R. Addison Steele II, Attorney at Law - Criminal defense attorney in Santa Barbara
About how Addison Steele represents clients.
     Addison Steele developed, utilizes and trains other lawyers on the Voss Method of Humanizing the Client.  His method focuses on representing and defending his clients by presenting their whole story and the entire situation that resulted in criminal charges.  This method has proved extremely effective in both settlement of cases and earning acquittals at trial.
     Addison Steele's method of defending a client starts with communication with the client, you are given all the time you need to talk with your attorney.  Addison Steele will listen to everything you have to say because listening to you is the most important part of defending your case.
     He then develops the defense based on you and what actually happened, not based on what the police or district attorney believe happened.
     He then presents a complete defense that is focused on who you are and what actually happened.  Please see the Biography link to learn what Addison Steele has done to help those that have been accused of crimes.
Addison Steele's successful trial outcomes.
     He has done two capital murder trials and the clients' lives were saved in both trials.
Ramon Cebreros
  • Ramon Cebreros, charged with the execution style murder of a drug dealer, facing the death penalty. Saved from the death penalty because the trial result was life in prison.  Addison was the lead attorney in charge of defense team and the trial strategy.
The newspaper article covering the victory.
This is the Verdict Form with which the jury saved Raymond's life by rejecting the death penalty and returning a verdict for life in prison.  The other members of the defense team signed the Verdict Form for Addison.
Raymond's defense team that Addison led to a life verdict.  Raymond is at the bottom middle and Addison is at the bottom left.
Alex Mendoza
The teaser on the front page of the paper.  The victory article is below.
The newspaper article covering the victory in Alex's case that eliminated the death penalty.
The Minute Order from when Alex was saved from the death penalty because Addison and Ryan Hart's motion to dismiss the torture special circumstance was granted.
The Mendoza defense team.  Alex is at the bottom middle and Addison is at the bottom left.
Addison Steele has had full acquittals in murder trials.
Robbie Catchings
  • Robbie Catchings, charged with first degree murder, attempted murder and felon in possession of a firearm, as well as three prior strikes, facing 171 years to life in prison.  Robbie was found not guilty of all charges and is now living in Los Angeles and has trained defense lawyers on Los Angeles area gangs and prison life.
Robbie and Addison and the investigators on the case.
  • After the murder trial victory, the district attorney tried to strike Robbie out because of a jail fight that happened while he was in jail waiting for his trial in which he was acquitted of all charges, including murder and attempted murder.  Addison fought and eventually got the three strikes case thrown out of court.  He filed three separate motions, a Penal Code § 995 motion attacking the sufficiency of the evidence in the jail fight case, a Romero motion asking that the strike priors be stricken, and a Penal Code § 17(b) motion asking that the jail fight case be reduced to a misdemeanor.  The judge granted the motion to reduce it to a misdemeanor making the other two motion moot because they only apply to felony cases.  Once the case the was a misdemeanor, Robbie could not be sentenced to prison, much less life in prison.  Below are some of the newspaper articles about it.
An interesting side note about this article is that Jorge Estrada, whoever he is, had absolutely nothing to do with the case, his picture in the article is a copy editor's mistake.
This is the article that covered Robbie and Addison beating the district attorney's attempt to give Robbie life after they beat Robbie's murder case.
This is another article that covered Addison victory on Robbie's three strikes case.
Robbie was featured in an article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that was done about Addison's winning so many trials. It is believed that, but have not yet confirmed, that the Los Angeles Daily Journal has never done an article like this about any other criminal defense attorney.
     "In another of Steele's high-profile wins, the defender secured a murder acquittal in October for Robbie Catchings, a Moreno Valley resident prosecutors said shot and killed a man at a Perris apartment complex in 2002. Steele also persuaded a judge to reduce to a misdemeanor a felony assault charge against Catchings in a separate case that could have exposed the defendant to a life sentence under the three-strikes law.
     Catchings walked free as a result.
. . .
     Jenny Reis, a Corona woman who served on the jury that acquitted Catchings, said Steele's 'down-to-earth' evidence presentation helped his credibility with the jury.
. . .
     She also said she could tell Steele 'thoroughly believed' in his client's innocence.
     'He was so passionate,' Reis said. 'He reminded me of a parent defending [his or her] child.'"
The headline. The story about Addison's success defending clients was featured right below the masthead on the front page.
The first half of the article.
The second half of the article.
Robbie was also featured in another newspaper article when Addison was named Attorney of the Year at the Riverside County Public Defenders Office.
Public defender's office honors staff, Sonja Bjelland, The Press-Enterprise, Local B7, December 9, 2007.
     "The Riverside County public defender's office presented awards Friday night to a staff committed to providing opportunity and hope.
     Deputy Public Defender Addison Steele won the top award for his embodiment of what it means to fill that role, said Robert Willey, assistant public defender, Steele spent 115 days in trial in 2007 and thanked the entire office for helping him win the case of Robbie Catchings, who was charged with murder and acquitted by jury.
     'As you can see I didn't win a murder trial, we won a murder trial,' Steele wrote in an e-mail to staff, Willey said."
The newspaper article covering Addison being named the Riverside County Public Defenders Office Attorney of the Year.
Jaray Christy
  • Jaray Christy, charged with first degree murder with gang and gun enhancements and four armed robberies with gang and gun enhancements, facing 71 years to life in prison, was convicted only of conceded robbery and commercial burglary counts (that were on videotape), was acquitted of all murder related counts, all gang counts and allegations, and all personal use of a weapon counts, received only four years, eight months in prison.  Jaray is now living in Moreno Valley, going to community college and writing screenplays.
Jaray and Addison and the investigator on the case.
Jaray and Addison in Court
This picture was taken by Press-Enterprise reporter Richard De Atley for
the article below.
The newspaper article covering Jaray and Addison's victory.

