State Court – Plea Bargain – Conspiracy to Murder

Mr. Mesereau was hired as lead counsel in the defense of Oscar Award-winning actor Joe Pesci’s ex-wife, Claudia Haro.  Ms. Haro was charged in Los Angeles, California with hiring a hit man to shoot her then current husband (not Mr. Pesci).   The victim was a successful Hollywood stuntman who appeared in numerous feature films, including Avatar.  While in the middle of a bitter divorce, the victim opened his front door and was shot four times, losing an eye.  The case lasted over six years with numerous trial continuances.  Prosecutors claimed that Mr. Mesereau’s client hired her brother, a convicted felon and others, in two attempts to murder the ex-husband.  The brother agreed to testify against his sister.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office also claimed that it had two “hit notes” authored by Mr. Mesereau’s client.  The case settled in the middle of jury selection.  Facing two life sentences, Ms. Haro entered into a plea bargain which required her to serve approximately eight and a half years in prison.  See article: Michael Jackson Lawyer On How He Got a Great Deal for Joe Pesci’s Ex-Wife.

Significance:   The convicted shooter received a life sentence.  Ms. Haro’s brother received a life sentence.  It is highly unusual for the alleged mastermind of a conspiracy to murder to receive such a plea bargain.  It has been suggested that Mr. Mesereau’s strong reputation at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office resulted in this plea.

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