Sacto 9-1-1
April 30, 2012
Help sought to locate man missing nearly a week

Missing  Fernandez.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department seeks the public's help in locating a man who has been missing from his home for nearly a week.

Jesse Fernandez (pictured), 40, was last seen Tuesday at his home in the 8100 block of Bilsdale Court in south Sacramento. Sheriff's officials said he is considered at-risk because of diminished mental capacity.

Fernandez is described as Hispanic, 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing approximately 225 pounds. He has short black hair, brown eyes, a mustache and a full beard.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

April 30, 2012
Man convicted of molesting child who is deaf

A Sacramento County jury has convicted a 38-year-old man of multiple counts of child molestation involving a young victim who is deaf and has a learning disability.

Robert Ruiz was a friend of the victim's family. The girl's parents trusted Ruiz because he and his family, including Ruiz's children, were also deaf, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Officials said the victim was a friend of Ruiz's children and frequently spent the night at his home.

Ruiz molested the young girl over a period of four years before she reported the abuse to school personnel, officials said.

Ruiz is to be sentenced June 1 in Sacramento Superior Court.

April 30, 2012
Penn Valley man arrested after stand-off with Truckee police

A portion or Donner Pass Road and Richards Boulevard in Truckee were closed and nearby schools placed under lockdown earlier today during a stand-off between an armed man and police.

About 11:30 a.m., the Nevada County Sheriff's Office advised Truckee police that they had received information that Robert Maklia of Penn Valley was possibly in the Truckee area and in possession of a firearm. Maklia was reportedly distraught for unknown reasons. The Sheriff's Office also provided a description of Maklia's vehicle.

Officers located Maklia sitting in his parked vehicle on Richards Boulevard west of Donner Pass Road. Maklia later got out of the vehicle with a handgun in his hand, according to a Police Department news release. Police said Maklia refused to drop the gun and instead took refuge behind his vehicle. They said he continued to ignore directions from officers.

April 30, 2012
Red-light camera system to go 'live' Tuesday at Calvine Road/Highway 99

A new digital red-light photo-enforcement camera system will go into operation at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday on Calvine Road at the northbound Highway 99 off-ramp in south Sacramento County.

The camera was placed at the location by the Sacramento Metropolitan Red Light Photo Enforcement Detail. The new system has been undergoing tests and is scheduled to go "live" Tuesday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed warning notices. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. May 31, red-light violators at this intersection will be mailed citations, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Office news release.

April 30, 2012
Jury convicts two in 2010 North Highlands robbery murder

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Kelvin Arnell Peterson and Bernard Krungerrun Reed of first-degree murder with special circumstances in the Sept. 2, 2010, shooting death of Tania Gursky during a pharmacy robbery in North Highlands.

Judge Troy L. Nunley scheduled the sentencing on the two defendants for June 1. Peterson, 43, and Reed, 35, are each facing life in prison without possibility of parole.

Gurskiy, 27, worked as a clerk in the pharmacy. She was killed by Peterson when he ran out of the story during the robbery when the son of the pharmacy owner attempted to thwart the robbery by pulling a gun on the defendant. Reed was convicted under the felony murder rule for his participation in the robbery that resulted in a death.

April 30, 2012
UPDATE: Police report missing Elk Grove teen found safe

Dupard+Orzelle.jpgElk Grove police say a 13-year-old boy reported missing earlier today has been found safe and returned to his home.

Orzelle Dupard (pictured) had been last seen at 8:14 a.m. today when he left his home in the 8200 block of Geneva Pointe Drive. He was considered to be at risk because of his age.

April 30, 2012
UPDATE: Police: Suspicious package at federal building contained electronics, not explosives

Sacramento police say a "suspicious device" located at the John E. Moss Federal building, 650 Capitol Mall, contained electronics, not explosives.

The building houses offices of agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Employees found a supicious package on the building's loading dock about 12:14 p.m. They took it inside and X-rayed it. Finding the contents to be suspicious, they called police. Employees were evacuated and an ordnance disposal unit was sent to the location.

April 30, 2012
Library whistleblower's settlement came to $343,000

The Sacramento Public Library Authority agreed to pay a whistleblower $343,000 to settle her retaliation lawsuit against the agency, it was learned today.

Senior Accounts Clerk Diane Boerman worked out the settlement with the library last month but the terms had remained secret until agency officials revealed the details today in response to a Public Records Act request from The Bee.

Boerman sued the agency on grounds that she was denied pay raises or promotions because of her role in making public a kickback scheme that cost the library more than $800,000.

Three people, including two library officials were charged and convicted in the scandal. The library's former director also retired amid accusations of mismanagement.

April 30, 2012
Dead man, gun in hand, found outside Carmichael DMV

By Tony Bizjak
tbizjak@sacbee.com

A 57-year-old Carmichael man was found dead Monday morning in the bushes outside the Carmichael Department of Motor Vehicles offices, the victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, officials said.

A DMV worker found the body early Monday in a planter outside the building's front door. California Highway Patrol officials, who pronounced the man dead at the scene, said the man had a gun in his hand. "It didn't look like any foul play," CHP Off. Mike Gardner said. Gardner said officials believe the man had had an argument with his wife the night before. The victim's name has not yet been released.

The DMV office remained closed until 10 a.m.

April 30, 2012
Linda man booked on false imprisonment, sex assault charges

A Linda man has been booked into Yuba County jail on suspicion of sexual assault after allegedly assaulting a woman for three days.

Tyrone L. Dyson, 38, of Linda was arrested by Yuba County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday on several charges including suspicion of rape and false imprisonment.

Deputies were called Saturday morning by a woman who lived with Dyson after she was able to get out of their home in east Linda.

April 30, 2012
Two motorcyclists die on country road in Sierra County

Riders of two motorcycles died when one bike went out of control and the other took evasive action to avoid collision in Sierra County on Sunday.

The California Highway Patrol said that a motorcyclist from South Lake Tahoe was heading southbound about 3 p.m. Sunday on Highway 49 just north of the Convict Flat Campground between Camptonville and Downieville when he lost control of his vehicle.

The motorcycle slid on its side into the northbound lane at the same time another motorcyclist from Reno was approaching. The Reno motorcyclist, in an attempt to avoid collision, traveled onto the right shoulder and crashed into a guardrail.

Both motorcyclists died at the scene.

April 30, 2012
Nine painting, flooring and concrete workers caught in Lincoln sting

Nine men received notices to appear in court for misdemeanor violations of state home improvement contracting laws during a sting in Lincoln.

The nine workers bid on painting, flooring and concrete jobs during a sting, according to the Contractors State License Board. The board's investigative fraud team set up an undercover operation on Tuesday in a single-family home in Lincoln.

Seven who bid more than $500 for labor and materials face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license. Some also must appear in court for illegal advertising. Contractors must place their license numbers in all advertisements.

April 29, 2012
Crash knocks down power lines in Citrus Heights

By Robert D. Dávila
rdavila@sacbee.com

A 63-year-old man was taken to a hospital Sunday after crashing his car into a power pole and becoming trapped by fallen high-voltage lines on Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights.

The collision is under investigation as a possible case of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a Citrus Heights police statement.

According to police, officers who responded around 4:45 p.m. to a call about a vehicle collision on Auburn Drive near Greenback Lane learned the California High Patrol was helping a disabled motorist. While pushing the car out of the roadway, the driver tried to flee and drove the car into oncoming traffic and across Auburn Boulevard before hitting the power pole, the statement said.

The crash knocked down live power lines that trapped the driver, officials said. A SMUD crew was called to turn off the power to allow Sacramento Metropolitan firefighters to extricate the driver from the car.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call the Citrus Heights Police Department at (916) 727-5500 or the Traffic Tip Line at (916) 727-5525.

April 28, 2012
Update: Suspicious item turns out to be homemade tattoo gun

By Mark Glover

mglover@sacbee.com

Sacramento police investigating a possible pipe bomb found in a yard in the 600 block of Acacia Ave., say the object turned out to be a homemade tattoo gun.

Police and the bomb squad reported to the scene just north of the intersection of El Camino Avenue and Del Paso Boulevard around 11 a.m., after a woman spotted what was described as a pipe wrapped in tape.

Police said a "small evacuation" of a handful of homes in the surrounding area was implemented while the bomb squad investigated.

Police reported the all-clear shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

April 28, 2012
Unwanted prescription meds can be dropped off today

By Mark Glover

mglover@sacbee.com

Sacramento-area residents looking to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription medications can do so today at two sites overseen by authorities.

Both drop-off programs run through 2 p.m.

The Sacramento Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials will accept items at 5770 Freeport Blvd.

The DEA and the Elk Grove Police Department will do the same at the Elk Grove administration building, 8380 Laguna Palms Way.

The events are part of the National Take Back Initiative.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

April 28, 2012
Sacramento police, Jiffy Lube partner to fight theft

By Mark Glover

mglover@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Police Department is partnering with Jiffy Lube on Wednesday with a free catalytic converter etching event, where motor vehicle license plate numbers will be etched onto catalytic converters.

The "Etch & Catch" event is designed to recover stolen property. Catalytic converters are prime targets of thieves because of their high black market value, the relative ease of stealing them and their lack of identifying markings.

"Etch & Catch" will be noon to 5 p.m. at the Jiffy Lube outlet at 2900 Florin Road in Sacramento.

Officials said the event is open to city of Sacramento residents only, and space is limited. Participants, who will be required to show proof of current city residency, should bring one of the following: a driver's license, vehicle registration or a utility bill.

Reservations are required. To do that, go to www.sacpd.org and click on the "Etch & Catch Event" link. A free ticket to the event can be downloaded from the event flier page.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

April 27, 2012
Elder-abuse suspect arrested after barricading self in Woodland home

A Woodland man suspected of battery and elder abuse was arrested this evening after barricading himself in a bedroom and starting a fire, according to police.

Woodland officers responded to the 200 block of Abele Street at 5:20 p.m. and arrived to find an elderly man with non-life-threatening injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Woodland Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.

Officers then sought to arrest a suspect, identified as James Woodall, 47, of Woodland.

April 27, 2012
CHP to hold free child safety seat check-up event Saturday

The California Highway Patrol will conduct a child passenger safety seat check-up event Saturday at the IKEA store in West Sacramento.

CHP-certified car seat technicians/instructors will be on hand from 9 a.m. to noon at 700 Ikea Court to help parents make sure children are properly secured.

A new California law that became effective Jan. 1 extends by two years the length of time a child must use a child passenger restraint or safety seat when riding in a motor vehicle. Children must ride in either a car seat or a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

April 27, 2012
UPDATE: One person wounded in drive-by shooting in Del Paso Heights

A man was wounded this evening is a drive-by shooting in the Del Paso Heights area.

Sacramento Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 3700 block of Norwood Avenue.

He said the suspect and the victim are believed to be acquainted with one another and may have been involved in a dispute before the shooting occurred.

The victim, a man in his late 40s, was shot in the upper body and was taken to a local hospital. Pettit said he was reported in stable condition.

The suspect was described only as a white man in his 50s driving a brown sedan.

April 27, 2012
Sacramento man sentenced in multistate drug conspiracy

A Sacramento man is headed to prison for his role in a multistate drug conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. today sentenced Son Nguyen, 41, in federal court in Sacramento to 15 years and 8 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine and MDMA, or Ecstasy.

Nguyen was one of 51 defendants charged in nine related indictments stemming from a 13-month federal investigation with connections to six states -- Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, Georgia and California. Drug seizures occurred in California, Alaska, Illinois and Georgia, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

April 27, 2012
Woodland gang members convicted of possessing assault weapon

A Yolo County jury has convicted three men identified as Norteno gang members for having an assault pistol in their car and engaging in street gang activity.

