State appeals court overturns ex-LA Councilman Richard Alarcon's 2014 convictions

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The California 2nd District Court of Appeals overturned voter fraud and perjury convictions Wednesday for former Los Angeles City Council Member Richard Alarcon and his wife.

The three-justice panel released a 15-page report that stated an improper jury instruction was given by the Los Angeles Superior Court judge as the reasoning for overturning the convictions. The panel also ordered the case against the Alarcons to be sent back to the trial court.

In July 2014, Alarcon was convicted of three counts of voter fraud and one count of perjury for living outside the 7th district he was elected to represent. His wife, Flora Montes De Oca Alarcon, was convicted of two counts of fraud and one count of perjury.

Alarcon was sentenced to 120 days in jail in October, but when he surrendered to serve his sentence in December, he chose the option to be placed on house arrest for 51 days.

In an appeal filed by Alarcon's defense attorneys, it claims the judge made an error by giving the jury improper instruction on determining the place of residence during Alarcon's trial.

The California Attorney General's Office could ask the state Supreme Court to review the ruling before the case is sent back to the trial court.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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