News Releases

December 14, 2012: District Attorney’s Holiday Giving Drive Delivers Cheer to 600 Children

Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

District Attorney Jackie Lacey presented holiday gifts to the families of murder and home invasion robbery victims today as part of the District Attorney’s 28th Annual Holiday Giving Drive.

This month, the Holiday Giving Drive benefited nearly 200 families and 600 children who received more than $25,000 in gift baskets filled with toys and gift certificates. The gifts were made possible by donations primarily from District Attorney staff. Local service organizations, corporations and individuals also made donations.

“The holidays can be very challenging for victims of crime,” District Attorney Lacey said. “We in the District Attorney’s Office have a special place in our hearts for crime victims and their families, especially the very young. During the Holiday Giving Drive, we hope to bring them some cheer and show them that we care.”

Families are nominated to receive gifts from the Holiday Giving Drive by members of the District Attorney’s staff. D.A. investigators deliver the gifts to homes throughout Los Angeles County.

The families who participated in the Holiday Giving Drive news conference were:

The Hipolito Family: Naval Officer Osiel Hipolito, 20, was shot and killed on Sept. 3, 2005, as he and his pregnant wife were shopping at a Compton swap meet. His wife was shot in the stomach, with the bullet also hitting the fetus. The baby was delivered following emergency surgery. Both baby daughter and his wife, Lizbeth, survived. The defendant pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon after being extradited from Mexico and was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison.

The Vera/Cortez Family: Jose Alfredo Vera, 21, was fatally shot on January 17, 2011, as he and two friends were sitting in a parked car in Compton. Two defendants were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 130 years to life in prison. Mr. Vera left behind his wife and son, now 2.

The Duran Family: Larry Duran, Jr., 29, was fatally shot in the back near his North Hills barbershop on November 28, 2009, by a man who had been stalking him. The gunman was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Mr. Duran’s fiancé, who was pregnant at the time, is rearing their daughter, Chloe, now two, and his six-year-old son, Julian.

The Smith Family: Colin Smith, 35, and his family, including his five children, were robbed at gunpoint during a home invasion on March 17, 2012, in Van Nuys. The defendant pleaded guilty to robbery and making criminal threats and is awaiting sentencing.

The Holiday Giving Drive is a combined effort of the District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program and Bureau of Investigation.