Career

DA’s Office Career:

Ken has been with of the District Attorney’s office since 2004, starting as a volunteer law clerk and moving up the ranks.

Environmental Crimes Division:

Ken is a member of the Environmental Crimes Division, holding accountable corporations and individuals that pollute our environment, illegally poach wildlife, and produce unsafe work conditions causing death. Ken has worked on cases involving the systematic spilling of toxic waste into our waters, the illegal depositing of contaminants on property where school children play, and the leaking of harmful gases into the air. The Environmental Crimes Division is also one of the few divisions in the DA’s office that files both criminal and civil cases. The unit files statewide civil cases against large corporations polluting the environment and engaging in unfair competition.

Hardcore Gang Division:

Immediately preceding this assignment, Ken was part of the elite Hardcore Gang Division. During that time, Ken prosecuted numerous homicide cases. His most recent murder case involved a defendant who ran two blocks with an assault rifle and gunned down the victim, a member of his own gang, in the middle of the street in front of dozens of people with no effort to conceal his identity. Not a single person was willing to identify the defendant to police. The shooting was caught on grainy, dark surveillance video. Ken relentlessly located and re-interviewed witnesses to trace back hearsay to its source, impeaching civilians with civilians. To illustrate how much investigation Ken facilitated himself, when the case was submitted to him at filing, there were 30 recordings of interviews conducted by the police. By the time Ken was done there were 67, including those done by himself and DA investigators. As a result of these efforts, which included locating and tracking down hostile gang member witnesses, Ken was able to uncover four additional eyewitnesses to the shooting and bring into evidence out of court statements they provided to him. Ken also personally visited the crimes scene with gang officers and directed the video reenactment of the shooter’s path to see how shoes the defendant was wearing on his Facebook account appeared on the housing development surveillance system. The results were truly compelling. The defendant was convicted of first degree murder and is now serving 103 years to life in state prison. During that trial Ken discovered he was suffering from kidney stones and experienced some of the worst pain he has ever known. Despite that, he did not miss a single day of trial, examined all of the witnesses, and tried the case to verdict.

While in the Hardcore Gang Division Ken was twice assigned to a federally funded program called Community Law Enforcement and Recovery program (CLEAR) meant to foster community policing and cooperation with the public in the neighborhoods served. Ken was assigned to LAPD Southwest while working in downtown Los Angeles and, LAPD Southeast CLEAR while working in Compton and Watts. During his time in CLEAR Ken delivered numerous trainings to gang officers and developed mutually cooperative relationships with the police and the community.

Central Bureau:

Before the Hardcore Gang Division Ken was assigned to the central bureau of the district attorney’s office. It represented the culmination of a career long dream of trying a large volume of cases. There, Ken prosecuted a case in which the victim was shot in his own business for failing to pay local “gang taxes.” This murder was shown on video with the victim being shot in the head and falling to the ground. The defendant’s face was concealed by a mask. Ken prosecuted another case involving the vicious beating and subsequent kidnapping of a woman on skid row. After having his demands for sex refused, the defendant then beat the victim numerous times about the head and face, threw her in a shopping cart and attempted to wheel her away. The victim was dying of kidney failure during the pendency of the case. Despite the defendant’s efforts to delay the proceedings, Ken was able to secure her testimony on the record in a special hearing in order to use it in the trial. The defendant is now serving a lengthy prison sentence.

Victim Impact Program (Special Victims Unit: Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence, Elder and Child Abuse)

Ken was assigned to the elite Victim Impact Program (VIP) units in both Norwalk and Pomona. During that time he tried cases including but not limited to PC 288.5 Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child Under 13, PC 288.7 Digital Penetration of a Child Under the Age of 11, PC 269(a)(5) Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor Under 13 (Oral Copulation, Digital Penetration, and Sodomy with multiple victims), PC 664/187 Attempted Murder, PC 422 Criminal Threats, PC 273.5(a) Domestic Violence, and PC 273A(a) Child Abuse. Additionally Ken was assigned many murders, including special circumstance cases. Ken’s case load in Norwalk and Pomona regularly hovered around 25 open matters pending trial. There was not a single type of case encompassing Domestic Violence, Child Molestation, Sexual Assault, Stalking, or Elder Abuse that Ken did not handle, including those garnering media attention. The VIP unit experience not only provided Ken with an opportunity to hone his complex litigation skills, but involved some of the most serious and emotionally difficult cases. One in particular involved a young girl whose grandfather sexually abused her in virtually every way imaginable from ages 8 to 12. After a six week long jury trial where the victim was on the stand for 3 days facing aggressive defense cross-examination, the judge handed down a life sentence, enabling this child to receive closure. It was during this case that Ken was introduced to a group of volunteers who came in mass to support the victim by sitting in the audience during her testimony. This empowered her and enabled her to explain some of the most horrific acts of sexual abuse one can fathom. The lead investigator and Ken were later called upon to participate in a major corporate video commemorating the group in helping child abuse victims.

