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DID POLICE PUT THE CORK IN A HIGH-END WINE SCAM? If prosecutors have their way, a Sausalito wine merchant may head from a cellar to a cell. Mark Anderson could face up to five years in prison over allegations that $600,000 worth of rare wines were stolen from one of his clients. Deputy District Attorney Linda Witong said Anderson, owner of Sausalito Cellars, was charged with felony embezzlement after thousands of bottles vanished from his storage facility. The business specializes in storing and delivering private wine collections and shipping bottles to their owners seven days a week, throughout the world, according to the company. Sausalito detective Bill Frass received a call from Anderson’s clients in December, claiming they were missing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare wine from their inventory. After a 2 1/2-month investigation, the DA filed a criminal complaint in February. Anderson’s lawyer, Douglas Horngrad, said his client is innocent. Anderson is not in custody, and the business is still operating. “He is a longtime Sausalito businessman with no criminal record,” Horngrad said. On Aug. 17, Anderson will attend a pre-trial conference where he may have the opportunity to settle the case with the DA. But Horngrad said his client would make no deals. “Innocent people don’t plead guilty,” he said, predicting that the case will go to trial and result in an acquittal. “From our perspective, the case involves a disputed shipment.” Horngrad, who has been a San Francisco criminal defense attorney for 24 years, added, “It’s infrequent to have someone who’s thoroughly innocent tumble through your door. And Mark Anderson is.” — Adrienne Sanders ARE THE BAD BOYS BAD BOYS? A bail bondsman that occasionally hosts autograph signings for professional wrestlers was body-slammed by a torrent of bad press last week. Bad Boys Bail Bonds — well-known around San Jose courthouses for giveaways of free swag, including T-shirts and condoms printed with the company’s logo — was raided by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office as part of a criminal investigation into the bail bond industry, according to news reports. On Thursday records were taken from the San Jose office of the company as part of a year-long investigation. The owner of the company is said to be cooperating with the probe. Bad Boys has two large offices within a mile of San Jose’s main criminal courthouse. A souped-up pickup truck and a crimson Hummer bearing the company’s insignia are often parked nearby. Two Bad Boys employees are usually there handing out free items. — Justin M. Norton POPULAR SITE FOR SUICIDE NOT A DANGEROUS CONDITION Eight days before Christmas 2001, 14-year-old Marissa Imrie paid $150 for a cab ride from her Santa Rosa home to the Golden Gate Bridge. Once there, she leaped to her death. Thirteen months later, her mother, Renee Milligan, filed a wrongful death complaint against the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, claiming that the lack of a suicide barrier constituted a dangerous condition of public property that led to Imrie’s demise. On June 4, San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal tossed the suit, concluding in an unpublished decision that the district wasn’t liable because a dangerous condition didn’t exist. There is no substantial risk, the court held, if the bridge is used with due care and in a way “reasonably foreseeable.” “By definition,” Presiding Justice Barbara Jones wrote, “persons who use the bridge to commit suicide are not using the bridge in a manner used by the general public exercising ordinary care.” Justices Lawrence Stevens and Mark Simons concurred. According to the ruling, more than 1,200 people have jumped to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937. The debate for and against a suicide barrier — installed in places such as New York’s Empire State Building and Sydney’s Harbor Bridge — has raged for decades, with the bridge district rejecting the idea several times. As part of her argument, Milligan contended that the bridge’s current 3 1/2-foot safety railing poses a danger to all manner of people, including children engaging in horseplay, people leaning over for a better view, and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But the court said Milligan needed to prove that the dangerous condition in question was a “substantial factor” in causing her daughter’s death. “Here, appellant does not allege that her daughter accidentally fell from the bridge while engaged in horseplay, while leaning over the railing to gain a better view or while posing for a photograph,” Justice Jones wrote. “Appellant admits that Marissa intentionally climbed over the existing three-and-one-half foot railing and jumped. “Whatever defects may or may not be present in the railing’s current design,” she continued, “they were not, as a matter of law, the cause of Marissa’s tragic death.” The ruling is Milligan v. Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, A102843. — Mike McKee

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