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George Karavolos Case: Pico Rivera Man Maintains Innocence; Claims he was Beaten by Deputies

Andrew Waynes Jones Photo Courtesy of ASPC Phoenix

Andrew Waynes Jones Photo Courtesy of ASPC Phoenix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Brian Hews, Randy Economy and Pete Parker

Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of an Exclusive Investigative Report by Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper into the ongoing criminal case involving Pico Rivera resident George Karavolos.

After the Montebello Police Department forwarded the investigation to the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department, George Karavolos was arrested just 5 days after Andrew Jones’ burglary.
The only statements and evidence used to arrest Karavolos on May 23, 2012, were solely provided from the alleged victim Jones and statements made by Jones’ girlfriend, Luz Valenzuela who self-admittedly commits crimes with Jones.

Jones said that Karavolos is a “gang member” and that Karavolos did his alleged “kidnapping and torture” while under the direction of a “street gang.”
Yet no concrete evidence exists that proves Karavolos has ever been affiliated or involved with any street gang.

HMG-CN obtained documents that the court appointed a gang expert witness to the George Karavolos case.

The expert stated “in my opinion, Jones is a ‘con-artist’ and career criminal who is manipulating the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department in efforts to shift the responsibility of his own crime away from himself, for his own self-preservation, he has absolutely no credibility.”

The same court appointed gang expert witness also goes on to state that due to the allegations made by Jones, the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department then classified Karavolos as a gang leader from the notorious and violent Rivera 13.

Sources tell HMG-CN that Karavolos met Jones while undergoing repairs of a vehicle. During conversations between the three of them, Karavolos learned that Jones was homeless and offered Jones a place to live so that he can get back up on his feet, while unaware of the depth of Jones’ criminal history. Karavolos was even more sympathetic of Jones’ circumstances because, like Karavolos, Jones also had a “baby on the way.”

Karavolos even gave Jones the keys to his own home as Jones moved in all of his personal belongings, so Jones could freely come and go as he pleased and Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department officials knew this before arresting Karavolos. At least two sources confirmed this to HMG-CN.

Supporters of Karavolos, including family members, alleged that the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department intentionally withheld evidence in the matter.

Evidence withheld in the case includes Jones’ personal property that was located inside Karavolos’ home. At the time the raid took place, Jones was possessing keys to the very home he claimed he was held a prisoner.

These accusations made by Jones, against Karavolos, simply presented the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department and Councilman David Armenta to be “the perfect opportunity” to, as Armenta told the LA Weekly, “Lock Karavolos up for life and throw away the key.”

Karavolos maintained that during his arrest, several interrogating Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Deputies took him to the now infamous white trailer that is located at the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department Station, and physically beat him.

Documents obtained by HMG-CN show that Karavolos was transported by ambulance to a near-by hospital due to the injuries he sustained.

Hospital records also verify these details as well. HMG-CN also obtained an audio recording that shows evidence that Karavolos was beaten.

After being strip-searched by Sheriff Deputies, and even with a female Deputy present, Karavolos “was surrounded and extremely frightened,” family members told the newspaper.

According to Karavolos’s family, “the physical beating and mental torment” he received at the hands of the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department went on for what “seemed like forever.”

Karavolos’ handcuffs were removed and was told to put his clothes back on, and they re-handcuffed him and took him back to his holding cell while the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department deputies continue blurting out more obscenities and derogatory comments to Karavolos.Supporters of Karavolos also contend that his handcuffs were removed and was told to put his clothes back on, and they re-handcuffed him and took him back to his holding cell while the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department deputies continued to blurt out more obscenities and derogatory comments to Karavolos.

That same night, records indicate, Karavolos was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital because of the injuries he sustained during his beating. In the hospital he was handcuffed to a bed. His right arm cuffed to the right upper rail. His left arm cuffed to the left upper rail. His right foot was cuffed to the bottom right of the rail and his left foot was cuffed to the bottom left of the rail, he was like a spread eagle.

It is at this point, HMG-CN was told that Karavolos was again beaten, choked and threatened not to reveal what they had done to him at the station or they “would make sure he would regret it.”

