Ex-official Enochs convicted of charges

The Press-Enterprise

Former Murrieta City Councilman Warnie Enochs was convicted Wednesday in Riverside County Superior Court on 12 charges, including forgery and falsifying records, according to the Riverside County Superior Court.

Enochs faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 6 on those charges, as well as conspiracy, inducing someone to commit perjury and offering false evidence, said district attorney spokesman Ryan Hightower.

"Juries almost always see the truth. This jury found the truth. They held Mr. Enochs accountable," District Attorney Rod Pacheco said Wednesday.

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The prosecution argued to jurors during the trial, which started last month, that Enochs falsified records and committed other crimes during a messy divorce. None of the crimes is related to his work as a councilman.

During Enochs' divorce about five years ago, he forged the signature of a businessman stating his wife was having an affair with the businessman's employee, the prosecution said. He also changed the amount he paid on a roofing job to keep money from his wife.

Attempts to reach Enochs and his attorney, Virginia Blumenthal, after business hours Wednesday were not successful.

He was acquitted of extortion, according to the Superior Court's Web site. The jury began deliberating Tuesday and returned the verdict Wednesday afternoon.

Reached Wednesday, Murrieta Mayor Gary Thomasian called it a tough situation.

"I very much feel for his family," Thomasian said. He said he never saw Enochs act mean or spiteful in the two years they served together on the City Council.

Enochs, who was arrested in January 2006 following an investigation by the district attorney's office, lost his seat in November after 13 years on the council.

Reach Jessica Logan at 951-368-9466 or jlogan@PE.com

Reach Tammy J. McCoy at 951-375-3729 or tmccoy@PE.com

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