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  1. #1
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    Justin Bergo Sentenced to LWOP in 2011 CA Stabbing Death Of Dolores Bergo



    Alleged Days Inn killer can't find attorney

    Justin Bergo, the man accused of stabbing and cutting his own mother to death inside a Sutter Creek hotel, appeared in superior court last week to announce that he was unable to find adequate defense. The declaration forced Judge David Richmond to make the court intervene.

    The complications around Bergo's defense are directly tied to the brutal nature of his alleged crime. Prosecutors say that Bergo lured his mother, 62-year-old Dolores Bergo, away from San Jose on a road trip to the Days Inn, in Sutter Creek, in March, when he allegedly murdered her with a knife before fleeing the United States to Mexico.

    Bergo was captured in Tijuana by the U.S. Marshals' Fugitive Task Force on March 22 and brought back to Amador County to stand trial. Two days later, the 33-year-old was arraigned in Amador Superior Court on a first-degree murder charge, with a special circumstance of murder by lying in wait, as well as a special allegation of murder with a deadly weapon.

    Bergo was initially advised of his rights by the Amador County's Public Defender's Office, but was also told that the special circumstance attached to his charges make his alleged crime a potential death penalty case. The Amador County Public Defender's Office is contracted through the law offices of Richard Ciummo and Associates. The firm is not obligated to handle death penalty cases. Bergo was advised that he needed to find a different attorney before his case could move forward.

    During his March 24 arraignment, Bergo claimed that he could afford his own attorney. Richmond gave him more than six weeks to search for the right lawyer to head up his defense.

    On May 19, Bergo - wearing a loose, dark-red jumpsuit - was again led into court in chains. He updated Richmond on his situation.

    "Mr. Bergo, have you managed to retain an attorney?" Richmond asked.

    "No," Bergo answered in a low voice.

    Richmond then turned to Deputy District Attorney, Steve Hermanson. "There's a conundrum, Mr. Hermanson," the judge acknowledged. "Ciummo & Associates' contract precludes them from handling the case. And I don't know of anyone here, other than the court, who has special circumstances experience. I think I'll have to start looking for some attorneys who can take the case."

    Hermanson agreed. "It's my understanding that the court will need to certify that attorney," Hermanson observed. "It might be best to do that up front in the case, once the lawyer is here."

    Richmond felt the same way. Bringing his attention back to Bergo, the judge explained, "Mr. Bergo, the court needs to find someone specially qualified to represent you, so you can be properly defended."

    Bergo's next court appearance is in mid-June.

    http://ledger-dispatch.com/news/newsview.asp?c=277820

  2. #2
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    Two suspects who made separate, but wide-spread, news headlines this year appeared in court July 14 — and each brought a newly appointed lawyer to battle the mounting charges against them.

    In the case of Justin Bergo, accused of slaying his own mother at the Days Inn, in Sutter Creek, the approaching legal showdown will now pit an experienced death penalty attorney against the prosecutor who won The People vs. Kenneth Zimmerman.

    The first high-profile case to move forward July 14 involved 20-year-old Mary Bristow, an Ione woman who allegedly stole a Jackson police cruiser in January, leading numerous officers on a wild, reckless chase through the Mokelumne River canyon before two patrol cars were nearly destroyed. She was eventually taken into custody.

    According to authorities, several Jackson police officers made contact with Bristow, and her brother, David Bristow, around midnight on Jan. 8 at Jackson Creek Plaza. Officers said the two were acting suspiciously near a business that had been experiencing property crime. A chaotic scene soon unfolded as Mary allegedly began fighting with law enforcement and David flopped on the ground and pretended to be choking to death.

    Mary was detained in the back of a police cruiser as officers gathered over David’s seizure-like movements. With attention focused on her brother, Mary allegedly managed to slip off her handcuffs, squeezing and sliding her thin body through a 9-inch-by-9-inch window in the plexiglass shield that separates detainees and officers in the patrol car. Seconds later, the car sped away as several police units gave chase. Amador and Calaveras county residents who were listening to police scanners suddenly heard a bizarre wave of radio traffic, with the voice of a young woman taunting officers and making comments like, “I don’t know why you guys are following so close, because I’m going to blow this car up.”

    After driving over a spike strip laid out by Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies, the stolen cruiser began spraying and showering sparks in every direction. Worried for the safety of other drivers, Jackson police officer Jeff Courtney ended the pursuit by running Bristow off the road. Even then, Bristow allegedly did not surrender until confronted with the threat of a German Shepherd.

    “I’ll give up,” a young woman’s voice could be heard pleading through the radio traffic, “just don’t use the dog. I repeat, do not use the dog.”

    Bristow is now facing a host of felony charges. The first attorney appointed to represent her was Public Defender Patrick Jones. However, Jones recently bowed out of the case. “The public defender’s office discovered a conflict based on prior representation in other cases,” Jones said on Tuesday. “We had to switch out and give it to one of the conflict attorneys.”
    Amador County Superior Court appointed local attorney J. Robert Lally to take over Bristow’s case. Lally appeared in court July 14 for a trial readiness hearing.