Rudy Ramos

  • Rudy Ramos, charged with first degree murder with a gang enhancement and three prison priors, facing twenty-eight years to life in prison, despite a snitch witness he was found not guilty of first degree murder, not guilty of the lesser degree of second degree murder and not guilty of the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter resulting in him going home.
This is the newspaper article covering Rudy and Addison's victory.

Anthony Solis

  • Anthony Solis, charged with first degree murder with a gang enhancement and four special circumstances, gang murder, torture murder, murder with kidnapping and lying in wait murder, facing life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOPP), despite three snitch witnesses his case resulted in a hung jury and then settled for a plea to kidnapping with a gang enhancement for nine years in prison.
  • A.J.'s case was one of the largest ever done in the state.  There were originally eleven co-defendants, by the time the case got to trial there were six co-defendants, all charged with murder and all facing LWOPP.  The press dubbed the case "The U-Haul Murder" because the decedent's body was found in an abandoned U-Haul truck.  The trial was so large that the County had to rent out a large hall at the Santa Maria Fairplex fairgrounds to conduct the jury selection.  All five of the other co-defendants were found guilty and a special circumstance was found true, so all of them will serve life in prison in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • The team of lawyers for the six co-defendants was an assembly of the most well known and skilled attorneys on the Central Coast.  The defendants' families called them "The Real Dream Team." 

Below is a photo taken before the verdicts were read.  
The photo was taken by KCOY reporter Keith Carls for the KCOY website.

Below is the newspaper article on A.J.'s outcome.

Here it is zoomed in so it can be read

This is the rest of the article

He has had acquittals in homicide cases with convictions for lesser crimes.