Angel Palacios, Carlos Hernandez and German Martinez, all age 20 of Woodland, were each found guilty by the jury Thursday, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

Witnesses testified that on Aug. 17, 2010, two groups of gang members were in the area of Harris Park near Midtown Elementary School in Woodland. Just as school security personnel arrived, a rival gang member challenged Hernandez, who appeared to have an object in his hand. Police were called, and the two groups left before officers arrived.

April 27, 2012
Man with history of DUI indicted in South Lake Tahoe death

A man with multiple convictions for driving under the influence has been indicted for murder in the September death of a South Lake Tahoe man.

An El Dorado County criminal grand jury on Thursday returned an indictment against Larry L. Halverson, 60, charging him with murder and other offenses in connection with the death 51-year-old Patrick Purnell, according to an El Dorado County District Attorney's Office news release. Purnell died when he was struck by a car driven by Halverson, who investigators allege was under the combined influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time.

Halverson did not immediately stop but returned to the scene later. At the time, authorities said, his driver's license was both revoked and suspended for prior DUI convictions.

April 27, 2012
Sacramento police seek leads in woman's 2006 stabbing death

Mrs. Line Withrow.jpgSacramento police are seeking the community's help in solving a six-year-old homicide case.

At 3:19 p.m. April 28, 2006, 67-year-old Line Withrow (pictured), a retired occupational therapist, was walking down the sidewalk near 37th and P streets when a vehicle drove up next to her. Without provocation, a knife-wielding assailant got out of his vehicle and ran up to Withrow, according to a Police Department news release. The two struggled over her purse, and the assailant stabbed Withrow repeatedly with the knife.

Withrow was taken to a local hospital and died two days later of injuries suffered in the attack.

April 27, 2012
Two men arrested in August 2011 shooting at Woodland bar

Two men, one from Elk Grove and the other from Sacramento, have been arrested in connection with a shooting last August at a Woodland bar.

Woodland police, assisted by the Sacramento County Sheriff"s Department and Sacramento Police Department, served arrest and search warrants at two locations in Sacramento County early Thursday. Arrested were Marcus Blackmon, 34, of Elk Grove, and Jason Broadbent, 25, of Sacramento. Both wore booked in to Sacramento County Jail and are awaiting transfer to Yolo County on suspicion of attempted murder, according to a Woodland Police Department news release.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Aug. 28, 2011, Woodland police officers responded to a call of shots fired with two people wounded at Tony's Bar at 607 East St. in Woodland. The victims, a 41-year-old woman from Woodland and a 38-year-old man from Sacramento, were taken by ambulance to U.C. Davis Medical Center. The woman was treated for a single gunshot wound and the man, for multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.

Although multiple gunshots were fired during the incident, no other victims were located.

April 27, 2012
Three ordered to stand trial in Nedra Court shooting death

A judge today ordered three Sacramento men to stand trial on murder charges for the Jan. 3, 2010, shooting death of Aliyah Smith in an apartment on Nedra Court in the Meadowview area.

Sacramento Superior Court James L. Long set May 7 as the next court date for D'Andre Monroe, now 20, Marcel Bullard, also 20, and Marschell Brumfield, 21.

Authorities have identified Monroe as the gunman in the 1:20 a.m. shooting in which Smith, a 15-year-old River City HIgh School student, was slain.

Sacramento police initially arrested 12 teenagers on suspicion of murder in the killing. Investigators characterized it as a retaliation attack from a fight in earlier in the evening between Smith and another girl.

Eight of the 12 original murder suspects have since pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact. Most of them were sentenced to a year in county jail. Charges were dismissed against one other defendant.

April 27, 2012
UPDATE: Tommy gun, TEC-9 part of weapons cache found in Sacramento home

freeman.jpgSacramento police have uncovered a cache of weapons that includes a Tommy gun and a TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun that is commonly associated with gang crimes.

The weapons, some of them stolen and some of them illegal, were found in a home in the area of 54th Street and San Francisco Boulevard in Colonial Heights, police said.

Weapons were found throughout the house, including some hidden behind a false wall. Weapons seized were: AK-22 assault rifle, a loaded Intertec Tec-9 assault pistol, sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, 16-gauge shotgun, fully-automatic Tommy gun, 8 handguns, two non-operating grenades, ammunition, parts for weapons and a Laws rocket launcher tube.

Sacramento police Sgt. Paul Freeman said the tube was used and likely could not be used again. However, other weapons - including the Tec-9 - were loaded and ready for use, he said.

Police are not yet sure why there were so many weapons in the home, but Freeman said they are looking into the possibility that it was a sales operation. He emphasized it appears to have been more than a "private collection."

One woman who lived at the home has been arrested on various weapons charges; however, police are not identifying her because it is an ongoing investigation. Freeman said police expect to make more arrests.

Photo: Sacramento police Sgt. Paul Freeman displays a LAWS rocket launcher tube found this week. This post was updated by Bee staff writer Kim Minugh.

April 27, 2012
Court delays arraignment for 'Bankers' Dozen' of UC Davis

By Darrell Smith

dvsmith@sacbee.com

Arraignment of the 12 UC Davis students and faculty known as the "Bankers' Dozen" was pushed back to May 10 to allow them to retain counsel.

The 12 appeared Friday in Yolo Superior Court in Woodland to face charges related to demonstrations at an on-campus U.S. Bank branch in January and February that ultimately closed the bank branch.

Yolo County prosecutors in March filed allegations of conspiracy and blocking access against the students leading to Friday's hearing. The dozen now must report to campus police for booking before the May 10 court date.

Students and supporters crowded a tiny courtroom for the brief morning proceedings, while some outside carried signs and wore T-shirts reading "Free the Davis Dozen."

Sacramento attorney Stewart Katz, who appeared on behalf of some of the protestors, anticipated a trial and blasted the charges filed against the defendants.

"I'm sure this is going to trial in the summer - that's par for the course in Yolo County," Katz said.

April 27, 2012
Help identify Roseville River City Bank robber

12-4317+-+211+river+city+susp+-+3.jpg
Roseville police need the public's help in identifying a bank robber.

The robber held up the River City Bank inside the Bel Air supermarket at Sunrise Avenue and Cirby Way at aboupt 5 p.m. Thursday. He handed the clerk a note demanding money and then left the store with cash.

He was last seen on foot heading toward Cirby Way. No getaway vehicle was observed.

The robber was described as a white man in his 30s with a short, scruffy beard and mustache. He wore a yellow baseball cap with a neon green pattern, white-framed sunglasses and a long-sleeved gray t-shirt or sweater and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867.

April 27, 2012
Truck tool boxes the target of theft in Roseville

Roseville police report a rash of thefts from locked truck tool boxes.

Four thefts of tools have occurred over the past week from tool boxes in the beds of pickups parked overnight in the Meadow Oaks and Cirby Ranch neighborhoods.

No sign of forced entry was visible, leading police to suspect that whomever took the tools had a key or set of keys to fit the locks on the boxes.

Police recommend parking pickups in the garage if there are tools in the boxes. Or, if a garage is not available, install a hasp and use a sturdy padlock on the tool box.

Another tip from police: take especially valuable tools inside at night.

April 27, 2012
MADD recognizes vigilant DUI arrest efforts of Sacramento officers

MADD.JPG
Nineteen Sacramento police officers have received awards from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

For their superior enforcement efforts in stemming drunk driving MADD handed out awards to officers Luis Canela, Stephen Chipp, Christopher Clatterbuck, William Conner, Tim Davis, Deo Farrales, Curtis Gates, Ethan Hanson, Amber Hawley, Ken Leonard, Marcel Loriaux, Tim Monelo, Daniel Morlan, Nvard Msryan, Christina O'Shea, Christopher Swift, Andrew Stewart, Keri Wilson and Sgt. Chris Prince.

Officers Chipp and Clatterbuck were also recognized for their outstanding performance in the "Avoid the 17" campaign, a partnership of 17 law enforcement agencies in the county that combined to fight DUI driving and enforce traffic-related laws.

April 27, 2012
Sacramento man arrested at Burlingame hotel for human trafficking

A Sacramento man was arrested Wednesday on pimping and human trafficking charges after beating and strangling a prostitute at a South San Francisco motel, police said.

The suspect, Marshaun Spencer Jourdan, allegedly questioned the woman's loyalty to him before attacking her Tuesday at a motel on Airport Boulevard.

Read the San Mateo Times story here.

April 27, 2012
Name of Elk Grove motorcyclist in fatal Capital City freeway crash released

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the motorcyclist killed Thursday morning on the Capital City Freeway.

He was identified as Brett Dewitt Goodenough, 52, of Elk Grove.

The California Highway Patrol said the Goodnenough was riding eastbound on the freeway near Arden Way about 4:30 a.m. when for an unknown reason he lost control of his bike on wet pavement.

He was ejected from the motorcycle and then hit by a big rig. The big rig driver saw an object in the roadway and applied his brakes but could not stop in time.

Goodenough was pronounced dead at the scene.

The eastbound lanes of the freeway were closed for hours for cleanup of bio-hazards, debris, oil and for accident scene investigation. The freeway fully opened at about 9:50 a.m.

April 26, 2012
West Sacramento police warn of driver of Mustang possibly posing as police officer

West Sacramento police are seeking information regarding an individual who may be impersonating a police officer.

The department received a report Sunday regarding someone driving a red mid-2000 model Ford Mustang with a red and blue flashing light and siren. The driver of the vehicle stopped a woman in the area of Promenade Street and Southport Parkway using a siren and flashing lights, according to a Police Department news release.

Police ask that anyone with information regarding the vehicle call police dispatch at (916) 375-6474 or Detective Eric Palmer at (916) 617-4935.

If anyone is stopped by a vehicle and is uncertain whether it is a police vehicle, the motorist may proceed slowly to a well-lighted public location while calling police dispatch, officials said.

April 26, 2012
Most won't be charged for 'occupying' the Capitol

Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that she will not file charges against 73 of the 77 protesters arrested during March 5 protests at the state Capitol.

The vast majority of the arrestees - 69 of the 77 - were arrested for staying in the Capitol after hours.

The day of protesting cuts to higher education included a march organized by the student organizations within the University of California, California State University and California Community College system, as well as an attempt to "occupy" the Capitol led by a group called REFUND California.

Scully's decision is consistent with her decision not to pursue charges against Occupy Sacramento protesters arrested for remaining in Cesar Chavez Park after hours.

April 26, 2012
Jury convicts Durst in Oak Park arson that hurt four firefighters

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Robert William Durst of arson and five other felony counts for the July 5, 2010, Oak Park arson fire of his next-door neighbor's house in which four Sacramento firefighters were seriously hurt.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before coming back with the verdict. Judge Marjorie Koller scheduled Durst's sentencing for May 24. The 46-year-old defendant is facing a maximum term of more than 20 years, his lawyer said.

After the verdict, Durst had to be restrained by bailiffs when they stood him up to handcuff him. After shouting at his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Richard Cohen, Durst said the verdict was "unfair," the product of what he characterized as "a kangaroo court."

April 26, 2012
All lanes open on eastbound Cap City Freeway after crash

The California Highway Patrol reports all lanes of eastbound Capitol City Freeway near Arden Way are now open.

The freeway in the eastbound direction closed about 4:30 a.m due to a traffic accident that involved the death of a motorcyclist. All lanes re-opened about 10 a.m.

The motorcyclist traveling on wet freeway pavement eastbound near Arden Way fell off his motorcycle for unknown reasons, witnesses told the California Highway Patrol.

