RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal Josh Waring, the troubled son of former Real Housewives of Orange County Star Lauri Peterson, won a battle in California court Tuesday after a judge agreed to allow his attorney access to a list of phone numbers that could be important in his quest to challenge attempted murder charges.
Peterson, who attended the hearing, remained quiet and took notes on a pad. The former reality star flashed a smile at her son, who turned his back periodically to look at the courtroom audience.
Waring's attorney, Joel Garson, claimed Orange County Sheriff's officials have repeatedly tried to stall the troubled former reality star from getting a fair trial — and even used illegally-obtained jail recordings of him and his father, Phillip Waring, to "take down" evidence that could help in his defense and point to the real shooter.
As Radar previously reported, Waring has been in jail since June 20, 2016, and is accused of attempting to kill Daniel Lopez, 35, who was shot outside a sober living home in Costa Mesa. According to prosecutors, Waring got into a confrontation earlier that day with one of the residents. He then returned to the home and allegedly opened fire on the residents and shot Lopez, who survived his serious injuries.
In court documents, Garson alleged the true shooter was Waring's former friend, Brian Goldstein, who fired the shots from a blue car. Garson said Waring was in a white vehicle when he returned to the Costa Mesa home.
Witness Ronnie Dufault, however, told police he saw Waring fire the shots.
At the June 26 hearing, Garson claimed officials listened to a taped conversation in December 2016 between Waring and his father, Phillip, about racist and pro-Nazi posts that were allegedly on Goldstein and Dufault's Facebook pages. A month later when Phillip Waring tried to access those posts, they were already gone.
"We suspect that Sheriffs took it down or had them Goldstein and Dufault take them down," Garson told Radar exclusively after Tuesday's hearing. "They are using information they got illegally to deny Josh a fair trial … and took down information that could hurt their case."
Phillip Waring testified on Tuesday that he saw numerous racist remarks and Nazi salutes on Goldstein and Dufault's Facebook pages.
"Josh wanted me to go on social media and capture the images ... of them doing Nazi salutes," the elder Waring testified. "He felt that would be important to his case ... that Ronnie and Brian had a connection, and they were both White Supremacists. There was a lot of material... They were making black jokes, jokes about people hanging people..."
However, he said he did not take the screenshots as his son had asked. When he went back to search the men's social media accounts in January 2017, Phillip Waring said the page was either taken down or those particular pictures were no longer on Goldstein or Dufault's social media profiles.
Prosecutor John Maxfield, however, said in court that Garson has yet to "connect the dots" between the alleged missing social media pages and the claims that Sheriff's officials were somehow involved in getting rid of those posts.
"This is pure speculation," Maxfield said at Tuesday's hearing.Waring has asked the court to dismiss the case on the grounds of "outrageous government conduct" by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The 33-year old said his phone calls with his family were unlawfully monitored and recorded by officials when he was first arrested in 2016, and was not yet represented by an attorney.
Waring also denied official's claims that Waring has had a number of behavioral problems in the jail, including slashing two inmates with razors.
"Those reports were false," Garson told Radar. "It didn't involve Josh. It involved someone else in his module."
Waring subpoenaed Orange County Sheriff's to provide him with a list of phone numbers on a "do not record" phone call list, which county counsel said includes personal information of various attorneys and law enforcement officials.
Orange County Sheriff's officials argue those calls do not fall under the attorney-client privilege and are recorded under jail policy.
Garson told Radar that the Orange County Sheriff's "do not record" policy is "baloney," and defense attorneys are not added to that list, as well as calls made by defendants when they represent themselves or don't have an attorney.
Maxfield, however, argued in court that the list that Waring wants is irrelevant to Waring's motion to dismiss the case because those calls are not recorded anyway. Maxfield added the only relevant calls to the case are 44 recorded conversations when Waring did not have an attorney and was representing himself.
Judge Jonathan Fish, however, ruled Waring should have access that "do not record" list, but ordered the phone number be partially redacted. Fish also ordered the list would be sealed.
"I think there is great relevance to prove or disprove, perhaps ... whether or not there is misconduct ... in the overarching policy or behavior by the Sheriff's Department as it relates to pro per phone calls," Fish said. "The 'do not record' list of numbers is relevant for that reason."
Waring's trial for the attempted murder charges has been scheduled for Sept. 25, but both sides will be back on July 26 to battle over Waring's motion to dismiss the case.
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