Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Woman Killed Her Battering Boyfriend, Got Off, then Got Into Trouble For Drugs and Weapons

Henrietta Margarita Briones, a Soboba member, was caught with drugs and guns while on parole for murder.

Briones, 50, pleaded guilty after years of awaiting trial at the Southwest Justice Center, for a number of years, since her arrest in 2005.

She had been released from prison in 2003 for killing the boyfriend, after serving 17 years in prison.

Friends and supporters lobbied to get her freed because she suffered from Battered Woman syndrome. They pleaded with the parole board and in 2003, with no objection from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, she was freed.

However, it did not take too long for her to get into trouble again.

Briones was stopped for allegedly having illegally tinted windows and because she was on parole and had what is called a Fourth Waiver, her vehicle was searched.

Authorities found drugs and two guns.

She could have faced 14 years in prison if convicted on all counts, including allegations of committing felonies while out of prison for less than five years.

However, a plea deal was struck.

Briones was immediately sentenced to five years in prison, but because of time served awaiting prosecution and good behavior, she was allowed to go free.

It also did not help the prosecution's case that a detective on the case, Jeffrey Keith Sanders, in 2008 pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery, penetration with a foreign object and assault by a public officer.

A piece of work, that detective.

This is the problem with delaying trial for years in years, in Riverside County, a backlog that has gotten better in the past two years because a task force of judges and prosecutors was formed to move the cases.

I covered one case that sat in limbo for nearly 10 years. But that is for another time.

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