Former San Bernardino County assessor’s employee held for trial

A former San Bernardino County official must stand trial on corruption charges stemming from a probe at the assessor’s office, a superior court judge ruled Friday.

Judge Duke Rouse found that there was enough evidence to try Rex Gutierrez on charges of grand theft and misappropriation of public funds. The two felony counts carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.

Gutierrez, a Rancho Cucamonga city councilman, is one of five former assessor’s officials arrested in a corruption investigation of the office under former Assessor Bill Postmus, who also is facing felony charges.

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Jury deadlocks again at deputy’s extortion trial

A jury has deadlocked for the second time — generating the third mistrial — in the case of a former sheriff’s deputy accused of attempting to extort a San Manuel tribal member.

Defendant John Thomas Laurent returns to court Sept. 30 for a status hearing. The defense is expected to request the charges against Laurent be dismissed, according to court records.

“We’re coming back on the 30th to discuss how to proceed with the case,” Deputy District Attorney William Lee said Thursday, in a telephone interview.

Jurors announced Wednesday in San Bernardino Superior Court that they were deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of guilt and could not reach a unanimous verdict on one felony count of attempted extortion. The jury had been deliberating for nearly two full court days when they informed Judge Duke Rouse of the impasse, court records state.

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