    A man facing far more serious charges than Bristow is 33-year-old Bergo. According to the Sutter Creek Police Department, Bergo checked into the Days Inn on the second weekend of March along with his 62-year-old mother, Dolores Bergo. Though Dolores had family ties to Amador, she and her son lived in the San Jose area. It is unknown why the two were in Sutter Creek. Investigators say that Justin Bergo was last seen coming in-and-out of the hotel on March 12. Three days later, employees stumbled upon Dolores Bergo’s body inside a room. Detectives from the Amador County District Attorney’s Office wrote in their arrest warrant that Dolores Bergo had been stabbed and sliced with a blade more than 25 times, including deep slashes to her neck.

    Justin Bergo was nowhere to be found. On March 17, Amador County District Attorney Todd Riebe filed a warrant for his arrest. He also reached out to the U.S. Marshals Central Valley Joint Fugitive Task Force. The marshals soon captured Justin Bergo, allegedly in flight, in Tijuana, Mexico.

    Riebe has charged Bergo with first-degree murder and a special circumstance of lying in wait, making it a capital punishment charge. During two separate court hearings, Amador Superior Court Judge David Richmond made it clear that, in the interest of justice, Bergo had to be represented by an attorney who was experienced and specially-certified to handle death penalty cases. Richmond evidently could find no such lawyer in Amador County, and turned to El Dorado County criminal defense attorney, James Clark. A 31-year veteran of the California justice system, Clark has been a star combatant in more than 150 criminal jury trials. He has been at the helm of two death penalty cases and another potential death penalty case.

    If Bergo’s case comes in front of a jury, Clark will face-off with the prosecutor who proved victorious in Amador County’s most highly-publicized murder trial in decades, Deputy District Attorney Steve Hermanson. In 2009 and 2010, Hermanson became familiar to newspaper readers from the Gold Country to Ireland as he worked to put Fiddletown resident Kenneth Zimmerman in prison for gunning down his neighbor, Irish immigrant John O’Sullivan.

    Hermanson recently acknowledged that Clark will be a formidable opponent. “Jim Clark is a very capable attorney,” Hermanson told the Ledger Dispatch. “I think it was a responsible appointment.”

    In a conversation with the Ledger Dispatch this week, Clark said that his first priority yesterday would be to ask the court to slow Bergo’s arraignment process. “I’m going to be requesting that I be given some more time,” Clark said. “I’ve literally just gotten to the tip of the iceberg as far as reviewing the police reports and discovery (evidence) … right now it’s charged to be a death penalty case. I’m going to go very slow and very carefully. I’m taking it one step at a time.”

    Clark added that, while he respects responsible journalism, he does not think the public will be served if its interest in the case is allowed to transform into a side-show atmosphere. “I don’t think any of us want push the kind of spectacle we saw with the Casey Anthony case,” Clark observed. “The way the media handled that trial was a travesty. Too much drama. Too much hype.”

    Clark stressed that he was focused on preserving integrity in criminal justice process in Bergo’s case. “My job is to zealously represent my client within the bounds of the law,” Clark emphasized. “I’m honored that Judge Richmond trusted me to do that — and that’s what I intend to do.”

    http://www.ledger-dispatch.com/2011/...-move-forward/

  3. #3
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    Bergo jury set to begin deliberations

    Closing arguments are finished and the jury that will decide the fate of Justin Bergo, accused of killing his mother in a Sutter Creek hotel room in 2011 will begin deliberating just after 1 p.m. today, October 4, 2013.

    http://www.ledger-dispatch.com/news/...9bb30f31a.html
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #4
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    Days Inn Murder Suspect Justin Bergo Guilty on All Charges

    The verdict’s in and Days Inn Murder suspect Justin Bergo is guilty on all charges. Bergo was found guilty on the charges of First Degree Murder and Lying in Wait, as well as two special circumstances in the brutal slaying of his mother at the Sutter Creek Days Inn in March of 2011. Bergo will return to Amador County Superior Court on Tuesday, November 19th for sentencing. He was handcuffed and returned to custody without incident immediately following the proceedings.

    http://www.kvgcradio.com/local-daily...on-all-charges
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  5. #5
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    November 22, 2013

    Bergo sentenced to life without parole

    By Matthew Hedger

    Justin Bergo, the man convicted of killing his mother in a brutal attack in Sutter Creek in March 2011, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    The sentence was handed down Tuesday by Amador County Superior Court Judge Don Howard. Bergo was convicted last month of first degree murder and lying in wait, and special circumstance charges of using a deadly weapon, a knife, during the commission of his crimes.

    http://www.ledger-dispatch.com/news/...9bb30f31a.html

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