Sacto 9-1-1
September 30, 2012
Text messaged murder threat ends in arrest, police report

By Matt Weiser

An Auburn man was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly delivering a murder threat via text message.

Myles David Salyers, 37, allegedly sent the murder threat via cell phone text message to a man who had a restraining order against him, said Sgt. Victor Pecoraro of the Auburn Police Department.

Police were notified about the threat at about 11:55 p.m. Saturday. Officers managed to locate the suspect just over an hour later, shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Salyers was arrested without incident near the intersection of Highway 49 and Elm Avenue in Auburn, Pecoraro said.

Salyers was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, violating a court order, driving under the influence and possession of prescription medications without a prescription. He was booked into Placer County Jail, with bail set at $200,000.

Pecoraro said arresting someone for texting a murder threat is not that unusual. "In this case, it appears this subject really wanted to do the other person harm," he said.

September 28, 2012
Father Boyle, author and anti-gang advocate, to speak in Carmichael

Father Greg Boyle, the Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles and is a leading advocate for gang intervention, will speak Saturday night at a Sacramento-area church.

The event, which is free, begins at 7 p.m. at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Ave.

Homeboy Industries offers a variety of services for gang members and other troubled youth, including education, job training and counseling. Boyle wrote a book about his work with Homeboy Industries titled "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."

Boyle also once worked at Folsom Prison.

September 28, 2012
Judge sentences two to life in prison for pot robbery murder

Two murderers were sentenced to life terms in prison today for the Jan. 26, 2010, shooting death of a marijuana dealer during a robbery in a Stockton Boulevard parking lot.

Andre Powe, 23, will go away for 43 years to the rest of his life and Cort Milgrim, 24, was sent off for 28 to life in the sentencings handed down by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage for the killing of Shawn West, 26.

Witnesses identified Powe as the gunman in the West killing. He was convicted at trial, while Milgrim, who acted as a middle man in the pot deal in a Jack in the Box parking lot in the south area that turned deadly, pleaded guilty during jury selection.

September 28, 2012
Police release name of east Sacramento pharmacy crasher

Sacramento police have identified the man who crashed into an east Sacramento pharmacy last night.

DeShawn Davis, 19, of Rancho Cordova was arrested Thursday night after fleeing the crash into Knotts Pharmacy, 4819 J St. He was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and misdemeanor hit and run.

(Check out a photo gallery of the pharmacy crash.)

Sacramento police officials said Davis was eastbound on J Street about 6:45 p.m. between 48th and 49th streets when the SUV he was driving collided with another car, then into the front of Knotts Pharmacy.

The pharmacy opened today.

Davis ran from the wreckage, said police and witnesses, but was captured by officers about 7 p.m. at 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

Police believe the teen was involved in a hit-and-run incident earlier in the day.

September 28, 2012
Placer County deputies release Gold Run burglary suspect photos

The Placer County Sheriff's Department today released photographs of two men suspected of home break-ins in the Gold Run area.

Images of the two suspects were captured by security cameras during a recent residential burglary. The pair has taken snowboards, generators and clothing.

Anyone who can identify the men (shown below) is asked to contact Detective Matt Hardcastle at (530) 889-7873. Tipsters who wishes to remain anonymous and possibly qualify for a reward of up $1,000 may call Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191.

gold run burglar 1.JPGgold run burglar 2.JPG

September 28, 2012
Man dies from injuries after being struck by two vehicles on Fulton Avenue

A man hit by two vehicles on an Arden Arcade street has died from his injuries.

California Highway Patrol officers believe that Phillip Dale Jensen, 60, of Sacramento was hit on Fulton Avenue just north of Hurley Way sometime before 8:45 p.m. Thursday. The motorist who hit Jensen has not been located and officers have no description of his vehicle, according to California Highway Patrol officer Rich Wetzel.

Jensen's body was struck again by a taxi while in the traffic lanes on Fulton Avenue, according to the CHP. The cab driver was interviewed by officers and later released.