There are hospital records that will corroborate this occurrence. A day or so later, Karavolos was transported to the Men’s Central Jail.

Georges Mens Central Jail Med Records

Meanwhile, Karavolos’ family had contacted the jail daily because of dire worries about his well-being.
Not having heard a word from him, family members said a watch commander told them that Karavolos was housed where he was because the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Department had stated that Karavolos allegedly requested to be a K-10 Status Inmate. A K-10 inmate is isolated from all other inmates. According to a Sheriff’s department website, a K-10 Inmate is someone who is a “proposed gang leader and who has assaulted staff or other inmates and is kept in a state of isolation away from General (inmate) Population.”
On Wednesday May 1st, 2014 Karavolos appeared at the Norwalk Superior Courtroom dawning a bright yellow prisoner jumpsuit.

Karavolos reported his beating immediately after he was re-housed at a restrictive facility for inmates.
To this day, he has been housed in isolation, deep inside of the sprawling Men’s Central Jail.

A few weeks after Karavolos’ incarceration, he began to complain of extreme pain that he felt on his left buttock cheek for over two weeks.

Karavolos was literally unable to move or walk, before he was eventually taken to the medical ward.
HMG-CN was told that an emergency surgery was performed.

Due to the severity of the infection, antibiotics were no longer an option (which could have also easily prevented the need for surgery.)

Documents obtained by HMG-CN show that on 07/27/2012 Karavolos told an RN, Lorena Langie-Sidahmed, “Nurse I have pain in my buttocks. I showed the nurse yesterday but it started 5 days ago. It was a pimple and I busted it. Now it hurts.” The RN observed an approximate 4.5cm in diameter induration with erythema. No drainage, bleeding or pustule was visible at that time. Karavolos told the RN that he had pains sitting, standing, or any movement.

Karavolos returned for urgent care and an evaluation of the left buttock abscess on 07/31/2012 and told the Staff Nurse, Beatriz L. Torres, “I started with a pimple on my left buttock about 6 days ago, It hurts about 10 pain level, the pain is going down to my hip already.” The Staff Nurse observed Karavolos had cellulitis measuring 6cm x 5.ocm with risk for infection and spreading.

Karavolos yet again returned to the Clinic on 08/02/2012 for urgent care and was under the supervision of Solomon T. Little MD. The doctor drained Karavolos’s abscess under local anesthesia using Xylocaine with Epinephrine. The cavity was evacuated of pus and a culture was taken. The MD then irrigated the cavity with H202 and then packed it with an iodoform guaze. It was the MDs suggestion that the dressing should be changed daily.

Karavolos returned the following week of 08/09/2012 for urgent care under the supervision of Raleigh H. Saddler Jr. MD. The MD diagnosed Karavolos with a gluteal abscess and also observed Karavolos’s ongoing pain and that the staff had failed to change his dressing daily.

On 09/27/2012 Karavolos had been complaining of pain in teeth. Richard Y. Yao DDS, diagnosed Karavolos with multiple broken teeth. On 11/05/2012 Karavolos returned to Richard Y. Yao DDS, for poor oral hygiene, multiple tooth decay and multiple teeth missing.

Documents obtained by HMG-CN also disclose that Karavolos has a heart condition, high blood pressure, two brain aneurisms, among other serious medical conditions, and an array of prescribed medications that go along with these serious medical conditions.

Documents obtained by HMG-CN disclose that on 10/09/2012 Policarpio F. Enriquez MD performed a surgical procedure on Karavolos at approximately 01:23pm. During this surgery, the doctor had to cut all the way down to the bone; several inches wide, just to remove all of the infected tissue; all without any anesthesia. Instead they provided him with several tongue depressing sticks to use as a “make shift” bite down apparatus. The experience was agonizing and excruciating for the normally active Karavolos.

More documents obtained by HMG-CN also show that Karavolos had bitten down on these tongue-depressing sticks so hard because of the pain he was experiencing, that he actually had broken two of his own teeth. Several weeks later (after having made multiple complaints again) and after Karavolos had been experiencing such excruciating amount of pain (unable to eat a thing or hardly being able to speak a word) he was transported to the jail’s medical ward.

