Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

September 25, 2012

2 plead no contest to extorting Stevie Wonder

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two people charged with trying to extort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder pleaded no contest on Monday and were released after being sentenced to time-served in jail.

Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz were sentenced to serve 292 days in jail and three years of probation for attempting to sell a video that purportedly portrayed Wonder in a negative light. Jail credits made the pair eligible for release Monday.

The pair was arrested in May after the Grammy-winner's attorney arranged a sting and claimed Walker had sought up to $5 million for the video.

Walker's attorney, Ian Wallach, said the deal was reached after prosecutors encountered trouble proving the extortion case and that the charges were eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors and expunged later if the pair comply with the terms of their release.

A judge ordered the pair to stand trial in July after a preliminary hearing in which a police detective described the video as an 80-minute rant against Wonder. Portions of it were filmed in the former home of the singer's late mother, which is now dilapidated, and it also shows Wonder's son, whom the musician is protective of.

Wallach had maintained his client was innocent and that he had a constitutional right to make and market the video. Diaz is Walker's girlfriend and was present during a police sting that involved Wonder's attorney and led to the pair's arrest.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said both were ordered to stay away from Wonder and his associates while on probation.

1
Text Only
Entertainment
Lifestyles
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
BBQ My Way