Jensen was pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m. after being rushed to the hospital.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to contact the North Sacramento CHP office at (916) 338-6710.

September 27, 2012
Agents bust large meth, marijuana operation on south Sacramento

State and federal agents busted a large marijuana and meth operation in southeastern Sacramento county on Thursday, officials said.

About 350 marijuana plants and about 10 pounds of crystal methamphetamine were discovered on the site near Bradshaw and Elder Creek roads. In addition, 11 suspects were arrested on drug charges.

The grow site was spotted from the air about two months ago. A search warrant was served about 7 a.m. Thursday said Michelle Gregory, a public information for the state Department of Justice.

Agents from the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team swooped in to find stables in a barn that were converted for processing of marijuana grown on site. Tarps hid the grow site from the road.

In other barns, holes had been dug to bury trash from a drug lab and to hide crystal methamphetamine.

Three weapons were confiscated. Three children at the property were turned over the Child Protective Services.

September 27, 2012
Man who killed transvestite sentenced to 5 years, 8 months in prison

Robert Blockton.JPGA man who stabbed a transvestite prostitute to death 32 years ago has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary S. Mullen handed down the sentence Tuesday to Robert Lee Blockton, who is now 59.

Blockton pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter charges in July to the Nov. 3, 1980, killing of 22-year-old Charles Redmond in Miller Park.

September 27, 2012
Ex-gay porn star Ryan Idol gets 12 years in prison for beating ex-girlfriend

More than a year after his conviction, a one-time gay porn star who beat his former girlfriend over the head with a toilet tank lid has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison for attempted murder.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Troy L. Nunley imposed the term Wedneday on Marc Anthony Donais, 46, who established a reputation in the 1990s as one of the top stars in his genre under the name of Ryan Idol.

According to the victim's testimony at trial, Donais entered the woman's apartment the night of Sept. 5, 2009, and told her, "I came over here to kill you." The two had been involved in a relationship, but the woman -- whose name is being withheld because she is a domestic violence victim -- said she cut it off when she caught him having sex with his male lover.

September 27, 2012
Foothill school employee arrested for taking students' money

santana.JPGFoothill High School employee Margo Santana was arrested Wednesday night on 20 counts of obtaining money on false pretenses and one count of practicing medicine without a medical certificate after she charged students for athletic physical exams she was not authorized to conduct.

Twin Rivers Unified School District's police department investigated the allegations against Santana last month, with Assistant Superintendent Tom Janis saying at the time that the district was taking the matter seriously as "it could endanger the lives of students."

Sports physicals are required for student athletes and must be completed by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. At the time of the allegations, Santana was a health assistant at Foothill High School, a job that requires CPR and first aid certifications and a high school diploma.

September 26, 2012
Sacramento deputies seek help finding 3-year-old allegedly abducted by mother

crystal rojas.jpgSacramento County sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in finding a 3-year-old girl who has been abducted by her mother, who is not her legal guardian.

The girl, Crystal Rojas, was reported missing from a daycare facility on the 5200 block of Elkhorn Boulevard about 10 a.m., said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. Employees told deputies the girl went missing shortly after a visit from her mother, Patti Rojas, who is not the girl's legal guardian, Ramos said.

Deputies now believe that Patti Rojas, 24 and pictured at right, took her daughter and headed to Nevada, Ramos said. They do not believe the girl to be in any danger, but consider her "at-risk" because of her young age, Ramos said.

September 26, 2012
Big-box lumber store pickup used to flee from El Dorado deputies

woodruff.jpgA man was booked on attempted homicide charges and various other crimes after fleeing El Dorado County deputies Tuesday in a stolen lumber truck.

Dustin James Woodruff, 27, is suspected of shooting and beating Bryan Santana, 35, of Placerville on July 2. In July, Santana showed up at a Placerville hospital complaining of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.

Doctors thought he had been shot. Deputies were summoned and Santana admitted to being shot. However, at the time, he didn't know who did the shooting.

