A former “Real Housewives of OC” cast member’s son, who pleaded guilty last year to a shooting in Costa Mesa to avoid any more time behind bars, is a fugitive after failing to appear in court on two drug cases he picked up since his release from jail in March of last year.
Orange County Superior Court Judge John Zitney issued a warrant for the arrest of Josh Waring, 32, on Friday, according to court records obtained by City News Service. Waring could face more time behind bars for violating terms of his parole.
A message left with his attorney, Sonja Muir, was not returned.
Meanwhile, Waring stands to potentially benefit from a settlement in his federal lawsuit against the county, alleging his phone calls from within the Orange County Jail were illegally recorded. A proposed settlement was reached with county attorneys on Monday, but must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, according to court records.
Waring was arrested in June of last year in Huntington Beach and was charged that September with possession of a controlled substance — fentanyl — and drug paraphernalia and falsely representing himself to an officer, all misdemeanors.
Waring was arrested again May 8 at Ridge Route Drive and Overlake in Lake Forest when deputies pulled over the driver of a rental car stolen from John Wayne Airport, according to Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Hylton.
Waring, who was in the passenger’s seat, was accused of possession of fetanyl and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia found in the glove compartment of the car, Hylton said.
Waring was at the center of an attempted murder case that generated multiple headlines as it revealed a major scandal with the improper taping of confidential phone calls between jail inmates and their attorneys. Waring also alleged he was retaliated against by deputies while in custody for his role in uncovering the scandal.
Waring alleged in his federal lawsuit filed in April 2020 that a sheriff’s deputy threatened to “choke your … ass out and get a promotion” when Waring questioned the deputy about his correspondence from his attorney being opened.
“Shortly after that interaction, (the deputy) was placed on administrative leave for an unrelated matter wherein he was involved in the death of an inmate,” the lawsuit alleged.
When the deputy returned to work he was “more emboldened” and warned Waring “you better watch the (expletive) out, I just killed the last guy who pissed me off and I got a paid vacation,” according to the suit.
Shortly after that encounter, the deputy and another deputy fired off several rounds of pepper balls in the jail sector housing Waring, the lawsuit alleged. Waring alleged he was denied medical care afterward.
Waring further alleged there were other conspiracies to put the inmate in threatening situations. Waring was attacked by another inmate with razor blades in October 2019.
Waring pleaded guilty in March last year to single counts of assault with a firearm and leading police on a chase, and two counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, all felonies. He also admitted single misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run with property damage and battery.
Waring also resolved a separate case and pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine for sale and false personation, both felonies.
Waring was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder, along with a sentencing enhancement alleging attempted premeditated murder, for the June 20, 2016, shooting of Daniel Lopez, then 35, outside a home in Costa Mesa. Two other people escaped injury in the drive-by attack.
At the time of his plea deal, Waring was facing 65 yeas to life in prison, but, instead he was sentenced to time served in jail awaiting trial.
Waring’s mother, Lauri Waring Peterson, told reporters following her son’s plea deal last year that he wanted to pursue a career in law.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Fish commented then on how much Waring had matured over the past couple of years. The judge said the defendant’s change in personality likely corresponded with sobering up.
“I think you’ve matured a lot,” Fish told Waring. “A lot of that, if we’re being honest, is you’re not on methamphetamine.”
Fish added, “It is like there’s two Josh Warings.”