The prosecutor in the upcoming Richard Forsberg murder case has been chosen as the Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year in California.
Senior deputy district attorney Ebrahim Baytieh, who a year ago got a murder conviction of Gary Shawkey in a case in which there was no body, received the award Thursday from the California District Attorneys Assn.
Coincidentally, the conviction of Shawkey came on the same day that to killing his wife, Marcia Ann Forsberg.
Forsberg's trial is scheduled to begin July 25. He is accused of murdering his wife, dismembering her body and burning it at a campsite in Ventura County. Like the Shawkey case, there is no body.
Baytieh has gained convictions of 43 homicide defendants without allowing a single acquittal.
“This award is a tremendous acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication that Ebrahim puts into every case," said Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County District Attorney. "He is passionate about protecting the rights of victims and tireless in his fight for justice. Ebrahim’s receipt of the ‘Prosecutor of the Year’ award is well deserved and brings prestige to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.”
Baytieh, with assistance from Keith Bogardus, recently completed a homicide case in which Rancho Santa Margarita's John Chamberlain was murdered while in Orange County jail. Chamberlain, in the Theo Lacy Facility on misdemeanor charges of possesing child pornography, was beaten to death because inmates thought he was a child molester. The case lasted five months and required several months of grand jury investigation, but Baytieh got convictions of five of the nine inmates involved; the other four pleaded guilty.
"I am very humbled and honored to receive this amazing award on a personal level," Baytieh said. "However, I also recognize that this award is more of a reflection on our great office and the excellent team of prosecutors and D.A. investigators that I am fortunate enough to work with every day."