The Elk Grove attorney who helped ship a 15-year-old girl out of California to Atlanta so she couldn’t testify against her alleged pimp could face a year in state prison after striking a plea deal with Sacramento County prosecutors on Friday.
Haris Kyle McKinley, 33, pleaded no contest Friday before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jaime Roman to a single felony count of dissuading a witness from testifying at trial. McKinley is scheduled to return to Roman’s courtroom March 30 for sentencing.
In January, prosecutors had filed a 12-page complaint against McKinley that accused him of conspiracy, being an accessory after the fact, committing lewd acts on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, along with the witness-interference charge.
On Friday, free on bond and wearing a black top coat, gray slacks and clutching a matching gray fedora, McKinley entered a no-contest plea to the lone charge. He avoided the more serious charges with the agreement, but the potential one-year term still carries a strike under the state’s “three-strikes” law.
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Prosecutors with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office say McKinley and another man, Latrele Mitchell Neal, 27, sneaked a phone into an attorney’s meeting room at Sacramento County Main Jail last September so McKinley’s client, Desmond Octavius Oates, 24, could call the teenage girl.
Oates, held in lieu of $1 million bail, is accused of pimping the 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl between June and August 2016, then working with McKinley and Neal to keep the 15-year-old off the witness stand while he was behind bars.
Oates faces a total of nine counts including pimping, pandering, causing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act and dissuading a witness.
McKinley and Neal were accused of driving three hours south in the middle of the night to Kings County to pick up the teen.
Prosecutors said the men bought a cellphone for the girl to use with orders only to call from blocked numbers, then purchased a bus ticket under a fake name and put her aboard for the long trip to Atlanta and the home of a college friend, with instructions to “stay missing.”
Neal remains housed at the Sacramento County Main Jail. He is charged with dissuading a witness, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the scheme.
Oates and Neal are scheduled to return to court on March 6.