Plea bargain deal falls through in Hurwitz case
Convicted Portland murder Larry Hurwitz apparently did not accept a plea bargain offer on his drug and illegal money charges in California on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Hurwitz is facing up to 15 years in prison. He has been in jail there since his arrest on June 27 in Huntington Beach, California.
Under California law, the Orange County Superior Court judge handling the case was expected to offer Hurwitz a plea bargain deal during the scheduled hearing. Instead of an offer being made in open court, Hurwitz's attorney and the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case met privately in the judge's chambers, however.
When they emerged, Hurwitz's attorney spoke quietly to Hurwitz, and then told the judge that his client agreed to what had been decided behind closed doors. That ended the hearing, and Hurwitz was returned to jail.
The next hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 19, 2020.
Hurwitz was arrested after being caught with 4.4 pounds of cocaine and $328,000 in cash during a traffic stop. He was initially pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving.
According to the arrest report, the officer thought Hurwitz was acting extremely nervous, and a grocery bag with a large amount of cash was clearly visible in the back seat. The officer also smelled burnt marijuana. A subsequent search of the car turned up the cocaine in one grocery bag and the cash in two others.
Hurwitz originally denied knowing anything about the drugs or money. But in a subsequent interview after being arrested, Hurwitz said the cash belonged to him. He claimed he earned it as a "producer" in Portland in the 1980s and 1990s, and had taken it out of a Merrill Lynch account. The police did not believe Hurwitz, and US. Department of Homeland Security seized it as illegal drug profits.
Hurwitz owned the Starry Night rock club in 1990 when he murdered Tim Moreau, his promotion manager, to cover up his own involvement in a counterfeit ticket scheme. Hurwitz pleaded no contest to murder charges in 1999 and then confirmed the overwhelming evidence against him to settle a civil wrongful death suit brought by his victim's parents, Mike and Penny, in 2001. Hurwitz also agreed to pay the Moreaus $3 million for the death, but has only paid a small fraction of that since being released in 2008.
After being released from prison in Oregon in 2008, Hurwitz was repeatedly caught traveling out of state without permission by Multnomah County Parole and Probation officials, who are charged with supervising him. He has been placed on house arrest, required to wear a GPS monitoring device, and made to perform community service, according to post-release supervision records obtained by the Portland Tribune through a public records request.
Although Hurwitz was required to wear a GPS device as recently as last December, he was not wearing one when he was arrested in California.
Hurwitz will not be released before the proceedings are concluded in California and he serves his sentence there, if any. After that, he will be returned to Multnomah County for violating the terms of his post-release supervision, which prohibited him from visiting California.
You can read pervious stories about the case at pamplinmedia.com/starry-night-murder.
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