OCDA Todd Spitzer on Fashion Island Botched Robbery-Murder: 'We Refuse to Accept This is the New Normal'

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On Wednesday, RedState reported on the arrest of 26-year-old Leroy Ernest McCrary of Compton, 18-year-old Malachi Darnell of Los Angeles, and 18-year-old Jaden Cunningham of Lancaster in connection with the attempted robbery and murder of Patricia (Trish) McKay at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. After leading the Newport Beach Police Department on a high-speed chase, the suspects were apprehended and booked for homicide, robbery with a firearm, and conspiracy.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer is about law and order, and eschews newfangled concepts of criminal justice reform embraced by his counterparts in other parts of California and the nation. That is the main reason why the wise citizens of Orange County elected him as their district attorney. In the 2022 California primaries, he won with 64.10 percent of the vote over his heavily-funded Soros-backed opponent Peter Hardin. 

The contrast between criminal justice reform and tough on crime policies was clear, and the people of Orange County wanted someone who was tough on crime. So, it was expected that this horrific crime would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Spitzer did not disappoint. On Friday, he issued this press release outlining exactly how this would be done.

A third striker and two other Los Angeles County men have been charged with special circumstances murder for throwing a 68-year-old New Zealand woman into the street after robbing her at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island and then running her over with their getaway car, dragging the woman nearly 65 feet under their vehicle before leading police on a high-speed pursuit. The woman’s husband tried to stop the driver from running over his wife after he was thrown to the ground and had a gun pointed at him as two of the men tried to steal his watch. 

Leroy Ernest Joseph McCrary, 26, of Los Angeles, Malachi Eddward Darnell, 18, of Los Angeles, and Jaden Cunningham, 18, of Lancaster, are eligible for the death penalty if they are convicted of the special circumstances murder of 68-year-old Patricia McKay in the commission of a robbery with a felony enhancement of causing the death of an elder over the age of 65. 

In addition to the special circumstances murder charge, McCrary has been charged with one felony count of attempted second-degree robbery, and one felony count of evading while driving recklessly.

McCrary has prior felony convictions for residential burglary in 2018, criminal threats in 2020, and robbery in 2023, all in Los Angeles County. 

Darnell has also been charged with one felony count of second-degree attempted robbery, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm and one felony enhancement of personal discharge of a firearm. Cunningham has also been charged with one felony count of attempted second-degree robbery. 

This is the way. Spitzer offered his condolences to the McKay family and the country of New Zealand as they mourn and work to wrap their heads around this tragedy. Spitzer also called out Governor Gavin Newsom and the California legislature who have done nothing but enable criminals and use their power not to the benefit of the Californians who elected them, but to destroy citizen efforts to mitigate the lawlessness that is plaguing their streets, and take back their cities and state. 

“Our entire community extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Patricia McKay and to the entire country of New Zealand as we mourn her senseless death in the commission of a crime that should have never happened. Lawlessness and violence will not be tolerated in our society,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Our shopping centers and malls have become hunting grounds for criminals who are stalking innocent shoppers to rob them blind because our Governor and our Legislature refuse to hold anyone accountable for their actions. Actions have consequences and it shouldn’t have to result in the death of an elderly woman just enjoying a day of shopping with her husband for our elected leaders in Sacramento to realize that this is the product of their soft-on-crime policies which encourage criminality while sacrificing public safety. This is Orange County and we refuse to accept this is the new normal. Criminals will be held accountable and violence will never be acceptable.” 

Spitzer is a staunch backer of the Reform Prop 47 ballot measure. As a public servant who is focused on keeping Orange County safe for all its residents and those who visit it boundaries, he also fully understands that this requires the same focus from law enforcement and elected officials across California.

As I wrote on Wednesday, Leroy Ernest McCrary was the recipient of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón lax special directives, so he barely saw the inside of a cell for multiple felonies committed across Los Angeles County. Had McCrary been properly sentenced, he would still be serving time and not free to rope in two barely legal young men to commit more crimes and murder Trish McKay. 

Spitzer has lit into Gascón in the past over his refusal to properly prosecute repeat offenders that Gascón seems to love so much and his lackadaisical attitude toward law enforcement gunned down in the line of duty because of the actions of these cretins. Spitzer took particular issue over the murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, who was assassinated in his patrol car by one of Gascón’s frequent flyers. 

So, no doubt, Spitzer will have more words for this feckless D.A. on this latest fallout from his terrible policies and management of the Los Angeles County D.A.’s office.

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