Two men accused of committing felonies return to court

Detectives Ralph Hernandez and John Carlin, of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, leave missing man Will Cierzan’s home in February 2020. Bobby Block/The Signal

Two men accused of having committed felonies in the Santa Clarita Valley returned to court this week, receiving future dates to appear before a judge.  

Daniel Cierzan   

A man accused of killing his uncle and removing his body from a Saugus home returned to court on Monday. 

Daniel Cierzan, 25, has been held to answer on one count of murder following the mysterious disappearance of his uncle, Will Cierzan, more than four years ago. He is set to return to court on Jan. 6 for a pretrial hearing. 

A pretrial hearing involves the judge, prosecution and defense convening in order to present evidence, documents and/or any other relevant materials/matters before the trial begins.   

Cierzan was held to answer earlier this year after a San Fernando Superior Court judge ruled that there was enough evidence connecting the Saugus man to the disappearance of his uncle.  

The elder of the two was last seen on Jan. 26, 2017, at his Saugus-area home. During the preliminary phase of the court proceedings, the prosecution laid out its belief that the nephew was involved the murder of Will, as well as the transportation and still mysterious disposal of his body.   

Andrew Pennington  

A Castaic man accused of raping a woman at a home in Stevenson Ranch earlier this year was ordered to return on Jan. 26 for a prelim setting.  

A prelim setting is a hearing date to schedule a preliminary hearing — when the evidence is presented to the judge who decides whether the trial will move ahead.  

The woman who filed the report said that on Aug. 4, Andrew Pennington — a man she worked with at a Santa Clarita Valley restaurant — had attacked her at a house on the 25000 block of Shaw Place and a combination of drugs and alcohol had been involved, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Special Victims Unit. 

The case filed against Pennington alleges one count each of rape, oral copulation and sexual penetration by a controlled substance, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. 

Pennington was released on bond Oct. 22 after being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to L.A. County Sheriff’s Department arrest records.    

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