Edward Aguilar
  • Edward Aguilar, charged with first degree murder with two prison priors, facing twenty-eight years to life in prison, despite a videotaped confession he was found not guilty of murder and convicted only of voluntary manslaughter resulting in a fourteen year prison sentence.  He is now out of prison and living with his family in the Inland Empire.
This is the newspaper article covering Eddie and Addison's victory.
And these are the verdict forms.
The verdict forms where the jury found Eddie NOT GUILTY of first degree murder and NOT GUILTY of second degree murder.
Robert Martin
  • Robert Martin, charged with first degree murder with a gang special circumstance, facing life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOPP) was found not guilty of first degree murder, which reduced his exposure from LWOPP to a maximum twenty-five years to life, hung jury on second degree murder and hung jury on the gang allegation.
Jaime Acosta
  • Jaime Acosta, charged with first degree murder, facing twenty-five years to life in prison was found not guilty of first degree murder.
     Addison has had seventeen trials where the client was facing life in prison and the result was either a full acquittal, partial acquittal, or hung jury, with the partial acquittals and hung juries resulting in a lesser sentence.
Albert Cobb
  • Albert Cobb, charged with attempted murder of his elderly mother, elder abuse and terrorist threats, facing eighteen years to life in prison, full acquittal on all counts.  Al now runs his own handyman business. 
  • Al was featured in a large exposé article on how many trials the district attorney was losing.
Trials become an attractive option, Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise, front page A1, October 13, 2007.
     "Albert L. Cobb, 66, of Riverside, was acquitted in March on all counts, including attempted murder. Prosecutors said he tried to suffocate his mother, who was in her 80s.
. . .
     The incident stemmed from a confrontation in an assisted living home, said Steele, who represented Cobb. Jurors heard medical testimony that the mother's bruises were age-related, that she had cognitive impairment, and that she could be combative with her own son.
. . .
     Cobb was one of five of Steele's clients who have been acquitted on all charges in Riverside County since 2003."
This is the exposé article that featured Al's case. 
This is Al's Verdict Form where he was found NOT GUILTY of attempted murder.  He was found NOT GUILTY of all of the other charges as well.
Howard Robertson
  • Howard Robertson, charged with robbery with three strikes, facing fifty-two years to life in prison, despite having prison tattoos on his face and an extensive criminal history, acquitted of all charges.  Howard later testified in another trial as an expert witness on prison gangs.  He was earning a living as a painter back with his family in Tennessee when he was the victim of a river drowning accident.  His family said that he died doing what he loved, being out in the woods, free to do as he pleased.
Howard, Addison and the investigator on the case after the verdict.
This is the Verdict Form where Howard was found NOT GUILTY of robbery, he was found NOT GUILTY of all of the charges and all of the lesser included offenses.
Daniel Hudson
  • Daniel Hudson, charged with domestic violence with a domestic violence prior and three strikes, facing thirty years to life in prison, acquitted of all charges.  Danny is doing well and has stayed out trouble since his life was saved at trial.
Danny, Addison and the investigator on the case after the verdicts.
Dennis Castro
The newspaper article covering Dennis and Addison's trial victory.
Jorge Del Carmen
  • Jorge Del Carmen, charged with three counts of sexual acts with a child ten years or younger, facing forty-five years to life in prison, acquitted of all the child molestation related charges and only convicted of two misdemeanor lesser offenses of simple battery.  Final result was credit for time served and released from jail.
The verdict form from the lead charge where Ruben was saved from a forty-five years to life sentence and only ended up getting a conviction for misdemeanors with credit for time served.

Ruben Tinoco
  • Ruben Tinoco, charged with possession of drugs and felon in possession of ammunition with three strikes, facing fifty years to life in prison, acquitted of the ammunition count and hung jury (11 to 1 for not guilty) on the drugs charge.  Final result was two years, eight months in prison.
The verdict forms and Minute Order where Ruben was saved from a fifty years to life sentence and only ended up getting a two years, eight month in prison sentence.
Victor Vazquez
  • Victor Vazquez, charged with domestic violence with three strikes, facing fifty years to life in prison, acquitted of all felony charges resulting in 188 days, credit for time served, in the county jail.  Victor now runs his own lawn care business.
Enrique Angulo
  • Enrique Angulo, charged with attempted murder with a firearm enhancement, facing thirty-eight years to life in prison, found not guilty of attempted murder and only convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, resulting in a seven year prison sentence.  Enrique will be getting out of prison in just a few more years.
The verdict forms where Enrique was saved from a life in prison sentence.
Tomas Zavala
The verdict forms and Minute Orders where Tomas was saved from an eighty years to life prison sentence and was only convicted of less serious charges and sentenced to eight years.
Timothy Salazar
  • Timothy Salazar, charged with double attempted murder of police officers with bombs, facing fifty-eight years, eight months to life in prison, only convicted of conceded possession of bombs counts, hung jury on all the remaining counts (11-1 for not guilty).  Final result was a twelve year, eight month sentence, with his credits from before trial, Tim will be getting out of prison soon.
He has other trial victories of note in difficult cases.
Whiston Kaleimamahu
  • Whiston Kaleimamahu, charged with assault on a police officer, acquitted of all felony charges.  Whiston was playing football at the community college level, if he had been convicted of a felony it would have severely impacted his prospects of getting a football scholarship to a four year university.  He went on to play at South Dakota State.
The verdict forms where Whiston was acquitted of all felony charges.
Richard Secretan
  • Richard Secretan, charged with domestic violence and assault on a police officer, acquitted of all but one felony charge which the judge reduced to a misdemeanor after trial. 
This is the Verdict Form where Richard was found NOT GUILTY of felony battery on a police officer.  He was also found NOT GUILTY of domestic violence.
Felipe Popoca
  • Felipe Popoca, charged with eleven counts of child molestation, despite a videotaped confession, acquitted of all charges.
The verdict forms and Minute Order where Felipe was acquitted of all charges.
Avery Escarzega
  • Avery Escarzega, charged with assault with knife and great bodily injury and a separate assault with great bodily injury, acquitted of all felony charges.  He was only convicted of a misdemeanor simple assault and was given credit for time served and released from jail.
This is the verdict form for the lead charge is Avery case where he was saved from getting two strikes and a maximum sentence of eleven years in prison.