April 25, 2012
Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of man in Elverta

Jeffries+Image.jpgA suspect sought in the shooting death of a man in Elverta last month was arrested this morning.

Andrew Jeffries (pictured), 33, was taken into custody at 7:30 a.m. after he was located at a residence in Sacramento, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release. He was booked into Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm by an ex-felon, and is being held without bail.

Shortly after 2 a.m. March 28, sheriff's deputies responded to the 1700 block of Kasser Road in Elverta regarding a man found lying on the roadway. The victim, later identified as 33-year-old Anthony Ortega, had gunshot wounds to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff's officials said homicide detectives are continuing their investigation, and the case remains open. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (916) 874-5115.

April 25, 2012
Woodland Police investigate Tuesday night assaults

Woodland police are investigating two assaults that occurred Tuesday night.

The first was reported at 8:10 p.m. and officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of Nicholson Circle. There they found a man standing outside his residence uninjured. The victim and an adult acquaintance, later identified as a Jerry Donald Kennedy Jr., 25, a homeless man, were involved in an argument that turned into a physical fight, according to a Police Department news release.

Kennedy allegedly vandalized the victim's property before assaulting the man with a piece of broken glass. The victim was not injured, and Kennedy left the area on foot before officers arrived.

April 25, 2012
Woman in wheelchair wounded in south Sacramento drive-by shooting

A woman sitting in a wheelchair in the driveway of a home on 44th Avenue in south Sacramento suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound in a drive-by shooting this afternoon.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said the shooting occurred about 3:15 p.m. A 56-year-old woman was in front on a house on the southeast corner of 44th Avenue and 39th Street when a car southbound on 39th Street came around the corner. Two males got out of the vehicle, fired shots, then got back in the vehicle which headed west on 44th Avenue toward Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Ramos said the woman was struck once in the leg, but at least two dozen shots were fired. He said it is unclear whether the gunmen were firing at the woman or the house behind her. He said no one else was outside with her when the shooting occurred.

The vehicle was described as a four-door gold sedan. Ramos said a vehicle matching that description was later reported parked on Martin Luther King Boulevard at 20th Avenue and people were reported running from it. He said deputies are continuing to search the area.

April 25, 2012
Sac PD copied files from Twin Rivers Unified Superintendent Frank Porter's computer

By Melody Gutierrez
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

Sacramento Police Department officials copied files and information from the district-issued computer of Twin Rivers Unified Superintendent Frank Porter as part of an independent investigation into alleged misconduct by the district's police department.

"It's an active and ongoing investigation," said Sacramento police spokeswoman Michele Gigante. "The Sacramento Police Department is - at the request of Twin Rivers - assisting in the investigation into administrative and criminal allegations."

Gigante said she could not comment on the specifics of the investigation. Twin Rivers spokeswoman Trinette Marquis confirmed information was copied from Porter's computer, but said his actual computer wasn't taken. As superintendent, Porter oversaw the district's police department along with Deputy Superintendent Ziggy Robeson.

April 25, 2012
West Sacramento police release new details in Friday's massive manhunt

Police have released new information about last week's massive manhunt that began in West Sacramento and ended with the fatal shooting of the suspect in Sacramento County.

Among the newly released details is the fact that authorities found out during the course of their search Friday that the suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Jimmy Lee Graves, had stolen a high-powered and "extremely dangerous" rifle from the machine shop where the manhunt began, said Sgt. Nathan Steele, spokesman for the West Sacramento Police Department.

The Remington Model 700 rifle is the same used by most police snipers, Steele said, and has a reach of more than 400 yards. It is a legal weapon often used for hunting.

April 25, 2012
Mistrial declared in Vicars child molestation trial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury announced today that it failed to reach verdicts on any of the 21 counts in the child molestation trial of former Sierra Oaks Elementary School teacher Shane Adair Vicars.

Judge Michael A. Savage, who two days ago ordered the panel to continue its deliberations after it had reported to him that it was deadlocked, then declared a mistrial.

Savage denied a motion by Vicars' lawyer, Shannon Baker, to reduce the defendant's $750,000 bail.

April 25, 2012
Lincoln police suspect roof climber was running a meth lab

A man suspected of climbing onto a neighbor's roof with a firearm on Monday, was re-booked Tuesday on suspicion of making meth, Lincoln police said.

Police said that Jason Michael Arnold, 27, lived with a 91-year-old relative in the 2100 block of Third Street. On Monday, police went to the home on a report that he was acting strange and was atop the neighbor's house with a loaded gun.

Police determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine. Officers also found a firearm in Arnold's home.

April 25, 2012
UPDATE: Coroner identifies man shot to death in Foothill Farms

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the 18-year-old man shot to death at a Foothill Farms residence early this morning as Jacob Green of Sacramento.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos said the shooting occurred about 3 a.m. A man, later identified as Green, came to a home in the 5200 block of Karm Way near Andrea Boulevard. Green asked to speak with a woman with whom he had some kind of relationship.

The woman stepped outside the home and the two began arguing. Inside the residence were two other women and a man. One of the women came outside to try to mediate the argument and was later joined by the man, who was armed with a handgun.

April 24, 2012
Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team arrests target criminal gang network

State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of several gang members and their associates in the Sacramento region.

The arrests, according to a state Department of Justice news release, highlight the Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team's continuing efforts to combat gangs and narcotics trafficking in local communities. The team is made up of all law enforcement agencies in Yolo County and is led by the state Department of Justice.

The operation in West Sacramento was dubbed "Operation Red Sash" because of the Northern Riders and Broderick Boys criminal street gangs' affiliation with the color red and the Nortenos criminal gang, officials said.

April 24, 2012
CHP seeks information after bicyclist dies in hit-and-run crash

The California Highway Patrol seeks information regarding a hit-and-run collision that resulted in the death of a bicyclist Friday night in the North Highlands area.

About 10:30 p.m., Randall Ledford, 57, was riding a Huffy Vormax bicycle on Dudley Boulevard near Ae Street in McClellan Industrial Park, when he was hit by a vehicle also traveling in the same direction on Dudley. The vehicle struck the rear wheel of Ledford's bicycle, throwing him to the ground, according to the CHP.

Ledford and his bicycle landed on the side of the roadway, where a passerby spotted him and summoned emergency aid. Ledford suffered fatal injuries in the collision.

April 24, 2012
Wednesday denim drive will benefit victims of sexual assault, domestic violence

The California Victim Compensation Program on Wednesday will be collecting donations of denim clothing to benefit victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The "Denim Day" campaign aims to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault, according to a news release from CalVCP.

The denim theme came from female legislators in Italy who began wearing denim to protest a Supreme Court decision there in 1998 that overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans, the release states. The court argued the victim "must have necessarily helped her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual."

"Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become an international symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault," the release states.

CalVCP staff members will be collecting donations of denim clothing from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at 400 R Street. Donations will go to the Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE) thrift store on Arden Way.

April 24, 2012
Boy missing from Fair Oaks group home found safe

An 11-year-old boy reported missing from a group home in Fair Oaks earlier this month has been located.

Miguel Sanchez was found safe and unharmed Thursday by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Office news release.

The boy was reported missing April 3 from a group home in the 9800 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard. He was considered at risk because of his age.

April 24, 2012
Jurors convict Luebbers of 1st degree murder of principal

By Carlos Alcala
calcala@sacbee.com

PLACERVILLE - An El Dorado Superior Court jury has convicted janitor John Luebbers of first degree murder in the fatal shooting Schnell Elementary School Principal Sam LaCara on Feb. 2, 2011.

The jurors also found him guilty of allegations regarding the use of a firearm.

Kara Tracy, an instructional aide at the school who testified at the trial, said she still missed LaCara.

"He was a good man. I don't think it does any justice," she said of the verdict. "It doesn't bring Sam back."

The case had gone to the jury before lunch today without Luebbers' attorney presenting any new evidence for the defense after his client declined to testify.

April 24, 2012
Vallejo rappers arrested as part of three-state federal drug-trafficking bust

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

In a major drug trafficking investigation coordinated by Sacramento federal prosecutors, agents have arrested 25 people in three states, including several rappers from Vallejo, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced today.

The Vallejo rappers and others arrested are associated with "Thizz Entertainment," started in 1999 as a record label promoting and producing rap artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily from the Crest neighborhood of Vallejo.

Among those arrested were: Michael Lott, who performs under the name "Miami the Most"; Major Norton, known by the performance name of "Dubee"; Gaylord Franklin, also known as "Geezy"; and Bruce Thurmon, who performs under the name "Little Bruce."

"Thizz" is street slang for the drug MDMA, also known as "Ecstasy." In many songs recorded under the label, the lyrics glorify and promote the use and distribution of MDMA pills.

Criminal complaints on file in Sacramento federal court allege that some targets of the DEA-led investigation engaged in large-scale drug trafficking while releasing rap albums under the "Thizz Entertainment" label.

April 24, 2012
Sacramento police arrest 20-year-old man accused in fatal weekend shooting

Sacramento police have arrested a 20-year-old local man in connection with the fatal shooting of a San Francisco resident in the North City Farms neighborhood last weekend.

Theecree Brown is accused of fatally shooting 25-year-old Ubaldo Barraza on the 4500 block of Arlington Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, according to Sacramento police.

Barazza was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

April 24, 2012
Nitrous oxide DUI suspect to face vehicular manslaughter trial

A 22-year-old Folsom man who allegedly was driving under the influence of nitrous oxide when he crossed into oncoming traffic in a collision that killed two men was ordered by a judge today to stand trial on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter.

Michael Dean Sharp's trial in the Jan. 7 deaths of the brothers Christopher Stephen Ohlander Martell, 37, and Robert Todd Ohlander, 32, was set for July 26 by Sacramento Superior Court judge Greta Curtis Fall.

According to testimony at today's preliminary hearing, Sharp had purchased 50 "whip-it" cannisters of nitrous oxide at a Folsom smoke shop, cracked one into a balloon and inhaled it while driving southbound on Folsom Boulevard.

April 24, 2012
Fan cuts brother during argument in Rancho Cordova

A woman was taken into custody for allegedly cutting her brother with an electric fan.

A Sacramento County Sheriff's Department watch summary said about 6:40 p.m. Thursday police were called to Terra Loma Drive in Rancho Cordova.

When authorities arrived, they discovered that Tabitha Dean, 43, and her 41-year old brother had both been drinking when an argument began.

Some time during the argument, Dean allegedly struck her brother on his legs with a running electric fan, producing a large laceration, according to the watch summary.

She was taken into custody but has since been released from Sacramento County Jail.

April 24, 2012
Expert Sacramento diving and rescue team training on the American River

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An expert Sacramento diving and rescue team will be training this evening on the American River.

The Drowning Accident Rescue Team will be using swift water training techniques beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting until dusk on the San Juan rapids near El Manto Drive.

D.A.R.T.'s 14-person swift water team has already completed training that includes certification in river and flood water rescue and rescue boat operations.

The team has invited other agencies to participate in tonight's training. D.A.R.T. is a volunteer organization funded by grants, fundraisers and donations.

April 23, 2012
Woman arrested on suspicion of DUI in El Dorado Hills crash

The California Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into a Saturday night roll-over crash in El Dorado Hills in which the driver suffered major injuries after being ejected from the vehicle.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Francisco Drive near Marina Park Drive. Liza Lombardi, 20, of El Dorado Hills was driving a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder. As she approached a slightly curved portion of the roadway, she failed to negotiate the curve. Her vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a roadway sign, a large boulder and two property fences before overturning several times and coming to rest on its side in the backyard of a residence, according to a CHP news release.

