EAST BAY TIMES – NATE GARTRELL
In a move almost no one saw coming, a longtime Contra Costa County prosecutor packed his bags and left the District Attorney’s office to go into business with the defense attorneys he opposed in the biggest gang murder case of his career.
For 11 years, former assistant district attorney Tom Kensok engaged in a wild legal tug of war to incarcerate two men — a founder of an Irish-American street gang and a Southern California gang member with ties to a drug cartel — while defense lawyers Dan Horowitz and Carmela Caramango fought to keep them free.
After three trials, Kensok eventually won the fight, securing life sentences against Coby Phillips and Jose Vega-Robles. Now he’ll be working a few feet away from both attorneys in their Lafayette offices, where Horowitz proudly displays prison and jail artwork sent to him by Phillips. Though they work in the same office, the three will be sole practitioners.