A radiologist for the Men’s Central Jail, Megan C. Takahashi, performed x-rays on 10/30/2012. It was discovered that he had broken his own jaw, a right zygomatic arch fracture, on the day of his surgery. To this very day (again after multiple and repeated complaints) Karavolos’ jaw remains broken and unattended to; as well as his two broken teeth.

An anonymous source, that did not want to be identified, stated that Karavolos struggled and is still struggling in not receiving his medications and constant complaints of excessive pain after his surgery in Men’s Central Jail. The anonymous source disclosed that Karavolos has been taken to the Emergency Hospital Unit on numerous occasions for his medical conditions. The source also made numerous referrals and urged the medical staff to give Karavolos treatment but it was not sufficient due to lack of medical attention. The source also stated that Karavolos’s sutures were not changed until after a week. The staph infection had spread to his abdomen and another surgery took place after that. It would seem that from Aug 2012 to November 2013 Karavolos received a lack of medical attention after the source made numerous referrals.

A court appointed investigator, Ann Archer, who was assigned to Karavolos, told HMG-CN, “I was George Karavolos court appointed investigator for almost two years now. I have always believed in George, from the beginning.”

“As an Investigator you learn the nuances. George has never changed his story ever. I have been sadly put to the side and I have never believed in conspiracy ever in my 32 years of investigations. However, this has it all painted over it.”

“This stinks so bad it has reached all of his experts that were not allowed to see him at all,” Archer continued.

“I have now been banned for life from the (Los Angeles County) Sheriff’s Department due to Karavolos and this just proves their intention. I am also now in the process of a lawsuit against the (Los Angeles County) Sheriff’s Department for lies and conspiracy from the LA Sheriff’s Department. They have ruined my reputation here in LA which is forcing me to move out of LA County,” Archer concluded.

Another witness who wants to be known as a Virginia A, a lifelong resident of Pico Rivera, told HMG-CN, “I have known David Armenta for many years. We have at times been at odds, but have also worked together on occasion. David is a survivor and will always do what he needs to do to stay in office. I am well aware of (David and his ex-wife) Robin and George. George was Robin’s and David’s son, Kevin’s best friend when they were both in their teens. Robin started seeing George at the time her and David were separating. David always thought he was a big shot in the community and was very humiliated when his wife left him for another man, let alone a very young other man like George. David has never forgiven Robin or George. He could not accept the fact when a woman does not want him. He has never been one to treat women good. But George does not deserve how he is being treated. I think the Sheriff’s are being ordered by David so that he can finally have his revenge. This is not right and I am upset. I needed to say this.”

Judge Larry S.  Knupp   Photo by Randy Economy

HMG-CN attended the court hearing that was held Thursday morning 05/01/2014 and was held before Superior Court Judge Larry S. Knupp.
In court Karavolos who was handcuffed as he appeared in the courtroom wearing a yellow jumpsuit and was noticeably thinner in weight.

Sitting behind Karavolos were three co-defendants; Francisco Xavier Barraza, Alfonso Eric Acuna and Javier Francis, who sported dark blue prison inmate jumpsuits and all wearing hand cuffs as well.

Karavolos rarely looked at the three co-defendants who were sitting directly behind him within a close proximity.

During the appearance a Marsden Motion was granted which now allows Karavolos to be represent by Peter Schlueter, instead of previous counsel Gary Meastas. Schlueter told HMG-CN, “We just substituted counsel which will give us time. Karavolos has a good judge and is at a good courthouse.”

Christina Karavolos commented, “I am relieved Meastas is gone. I have not slept at all and stayed awake all night wondering how the trial was going to go. This has really been hard on me and my father. I feel the hearing went well and we don’t have to fight. The next step will be for our attorney to do a proper investigation to gather all details and subpoena witnesses.”

Karavolos was also joined by his father in the courtroom.

George Karavolos is currently being held at a $4,000,000 bail and is facing four life sentences. Karavolos will have his next court hearing on May 22nd, 2014 at 8:30am in Department S at Norwalk Superior Court.

Deputy District Attorney Brock Lunsford was not present and has yet to give HMG-CN a statement about the case regarding George Karavolos.

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