Authorities said Lombardi was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. She suffered major injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville.

Although hospitalized, Lombardi has been arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, according to the CHP.

April 23, 2012
Defendant will not testify in Oak Park arson trial

The defendant on trial for arson in the July 5, 2010, Oak Park fire in which a house exploded when firefighters responded to a call of a natural gas leak will not be testifying in his own behalf, his attorney said today.

Assistant Public Defender Richard Cohen made the announcement in Sacramento Superior Court at the end of an all-day hearing on whether he could put on an expert witness to say his client, Robert William Durst, 46, gave a police a false confession when he admitted responsibility for the blaze.

Judge Marjorie Koller ruled to exclude the witness, University of Nevada-Reno psychology professor Deborah Davis. Koller said jurors can make up their own minds on the veracity of Durst's confession that police captured on videotape.

Durst told police he lit a candle and opened up a gas valve in his next-door neighbor's house because he was mad at him over a disputed bill on a plumbing job. Four firefighters were seriously injured when the house exploded as they opened the door to check the leak.

The prosecution and defense attorneys are scheduled to argue the case Wednesday, after which the jury will begin deliberations.

April 23, 2012
Grass Valley man dies after police use Taser to quell disturbance

The Nevada County District Attorney's Office has been called upon to investigate the death Sunday of a Grass Valley man after police used a Taser to subdue him.

About 3:50 p.m. Sunday, Grass Valley police were dispatched to a disturbance in the 600 block of Freeman Lane involving a man who reportedly was yelling at people from the middle of the street. Officers found a man, partially clothed, standing in the street and yelling, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers attempted to talk to the man, but he failed to comply with their commands. The man approached a passing vehicle and, through an open driver-side window, struck the driver, officials said. Officers then used a Taser on the man and took him into custody without further incident.

April 23, 2012
Man fatally shot near Union Valley Reservoir identifed as Colfax resident

A man fatally shot Saturday night near Union Valley Reservoir in El Dorado County has been identified by the county Sheriff's Office as Randall Gene Center, 25 of Colfax.

Sheriff's officials said Monday that circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation.

The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at 8:10 p.m. Saturday from a camper in the Union Valley Reservoir area who reported that an individual had been shot. Officials said the location of the shooting was in an undeveloped, remote shoreline area with no road access and could be reached only by boat.

Sheriff's Department personnel responded to the area along with county fire and U.S. Forest Service units. When they arrived, they found the individuals involved in the incident, one of whom was dead.

April 23, 2012
Restraining order issue prompts brief lockdown at Jesuit High

The Jesuit High School campus was on lockdown for a brief period this afternoon due to an incident involving a restraining order.

Jordan Blair, the school's director of communications, said the staff decided to err on the side of caution and locked down the campus until sheriff's deputies responded and resolved the matter. He said the school was not a party to the restraining order, but rather was made aware that someone at the school had a restraining order against an individual who appeared on Carmichael campus.

He said the lockdown was initiated at 12:50 p.m. and was lifted 15 minutes.

April 23, 2012
Three weeks later still no name for gunshot victim found near Wilton

The identity of a man whose body was found along a rural road three weeks ago continues to perplex Sacramento County investigators.

A woman who lives in the vicinity of Dillard and Riley roads in Wilton reported discovering the body about 1:30 a.m. April 2. The dead man was estimated to be in his 20s or 30s.

He may be either white or Hispanic, a sheriff's official said.

April 23, 2012
Trios target men in Woodland robberies

Two men in Woodland were robbed in separate incidents by trios of men in black shirts and jeans.

The first robbery occurred about 9:45 p.m. Saturday when a 24-year-old man suffered a minor head wound when struck with an unknown object by one of three robbers. He was attacked when he went outside to move his truck.

The robbers took his wallet and fled, Woodland police said. The men were described as about 6 feet tall and wearing black t-shirts and blue jeans.

April 23, 2012
South Sacramento homicide victim is from Bay area

A shooting victim killed early Sunday morning in south Sacramento has been identified as a Bay area man.

The Sacramento County Coroner's office today released the name of 25-year-old Ubaldo Barraza of San Francisco.

He was shot to death in south Sacramento shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday.

April 22, 2012
Davis police arrest 51, issue 100 citations at Picnic Day

By Anita Creamer
acreamer@sacbee.com

Davis police officials say they arrested 51 people and wrote at least 100 citations at the 2012 Picnic Day over the weekend.

Picnic Day is the university's annual spring open house, but in the past several years, it has degenerated into public drunkenness and mayhem and caused strains between the campus and the community.

At last year's Picnic Day, in contrast, the Davis Police Department and other agencies made 54 arrests and wrote 221 tickets, most for alcohol-related violations, and the UC Davis police made another 10 arrests. Last year as well, a UC Davis graduate was killed at a Picnic Day party off campus when he fell and hit his head.

April 22, 2012
Man shot in remote area of El Dorado's Union Valley Reservoir

A man was fatally shot Saturday night in an undeveloped, remote shoreline area of Union Valley Reservoir, El Dorado County Sheriff's officials said today.

Sgt. Jim Byers, in a report, said authorities received a call at 8:10 p.m. from a camper in the reservoir area. He said the area of the shooting has no access by road and can be reached only by boat.

Sheriff's officials responded to the site as well as El Dorado County fire and U.S. Forest service units, Byers reported. At the site, he said, they found the individuals involved in the case. One was dead.

April 22, 2012
Rancho Cordova man arrested in Folsom stabbings

A Rancho Cordova man was taken into custody early Saturday after a stabbing attack on three people outside a Folsom bowling alley, police said.

Folsom Police Sgt. Jason Browning reported that the man, 24-year-old David Son, was physically restrained when officers arrived at Folsom Lake Bowl shortly after 12:30 a.m.

Witnesses told officers that Son had tried to bum cigarettes from victims some minutes before the unprovoked attack.

April 22, 2012
Police investigate fatal south Sacramento shooting

A 25-year-old man was shot to death in south Sacramento shortly after 1 a.m. today, and police are urging anyone with information about the case to come forward.

Police reported that officers went to the 4500 block of Arlington Avenue and found the man had been shot in his upper body. Medical personnel took the man to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The victim may have been talking to a couple of people just before the shooting, police said. The department's homicide and crime scene investigation units are continuing to investigate.

April 22, 2012
Man jailed in Sacramento on charge of assault on police horse

Russel+Poppenga+-+50.JPGA man in downtown Sacramento was taken into custody Saturday afternoon for investigation of aggravating a police animal and obstructing and resisting an officer, police said today.

Department officials said 50-year-old Russel Poppenga was near 16th and K streets in Sacramento and appeared to be down and out. But when a mounted police officer tried to engage Poppenga, the man ran off.

The officer caught up to him and ordered him to stop, police said. But Poppenga began to yell at the officer and violently pushed against the horse's shoulder.

Police said the man eventually complied with the officer's orders and was taken into custody.

April 21, 2012
Suspect in North Sacramento crash, shooting is identified

A man who crashed a car and began a short shooting spree in North Sacramento this morning has been identified as Russell Grant, 29, of Sacramento.

Police were first called to the head-on collision at W. El Camino Avenue and Dorine Way at 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

"That's the way it came in, as a traffic collision," said Sgt. Andrew Pettit, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department.

April 21, 2012
Dead carjack suspect identified

The Sacramento Coroner's office has released the name of the man who was killed Friday by Sheriff's deputies after a standoff and a region-wide manhunt for the person responsible for three carjackings in Yolo County.

graves.jpg

Jimmy Lee Graves (left), 38, was killed Friday at 8:01 p.m. at 1968 Ethan Way, the coroner reported.

April 21, 2012
Red-light camera installed at J Street and Alhambra in Sacramento

Sacramento County has placed a new, red-light photo camera, expected to go live Monday, at the intersection of J Street and Alhambra Boulevard in Sacramento, the Sheriff's Department announced Saturday.

Red-light violators at the intersection will be mailed a warning for 30 days, but on May 23 motorists who run a red light at the intersection will be issued a citation by mail, the department said. The driver will be referred to a web site where he or she can see still or video images of the alleged red-light violation.

April 21, 2012
DUI suspected in fatal crash involving Olivehurst, Marysville teens

A 16-year-old Olivehurst boy was killed early today when the car in which he was a passenger overturned after going off the road in West Linda, striking a pole and a parked vehicle, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The car's driver, another 16-year-old, from Marysville, was arrested in connection with the crash.

No identities were released because of their ages.

April 21, 2012
Residents still out of apartments where carjacking suspect killed

Residents of the Ardenaire apartment complex on Ethan Way have not been allowed to return to their homes while law enforcement officials conduct their investigation into Friday's shooting there of a carjacking suspect by Sacramento Sheriff's deputies.

An as-yet-unnamed suspect barricaded himself in an apartment Friday and set fire to items in the apartment before being shot around 8 p.m. by four deputies attempting to secure the location for fire fighters.

The deputies, with 13 to 23 years of service, have been put on administrative leave, as is standard.

April 21, 2012
Man in Sacramento crash arrested after firing rifle shots

Sacramento police have arrested a man who began firing a rifle after being involved in a head-on collision.

Police were first called to the collision at W. El Camino Avenue and Dorine Way at 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

"That's the way it came in, as a traffic collision," said Sgt. Andrew Pettit, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department.

April 21, 2012
Man shot twice in Sacramento, doesn't realize it

A man told Sacramento police that he got in a verbal altercation outside a North Sacramento bar Thursday night, went back to his nearby hotel and went to sleep.

It was only after waking up Friday morning that he realized he had been shot twice at the bar near Boxwood Street and El Camino Avenue.

The victim, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening wounds.

No suspects were identified.

April 20, 2012
Jury finds Elmore guilty in 2009 double murder

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Douglas Elmore of the special-circumstance Oct. 11, 2009, double murder of Shawn Cope and Tammula Robbins in the south area and then trying to hide their bodies in two trash cans.

Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard scheduled the sentencing on Elmore, 27, for May 18. He is facing a likely term of life in prison with no chance of parole.

Friday's verdict followed a decision the previous day by Gilliard to remove a juror from the panel. The removal came after the judge received a letter on Wednesday from other members of the jury saying that another member of the panel was not following the rules for deliberations. The judge ordered the juror taken off the panel for "concealment of relevant facts and giving false answers" during the jury selection process, according to a minute order of Thursday's proceeding that was conducted out of public view. No other details were available earlier today on the juror's holdout.

April 20, 2012
Carjack victim: 'He is running up with a shiny revolver, pointing it at my face'

Steve Welch of Sacramento had one adrenaline-pumping morning when he was carjacked this morning by the man who has now the subject of the manhunt on the causeway.

Welch, 45, an employee of a West Sacramento metal fabricating business, had just left a coffee shop and was near a second hand store in his truck when a man came running at him near West Capitol Avenue and Harbor Boulevard.

"I was in my pickup and driving," he said. "He is running up with a shiny revolver, pointing it at my face."

The armed man demanded Welch's pickup.

April 20, 2012
Possible West Sacramento shooting suspect killed in firefight

JV_042012_STOLEN_TRUCK 040.JPG

Interstate 80 from West Sacramento to Davis is now open in both directions after 6 hours of closure after a suspected gunman crashed his first carjacked pickup truck in West Sacramento.

The hunt for the suspect, who also stole a tractor and ditched a second hijacked vehicle, involved swarms of officers and continues across a wide area of Sacramento.

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Here is the story as it is unfolding:

8:26 p.m.

A man who exchanged gunfire with deputies and who may be the West Sacramento shooting suspect is dead, said Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos.

