A Superior Court judge said he will decide next week whether to drop
an enhanced charge against one of the defendants in a gang rape case
that could determine if the teenager would face life in prison, if
Gregory Haidl, the son of Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don
Haidl; Keith Spann; and Kyle Nachreiner face 24 counts. Haidl and
Nachreiner face enhancements for allegedly inflicting great bodily
injury to the unconscious victim and using a deadly weapon -- in this
case a pool cue -- to sexually assault her.
The three, students at Rancho Cucamonga High School, will be tried
as adults for the July 6, 2001, incident that reportedly happened in
Don Haidl's Corona del Mar home.
On Monday, attorneys for Haidl and Nachreiner argued that use of
the pool cue did not cause "great bodily injury" to the victim. What
is legally called "great bodily injury" may be caused by a deadly
weapon such as a gun or a knife or by an innocuous object such as the
pool cue, which has the potential to harm a victim if used
The judge's decision could decide whether Haidl gets a life
sentence or a much lesser sentence, Deputy District Atty. Susan
As of now, Haidl faces more than 100 years in prison, but the
judge could bring it down "by a lot," she said. Schroeder was not
sure exactly by how much that number would be reduced, but she said
it would bring it down from a life sentence.
Prosecutors argued that the defendants in this case had used the
pool cue in such a way that it cause great bodily injury to the girl,
who was 16 years old at the time of the incident.
David Macher, one of Gregory Haidl's attorneys, told Judge
Francisco Briseno that Haidl did not touch the pool cue.
"The prosecution themselves have acknowledged that the pool cue
was an innocuous object and not a deadly weapon," he said.
Armand Arabian, a rape law expert and former judge, also argued in
Haidl's defense, contending that his client did not inflict great
bodily injury on the victim.
Briseno said he would make a ruling on the issue, possibly a week
Haidl's attorneys have filed several other motions to dismiss the
case based on prosecutorial misconduct. They have also asked that the
court not accept a 20-minute videotape of the entire incident because
they say it was stolen from the defendants.
Those motions are scheduled to be heard Dec. 4.
* DEEPA BHARATH covers public safety and courts. She may be
reached at (949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.