September 26, 2012
Criminalist testifies about key discovery in 'sweethearts' case

A former criminalist with the state Department of Justice crime lab in Sacramento testified today about finding evidence that prosecutors say tied Richard Joseph Hirschfield to the killings of UC Davis "sweethearts" Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins.

Faye Springer, who later would be the director of the Sacramento County Crime Lab, said she recommended in 1992 to Yolo County investigators who had submitted possible trace evidence to her from the Dec. 20, 1980, killings that they might as well give her everything they had of possible evidentiary value.

Springer said she made her suggestion after looking at photographs of all the items Sacramento sheriff's detectives had retrieved from a van the two 18-year-old UC Davis students had been driving two nights before their bodies were found near Lake Natoma.

September 26, 2012
Driver accused in fatal hit-and-run in Carmichael charged with murder

The suspected drunk driver who killed a man, seriously injured his girlfriend and killed her four dogs in a July hit-and-run in Carmichael has been charged with murder.

Prosecutors filed the murder charge in Sacramento Superior Court this morning, when Paul William Walden appeared for a hearing on the nine charges he originally faced in connection with the collision.

According to authorities, Walden, 31, was driving drunk and with a suspended license July 19 when he struck the couple as they walked in a crosswalk at Engle and Garfield roads. He did not stop, authorities allege.

September 26, 2012
Dog sought for biting Davis bicyclist

Yolo County Animal Services officials need help in finding a dog that bit a bicyclist in Davis.

The bicyclist was riding in the green belt near Rio Grande Street on Sunday about noon when she was bit by a mixed breed terrier with tan markings and wavy fur. The dog was on a leash held by a woman.

The dog owner was described as about 30 years old, medium build, about 5 feet 7 inches tall. She had dark, short hair, was wearing a white sweat suit and carried a cell phone.

September 26, 2012
Thieves stealing lawn equipment while gardeners mow

Roseville gardeners continue to be the target of thieves who rip them off while they are busy performing lawn maintenance.

Thieves are taking commercial-grade lawn mowers, leaf-blowers and other landscaping equipment from the pickups and trailers of working gardeners. Police have created a flyer in English and Spanish warning gardeners of the spate of thefts.

Recent thefts:

 A chain that secured a lawn mower in a gardener's trailer was cut while the crew was working near Douglas Boulevard and Professional Way on Friday. The stolen mower was later found by the gardener in a nearby dumpster. Police believe the mower was stashed there to be retrieved later by the thief.

September 26, 2012
UC pepper-spray settlement about $1 million

pepperspray_settlementA.jpgBy Sam Stanton, Denny Walsh and Andrea Gallo

sstanton@sacbee.com

The University of California regents have agreed to pay out roughly $1 million to end a lawsuit over last November's pepper spraying of UC-Davis students, part of a deal that also calls for a personal written apology from Chancellor Linda Katehi to each person hit with the spray.

The details of the settlement, approved in secret earlier this month by the regents, are contained in documents filed in federal court in Sacramento this morning.

The deal, hammered out in mediation sessions after 21 students and former students sued last February, still must be approved by a federal judge.

September 26, 2012
Truckee police bust man for residential marijuana growing operation

Truckee police said they arrested a man who allegedly turned his three-bedroom home into a marijuana growing operation.

Police had been monitoring the home in the Glenshire subdivision on Saxon Way for some time for what they termed "suspicious activity."

Last Thursday morning, detectives detained a person at the residence and went inside the house. There, according to a police press release, they found that the interior had been converted for marijuana growing.

Detectives found about 40 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, with about 20 ready for harvest.

Michael Morrow, 25, of Truckee, was arrested on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Police said Morrow was on probation for a previous conviction for the same offense.

September 26, 2012
Detectives investigate homicide at Arden Arcade motel

Detectives have no motive or suspect in the shooting death of a young man at an Arden Way motel last night.

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies were called to the Motel 6, 2030 Arden Way, near Howe Avenue, about 9 p.m. Tuesday. There, they found a 24-year-old man suffering from a single gunshot wound to his lower body.

