The last defendant in a saga of more than four years involving the torture and kidnapping of two loan modification agents in Glendale was sentenced Wednesday to six years in state prison.
La Cañada resident Daniel Weston, 56, is one of five defendants who have already been convicted after agreeing to take a plea deal in a scheme to torment loan agents Lamond Dean and Luis Garcia over a financial dispute.
He had entered a guilty plea to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily harm more than a year ago, but that was held as he completed a ministry program while he was jailed, said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Suzette Clover.
A pastor and reverend submitted letters of support on behalf of Weston, she added. He was also given credit for 1,823 days in jail, the Glendale News-Press reported.
Clover told Weston that she was "happy" and "pleased" by his progress.
Weston's co-defendant and partner, Mary Ann Parmelee, pleaded no contest and was ordered to five years of formal probation.
The pair reportedly sought the help of the agents to modify a loan for their home in the 800 block of La Porte Drive in La Cañada Flintridge, but it was eventually foreclosed.
Prosecutors alleged Parmelee and two other co-defendants — Mario Gonzales of Glendale and Marissa Parker of Sylmar — had been working on loan modifications with Dean and Garcia, reportedly routing modification referrals to them.
During a 2010 preliminary hearing, a client who had sought a loan modification from the agents testified that they had conned her out of $12,500. Her home was eventually foreclosed.
When they faced foreclosure, Parmelee and Weston believed nothing was done to save their home and wanted their money back. So they set up a meeting with the agents on Oct. 20, 2009, in a residential office in the 400 block of South Verdugo Road, where things went awry.
Weston and Gustavo Canez, who has since been sentenced to six years in state prison, allegedly carried out a gruesome attack on the agents as Parmelee, Parker and Gonzalez watched.
Parker and Gonzales later took a plea deal and were ordered to serve probation.
Garcia claimed Weston hit him on the head with a gun, which had a silencer, and he fell unconscious.
Garcia later awoke to discover that he had been disrobed. He was reportedly bound to a chair with an extension cord and repeatedly beaten until he lost consciousness again.
When Garcia came to, he alleged Parmelee was holding a kitchen knife to his testicles.
Dean underwent similar torture, but he was whipped with an extension cord.
Police noted a cut on Dean's fingers, which Weston allegedly threatened to cut off with a pair of scissors.