An Orange County Superior Court judge Friday ruled against a defense motion to dismiss an attempted-murder case against the son of a former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star on grounds that his constitutional rights had been violated.
Joshua Waring, 30, has been fighting since January 2018 to have the case dismissed because of jailhouse phone calls the defense said were improperly recorded and later shared with prosecutors.
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.
After being appointed a public defender, Waring chose to represent himself in November 2016 for about two weeks, after which an alternate defender was assigned to his case.
Waring, son of Lauri Peterson, a former cast member on the reality TV series “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” assumed his calls in Orange County Jail while he was representing himself were unmonitored, according to his current lawyer, Joel Garson.
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.
In his ruling Friday, Judge Jonathan Fish referenced a 2010 appeals court decision that determined that “although the government intentionally and improperly eavesdropped on privileged attorney-client communications in violation of … defendants’ constitutional right to counsel, dismissal of criminal charges is too drastic of a remedy and not warranted.”
“It is not lost on this court that the very essence of the … defense [complaint] relates to the precious and fundamental right to have privileged conversations with one’s lawyer,” Fish said in the ruling.
Garson said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.
“The court did a very careful analysis but seemed to rule on the assumption that Josh should have complained about his calls being monitored earlier,” Garson said. “Our position is that he didn’t know … they were being monitored until it was too late.”