Paramedics tended to him before the victim was rushed to a hospital where he died. The victim was not able to identify the person who shot him before he was transported by ambulance, according to a sheriff's department press release.

Deputies said that a security guard working at the motel heard a gunshot and told another employee to call for help. The guard then walked through the motel parking lot and found the shooting victim on the ground.

Deputies canvassed the area to find witnesses last night. The investigation continues.

September 25, 2012
Auburn man arrested near stolen truck, holding key

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Auburn police officers arrested a local man after authorities found him early Tuesday in an industrial complex near a stolen Placer County fleet truck possessing the vehicle's key.

The truck and the key were previously reported stolen to the California Highway Patrol, said Sgt. Victor Pecoraro of the Auburn Police Department.

Pecoraro said an officer noticed the stolen truck at the Auburn Airport industrial complex at 12:53 a.m. Tuesday. Officers then located Stephen Michael Eaton, 45, of Auburn, and a woman in the area.

"We suspect that he has knowledge or was involved in the theft," Pecoraro said. "He had trouble explaining why he had (the key)."

Eaton was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property and booked into Placer County jail in lieu of $30,000.

September 25, 2012
Fire claims press box at Renfree Field

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

An abandoned city of Sacramento baseball field can add "replace concession stand" to the list of repairs needed after an early Tuesday evening fire destroyed the building.

The Sacramento Fire Department responded to fire at Harry Renfree Field, 3365 Auburn Blvd, at 5:16 p.m. They arrived to find the second floor of the building that once served as the snack shack, press box and scorekeepers building burning, said Shawn Perry, a battalion chief.

He called the fire suspicious and said vagrants had been run out of the building recently.

In 2011, it was reported that much of the facility's wiring was stolen, including wires that power the bathrooms and snack bar.

The city had recently solicited bids seeking a private operator to make the needed repairs and operate the park that was once home to semipro baseball.

September 25, 2012
Incidents trigger Galt police to issue ID theft warning

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Two events in Galt prompted police to offer a warning on identity theft.

Galt police officials say a suspected identity thief was arrested Monday after a high-speed chase.

The chase concluded around 2 a.m. Monday when a man, later identified as Joseph Polendey Langman, 35, fled in a stolen vehicle after leading police to Acampo, south of Galt, according to a Police Department news release.

September 25, 2012
Mistrial declared in south area pot robbery murder trial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury failed to reach a verdict today in the pot robbery-murder trial of Devenne Marquist Rodriguez and Judge Allen H. Sumner declared a mistrial.

Deputy District Attorney Sheri Greco said prosecutors plan to pursue the murder case on the 27-year-old defendant. Sumner scheduled the retrial for Nov. 15.

Rodriguez was accused of robbery and murder in last year's Aug. 26 shooting death of Adrian Augusta, 20, on 37th Avenue at 44th Street. Greco said Rodriguez killed Augusta in a pot deal ripoff. Defense attorney Frances Huey argued her client only intended to buy marijuana from Augusta and that it was a man who was with the defendant who unexpectedly shot the victim in a robbery attempt.

September 25, 2012
Electrical wiring blamed in morning fire in Rancho Cordova

Sacramento Metro Fire officials are blaming electrical wiring for a fire that engulfed a Rancho Cordova duplex, displacing a family with four young children.

The incident at 3325 Routier Road in Rancho Cordova began at 7 a.m. Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming out of the attic of the duplex, according to a press release from the department. No injuries were reported. The fire was estimated to have caused $120,000 in damage to the structure and $25,000 in personal property damage.

The fire - deemed electrical in nature - started at the back of the vacant duplex, traveled up the wall and engulfed the shared attic space, according to the release.

September 25, 2012
Sacramento County resident returns home to find alleged burglar in shower

A Sacramento County resident came home today to find a burglar showering in his home, authorities say.

