An appellate court Thursday denied the son of a former “Real Housewives of OC” cast member’s attempt to dismiss his murder charges because of alleged outrageous governmental misconduct stemming from a scandal involving the recording of and eavesdropping on inmate phone calls.
Evidence surfaced in the Joshua Waring case that telephone calls between dozens of defendants and their attorneys were improperly recorded, with investigators listening in on some calls.
Waring’s appeal argued that the recording of his calls as he acted as his own attorney in his attempted murder case should be considered the same as a violation of attorney-client privilege, mandating a dismissal of the charges “because his work-product, including trial strategy, is known to the prosecution,” attorney Correen Ferrentino wrote in the appeal.
“Of course we’re really disappointed,” Waring’s attorney, Joel Garson, said. “And we’re exploring our options.”
Orange County Superior Court Jonathan Fish ruled March 8 that Waring, 30, was warned his calls were subject to recording by a boilerplate announcement at the beginning of the calls. Fish said the defendant did not take advantage of his right to ensure he had private phone calls.
Garson learned of the tape recordings in February 2018, prompting an investigation that led to the discovery of numerous improperly recorded inmate phone calls. The company that provides phone services blamed the improper recordings on an electronic mishap when upgrading computer software.
Waring had a court order granting him unmonitored phone calls from the jail when he was legally representing himself from Nov. 29 through Dec. 28, 2016.
“In those calls, Waring discussed very specific trial strategy, case impressions, legal research and other highly confidential topics with his mother, his father and his girlfriend,” Ferrentino wrote in the appeal.
“Those calls were recorded, downloaded and disseminated to the investigating agency, the specific detectives mentioned on the tapes and the two assigned deputy district attorneys, one of whom sanctioned the monitoring of the calls.”
She added that if Waring is forced to proceed to trial “he will be irreparably harmed because his work-product privileged information, including his trial strategy, has been disclosed to the Sheriff’s Department and the prosecutors in this case.”
Ferrentino also detailed how Waring’s attempts to get an appeal filed with help from public-appointed counsel took until just before the deadline to be sorted out. The attorney had only one day to prepare the appeal before a deadline, so Ferrentino asked for extra time to file a more detailed appeal.
Waring is accused of shooting then-35-year-old Daniel Lopez outside a home in Costa Mesa June 20, 2016. Two other people escaped injury in the drive-by attack.
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