Firefighters said in scanner traffic that flareups in the apartment fire are continuing, but they are worried about damaging the crime scene in their efforts to extinguish it.

8:07 p.m.

Authorities are making their way into an apartment in the 1900 block of Ethan Way after Sacramento Sheriff's deputies fired on a possible suspect in today's West Sacramento shootings and carjackings.

"It's certainly very possible," it's him, said Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos. "We're waiting to hear if he's dead."

The suspect was outside the apartment when deputies fired on him, Ramos said. He did not know if the man had fired on deputies.

Investigators began focusing on the apartment about 6 p.m., Ramos said.

"It's a place that our investigation brought us to. I don't want to say how obviously. This place came on our radar."

A fire started inside the target apartment at some point but was under control, he said. "How that was started, we don't know yet," Ramos said.

7:46 p.m.

Police believe they may have the man wanted in connection with the West Sacramento shooting and carjackings barricaded in an Arden Arcade apartment.

That apartment on the 1900 block of Ethan Way apparently caught fire following a firefight between officers and the suspect. Sacramento sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos said it is "certainly very possible" that the suspect is the man wanted for the day-long ordeal that started this morning in West Sacramento.

6:15 p.m.

West Sacramento police Sgt. Nathan Steele reports that police have discovered a third carjacking they believe is tied to the suspect.

Steele said he did not have much information, but that police believe the newly discovered carjacking was the first to occur, shortly after the suspect fired at employees arriving to work at a Harbor Boulevard machine shop and before he stole a pickup that he later crashed on Interstate 80's Yolo Causeway.

Meanwhile, Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are shrinking their perimeter around Lerwick Drive and might soon leave the scene altogether, without a suspect in custody.

5:14 p.m.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies have released the man they had detained as they continue to search for the suspect associated with a stolen car found abandoned in northeastern Sacramento County.

Authorities have not identified the man who was detained.

Another Lerwick Road resident, Al Purdy, said he was handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car after a Ford F150 pick up truck pulled up in front of his house around 11:30 a.m.

Purdy, who had taken the day off from his job at the U.S. Postal Service, said and a young man, who fit the suspect's description, got out of the truck and walked away. The truck matched the description of the pickup stolen in Yolo County.

"All of a sudden all there was police activity in front of the house. Guns were pointed at me. I was cuffed and put in the back of a squad car. They searched my house," Purdy said.

3:03 p.m.

A sheriff's helicopter is hovering over the area and through a speaker is urging the residents of 314 Lerwick Road to come out with their hands up.

2:26 p.m.

Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Jason Ramos said deputies have detained a white male in the area near Lerwick Road and Morse Avenue where the second carjacked vehicle was found.

Detectives believe the man is responsible for stealing the car, but Ramos said they are not sure the incident is connected with the carjacking in West Sacramento.

12:29 p.m.

Interstate 80 from West Sacramento to Davis is now open in both directions after 6 hours of closure.

The freeway was closed about 6:20 a.m. when the suspect crashed his initial carjacked pickup truck in West Sacramento.

A tow truck has carried away the pickup and officials said that allows for the opening of the interstate.

11:50 a.m.

The brown Ford F150 has apparently been found miles away from where it was carjacked, police said.

Authorities apparently have found the pick-up at Lerwick Road and Morse Avenue along the Capitol City Freeway in Arden Arcade.

11:40 a.m.

Police now say that an empty rifle case was found at the West Sacramento machine shop where the entire incident began this morning when the suspect shot at employees.

It is not known by police if the suspect has a rifle from the shop. During the first carjacking he was armed with a handgun.

April 20, 2012
Search for masked Citrus Heights robbers unsuccessful

A Citrus Heights mini-mart was held up last night by robbers who got away despite a multi-agency search for the culprits.

Citrus Heights police said that about 9 p.m. Thursday, three men wearing ski masks entered the Citrus Mart, 7601 Sunrise Boulevard. At gunpoint, they demanded cash from the clerk and then fled the store with an undisclosed amount of money.

They were last seen running toward the rear of the building. Citrus Heights officers, along with a Sacramento police dog unit and the California Highway Patrol helicopter crew, searched without luck to find the robbers.

Anyone who may have information about the hold-up are encouraged to call police at (916) 727-5500.

April 19, 2012
Sacramento man indicted for bank fraud, identity theft

A Sacramento man was indicted today by a federal grand jury for bank fraud and identity theft.

Yasir Mehmood, 41, is charged with multiple counts of bank fraud, submitting false documents to an agency of the United States, obtaining U.S. mail by fraud, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Mehmood is alleged to have submitted, in the names of numerous victims, false U.S. mail forwarding forms to obtain U.S mail by fraud. With the contents of the misdirected mail and other unlawfully obtained victim identification and financial information, Mehmood is alleged to have committed numerous acts of bank and credit card fraud. He also is charged with posing as a victim on multiple occasions, and with purchasing and obtaining by fraud car parts, debit cards and more than a dozen iPads and iPhones.

Mehmood was arrested April 9 at his Sacramento apartment by U.S. Postal Service inspectors. He made his initial appearance in a related complaint before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows. His next Magistrate Court appearance is scheduled for April 24.

April 19, 2012
Yolo County authorities seek to ID dogs in five biting incidents

Yolo County Animal Services officials seek the public's help in locating dogs involved in five different dog-bite incidents during the past week.

Three occurred in Davis, one in Woodland and one in West Sacramento.

The first incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. April 12 in Davis in a field near Richards Boulevard near the Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park. Officials said a woman was bitten several times by a large black dog believed to be a Labrador retriever, possibly wearing a red collar. The dog was last seen entering the mobile home park, but investigative efforts at the park failed to locate the dog.

April 19, 2012
UPDATE: UC Davis swears in Carmichael as police chief for one year

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi announced this afternoon that Matt Carmichael is the new chief of the embattled campus police force.

Carmichael, the acting police chief, was named to the top post to replace Chief Annette M. Spicuzza who announced her retirement Wednesday. She had been suspended while various investigations of the campus Nov. 18 pepper-spray incident remain under way.

The chancellor swore Carmichael into the new job in front of his family, the campus police department, and chiefs of police of other agencies.

April 19, 2012
UPDATE: Investigation of care home pregnancy continues after disabled woman gives birth

Placer County sheriff's officials are continuing DNA screening in an effort to identify the person who impregnated a severely mentally and physically disabled woman living at a Penryn care home.

The 34-year-old woman was discovered in December to be about six months pregnant after undergoing an ultrasound test and has since given birth. The woman is mentally disabled, legally blind and unable to feed or care for herself.

Placer County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Mark Reed said investigators have been collecting DNA samples from men the woman is believed to have had contact with in an effort to find a match with the baby's DNA.

April 19, 2012
Teenage offender back in custody after escape from hospital

A 15-year-old juvenile offender who escaped from a South Sacramento-area hospital Wednesday night has been captured.

The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports that the boy was taken into custody without incident about 2 a.m today by the department's special agents and has been returned to the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton.

About 7 p.m. Wednesday, the teen struggled with staff members at Sierra Vista Hospital on Bruceville Road. He obtained keys, pushed his way past nurses and escaped from the hospital wearing only a gray hospital gown.

The youth was committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice from Kings County Juvenile Court with a conviction for first-degree burglary, according to a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release. Corrections officials said he will be charged with escape.

April 19, 2012
Activist Sheehan says she has court date today for refusing to pay taxes

Anti-war crusader Cindy Sheehan said she will appear in federal court today to defend her decision not to pay taxes.

"I refuse to fund the empire's crimes and wars," Sheehan said in a press release. "I feel a certain amount of guilt that my taxes were used to murder my own son."

Sheehan, 54, gained fame as an anti-war activist after her son Casey was killed in the Iraq war.

April 18, 2012
State corrections agents search for juvenile escapee

Special agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are leading a search for a 15-year-old juvenile offender who escaped from Sierra Vista Hospital in the south Sacramento area earlier this evening.

About 7 p.m., the teen struggled with a staff member, obtained keys, pushed his way past nurses and escaped from the hospital at 8001 Bruceville Road wearing only a gray hospital gown.

The youth is described as Latino, with brown hair and eyes, weighing approximately 160 pounds, and with a distinctive scar on his left shoulder.

April 18, 2012
Online registration opens for Kops-N-Kids summer camp

Online signups are being accepted for the 2012 Kops-N-Kids summer camp program that teams Sacramento youth with local law enforcement.

This year's camp is scheduled June 18-22 at Rosemont High School, 9594 Kiefer Blvd. It will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. The cost is $32 for the entire week, and bus service will be available from select local school districts, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release.

Kops-N-Kids is a nonprofit organization, which has sponsored the weeklong summer sports camp for youths ages 9 through 13 for 26 consecutive years. The campers have an opportunity to interact with law enforcement and fire department personnel, who serve as role models.

April 18, 2012
Former correctional officer sentenced in marijuana case

A former Folsom State Prison correctional officer was sentenced today in Sacramento Superior Court for possession of marijuana for sale.

Ryan Coma and his co-defendant Vietmy Nguyen each received a sentence of 150 days in county jail, plus five years of formal probation, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. In addition, they must register as drug offenders and will be subject to search and seizure with probable cause. Violation of probation could result in a sentence of up to three years in county jail under the new Criminal Justice Realignment Law.

On Aug. 22, 2011, Folsom State Prison investigators were following 30-year-old Coma because of rumors that he had been smuggling drugs, tobacco and cell phones into the prison, according to the news release. Coma was seen entering a vehicle belonging to Vietmy Nguyen, whose brother was an inmate at Folsom Prison.

April 18, 2012
Suspect arrested in assault on Citrus Heights man during transaction

A 20-year-old man was arrested today in Richmond in connection with a January assault on a Citrus Heights man in Vacaville.

Julian Broussard was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Pacific Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to a U.S. Marshals Service news release.

About 5:35 p.m. Jan. 17, Vacaville police received a report of a shooting in the 1100 block of Alamo Drive. The victim was a 58-year-old Citrus Heights man who had posted property for sale on Craigslist.

April 18, 2012
Federal agents seize more than $4 million in counterfeit athletic clothing at south Sacramento warehouse

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations spent Wednesday inventorying an estimated $4 million worth of counterfeit athletic apparel found in a south Sacramento warehouse.

Federal officials described it as one of the largest single seizures of counterfeit apparel made in the Sacramento area.

Dan Lane, assistant special agent in charge with Homeland Security Investigations in Sacramento, said agents executed a search warrant at the building on Berry Avenue, off Power Inn Road, about 11 a.m. Tuesday as part of a long-term investigation. Inside, they found multiple rows of shelving 40 feet high and more than 400 feet long stacked with apparel. The merchandise was packed in boxes or individually wrapped in plastic.

April 18, 2012
Embattled UC Davis police Chief Annette Spicuzza retires

BP annette chief.JPGBy Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Annette M. Spicuzza, the embattled UC Davis police chief who came under fire in last week's report on what led to the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident on campus, has decided to retire, according to an email statement received by The Bee today.

"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this.

"As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

April 18, 2012
Sailor rescued after drifting three days on Sacramento River

A man who had spent three days drifting on the Sacramento River after the motor on his sailboat failed was rescued and his boat secured Tuesday after he rowed to shore in a dinghy.

West Sacramento firefighters were summoned to the riverbank across from Sacramento's Pocket area after the man reached shore, said Eric Edgar, division chief with the West Sacramento Fire Department.

Edgar said the man had been living aboard the 26-foot sailboat for about three years and usually was moored in the Discovery Park area.

