Earlier this year, Santiago Chamu won a generous plea deal from local prosecutors.
Represented at taxpayer expense by a public defender, Chamu agreed to serve 150 days in the Orange County Jail and undergo three years of supervised probation in exchange for the government dropping a 2011 felony robbery charge to a non-strike, grand theft count.
Chamu decided after the deal that he wanted a more generous arrangement with less time in jail.
He appealed and the criminal justice system appointed yet another free lawyer to handle his complaint.
But there was a problem: Chamu's appellate lawyer carefully studied the case and couldn't find a single, legitimate issue.
At the California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana, a three-justice panel headed by William Rylaarsdam also reviewed the case and found nothing improper.
Upshot: This 23-year-old thief owes taxpayers a huge bill for wasting everybody's time.
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CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.