The son of a former “Real Housewives of OC” cast member is expected to strike a plea deal Friday that will spare him from serving any additional jail time for a shooting in Costa Mesa that left one person wounded.
Joshua Waring was set to enter the plea agreement Thursday, but the matter was postponed for one day to allow the victim, Daniel Lopez, to make a statement at the hearing. The deal is expected to result in Waring being sentenced to time already served in jail and being released as early as Friday. He had faced a possible life sentence if convicted at trial, which was set to begin next week.
It was unclear exactly what charge Waring will admit. He is charged with three counts of attempted murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for attempted premeditated murder.
Waring is charged with shooting Lopez, then 35, outside a home in Costa Mesa June 20, 2016. Two other people escaped injury in the drive-by attack.
“He will be pleading guilty to lesser felonies, and we appreciate the District Attorney’s Office taking another look at the case on the eve of trial and allowing us to come up with a disposition that is fair to everyone involved,” Waring’s attorney, Joel Garson, said. “Josh is looking forward to getting out and restarting his life.”
Waring is the son of Lauri Waring Peterson, who appeared on 50 episodes of “Real Housewives of Orange County,” mostly between 2006 and 2008. Her last two appearances on the Bravo cable network show were in 2016.
His case has generated numerous headlines since he was charged, not just because of his mother’s notoriety, but because of allegations of corruption in the prosecution of his case. Waring is also a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit alleging multiple claims — including denial of access to religious services for inmates, negligence in the care of pregnant inmates and improper access of law enforcement to confidential phone calls from inmates to their attorneys.
In February 2018, Garson learned his client’s phone calls to him from jail were being recorded and accessed by police, which is prohibited.
In July of 2018, the jail’s phone provider, Global Tel Link Corp., acknowledged that a software update in the system in January 2015 dropped dozens of attorneys from a do-not-record list of phone numbers. Hundreds of calls between inmates and attorneys were accessed by authorities.
Waring filed a motion to have his charges dismissed due to outrageous governmental misconduct, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Fish denied the motion, prompting an appeal, which was also denied.
Waring was attacked by another inmate Oct. 9, prompting him to allege that deputies were conspiring to get him hurt or were too negligent to protect him. Jose Jesus Guzman, 36, is charged with slashing Waring with a blade while the two were supposed to be in isolation.
Waring also raised issues about a deputy firing pepper balls on June 24, 2018, in his jail wing. When he attempted to call the deputy and the partner who was with him at the time to testify in a hearing on a motion for reduced bail last year, the deputies invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Orange County prosecutors previously reviewed the pepper-ball incident and declined to file charges, but they reopened the investigation when Waring raised the issue in his bail motion.
Ultimately, Waring agreed to drop the bail motion when Orange County sheriff’s officials agreed to house him in Santa Ana’s jail. But Waring raised issues while in custody in Santa Ana about a lack of time out of his cell, because he was being housed in isolation to protect him as a well-known inmate. Waring also accused Santa Ana Jail guards of providing the wrong dosage of his medication to help wean him off a narcotics addiction and failing to take him to a dentist to be treated for an exposed nerve and to get five crowns.
A $4,000 dentist bill was holding up the trip to the dentist, Garson said. So Fish ordered the trip to the dentist.
When Santa Ana Jail officials tried to cancel their contract with the county and ship him back to Orange County Jail, Waring objected and the judge blocked the move.