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SANTA CLARA DA HONORS 3 FOR WORK SAN JOSE — Veteran Deputy DA Lane Liroff has been named Santa Clara’s felony trial lawyer of 2003 for his prosecution of a gang retaliation killing. Deputy DA Leigh Frazier was also honored as the office’s top misdemeanor prosecutor, and Deputy DA Marilyn Masciarelli was named the office’s top attorney in a non-trial position. Assistant DA Karyn Sinunu lauded Liroff’s successful prosecution of two L.A. gangsters convicted of gunning down a San Jose man in hopes of silencing his son who had turned state’s witness. Liroff, relying on circumstantial evidence and a jailhouse informant, persuaded a jury to convict but couldn’t get a death sentence. The pair was sentenced to life in prison. “Liroff is an ace trial attorney,” Sinunu said at the office’s annual awards ceremony Friday. “He is a major decision-maker in our office in officer-involved cases and Brady matters.” Sinunu also praised Liroff’s work prosecuting alleged cop killer DeShawn Campbell. Liroff had Campbell’s public defender removed from the death penalty case in December after he discovered Deputy PD Charles Gillan was helping out the defendant and his father in a parallel civil wrongful death suit. “We have averted probably a reversal down the road in that case.” Sinunu said. Assistant DA Marc Buller praised Frazier’s perfect trial record in 2003 despite a recanting 13-year-old victim in one case and a DUI defendant who raised a racial defense in another. “All the judges we talked to said, ‘When is she going to start trying felony cases?’” Buller said. Supervising Deputy DA Joseph Thibodeaux, meanwhile, said Masciarelli “never ceases to amaze me with the amount of legal knowledge” she’s mastered in 13 years of work on the law and motions team. — Shannon Lafferty

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