As you may have noticed, I am taking a break from blogging to find my inner peace.
And get some laundry done.
I cannot, however, leave you uninformed in the Kim Walker Sziraki - former AHS songleader - embezzlement saga. If you have not read this already, here is the latest from the Merced Sun-Star.
Saturday, May. 08, 2010
Embezzle defendant might be seeking deal
Sziraki doesn't want preliminary hearing.
By VICTOR A. PATTON
Million-dollar embezzlement defendant Kimberly Sziraki waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Merced County Superior Court on Friday, possibly signaling a resolution to her case soon.
During a preliminary hearing, the District Attorney's Office must provide sufficient evidence that a crime occurred. Because Sziraki, 45, waived her right to a preliminary hearing, however, the case can now move forward without a judge's determination that ample evidence exists to try her.
Judge Ronald Hansen set Sziraki's next hearing for June 7.
Her attorney, John Garcia, said he still doubts the case will go to trial. "Unless there's a complete breakdown in negotiations, (that's) the only way I can see this actually going to jury trial," Garcia said. "I am confident that (Chief Deputy District Attorney) Mark Bacciarini and I will probably come to some sort of agreement."
Bacciarini, the prosecutor in the case, declined comment Friday about whether a plea agreement is in the works.
Garcia said his client waived her right to a preliminary hearing primarily because she understood she'd be held to answer on the charges. The question now isn't whether Sziraki committed a crime, Garcia said, but what sentence she'll ultimately receive. He's hopeful Sziraki will receive a lenient sentence, especially because she has no prior criminal record and was suffering from alcoholism and other medical issues.
Still, Garcia acknowledged that prosecutors are pushing for prison. "Mrs. Sziraki has never denied wrongdoing. She's never denied that there were acts of embezzlement. It's always been a matter of what would be the appropriate disposition," Garcia said.
During Friday's hearing, Judge Ronald Hansen also approved a motion by the prosecution to merge both embezzlement cases against Sziraki into one.
Sziraki is accused of embezzling $1.6 million between 2005 and 2008 from Central Valley Processing Acquisition Corp., a nut processing plant in Merced County where she'd worked as a manager. She faces a total of 17 counts, most of which are felony embezzlement charges. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 17 years in prison.
She remains free on bail.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am no longer as gleefully voyeuristic about Kim’s situation as I once was. Now it just makes me sad. Sad and disappointed that someone I once spent a lot of time with chose a path of deceit. And for what? A big house? Fancy cars? Boob jobs for her and her daughters?
I have no proof of that last part, or any of it for that matter. I am just passing on gossip from Sun-Star comments on earlier Sziraki articles.
Okay, maybe still a little bit gleeful.
I am so going to hell when I die.
(If there is one.)