April 18, 2012
2 men accused in attempted robbery of armored car guard in custody

Both men accused of participating in Tuesday's attempted robbery of an armored car guard outside a Walmart in south Sacramento County are in custody, according to authorities.

The man who allegedly used a Taser on the guard and stole the money was released from the hospital today and then arrested, said sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos.

Eason Image.jpgRaymell Lamar Eason, 41 and pictured at left, was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, Ramos said. Eason was arrested after being treated for a gunshot wound he suffered during the incident.

April 18, 2012
Sacramento police: Man stabbed after gang-related fight at Downtown Plaza

A man was stabbed and another beaten during two gang-related brawls near the food court at Downtown Plaza this morning, according to Sacramento police.

The man who was stabbed is being treated at a hospital for his injuries, which do not appear life-threatening, said police Sgt. Andrew Pettit. After he is released, he is likely to be arrested in connection with his alleged role in the incident, Pettit said.

Able Elizondo-18.jpgArrested so far in the incident was 18-year-old Able Elizondo, pictured at left. Officers arrested Elizondo on suspicion of felony battery, Pettit said.

Several callers dialed 911 shortly before 10:30 a.m. to report the incident, which began when an 18-year-old man walked into the K Street food court and got into a verbal altercation with two men, one of whom allegedly was Alizondo, Pettit said.

April 18, 2012
Janitor's lawyer admits his client killed Placerville principal

luebbers.JPG
By Peter Hecht phecht@sacbee.com

In dramatic testimony this morning, an office clerk at Placerville's Louisiana Schnell School described school janitor John Luebbers bursting in and gunning down the school's beloved principal, Sam LaCara, as the janitor cursed and shouted, "This is for you!"

Dawn Cooper, the prosecution's opening witness in Luebber's Placerville trial, said she saw the custodian enter the principal's office, grip a handgun with both hands and unleash three shots. She said she saw the principal fall to the ground and struggle to get up.

"I came around his desk and he (LaCara) was lying on his stomach...He was trying to push himself up on his elbows," Cooper said.

April 18, 2012
Jury convicts Griffin in 2009 Folsom rape and murder case

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Sylvester Griffin for the December 2009 asphyxiation murder and rape of Alice Lynn Murphy in her senior-living apartment in Folsom.

Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled the sentencing on Griffin, 43, for May 18. He is facing a life term with no chance of parole for the special-circumstance murder conviction.

Murphy, 64, was a long-time Sacramento area resident who spent 30 years in real estate. A friend of hers who was visiting for the holidays found her body the morning of Dec. 21, 2009.

April 18, 2012
Sacramento police say missing man has been found

Sacramento police said today that a missing 22-year-old man who walked away from his south Sacramento home earlier this week has been found.

Robert Manzano Escalicas Jr., who has a developmental disability, disappeared Monday when he left his home in the 2800 block of Yreka Avenue about 10:30 a.m. He has walked away before, police said.

April 18, 2012
Fraternities and sororities pledge to help prevent alcohol-marred Picnic Day

picnic.jpg
Members of fraternities and sororities at UC Davis have signed a pledge this year designed to curb out-of-control drinking on Picnic Day this Saturday.

Among the points in the 10-point covenant signed by 51 of 75 Greek organizations are pledges not to serve alcohol before noon and refraining from drinking games.

"The covenant demonstrates that we are doing our part," said Matt Chemin, president of the Interfraternity Council.

Picnic Day typically draws 75,000 people. The on-campus open house, now in its 98th year, is a wholesome event featuring a parade, music, educational exhibits, animal events and sport.

April 18, 2012
Coroner identifies Rancho Cordova teen killed Tuesday night

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a teenager shot to death last night in Rancho Cordova.

Jorden Benedict, 19, of Rancho Cordova was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Benedict was shot about 9 p.m. Tuesday not far from W.E. Mitchell Middle School in Rancho Cordova. Police found him in the street next to the sidewalk on Campana Way east of Biscay Way, said Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos, who also is a spokesman for Rancho Cordova police.

Benedict had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper body, Ramos said.

Few details about the shooting were available today. Witnesses did report seeing a dark-colored vehicle drive away from the area of the shooting, Ramos said, though it was not clear how many people were in the car or who they were.

Detectives do not know the motive for the shooting, Ramos said.

Efforts by The Bee to reach Benedict's family today have not been successful.

Benedict was on probation after pleading no contest in 2010 to a second-degree robbery charge, a felony offense for which he was sentenced to a year in jail, according to Sacramento Superior Court records online. A felony assault with a deadly weapon charge associated with that case was dismissed, records show.

At that time, a misdemeanor petty theft charge also was dismissed, according to the online records.

This post was updated by Bee staff writer Kim Minugh.

April 17, 2012
Missing 12-year-old boy located, returned to family

Ruben Lopez IMG_0943.pngA 12-year-old boy reported missing Monday has been found.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reports that Ruben Lopez (pictured) was found Monday evening and returned to his home.

Lopez had last been seen in his family's apartment in the 2400 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard about 11 p.m. Sunday. He had not been heard from Monday and was considered at risk because of his age.

April 17, 2012
Yuba County deputies investigate thrift-store burglary

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department is investigating a weekend thrift-store burglary that included the theft of a go-cart and cash register.

A store employee discovered the break-in at the Thrift, Bargain and More Store in the 1400 block of North Beale Road upon opening the store about 6 a.m. Sunday. Several items, including the go-cart and cash register, were reported missing. Evidence indicated that the burglars entered the store through the roof, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Deputies had located the stolen go-cart about 2 a.m. Sunday near the levee at the north end of Park Avenue. They seized the vehicle, although at the time it could not be traced to the store, officials said.

April 17, 2012
Six arrested in connection with burglaries in rural Placer County homes

lackett zachary forest.jpgstuart zeth andrew.jpgwalker christopher elliott.jpgschnackel theresa lynette.jpgdorman dennis shane.jpgjacobs kristen karen.jpgSix Sacramento County residents were arrested Monday on suspicion of burglarizing homes in the Placer County communities of Meadow Vista and Applegate.

The owner of an unoccupied home on Clipper Gap Road in Applegate called the Placer County Sheriff's Office at 8:50 a.m. to report that three people were on the property of the home he recently inherited. In front of the residence, deputies found a trailer that turned out to be filled with property that had been taken from the home, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

They also saw three suspects breaking windows and sliding doors of the house with a golf club. Damage to the windows and doors was estimated at $4,000, officials said.

April 17, 2012
Jury acquits one in gang shooting, hangs up on 2nd defendant

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today acquitted one reputed street gang member and failed to reach a verdict on a second in a retrial into an Oct. 12, 2008, shooting at a 65th Street mini-mart in which two rivals were injured.

Xavier Jeremiah Whitfield, 21, was found innocent of attempted murder charges by the panel in the so-called "Killa Mobb II" case in which two other men already have been convicted. But Whitfield was found guilty in another gang beating trial last year and is awaiting sentencing. Whitfield also is awaiting trial in a jail assault case. He was represented at trial by attorney Jon Lippsmeyer.

Jurors split 6-6 in the retrial of co-defendant Antonio Terrell Cornelius, also 21, and Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan declared a mistrial on his matter. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Hightower did not say whether his office intends to put Cornelius on trial a third time. Attorney Pete Kmeto represented Cornelius.

April 17, 2012
UPDATE: South Sacramento suspect shot in leg by armored car guard

One man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his leg after he allegedly tried to rob an armored car guard in the parking lot of a south Sacramento Walmart store this afternoon.

The attempted robbery occurred about 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the store at 6051 Florin Road as an armored car company was making routine rounds. As one of the armored car guards was leaving the store with money, he was approached form behind by a man with a Taser, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release. The suspect deployed the Taser, striking the guard, who fell to the ground and dropped the bag of money he was carrying.

As the suspect ran from the store through the parking lot, the armored car guard got to his feet and gave chase. At one point during the foot pursuit, the guard fired his duty weapon, striking the suspect in the leg, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos.

April 17, 2012
Katehi takes 'full responsibility' for UC Davis pepper spray confrontation

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi made her first public comments today on last week's pepper spray report, saying she accepts full responsibility for last November's confrontation between campus police and protesters and promising changes to ensure "that something like this does not happen again."

In her annual State of the Campus address to the Academic Senate, Katehi was expected to focus largely on other campus issues and return to the body later with her full assessment of the report compiled for former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso.

Reynoso's report found communication failures within the police department and all the way through the administration to her own office, and found those failings led to the pepper spraying of students last fall.

April 17, 2012
Women make history in Sacramento while hearing murder appeal

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Three proud women took their seats side-by-side today as the first all-woman panel in the 107-year history of the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal.

As they heard oral arguments in a high-profile Sacramento murder appeal, they were making history. While that may have looked easy as they sat poised and attentive, the lot of women in the legal profession has been anything but smooth.

Less than a century and a half ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that women were not fit to practice law because most them were married and that would be an impediment to the adequate representation of their clients.

April 17, 2012
Man jailed, suspected of spray painting dog's face

Vorobyov Image.JPGA man was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of spray painting the face of one dog and exposing two other dogs to a household chemical.

Denis Vorobyov, 24, was arrested Monday on suspicion of threatening his father, maliciously maiming animals and possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia.

A sheriff's department spokesman said they received a call from Vorobyov's sister Monday afternoon. She told officials that her brother had poisoned the family dogs at a residence in the 6200 block of Claussen Way in North Highlands.

April 17, 2012
Craigslist scam targets renters in Roseville

Roseville police are warning of a renter scam on Craigslist.

Police said that a person seeking to rent a home in Roseville responded to a Craigslist posting for a house only to find out that the poster was an imposter. Initially interested, the prospective renter became suspicious because of demands sought by the supposed landlord.

The person who said they were renting out the home wanted the rent and a security deposit sent to her via Western Union before she would show the house.

The renter investigated and learned from the actual agent renting the home that the Craigslist poster neither owned the house nor had authority to rent the home.

April 17, 2012
Update: Highway 50 on-ramp at Howe Avenue partially closed by tipped big rig

RP TRUCK CRASHB.jpgAn overturned big rig is still backing up traffic on westbound Highway 50 at Howe Avenue.

The big rig driver apparently tipped his rig over when he took the northbound Howe Avenue on-ramp to westbound Highway 50 too fast about at about 5:20 a.m.

Initially, the California Highway Patrol advised that the on-ramp and the right lane of the highway would open by 8 a.m. However, the current estimate is that crews will need until 9:30 a.m. to clear the accident.

No injuries were reported.

Photo caption: The scene Tuesday morning looking east along Highway 50 where a truck carrying cement powder overturned blocking the number one lane during the morning commute. Photo by Randy Pench

April 17, 2012
Driver in fatal crash into tree along Highway 50 is identified

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has released the name of a driver who died along Highway 50 on Monday when his pickup left the roadway and hit a tree near Folsom.

He was identified as Joseph Pickell, 31, of Kelso, Wash.

Pickell was driving alone westbound east of Folsom Boulevard about 2:15 a.m. Monday when his Ford F-250 pickup went off the roadway, struck a tree and overturned. Two motorcycles were thrown from the bed of the pickup.

The California Highway Patrol said that Pickell was wearing his seat belt. He died at the scene.

April 16, 2012
Sacramento Sheriff's Department hosts 3 sites for "Take-Back" day

Area residents who need to get rid of unwanted prescription drugs can drop them off at three locations Saturday as part of a national "take-back" day.

The effort, led by the Drug Enforcement Agency, is designed to safely dispose of prescription drugs that are "highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse," according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

Throwing medicines away or flushing them down the toilet also pose safety and health hazards, the release states.