The resident directed the woman, identified later as 24-year-old Jennifer Burgess, to put on her clothes and then detained her until authorities arrived, said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Deputies arrived at the Park Road home to find the resident and Burgess talking outside the home. They detained Burgess and allegedly found some of the homeowner's possessions in her possession, Ramos said.

Burgess was arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of felony burglary. She is being held in lieu of $50,000.

September 25, 2012
UPDATE: El Dorado authorities ID gunman in Placerville homicide

An El Dorado County Sheriff's official said today that the gunman in Friday night's homicide in Placerville is known to authorities, but is not in custody.

Sheriff's Lt. Tim Becker identified the shooter as Michael Steven Hayes. Earlier today, Becker said the shooter came forward to authorities after the shooting.

No charges have been filed and the investigation continues into whether Hayes is criminally culpable in the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Richard Lee Hart.

Authorities said Hart, a Sacramento resident, was armed with a gun when he entered a residence in the 3100 block of Lo Hi Way shortly before midnight Friday. He was then shot with a shotgun and collapsed while trying to leave the house.

September 25, 2012
UPDATE: Sacramento deputies arrest robbery suspect sought in Carmichael

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies have arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of robbing a Carmichael store at gunpoint earlier today.

The robbery at the Fair Game store on Fair Oaks Boulevard, near California Avenue, shortly before noon, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Soon thereafter, deputies flooded the 8200 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard, where the suspect was believed to be hiding in apartment complex.

The suspect, Clinton Bonner, was arrested this afternoon, Ramos said.

September 25, 2012
Hirschfield defense pursues alternate theory in murder trial

Richard Joseph Hirschfield's defense team was able to elicit testimony in his murder trial today that suggested another criminal on a crime spree across the western United States arranged the slashing deaths of UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

But the witness who testified to the theory, former Sacramento sheriff's Lt. Ray Biondi, suggested he never saw much evidence to substantiate it and that a Davis police detective who vigorously pursued it had "lost his objectivity."

Defense lawyer Linda Parisi still succeeded in getting the outline of the theory of a third party's culpability in front of the jury in her cross-examination of Biondi. The theory was first put forward 25 years ago by Davis police and Yolo County prosecutors, but it was later abandoned as charges were dismissed at the outset of a trial for four people who initially had been arrested and charged in the Dec. 20, 1980, killings.

September 25, 2012
Sheriff's report: Woman sexually assaulted in Fruitridge-area parking lot

A 22-year-old woman told authorities she was sexually assaulted in her car in a Fruitridge-area parking lot last week.

The woman was sleeping while parked in the 4600 block of 47th Avenue, near Highway 99, early in the morning of Sept. 17 when an unknown suspect entered her car through an unlocked door, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's report.

The suspect displayed a gun, and forced the woman into oral copulation and intercourse, the report states.

September 25, 2012
Man booked on suspicion of peeping in midtown restaurant restroom

carlos carranza.JPGA man was arrested on Sunday afternoon on suspicion of peeping while in a restroom at a midtown restaurant.

Carlos Carranza, 32, was arrested by Sacramento police on suspicion of photographing or videotaping an undressed person in a private room. His bail was set at $1,000.

Police said that Carranza was seen in the woman's restroom of Luigi's Slice, 20th and J streets. Witnesses told officers he was using his cell phone to record a woman in the restroom.

He was also being held in Sacramento County Jail today for U.S. Border Control.

PHOTO CAPTION: Carlos Carranza

September 25, 2012
Update: CHP motorcycle officer suffers major injuries in I-80 crash

A veteran California Highway Patrol motor officer remains hospitalized with major injuries after an I-80 chain reaction accident Tuesday morning launched him into the center median and guardrail.

Officer Andy Beasley, a ten year veteran, was transported to Mercy San Juan shortly after the 7:42 a.m. accident with multiple broken bones, minor abrasions and a concussion. The injuries are not life threatening, said Lizz Dutton, a spokeswoman for the department.

