A judge delayed until March 8 the sentencing of three young men convicted of killing 18-year-old Garrett Berki in 2011.
Attorneys for the trio requested more time to prepare for sentencing, as each faces long sentences after their conviction of first-degree murder and two counts of robbery. Berki, of Mission Beach, was a 2010 graduate of La Jolla High School.
The gunman, Rashon Abernathy, 18, could get 50 years — 25 years for murder plus 25 years for using a gun in a homicide. Driver Seandell Lee Jones and passenger Shaquille Jordan, both 19, face sentences of 25 years to life.
The prosecutor did not oppose the sentencing delay. Attorneys are expected to file motions for a new trial.
The shooting occurred in Paradise Hills around 10 p.m. after Berki and his girlfriend, Alejandra Foudoa, drove there on May 11, 2011 to buy a computer advertised on Craigslist. They were robbed of money and cell phones. Berki followed the trio into a cul-de-sac where Berki was shot.
— Neal Putnam
La Jolla doctor pleads guilty in cancer drug case
La Jolla oncologist Joel I. Bernstein, 59, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for using interstate commerce to market a new cancer drug, Mabthera, which is made in Turkey but is not approved for use by patients by the FDA.
In addition, his practice pleaded guilty Jan. 23 to defrauding Medicare by duping the organization into paying for the use of foreign prescription drugs. According to court records, the corporation is expected to pay $1.78 million in restitution.
Bernstein faces a maximum term of one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Bernstein purchased $3.4 million of foreign cancer drugs, despite the fact they had not been approved for use in the U.S. Bernstein’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
There are no allegations in any of the prosecution’s documents that allege any of Bernstein’s patients were harmed.
— Neal Putnam