April 16, 2012
Sacramento police seek help finding 22-year-old man

Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in finding a 22-year-old man who walked away from his home this morning.

marzano.jpgRobert Manzano Escalicas Jr., who has a developmental disability and is pictured at left, has not been seen since he left his home in the 2800 block of Yreka Avenue about 10:30 a.m. today. He has walked away before, police said, and has been seen in the 1400 block of 65th Street. He also is known to frequently ride light rail.

Escalicas is Filipino, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

April 16, 2012
Sacramento authorities seek help to find at-risk 12-year-old boy

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is seeking the public's help in finding a 12-year-old boy who has not been seen by friends or family today.

lopez.pngRuben Lopez, pictured at left, was last seen in his family's apartment in the 2400 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard about 11 p.m. Sunday night, said sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos. He has not been heard from today and is considered at-risk because of his age, Ramos said.

Lopez is Hispanic, 5 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds, Ramos said. He has dark brown hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, black shorts and black and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information about Lopez's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

April 16, 2012
Man shot in arm in eastern Sacramento County

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are responding to a shooting near Howe and El Camino avenues, according to authorities.

A man was shot in the arm near the area's 99 Cent Only store, according to sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos. The injuries do not appear life-threatening, Ramos said.

The suspect was seen running eastbound on El Camino from the scene, Ramos said. He was described as a black male adult, 19 to 20 years old with dread locks. He was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, witnesses told deputies.

April 16, 2012
Sacramento judge orders release of alleged rape victim/witness

A 17-year-old alleged rape victim who has been held on a material witness warrant since March 23 was ordered released today by a Sacramento judge.

Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown again apologized to the girl who sat and smiled at the attorneys' table today in contrast to the tears she sobbed in her last court appearance a week ago Friday.

Brown ordered that the girl be equipped with a global position system device to ensure that she appears at the scheduled April 23 trial for accused rapist Frank William Rackley Sr., 37.

April 16, 2012
Coroner release name of woman killed on Sacramento rail tracks

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the pedestrian killed by a Regional Transit light-rail train over the weekend.

Leandra Lee Voss, 60, of Sacramento, was hit and killed about 8:45 p.m. Saturday near 19th Street, between Q and S streets, in midtown Sacramento.

Witnesses told police a woman was lying across the grade-level tracks when the train hit her. The victim seemed to have been alone, police said.

April 16, 2012
Tahoe Park man's death not a homicide

Homicide has been ruled out in the death of a man found with a gunshot wound shortly before midnight Saturday in the southern Tahoe Park.

The Sacramento County Coroner's website rules out homicide as the cause of death for Clemente Quilimaco, 33, who was found dead in a home in the 3900 block of 62nd Street. A Sacramento police spokeswoman said his death appears to be an accident.

However, the spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the circumstances of Quilimaco's apparent accidental death. She said the case was still under investigation by homicide detectives.

Authorities said police discovered the victim at 11:38 p.m. after being contacted about a shooting. Quilimaco, who had a gunshot wound to his upper body, was taken to a local hospital, and died there of his injuries.

April 16, 2012
Prisons system tries new method to stop contraband cell phones

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

State corrections officials say they have come up with a no-cost plan to stop the illegal use of cell phones inside prisons by inmates, a problem that has plagued the prison system for years.

Corrections officials announced today that Global Tel Link has been awarded a contract for inmates to use the company's service to make calls from each prison's authorized telephone system.

The company will receive revenues from those phone calls and will use the proceeds of that deal to install systems to block unauthorized cell signals at prisons, including phone calls, text messages, emails and attempts to access the Internet.

April 16, 2012
Folsom police seek identity of East Bidwell bank robber

El Dorado Savings Bank.JPGFolsom police need help in identifying a robber who held up a bank on East Bidwell Street.

The robber entered the El Dorado Savings Bank, 300 East Bidwell, around noon on Friday and handed the teller a note that indicated he had a gun. After he collected some loot, he left the bank and was last seen walking on Coloma Street toward the rear of the bank building.

He was described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 140 pounds. He had short brown hair, a black mustache and a goatee.

April 16, 2012
UPDATE: Folsom police find escaped prison inmate hiding in truckbed

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

Folsom police have found the inmate who escaped from a Folsom prison last night and allegedly tried to steal a citizen's vehicle.

inmate.JPGPrisoner Marco Cabrera, convicted of assault with a firearm, turned up missing about 9 p.m. Sunday during a head count at the minimum support facility at California State Prison-Sacramento.

Officers arrested him about 6: 30 p.m. today after residents of a rural Folsom home followed the barking of their dogs and found the inmate stuck in the bed of their pickup truck, said police spokesman Sgt. Jason Browning.

Cabrera was found with "minor injuries from blackberry bushes," Browning said.

April 16, 2012
Naked walkabout by Sacramento man ends in arrest

A Sacramento man, whose naked stroll along Rio Linda Boulevard was stopped by police, allegedly punched an officer in the head.

Police said that Aaron Aceves, 47, who lives in the 900 block of Harris Avenue in Del Paso Heights, assaulted his sleeping roommate late Saturday night, cutting him and knocking out some teeth.

According to a police activity log, Aceves then removed his clothes and walked down Rio Linda Boulevard where he was spotted by a passing police officer. The officer attempted to stop him, which caused Aceves to punch him in the head, according to the police log.

Another officer arrived, but Aceves continued to resist. Eventually, Aceves was taken into custody and booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of battery against his roommate, battery against the officers and indecent exposure.

April 16, 2012
Crash on Highway 50 in Folsom kills Washington man

An early morning crash on Highway 50 left one man dead near Folsom Boulevard.

The accident occurred about 2 a.m. when a pickup truck that was traveling westbound on Highway 50 overturned, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Three men were in the pickup. Motorcycles were in the bed of the truck.

One of the men, a 32-year-old resident of Washington, died at the scene.

April 16, 2012
Traffic starting to clear near Sacramento Airport exit

Traffic was clearing near the off ramp to Sacramento International Airport, but travelers were still backed up on Interstate 5.

All vehicles had been moved to the right hand shoulder of the road on northbound I-5 near Airport Boulevard as of 6:30 a.m. However, traffic was slowly passing by the site of the crash 45 minutes later.

The 5 a.m. accident involved about 6 vehicles, including a U-Haul truck. Minor injuries were reported.

April 15, 2012
Sacramento Police investigate shooting death of man in his 30s

A man in his early 30s was shot to death shortly before midnight Saturday in the 3900 block of 62nd Street, the Sacramento Police Department reported today.

Authorities said police discovered the victim at 11:38 p.m. after being contacted about a shooting. The man had a gunshot wound to his upper body, was taken to a local hospital, and died there of his injuries.

The Police Department's Homicide and Crime Scene Investigations units are investigating.

April 14, 2012
RT train hits, kills woman in midtown Sacramento

By Chris Macias
cmacias@sacbee.com

A Regional Transit train has hit and killed a pedestrian near 19th Street in midtown Sacramento.

Traffic on 19th Street is being diverted between Q and S streets.

Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Michele Gigante said police are investigating and it is unclear how long 19th Street will be closed.

Witnesses told police a woman was lying across the grade-level tracks when the train hit her, Gigante said. The victim seemed to have been alone, she said.

The accident occurred at 8:38 p.m. on RT's Blue line, which runs from Meadowview to the Watt/I-80 Station.

One onlooker described the bloody scene left after the west-bound train hit the woman, saying it appeared that the victim had been decapitated.

April 14, 2012
Person of interest arrested in Sunrise Mall shooting

By Chris Macias

A "person of interest" has been arrested in a possible gang related shooting which occurred Saturday afternoon in the Sunrise Mall parking lot.

Citrus Heights police were dispatched to the scene at 4:31 p.m. following reports of a single gun shot fired at a victim. The suspected shooter then fled southbound on foot.

A perimeter was set up by police, where an individual was detained and arrested on an unrelated charge. Police are investigating this "person of interest" for the shooting.

No injuries were reported in the shooting. Police are still investigating whether the shooting was gang related.

April 14, 2012
Sacramento pastor gets 7 years in sexual assault of minor

By Denny Walsh

Cornelius Taylor, pastor of the Whole Life Revival Center in Sacramento, has been sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison for sexually assaulting a minor, District Attorney Jan Scully announced Friday.

A jury in February found Taylor guilty on eight counts of sexual assault on a troubled teenager with no family support who looked upon Taylor and his congregation as a refuge. At 16, she accepted an invitation from Taylor and his wife to live with them. The pastor demanded sex after the teen moved in, and his attacks continued several times a week, even after she turned 18.

April 14, 2012
Sacramento court gives man 26 years to life in grandfather's death

By Denny Walsh

Arondrei Abel-Bey has been sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for stabbing to death his 83-year-old grandfather, Isaac Williams, District Attorney Jan Scully announced Friday.

Abel-Bey, 34, was found guilty last month by a jury of first-degree murder in the Jan. 18, 2011, homicide.

He testified that he was high on methamphetamine when he strangled and then used a flat-head screwdriver and another tool to kill Williams. He had initially reported that an unknown burglar committed the crime at the family's home near 64th Avenue and Amherst Street in Sacramento.

Call The Bee's Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

April 14, 2012
Woodland police seek information in stabbings

By Denny Walsh

Police officers are seeking help in their investigation of two stabbings at a party late Friday night in the 1300 block of Leo Way in Woodland. according to a city news release.

It was initially reported that there was an altercation in the street involving 50-60 people, the release states. Later reports were that a person was stabbed and taken to Woodland Memorial Hospital. When officers arrived at the hospital, they found that 22-year-old Woodland resident Daniel Hector Ruiz had sustained multiple wounds to his torso and arm. The injuries were potentially life-threatening, and he underwent emergency surgery.

A second victim, Andres Soloria, also 22 and a Woodland resident, had a stab wound to an arm that was not life-threatening.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at 530 661-7800.

April 13, 2012
Suspect in Olivehurst market robbery jailed in Sacramento

A man suspected of the April 4 robbery of the Olivehurst Mini-Mart is in Sacramento County Jail.

Yuba County sheriff's investigators believe that John Xiong, 29, of LInda entered the market and fired a shot from a handgun before leaving with cash, according to a Yuba County Sheriff's Office news release. Officials said Xiong was identified through surveillance video and other physical evidence.

Xiong was arrested by police April 5 in Sacramento after he allegedly committed a similar offense there. Sheriff's officials said they believe the weapon used in the Olivehurst robbery has been recovered.

April 13, 2012
Sacramento man pleads guilty in child exploitation case

A Sacramento man has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges.

Phillip J. Colwell, 52, entered the pleas today in federal court in Sacramento, admitting to producing child pornography, transmitting obscene matter to a minor and using a cell phone to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct.

According to court documents, in October 2011, Colwell engaged in a series of cell phone text conversations with a 14-year-old Sacramento boy. He sent the boy sexually explicit images and sought to engage the youth in sexual conduct.

April 13, 2012
Yolo DA's Office warns of phony text messages targeting cell phone users

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office advises people to be alert to a scam involving phony text messages to cell phone users.

Officials cite two messages in particular. The first begins: "Dear Walmart Shopper, Congratulations you have just won a $1000 dollar Walmart Gift Card." The second begins: "Apple is looking for people to Text & Keep the New iPad 3!" Both messages ask the cell phone users to click or go to a website provided.

Authorities advise people to delete these messages.

April 13, 2012
Modesto Bee: Gunman who killed deputy, 2nd man in Modesto is presumed dead

Investigators are examining the area outside a home destroyed by fire overnight where a gunman shot and killed a sheriff's deputy and another man. Federal agents are expected to go inside soon. The second man killed has been identified as Glendon Engert, 35, of Modesto.

