Local Girl Comes Home To Fight Crime

Posted: February 06, 2018

When Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pesce joined the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office as a prosecutor in 2005, she saw it as an opportunity to return home and give back to the community she grew up in, and in which her family still lived.  Ms. Pesce's great-grandparents moved to El Dorado County in the 50's, and her grandfather, Dale Jones, returned after the Korean War to raise his family in Placerville.  Ms. Pesce's grandfather, J. Clair Veater, served El Dorado County as a California Highway Patrol Officer until his retirement in the 80's. While Ms. Pesce later attended Ponderosa High School, both of her parents went to El Dorado High School - making the Gold Panner Football games a lively family event.  

Ms. Pesce always wanted to be involved in the criminal justice system, specifically as a prosecutor.  During high school, Ms. Pesce was involved with the then newly formed Teen Court Program - a program created and run by Judge Eddie Keller - in which high school students serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys and jurors, and decide real cases involving juveniles cited for minor offenses.  This is an important program that still operates in El Dorado County now.  This experience solidified Ms. Pesce's desire to serve her community as a prosecutor. 

Ms. Pesce went on to attend UC Davis as a Political Science major, and later received her law degree from McGeorge School of Law.  During law school Ms. Pesce had an internship with the California Attorney General's Office in the Appeals, Writs and Trials division, gaining invaluable experience and knowledge of the law. 

Ms. Pesce is currently assigned as the Lead Deputy District Attorney for the Special Prosecutions Unit, dealing with cases involving fraudulent activity in our community, including real estate fraud, welfare fraud, white collar crime, environmental crimes, consumer fraud, and worker's comp fraud.  Before joining the Special Prosecutions Unit, Ms. Pesce was assigned as the Trial Team Lead for several years and had been previously assigned to the vertical prosecution of sexual assault and child molestation cases.  While assigned to these cases, Ms. Pesce tried and convicted Eric Hatfield for the molestation of a 13 year old girl, resulting in a 248 year to life sentence in prison.  Recently, she convicted Manuel Ramos Munoz of the sexual and physical assault of a young foreign exchange student, resulting in a 183 years to life prison sentence.  Ms. Pesce has also prosecuted several homicide cases, including the vicious murder of a South Lake Tahoe woman by her nephew, Sean Paul MacIntire, and the murder of California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Russell by David Zanon during a high speed pursuit.  Mr. Zanon is currently on death row.

As part of the recent move to new building, the District Attorney's Office dedicated the main conference room to Deputy District Attorney Katie Dobler, who passed away February 13, 2017.  Ms. Dobler is remembered by the office as a passionate and relentless advocate for justice on behalf of victims.  Ms. Dobler and Ms. Pesce were colleagues and best friends.  As part of the dedication, District Attorney Vern Pierson awarded the first "Recognition of Excellence" pins to members of the office who have significantly contributed to the furtherance of the office's goal of making our community a safer place for its citizens.  Ms. Pesce was selected to receive this honor by District Attorney Pierson and was awarded the pin during the dedication.