Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
April 14, 2010
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
THREE OCDA SENIOR DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS HONORED FOR THEIR PROSECUTION OF WHITE SUPREMACIST GANG MEMBERS
AND COMBATING HATE CRIMES
SANTA ANA – Three Senior Deputy District Attorneys from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office were awarded the “Helene & Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate” at an award ceremony today, April 14, 2010, by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Pacific Southwest Region, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
The Sherwood Prize recognizes law enforcement personnel who demonstrate dedication to reducing the occurrence of hate motivated crimes. The Orange County honorees include Senior Deputy District Attorneys Ebrahim Baytieh, Jeff Levy and Jim Mendelson, who have prosecuted some of the most notorious white supremacist gangs and gang leaders in Orange County. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas attended the ceremony to present the awards to his staff.
“I am proud of the work by my prosecutors in combating those hate mongerers who commit violent crimes,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh was honored for the successful prosecution of three white supremacist gang members who were convicted for the 2002 gang conspiracy murder of a fellow gang member who divulged gang secrets on television. The victim, Scott Miller, was lured into an alley and shot in the back of the head. Michael Lamb and Billy Joe Johnson were sentenced to the death penalty and Jacob Rump was sentenced to life in state prison without parole.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Levy prosecuted gang members Donald Mazza, Al Sherwin and Dominic Rizzo. Mazza was the leader of a notorious white supremacist gang. He was convicted of stabbing a drug informant while Rizzo pinned the victim down and Sherwin stood guard. Mazza and Sherwin pleaded guilty to attempted voluntary manslaughter and were sentenced to fifteen years in a state prison. Rizzo was convicted and received 25 years to life in state prison.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson prosecuted Chad Russell Studebaker. The defendant slashed a man’s throat after the victim gave him a dirty look. The victim, a Nicaraguan immigrant with a Star of David on a chain around his neck, survived the attack. Studebaker was convicted of attempted premeditated murder, street terrorism and other felonies. He received a sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.