Read the developing story at modbee.com

April 13, 2012
Coroner identifies man found Wednesday in Land Park

A man found dead Wednesday in the Land Park area has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as Joseph Knowles, 61, of Sacramento.

The Coroner's Office on Thursday sought the public's help in identifying the man, who had no identification on him.

Police and paramedics responded after a passerby found the body along the railroad tracks west of San Mateo Way and San Mateo Court. He was declared dead a 5:32 p.m. Wednesday. Officials said he may have collapsed several hours or a day before he was found.

April 13, 2012
Roseville contractor headed to prison for defrauding investors

Roseville building contractor Leo Wheeler was sentenced today in Sacramento to four years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in a real estate project.

Wheeler, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. and will be subject to three years of supervised release following his prison term.

According to court documents, Wheeler defrauded more than 10 investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting approximately 85 fraudulent invoices for work he falsely claimed he had performed on a 30-lot subdivision known as Creekside Oaks Estates in Lake County. Wheeler used three fictitious companies -- Kenneth Gutman Trucking, SNC Solutions and California Maintenance -- to funnel funds to himself and to other projects. During an interview with an IRS special agent, Wheeler admitted he had falsified numerous invoices and wrongly diverted investor funds, authorities said.

April 13, 2012
Chico developer Symmes sentenced in federal court

By Denny Walsh

dwalsh@sacbee.com

Prominent Chico developer Anthony G. Symmes was sentenced today in federal court to a month less than three years in prison on his plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in connection with a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud.

Symmes, 61, has already shelled out $4 million to the government that is available to victim-lenders who make a valid claim.

The 35-month sentence was dramatically reduced because of Symmes' extraordinary assistance to the government in its pursuit and prosecution of his fellow crooks.

April 13, 2012
Rocklin police invite residents to 'chat with the chief'

Rocklin residents will have an opportunity to talk with members of the city's Police Department during three "Chat with the Chief" meetings.

The meetings are intended to provide valuable information to residents, promote new police programs and foster communication with people in the community, according to at Police Department news release.

All three meetings will be identical in content, featuring presentations and question-and-answer sessions led by Police Chief Ron Lawrence, Deputy Chief Dan Ruden and other police managers. During the sessions, the chief and his staff will solicit public comment on designing the the Police Department's strategic plan for fiscal year 2012-13, discuss the department's 2011 Annual Report, provide an overview of new police technology and offer strategies for reducing residential burglaries.

April 13, 2012
Citrus Heights street with violent past is scene of drive-by gunfire

A Citrus Heights street with a crime-ridden past was the scene of a drive-by shooting last night.

Police said that at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday, officers were called to Sayonara Drive after gunshots rang out. Nobody was struck by the gunfire, but three vehicles and an occupied home were hit.

Several bullet casings were recovered by police.

April 13, 2012
Update: Coroner releases ID of man killed in Orangevale shootout with deputies

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the man found dead last night in an Orangevale home after an exchange of gunfire with Sacramento County sheriff's deputies serving a search warrant.

He was identified as Dennis Dean, 33, of Orangevale.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said narcotics officers went to the house in the 9100 block of Kendrick Way, north of Madison Avenue and east of Hazel Avenue, to serve the warrant Thursday afternoon.

April 12, 2012
Grass Valley residents urged to take precautions following series of burglaries

The Grass Valley Police Department is encouraging residents to secure their property following a series of random burglaries in residential areas of the community.

In recent weeks, the police have investigated a number of thefts of property in residential areas. Many of the thefts occurred at homes where garage doors were left open or a vehicle was not secured, according to a Police Department news release.

To avoid becoming the target of criminal activity, police advise residents to secure their garage doors and vehicles when they are not at home. For anyone planning to be gone for an extended period of time, police recommend asking a trusted friend or family member to keep an on the property. They also advise residents to suspend mail and newspaper deliveries during their absence.

Anyone with information regarding a crime in the city is asked to call the Grass Valley Police Department at (530) 477-4600.

April 12, 2012
UPDATE: Man found dead in Orangevale home after gunfight with deputies

A man has been found dead in an Orangevale home after he exchanged gunfire with Sacramento County sheriff's deputies serving a search warrant.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said narcotics officers went to the house to serve the warrant this afternoon. Following a foot pursuit, they caught up with the suspect, a man in his 30s, and entered the home in the 9100 block of Kendrick Way, north of Madison Avenue and east of Hazel Avenue.

At some point, Ramos said, the suspect, whose name has not been released, was able to retrieve a handgun and fire at deputies. Ramos said three deputies returned fire, then backed out of the residence.

April 12, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint scheduled Friday in Del Paso Heights area

Friday the 13th could be an unlucky day for impaired drivers.

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint at Norwood Avenue and Silver Eagle Road in the Del Paso Heights area beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours.

Motorists traveling through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

April 12, 2012
Coroner seeks help identifying man found in Land Park area

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office seeks the public's help identifying a man who was found in the Land Park area Wednesday.

Police and paramedics responded after a passerby found the man, believed to be 50 to 60 years old, along the railroad tracks west of San Mateo Way and San Mateo Court. He had no identification on him, but officials say he may live in the area. He was declared dead at 5:32 p.m., according to a Coroner's Office news release.

Officials said there was no evidence of trauma or foul play, and the man may have collapsed several hours or a day before he was found.

April 12, 2012
Priest enters not guilty plea to molestation counts

Ojeda-thumbnail.jpegThe Rev. Uriel Ojeda, the Catholic priest accused of molesting girl when he worked at parishes in Woodland and Redding, entered a not guilty plea today in Sacramento Superior Court.

Judge John P. Winn then scheduled Ojeda's preliminary hearing for June 8. The hearing will determine whether Ojeda, 32, will stand trial on the seven molestation counts.

The complaint against Ojeda charges that he molested the girl, who was under the age of 14 at the time of all of the allegations, three times in Sacramento County and four times in Shasta County.

The alleged incidents occurred between June 29, 2007, and Aug. 30, 2009, while Ojeda was working at the Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland and at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Redding.l

April 12, 2012
Conviction announced in 2008 Elk Grove carjacking, robbery

A 28-year-old man has been found guilty in the 2008 carjacking and robbery of an off-duty armored car transport employee in Elk Grove.

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that a jury convicted Richard Miller of carjacking, robbery, assault with a firearm, theft of a firearm and being a felon in unlawful possession of a firearm. The jury also found true the allegation of personal use of a firearm.

In December 2008, the victim had just gotten off work as an armored car transport employee when he drove to his girlfriend's Elk Grove apartment. After parking his car in the apartment complex parking lot, he was approached by Miller and two of Miller's friends, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. The two friends distracted the victim while Miller jumped into the victim's car.

April 12, 2012
Driver, 20, dies in crash into tree along I-5 in South Sacramento

The California Highway Patrol is seeking witnesses to a fatal car crash that killed a man this morning along Interstate 5 in South Sacramento.

The CHP said the crash occurred about 5 a.m. when a 2002 Honda Accord driven by Gerad Samathadara, 20, of Lathrop, San Joaquin County, spun out of control and left northbound I-5 near Gloria Drive. The back portion of the car then hit a tree.

The young man was pronounced dead at the scene. The CHP said Samathadara was wearing a seatbelt and alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor in the crash.

April 12, 2012
Sac State student admits to murder in beating death of dorm mate

Quran Mahammed Jones[1].jpgBy Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

Quran Mahammed Jones, the Sacramento State student accused of beating dormitory roommate Scott Gregory Hawkins to death with a baseball bat three years ago, pleaded out to a negotiated settlement in court today and was convicted of second-degree murder.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary S. Mullen sentenced Jones to 15 years to life in prison, but found that Jones was insane at the time he murdered fellow student Scott Gregory Hawkins. Mullen ordered that Jones be placed placed in the state's Conditional Release Program. Under the placement, Jones will be sent to Napa State Hospital and will be eligible for hearings on his sanity every year.

Along with the negotiated settlement on the murder charge, Jones, 22, also pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted murder and three more counts of brandishing a weapon. Under the terms of his plea, if he is ever found to recover his sanity, he would then be sent to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for a term of 18 years and four months. Judge Mullen ordered Jones to serve the two terms concurrently.

April 12, 2012
Sheriff's deputy, one other person killed in Modesto shootings

A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed and another person was also killed Thursday morning as deputies tried serving papers at a residence on the city's northwest side, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said.

SWAT teams from several agencies surrounded a home where a suspect is believed to have barricaded himself.

Read this developing news story at modbee.com

April 12, 2012
Live chat replay: Q&A with Sacramento County DA Jan Scully

April 12, 2012
Two more public discussions of pepper spray report scheduled

Occupy Pepper Spray.JPG

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Officials have scheduled two more public meetings for discussion of the report on the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident at the University of California, Davis, campus.

The task force chaired by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso will hold a public meeting Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the second-floor multipurpose room of the Student community Center. A second session will be held there Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.

PDF: UC Davis 'Pepper Spray Incident' task force report

PHOTO CREDIT: FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. The University of California plans to publish a long-awaited report on the pepper-spraying of student demonstrators by UC Davis police last fall online at noon Wednesday, April 11, 2012 a day after an Alameda County judge approved its publication without the names of most officers involved in the Nov. 18 clash. Wayne Tilcock, The Davis Enterprise via the Associated Press.

April 12, 2012
Man dies when hit by train in West Sacramento

A man was killed on Wednesday afternoon when struck by a passenger train in West Sacramento.

West Sacramento police said that the man was found dead on the rail line in the area of Commerce Drive near the IKEA store about 3:45 p.m.

His name has not yet been released by the Yolo County Coroner's office.

April 12, 2012
CHP tips on what to do when calling police dispatch

This being the week in which dispatchers are recognized for their good work, the California Highway Patrol provides these tips on calling 911:

• No matter what, stay calm.

• Be prepared to give your name, phone number, address or location and a detailed description of the incident.

April 11, 2012
UPDATE: Firefighters seek to ensure functioning smoke alarms in wake of fatal mobile home fire

Firefighters on Saturday will return to the scene of a fatal mobile home fire to make sure that residents of a North Highlands mobile home park have functioning smoke alarms.

Firefighters with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District arrived at the mobile home park in the 4100 block of Minuteman Lane shortly before 7:30 a.m. last Saturday to find a mobile home fully engulfed in fire. During a search, they found that a man had died in the fire. He was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as William Clay Cowgill, 59.

Fire investigators determined that the fire was accidental and found no evidence of a working smoke alarm, according to a fire district news release.

April 11, 2012
Marysville man arraigned on federal drug charges

A Marysville man was arraigned today in Sacramento following his arrest on federal drug charges.

Bryce Wayne Nicholes, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury April 5. He delayed entering a plea until Friday, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The indictment alleges that on March 1, Nicholes possessed methamphetamine and crack cocaine, and intended to distribute them in Yuba County.

The case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the Yuba Sutter Narcotic Enforcement Team - Net 5 and the Yuba City Police Department.

April 11, 2012
Folsom man pleads guilty to receiving child pornography

Folsom resident Matthew Mark Battersby today pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to receiving child pornography.

According to court documents, in September 2011, law enforcement agents identified a computer at Battersby's address offering files of child pornography through an Internet file-sharing service. They searched Battersby's residence and found that his computer contained approximately 15 image files and 179 video files of child pornography, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Battersby, 44, is to be sentenced June 26 by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department with agents from federal, state and local agencies.

April 11, 2012
Galt man setenced for embezzling from