a liquor store.  Although none of them were gangsters, they refused to back down to Brown.  Brown responded by chasing them down in his car and firing multiple rounds into their car.  The boys fled and when they escaped, they checked to see if everyone was okay. Scott Smith, the star center of the team was still sitting upright in the rear seat.  One round to the base of the skull killed him instantly.

Brown was convicted of First Degree Murder and three counts of Attempted Murder.

People v. Howard     October 1997

Kenji Howard was a 16 year old Lime Hood Piru when he shot and killed 19 year old Arkette Mejia and left 19 year old Travon Johnson in a coma.  Mejia was in the Air Force on leave for her parent’s 25th wedding anniversary and Johnson was a college student.  They went to Dockweiler Beach with two friends one summer night, and on the way home, they drove on the newly opened 105 freeway where they were observed by Howard and his Piru friends.

As the driver of Mejia’s car was wearing a blue Dallas Cowboys jacket, he was seen as an enemy of the Piru’s.  Howard unloaded a 9mm into Mejia’s car, killing her.  Johnson has remained in a coma ever since, and will be a quadriplegic if he ever comes out of it.

People v. Barry Lamon     December 1996

Lamon, an Inglewood Family Gangster, shot and killed Dion Bright, believing him to be a rival.  He also shot Shawn Bryant, who survived the attack.  Lamon, who had been in and out of the system for twenty years, pled not guilty by reason of insanity.  Anticipating this, Lamon waited until the jury panel entered the courtroom and kicked his attorney in the chest, knocking him to the ground.

Lamon was convicted of First Degree Murder and attempted murder in the guilt phase of the trial.  Despite his violent display to the jury, they nonetheless found him sane in the sanity phase.

People v. Lomax     September 1996

Darrel Lee Lomax robbed the P&B Liquor Mart along with a female co-defendant.  After receiving the contents of the cash register from victim, Nasser Akbar, Lomax shot Akbar and fired three more rounds into Akbar’s body as he lay behind the counter.  Lomax had experience from a prior drug rip off robbery in Portland where three victims he shot lived to testify, so he made certain Akbar was dead.

Akbar was a well-known and beloved figure in the neighborhood, and was mourned by many.  Due to the defendant’s prior history of violence, the death penalty was sought and the jury returned a death verdict.

People v. Howard, Ruiz, and Togai     February 1996

Defendant’s Sean Howard, Michael Ruiz, and Tele Togai murdered Jordan High School baseball star, Javier Gutierrez, for the crime of looking at Ruiz.  The irony of the case was that Gutierrez was known as a peacemaker on campus.  The trio chased Gutierrez down and Ruiz shot him several times.  Defendants were members of the East Side Paramount.  The shooter, Michael Ruiz was convicted of First Degree Murder.  Howard was convicted of Second Degree Murder and Togai was convicted of Manslaughter.

People v. Clarke and Hodge     October 1995

Virgil Clark and Richard Hodge, two Long Beach Poly High School students with ties to the Long Beach Insane Crips carjacked a school crossing guard, Catherine Tucker.  Rather than simply take the vehicle, Hodge shot her in the head, killing her.

After shooting her, they stuffed her body in the trunk of her own car and drove it to Poly High. There, they showed the body off to their friends; none of whom bothered to report it.  Both Clark and Hodge were convicted of First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances.

People v. Bullard and Coleman     November 1995

Along with Dante Bloxton and juvenile ringleader, Stevie Smith, this foursome did takeover robberies of several bars in Long Beach, murdering two of the patrons in the process.  Numerous witnesses from the Que Sera and the Kim Mi bars identified them, but not before Bullard killed a US Navy Sailor in the Kim Mi.

A Long Beach Police Department Task Force arrested the group as they approached Dottie’s Bar on Magnolia—each defendant was armed for the task.  All four were convicted of numerous counts of Robbery and First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances.

People v. Bun     July 1995

Defendant Toen Bun and a juvenile accomplice were Asian Boyz gang members.  They shot up what they believed was a “Wah Ching” house occupied by rival gang members.  As it turned out, an innocent family lived there.  After the police were called, the family discovered to their horror that their 18 year old honor student daughter was killed in her bed as she slept.  The bullet, fired from a .30 caliber rifle, passed through the outer wall, the framing, the drywall, and her bed’s headboard before it passed through her neck.  A jury convicted Bun of First Degree Murder.

People v. Deaton     June 1995

Defendant Peter Deaton was the son of a retired Long Beach Police Department Lieutenant.  Deaton used one of his father’s guns to rob and murder a liquor store clerk who pulled his own gun on Deaton.  In the ensuing over the counter shootout, Deaton shot the victim four times and took three rounds himself.  Deaton survived the shootout and was convicted and sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole.

People v. Wilson     March 1994

The case was originally tried by Bill Hodgman in 1988.  The verdict was reversed by the California Supreme Court for Inadequate Assistance of Counsel.  Wilson shot the victim in the head as he slept.  Wilson then took $3000 in cash from the victim, Roy Swader, a swap meet tool vendor who was the sole parent of two young daughters.  The jury again reached a death verdict.

People v. Abel and Ripple     January 1992

The “Ma & Pa Kettle Bandits.”  John Abel was an aging Aryan Brotherhood member and ex-convict, and Lorraine Ripple was his meth addicted robbery partner.  They robbed a series of retail establishments, always shocking their victims when the mild mannered appearing couple pulled out their guns.  At trial, Ripple tried to take the rap for Abel, but the jury convicted both.

People v. Adams     March 1990

Benjamin Adams, the “Jumper Cable Bandit,” lured a series of elderly Good Samaritans into assisting him with his allegedly broken down car.  When they went into their trunks for the jumper cables, he would beat and rob them.  The jury convicted him of all counts.

LEGAL EXPERIENCE 1984 TO THE PRESENT

Law Clerk: Performed basic legal duties including drafting motions and trial preparation at Baker, Brauer, Saldivar, and Pastelle.

Legal Aid: Carried out intake interviews with criminal defendants at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office.

Municipal Court Deputy: Handled preliminary hearings and tried twenty-three misdemeanor jury trials.

Felony Trial Deputy: Prosecuted numerous felony cases ranging from robberies to possession of controlled substances.
Career Criminal Unit Deputy: Prosecuted many violent felony cases.

Hardcore Gang Unit: Special unit deputy for vertical prosecution of gang murder cases.

Calendar Deputy: Handled the daily court case calendar; evaluated case filing, negotiated case settlements, and prepared and litigated extensive motion work including discovery, motions to suppress, forfeiture actions, and trial briefs.

Special Trials: Prosecuted gang and non-gang special circumstance cases.

LEGAL EDUCATION

ADMITTED TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR 1986

University of Santa Clara School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1984

University of California, Santa Barbara 1981