While in VIP, Ken also prosecuted murder cases, one of which involved a father who shot the mother of his children during a custody exchange in front of their young son. Ken also prosecuted a case in which the defendant stabbed her boyfriend in the heart after hearing him talking about her on the phone in the other room.

Military:

Ken is not just a Deputy District Attorney but is also a Reserve Captain in the United States Air Force. Coupled with his civilian experience Ken has been fortunate to gain federal experience trying courts-martial and has repeatedly gone on active duty orders to serve our country and backfill deployed personnel. The J.A.G. Corp offered him exposure and experience in a variety of legal fields in light of the fact that officers within its ranks are not only prosecutors but also defense attorneys and effectively the “in-house” counsel for the Air Force. This gave Ken exposure to not only federal criminal practice from the perspective of both sides, but civil as well, including but not limited to labor law, administrative law, contract law, fiscal law, international law, and civil claims/remedies. Ken joined the Air Force while he was prosecuting serious sex crimes in the district attorney’s office in the VIP Unit. He did not do so for financial gain or help with his education. He felt a sincere duty to serve his country in uniform before it was too late, a void that if left unfilled would have been a lifelong regret. Although joining meant being away from his family for months at a time he answered his personal call of duty. At a time when people are reaching comfort in their civilian careers, Ken completed officer training school (OTS) in his thirties alongside cadets who were most often a decade younger. In OTS Ken was placed in situations with little sleep, waking up at 4:30 AM every day. The Airmen were required to lead and make decisions under constant pressure, being relentlessly yelled at and challenged at every turn. Military officers are pushed to their limit to simulate conditions where making a decision is harder, and it is easier to follow rather than lead. In all this, Ken graduated from OTS leading his unit in military briefing and public speaking skills. In the end, his unit produced more squadron and group leaders than any other in the program.

In Ken’s military career he has worked on matters involving national security, and prosecuted numerous federal crimes on behalf of the US government. He has been placed in leadership positions overseeing enlisted troops under his direction. He received the American Trial Lawyers Association Award for excellence in trial advocacy at the Air Force J.A.G. school. He has been recruited to join a team of experienced reservists to tour the world’s military installations to teach courtroom advocacy skills to active duty personnel. In 2016 and 2017, Ken provided more legal assistance service hours to military personnel and their families than any other reservist on his base. To this end when his duty obligation for the year was complete, he chose to perform additional duty for free, volunteering his time in an unpaid status to further help the brave men and women in our nation’s armed services with their legal affairs.

In an effort to help the DA’s office gain a better understanding of the military justice system as well as the nuances of military service that are implicated in civilian prosecutions, Ken put together a presentation on military law along with the office of the staff judge advocate from the Air Force Space Missile Systems Center in El Segundo. This was an exciting opportunity allowing him to share the world of military lawyers with his civilian colleagues. The seminar was a great success and one of his proudest career memories. Ken has also helped numerous civilian prosecutors navigate the military justice system in order to gain discovery and information helpful to their cases.

Long Beach:

Before being recruited to VIP and Joining the Air Force, Ken was a felony trial deputy at Long Beach courthouse. During one attempted murder jury trial, Ken secured a guilty verdict despite the victim being uncooperative at preliminary hearing and ruled unavailable for testimony at trial. During a murder trial in Long Beach, Ken prosecuted two defendants in front of dual juries. Both defendants were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life sentences. The trial lasted for three weeks and encompassed many hours of preparation and research. There were many issues as to one defendant’s mental state at the time of the murder due to his ingestion of a large quantity of alcohol and cocaine. In addition, the only evidence against the co-defendant was a self-serving interrogation, requiring many circumstantial witnesses to establish his effort to deceive the police, illustrating his consciousness of guilt. This brutal murder involved multiple strangulations of the victim by both defendants and the eventual burning of his body behind Compton High School. While at Long Beach, Ken was the prosecutor on many mental health related hearings, including competency and restoration to sanity jury trials, all of which resulted in favorable verdicts for the People.