Ronnell Bennett
The verdict forms where Ronnell was acquitted on all counts.
Edward Pereira
The Verdict Form and Minute Order where Edward was saved from nineteen years in prison because he was acquitted of all felony charges and sentenced to credit for time served for the misdemeanor convictions and was released from jail and went home.
Harvey Parker
The Minute Order where Harvey was acquitted of all charges.
Joseph Thompson
  • Joseph Thompson, charged with robbery with a strike prior, acquitted of all charges.
The verdict forms where Joe was acquitted of all charges.
Willie Meadows
  • Willie Meadows, charged with possession of drugs for sales with gang allegations, acquitted of all sales and gang charges, only convicted of the conceded simple possession charges and received drug treatment under Proposition 36.
The Verdict Form where Willie was found NOT GUILTY of all the charges that would have prevented him from getting Proposition 36 drug treatment.
Truman Guerra
  • Truman Guerra, charged with battery, hung jury 9-3 for acquittal.  The case was later dismissed by the judge.
Ron Rose, the defense investigator on the case, Truman and Addison, after the case was dismissed by the judge.

This is the Minute Order from when Truman's case was dismissed by the judge after the trial resulted in a hung jury 9-3 for not guilty.
John Weinhart
  • John Weinhart, charged with more than fifty counts of animal neglect and child endangerment.  The animals he was charged with neglecting on almost all the counts were tigers.  John had run a tiger rescue and had conflicts with the Fish and Game department.  The case received extensive national and international press coverage.  Several of the counts were beaten, but the majority were lost.  John was sentenced to probation with county jail time.
Every step of the trial was a battle, but Addison kept on fighting.  There were animal rights activists in the courtroom throughout the trial.  Because of the extensive press coverage, Addison filed a lengthy motion for a change of venue.  The motion, along with every other pretrial fight, was denied.
This is the article that covered the change of venue motion
This is the photo that was in the Los Angeles Times of John and Addison
waiting for the verdicts.
Another tactic that prosecution used was calling a celebrity as a witness, actress Tippi Hedren, who stared in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie.  Under Addison's cross examination she admitted her bias against John.
     "Under questioning by Addison Steele, Weinhart's attorney, Hedren said that she knew that at one point Weinhart had performed in a circus act with some of his animals--something she disapproved of.
     'And you're not going to say anything nice about someone like that?' Steele asked.
     'Probably not,' Hedren replied.
     Hedren also acknowledged that she already harbored a bias against Weinhart before testifying on Tuesday."

Cited in a Law Review Article
     Addison is such an authority in death penalty litigation that a law professor at DePaul University College of Law interviewed him and cited him in a Boston University Law Review article on the death penalty.  Look on page 274, the citation to the interview with Addison is at footnote 233.
Addison Steele Band
This is not a joke, one of Addison's clients really named his band after him.  Addison was really honored but also surprised by this.  When Addison was told that the a UCSB student in Isla Vista had named his band Addison Steele after his lawyer, Addison responded, "There's another lawyer out there named Addison Steele?"  He then took a second and said, "Whoa, that's really me!" 
Lompoc Office of the Santa Barbara County Office of the Public Defender

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