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District Attorney appoints new Assistant District Attorney 

–District Attorney Dan Dow has appointed Deputy District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth to be the next Assistant District Attorney effective Jan 1. Dobroth’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Assistant District Attorney Lee V. Cunningham.

“While Lee leaves big shoes to fill, our office is blessed with a number of exceptionally talented prosecutors who are well qualified to take on this important role,” said Dow. “I am grateful for each of the six internal candidates who expressed a strong desire to help lead this office into the future as we deal with the challenges of increasing crime and a more complex criminal justice system.”

Dobroth has served more than 12 years as a prosecutor in San Luis Obispo County and is currently assigned as the team leader for the Consumer and Environmental Protection / Major Fraud Prosecution Team. He also served as a prosecutor in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office between 1998 and 2005. While there, he conducted numerous misdemeanor and felony jury trials, prosecuted major crimes and complex white collar fraud cases, and was recognized as Prosecutor of the Year in 2003.

“Eric Dobroth has earned the admiration and respect of his peers, the defense bar, and the judges of the Superior Court because of his strong work ethic, his legal acumen, and his sound judgment. I am confident that he will be an outstanding Assistant District Attorney,” said  Dow. Dobroth is the Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Enforcement Group and is the liaison to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and local, state, and federal regulatory agencies. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Environmental Science from Oregon State University in 1995 and a Juris Doctor with emphasis in natural resource law from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in 1998.

Several notable cases prosecuted by  Dobroth include:

  • People v. Jesse Baker-Riley and Ryan Johnson: In July 2009, Kelsey Alvarez was killed while committing a home invasion robbery in Los Osos with Jesse Baker-Riley that was planned by accomplice Ryan Johnson. After separate trials, Baker-Riley and Johnson were each convicted of first-degree provocative act murder with a firearm for the shooting death of Kelsey Alvarez. Both convictions were affirmed by the Court of Appeal with published opinions. Jesse Baker-Riley was sentenced to 35 years-to-life and Ryan Johnson was sentenced to 26 years-to-life.
  • People v. Michael D. Simmons: On Feb 5, 2010, Simmons cut the throat of David Stratton with a box cutter during a verbal altercation at Mr. Rick’s bar in Avila Beach. Simmons, who had been convicted years earlier for child molestation, was convicted by jury for the attempted murder of Stratton. Simmons was sentenced to 24 years in state prison.
  • People v. Clifford Scott, Jr.: On Oct 27, 2012, Scott, a southeastern San Diego gang member, led CHP Officers on a high-speed pursuit on Highway 101 and through the City of Paso Robles resulting in a crash, foot pursuit, and the ambush of CHP Officer Adrian Ayala. Officer Ayala was shot three times and Scott was shot several times. Scott was convicted of first-degree premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer with the use of a firearm and sentenced to 65 years-to-life.
  • People v. Akins, Brito, Ford, Ivory, and Love: On Augt 10, 2014, five Cal Poly Football players committed a residential robbery with a firearm of a fraternity house near the Cal Poly campus. Each defendant was convicted by their plea and sentenced according to their respective culpability in the robbery. Sentences ranged from county jail and probation to five years in state prison.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.