SCV suspects return to court


A number of Santa Clarita Valley suspects returned to court in October for a slew of crimes they are suspected of committing, including perjury, sexual assault, murder and negligence in a child’s death.  

Bill Bolde 

A former Saugus High School principal is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 23 in Department 50 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles for a continuance of his preliminary hearing, according to the D.A.’s Office.  

Bill Bolde is accused of perjury and conflict of interest. He pleaded not guilty in court to both charges in October. 

During an early disposition hearing, the criminal defense attorneys will discuss the case and negotiate the consequences and decide whether they should just settle the case or proceed to trial.  

Bolde, who was at the helm of Saugus for over a decade before retiring from the William S. Hart Union High School District in 2017, was arrested in December after investigators alleged he had, while principal, perjured himself and had a conflict of interest while he established a student exchange program. 

Nicolas Morales 

A former rideshare driver accused of having committed multiple acts of rape and sexual assault is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 18 in Department 1 at the Alhambra Courthouse for the beginning of his jury trial. 

Nicolas Morales, of Canyon Country, was arrested in February 2019 on suspicion of committing multiple acts of rape and other sex offenses. According to prosecutors, he is believed to have posed as a rideshare driver and attacked female passengers — often using a knife to force his victims into committing sexual acts.  

After his arrest, Morales was charged with 28 different criminal counts, including: nine counts of forcible oral copulation; six counts of rape; five counts of sodomy by use of force; four counts of forcible sexual penetration by foreign object; and one count each of assault with intent to commit a felony, attempted sodomy by use of force and attempted kidnapping to commit another crime. 

David Figueroa 

A Pacoima man accused of killing his friend he met while both were in rehab together is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday for a pretrial in Department F at the San Fernando Courthouse.  

During a pretrial conference, the involved parties establish timelines for concluding all pretrial activities, such as setting a tentative trial date, encouraging the settlement of cases, counsel trying to agree on undisputed facts or points of law, and more. 

In July 2018, detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau began investigating the stabbing death of 29-year-old Brent Hariston, of Canyon Country. 

Both men met in rehab, according to the late Homicide Detective John Corina. 

The two men, according to Corina, were scheduled to meet up that morning and head to work together. An argument then is believed to have broken out between the two, and that’s when detectives believe Figueroa pulled out a knife and stabbed Hariston multiple times.  

Jorge Panama 

A Newhall massage therapist accused of multiple sexual assaults is set to return to court on Nov. 17 at the San Fernando Courthouse for his pretrial hearing.  

Jorge Panama is accused by at least a half-dozen women of assaulting them where he worked at “Massage Plus Healing” on the 22000 block of Lyons Avenue, according to sheriff’s officials.  

The incidents are suspected to have taken place over several years, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the LASD’s Special Victims Unit. 

Panama was initially arrested on suspicion of an April 2021 allegation involving a former client, who was Panama’s second client to allege an assault. 

Verdona Gladney 

Verdona Gladney, the mother of a 7-year-old girl who was killed after falling out of a car window on Interstate 5, pleaded not guilty in a post-preliminary hearing Wednesday after being charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of manslaughter.  

Gladney is set to return to court on Dec. 5 for a pretrial hearing in Department F of the San Fernando Courthouse.  

Michael Branch, her boyfriend, also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse. They were in the 1999 Lincoln Navigator, driving through the Newhall Pass in July, when Gladney’s daughter, Tanunekakah, fell out of the rear window. 

If convicted of the charges, Gladney could face up to 16 years in prison. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS