The Los Angeles County district attorney's office admitted that its prosecutors erred in allowing a suspect now accused in the killing of four people to get drug treatment instead of prison time, reports the Los Angeles Times. The suspect, Ka Pasasouk, was in Van Nuys Superior Court after being arrested on suspicion of drug possession. He was on probation at the time, and the L.A. County Probation Department had urged that he be sent back to state prison for "long-term detention" because of his lengthy criminal record.
Prosecutors told the judge that Pasasouk was eligible for a drug diversion program under Proposition 36, a voter-approved ballot mesure to send some nonviolent drug offenders into drug rehab rather than prison. The judge ordered him to treatment. Two months later, authorities alleged, Pasasouk killed four people outside a home. "The office inadvertently erred in indicating the defendant was eligible for a Proposition 36 drug program," said district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. "Training issues raised during the review will be addressed by the District Attorney's office countywide."