Appeal to have charges dismissed fails for son of ex-'Real Housewives’ star; he is attacked in jail

Joshua Waring, son of former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Lauri Peterson, is facing three counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Costa Mesa in June 2016.
(File Photo)

An appellate court denied an appeal from Joshua Waring, son of a former “Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member, in his efforts to have attempted-murder charges against him dismissed because of jailhouse phone calls the defense said were improperly recorded and later shared with prosecutors.

Meanwhile, Waring’s attorney said Friday that he would seek to lower his client’s bail after Waring was attacked by a fellow inmate in Orange County Jail on Wednesday night.

Evidence surfaced in Waring’s case that thousands of calls between dozens of defendants and their attorneys were improperly recorded, with investigators listening to some.

Attorneys for Waring, 30, the son of Lauri Peterson — a “Real Housewives” cast member from 2006 to 2008 — argued that the recording of his calls as he acted as his own attorney in his attempted-murder case in 2016 should be considered the same as a violation of attorney-client privilege, mandating a dismissal of the charges “because his work product, including trial strategy, is known to the prosecution.”

“In those calls, Waring discussed very specific trial strategy, case impressions, legal research and other highly confidential topics with his mother, his father and his girlfriend,” attorney Correen Ferrentino wrote in the appeal.

Waring is facing three counts of attempted murder and other felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with a shooting at a former sober-living home in Costa Mesa in June 2016. He could face multiple life sentences if convicted. He is being held on $1,050,000 bail.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Fish ruled March 8 that Waring was warned by a boilerplate announcement at the beginning of his calls that they were subject to recording and that he didn’t take advantage of his right to ensure he had private phone calls.

Waring’s appeal was filed May 8 in California’s 4th District Court of Appeal and was denied Thursday.

“Of course we’re really disappointed,” said Waring’s attorney Joel Garson. “And we’re exploring our options.”

Garson said in March that Fish “seemed to rule on the assumption that Josh should have complained about his calls being monitored earlier. Our position is that he didn’t know … they were being monitored until it was too late.”

Garson learned of the recordings in early 2018, and testimony in court hearings in Waring’s case revealed that numerous inmate phone calls had been improperly recorded.

The court had granted Waring two hours of unrecorded collect calls and one 20-minute non-collect call per day in preparation for his court dates, as is standard when a defendant forgos outside counsel.

Ferrentino wrote in the appeal that Waring’s calls were “recorded, downloaded and disseminated to the investigating agency, the specific detectives mentioned on the tapes and the two assigned deputy district attorneys, one of whom sanctioned the monitoring of the calls.”

She added that if Waring must proceed to trial, “he will be irreparably harmed because his work-product privileged information, including his trial strategy, has been disclosed to the Sheriff’s Department and the prosecutors in this case.”

Ferrentino also detailed how Waring’s attempts to get an appeal filed with help from public-appointed counsel took until just before the deadline to be sorted out.

On Wednesday, Waring made a phone call and was on his way back to his cell at the Intake-Release Center in Santa Ana when “he was suddenly confronted by another inmate wielding two blades,” Garson said. “Josh tried to defend himself, but he slashed him in the chest and face. It took guards five or six minutes to arrive.”

Waring is supposed to be in a sort of custody that separates him from other inmates because he is a notable inmate and more vulnerable to attack, Garson said.

`"He never should have been in contact with this other inmate,” Garson said.

Waring was rushed to an infirmary, where he received 20 staples to his body, as well as stitches and bandages on his face, Garson said.

He was then returned to the same jail module, two doors down from his attacker, according to Garson.

“Thursday night, they suddenly moved him to the Theo Lacy jail” in Orange, Garson said.

The attack came on the heels of another recent incident Waring outlined in a federal class-action lawsuit in which he is a plaintiff.

Waring said he was thrown in solitary confinement for 10 days for trying to fix a television in the day room, then was taken to another part of the jail where, he said, gang members “green-lighted” him for an attack.

Waring alleged deputies later threw him naked “into a tiny all-cement cell filthy with feces” and a broken toilet. He also alleged he was denied medication for seizures while in the cell and suffered a seizure while confined there.

“We’re going to ... seek a bail reduction ... in that the Sheriff’s Department cannot protect Mr. Waring’s safety and may have been indifferent to his safety due to allegations he has made in phone calls and the lawsuit he has filed against the Sheriff’s Department,” Garson said.

Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, called the accusations “completely untrue,” but did not elaborate.

Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.

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5:27 p.m. Oct. 11, 2019: This article was originally published at 2:31 p.m. and has been updated with additional information.