Norwalk:

Prior to Long Beach Ken was assigned as a felony trial deputy at Norwalk Branch where he received recognition as “Enforcer of the Month” on many occasions and successfully tried numerous jury trials.

Compton Juvenile:

From October 2008 to October 2009, Ken was assigned to Compton Juvenile Division. During this year long juvenile assignment Ken handled virtually every type of felony adjudication that came through the office, including but not limited to Attempted Murder, Carjacking, Robbery, Rape, Forcible Oral Copulation, Forcible Sodomy, Forcible Lewd Act on a Child Under 13, Assault with a Firearm, Firing at an Inhabited Dwelling, and Narcotics Sales. In addition, Ken handled a Murder Fitness Hearing and attempted murder media case. Compton was a very busy juvenile court. Ken tried over 100 juvenile adjudications (court trials) during this time in his career. Ken conducted numerous pre-filing sex crimes interviews most of which involved juvenile victims under the age of ten. This required forensic interview techniques. During this rotation, Ken received supplementary sex crimes training, domestic violence training, animal cruelty training, and gang training.

Torrance:

Prior to this juvenile assignment, Ken worked at Torrance Courthouse in a felony trial assignment where he tried a three defendant residential burglary second strike case. In addition, he tried two PC 211 robberies with a firearm and various narcotics sales cases. Before this felony trial assignment, Ken was assigned to a very busy misdemeanor court which handled approximately 50 to 80 matters per day.

Law Clerk Experience:

Prior to becoming a DDA, Ken was a law clerk at the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section in downtown Los Angeles. There, he had the opportunity to work on special circumstance murders of police officers and cold cases involving murders dating back to the 1950s. During this time Ken was attending USC Law School where he received notable honors grades in many classes, particularly Criminal Motions, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Evidence, reflecting an aptitude for criminal law and trial advocacy. In addition, Ken scored within the top twenty percent of his class in his legal research and writing classes and was selected to participate as a staff writer on the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal honors program. Before law school Ken attended the top ranked USC School of Cinematic Arts, majoring in film/television production. Ken graduated from USC with two Bachelor’s degrees, magna cum laude. Ken also earned a Renaissance scholarship for majoring in two divergent fields of study. He also wrote for the USC newspaper and worked on the USC radio and television stations.

Charity Work:

Ken gives blood and has earned multiple Red Cross gallon donor pins. He does this in particular, because his blood is CMV negative, lacking antibodies that allow it to be given to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Helping reduce our nation’s blood bank shortage gives him great personal satisfaction. He has maintained membership in numerous service organizations and volunteered for six years as an instructor in Project LEAD, a program where prosecutors teach at risk school children on a weekly basis about a variety of topics including our court system, peer pressure, bullying, tolerance, gang intervention and the importance of education.

Ken was the president and past master of the Los Angeles Harbor Masonic Service Organization, and on committees of the local Kiwanis International Club as well as Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Ken has also participated extensively in the Scottish Rite speech therapy program for children with communication delays. He has also been active with his wife Roshni, a former prosecutor, who now specializes in special education law and advocacy.

Business Experience:

Ken worked in the business community, supporting himself through law school as the onsite general manager of a restaurant in Silverlake, living on the premises and being on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Ken also served as an advisor to the parent corporation which included multiple companies underneath its control, including two restaurants, a deli, and a sausage factory. This experience taught him real world management and organizational skills, being exclusively responsible for the supervision of thirty-five employees and gross income receipts of over two-million dollars. In addition, Ken was in charge of adhering to corporate regulations, and employment laws. After law school, Ken maintained this more-than-full time job at night while clerking for the District Attorney’s Office during the day. After excelling in law school, Ken declined law firm positions and chose to accept a promotion to Senior Law Clerk, staying on in that capacity for six months as a licensed attorney until being promoted to Deputy District Attorney.

CONCLUSION

Ultimately one can see that Ken has endeavored to live in a way that encompasses a wide variety of experiences. He would bring these experiences to the bench while striving to never have a closed mind or be unwilling to consider different perspectives, backgrounds and contributions to our society. Every person is unique and deserving of respect. Professionalism is of the utmost importance on the bench. To that end, Ken would be a fair, even tempered, professional, efficient, and enlightened judicial officer, respected by all coming into his courtroom.