Skip to content
Josh Waring listens during a hearing in Superior Court in Santa Ana on March 6, 2020. (File photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Josh Waring listens during a hearing in Superior Court in Santa Ana on March 6, 2020. (File photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Josh Waring, the son of a former cast member of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” has died just days after being released from jail for a parole violation, his mother said Saturday, April 6. He was 35.

Waring, who had multiple brushes with the law over the past decade, found himself at the center of Orange County’s jail inmate phone scandal, which helped him ultimately win his release as well as a substantial settlement from county officials.

He died somewhere in Garden Grove of an apparent drug overdose, but the cause of death will be confirmed by coroner’s officials after more tests are done, police said.

His mother, Lauri Peterson, said in an Instagram post that her son died on Easter.

“It is with a shattered heart that I write this post to let you know that my sweet Josh left this earth Easter Sunday,” she wrote. “No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss. Every fiber in my body hurts. Josh fought every single day for most of his adult life, for his life, but this past Sunday, the challenge was too great.”

She said her son’s life “was filled with deep intellect, humor, pranks, athletics, snowboarding, body boarding mountain hikes, reading, friends and his love for music.”

But, she added, “He received the most joy, pride and purpose through his daughter … and watching her grow and thrive over the years.”

On Feb. 21, Waring was sent to jail again for 90 days for violating terms of his release from custody. He got out on March 29 and was supposed to contact probation officials by April 1, but failed to do so, according to court records.

On Thursday, probation officials sought a warrant for his arrest.

Waring, who was previously convicted of a shooting in Costa Mesa, was arrested Feb. 14 and booked on suspicion of punching a security guard in the chest at Chapman Global Medical Center, 2600 E. Chapman Ave., according to Lt. Phil McMullin of the Orange Police Department.

Police were dispatched to the hospital regarding the assault at about 5:45 a.m. that day while Waring was being escorted out of the medical center, McMullin said.

He was also wanted on a warrant for a post-release supervision violation, McMullin said. In court Feb. 21, he admitted the violation of post-release supervision and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to court records.

“Real Housewives of Orange County” star Lauri Peterson talks with the media about her son, Josh Waring after a hearing about recorded client/attorney calls in Santa Ana, CA, on Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

It wasn’t the first time Waring had run afoul of his post-release supervision. He last appeared in court Nov. 7 for a revocation hearing and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He was released Dec. 12, but he failed to report to his probation officer and in January a warrant was issued for Waring, who was considered a transient in the San Juan Capistrano area.

On July 25 of last year, Waring left the water running at a Motel 6 in Fountain Valley, damaging a room below, according to court records from probation officials. When officers went to talk to Waring, “he appeared confused and had slurred speech,” probation officials said. Police saw Narcan and drug paraphernalia in the room with the shower running. He was taken to an area hospital, probation officials said.

On Aug. 7, he tested positive for fentanyl, hydrocodone and methamphetamine and failed to have a GPS device placed on him as required by probation, officials said.

Waring pleaded guilty in September of 2022 to a felony count of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, one count of possession of a stun gun with a prior conviction, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, all misdemeanors.

He was given credit for 106 days in custody.

Waring possessed fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies said they found Waring in a car with a woman in a parking lot behind a business on Del Obispo and Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano on Jan. 6, 2022. Because he was a parolee, the deputies searched him and found several baggies of fentanyl on him, Braun said.

Waring pleaded guilty in January 2022 to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. As part of his plea deal at the time, misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and falsely representing himself to an officer were dismissed, along with misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and alteration of markings on an imitation firearm or device for a separate case.

He was previously arrested in June 2020 in Huntington Beach and charged that September with possession of a controlled substance — fentanyl —and drug paraphernalia and falsely representing himself to an officer, all misdemeanors.

Waring was arrested again on May 8, 2021, at Ridge Route Drive and Overlake in Lake Forest when deputies pulled over a rental car stolen from John Wayne Airport, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Todd Hylton.

Waring, who was in the passenger’s seat, was accused of possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia found in the car’s glove compartment, Hylton said.

In March 2020, Waring pleaded guilty to single counts of assault with a firearm and leading police on a chase, and two counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, all felonies. He also admitted single misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run with property damage and battery.

Waring also resolved a separate case and pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine for sale and false personation, both felonies.

He was originally charged with three counts of attempted murder, along with a sentencing enhancement alleging attempted premeditated murder, for the June 20, 2016, shooting of Daniel Lopez, then 35, outside a home in Costa Mesa. Two other people escaped injury in the drive-by attack.

At the time of his plea deal, Waring was facing 65 years to life in prison, but instead he was sentenced to time served in jail awaiting trial.

His mother told reporters following her son’s plea deal that he wanted to pursue a career in law.

Waring reached a $595,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit with the county in September of 2021. Waring alleged in the lawsuit that his phone calls while in custody were illegally recorded and that sheriff’s deputies set him up for an attack while in custody.