3 Veteran Prosecutors Promoted Within District Attorney’s Office

The district attorney’s office on Friday announced promotions for three veteran prosecutors. Richard M. King, 42, will join Deputy Dist. Atty. Bryan F. Brown as a supervisor in the homicide panel. King is now in trial prosecuting Thomas F. Maniscalco, the attorney accused of masterminding a triple slaying in Westminster.

James P. Cloninger, 37, has been assigned to head the writs and appeals section. He replaces Thomas M. Goethals, who left to go into private practice.

Cloninger was one of the attorneys on the Randy Steven Kraft serial murder case, and was also the prosecutor who won a second-degree murder verdict against Tony Protopappas, the Costa Mesa dentist now serving a 15-year prison sentence for the death of three of his patients.

Peter Huelsenbeck, 47, now assigned as a deputy in the South County office, has been named head of the Harbor Court operation in Newport Beach. Huelsenbeck has worked in the career criminal and consumer fraud and family support sections.


The district attorney’s office also announced that Brent V. Romney has been named head of the juvenile crime and gang units, replacing John D. Conley, who became one of Dist. Atty. Michael Capizzi’s top assistants.