The accident occurred on westbound Interstate 80, between Greenback Lane and Antelope Road. Traffic has been congested for hours in the westbound direction of the freeway.

The accident began with a Chevrolet Cruze, driven by Debra Andes, 53, of Grass Valley, rear ending a Toyota Corolla during a lane change in stop-and-go traffic, the CHP said. The Toyota, driven by Jessica Brown, 50, of Fair Oaks, was then pushed into the carpool lane as the motorcycle officer was approaching.

The motorcycle traveling at 45-50 mph struck the side of the Toyota, ejecting Beasley. Beasley has been a motor officer for about 5 years, the CHP said.

"He had non life-threatening but major injuries is what we have been told," said Dutton.

Two lanes were closed for about two and half hours during the collision investigation.

September 24, 2012
Teen arrested in connection with arson at Carmichael home

An 18-year-old man is in custody in connection with fires set inside a Carmichael home Sunday, authorities say.

Morgan McGinn was booked Sunday night into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of felony arson and burglary, jail booking records show. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District says McGinn is accused of setting multiple small fires in a vacant home in the 2900 block of Myrtle Lane on Sunday afternoon. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fires, which caused little damage.

September 24, 2012
Authorities ID man shot entering a Placerville home over weekend

The man fatally shot as he entered a Placerville home Friday night has been identified as 37-year-old Lee Hart of Sacramento, authorities said.

Hart was fatally shot with a shotgun after he entered a home in the 3100 block of Lo Hi Way carrying a handgun before midnight, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department reported.

Callers told dispatchers a man had been shot after trying to enter a residence and had tried to flee before collapsing on the ground, the Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

No arrests have been made.

September 24, 2012
Vehicle strikes, kills pedestrian on dark N. Highlands street Sunday

A pedestrian was hit and killed by a car Sunday night in North Highlands.

Tanya Butler, 42, of Rio Linda died at the scene, the California Highway Patrol said.

A car traveling about 35 mph was southbound on 32nd Street north of Freedom Park Drive about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when it struck Butler. The CHP said Butler was either "walking in the roadway or attempted to cross the roadway" when hit.

Butler was wearing dark clothing, and there was no street light illumination.

September 24, 2012
Tahoe motorcyclist dies in collision with pick up truck

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

TRUCKEE -- A 56-year-old Lake Tahoe man died Saturday after his motorcycle struck a pickup truck driven by a Citrus Heights man on Highway 267.

Mark C. Steffy of Crystal Bay, Nev., died from injuries sustained when he was ejected from his motorcycle, according to the California Highway Patrol report. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Northstar fire personnel.

The accident occurred at 8:41 a.m. south of Mt. Watson Road on Highway 267, the road between Kings Beach and Truckee.

September 24, 2012
Bicyclist dies days after being struck by car on Elverta street

A bicyclist who was struck by a car last week has died from his injuries.

Ilya Gilevich, 79, of North Highlands was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. Sunday from injuries suffered in a collision with a car on Elverta Road.

The California Highway Patrol reported that at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday a Plumas Lake woman was driving westbound on Elverta Road at 16th Street. Gilevich was riding a bicycle northbound on 16th Street.

September 24, 2012
Murder trial in UC Davis 'sweethearts' case resumes

Testimony resumed today in Sacramento Superior Court in the Richard Joseph Hirschfield death-penalty murder trial following a delay of nearly two weeks due to the knee injury suffered by one of the defendant's attorneys.

The morning's testimony consisted of a supervising property officer's recounting of the paper trail that accompanied evidence that was warehoused by the Sacramento Sheriff's Department after the Dec. 20, 1980, slashing deaths of 18-year-old UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

Defense attorney Linda Parisi, who slipped and fell in the courthouse on Sept. 11 and then underwent surgery the next day, sat in a wheelchair as she cross-examined the retired property officer, Mycal Brummer.

Parisi told Judge Michael W. Sweet she can only work an abbreviated schedule as a result of her surgery. Sweet said the trial sessions will now be held on the regular court days of Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The new hours cut the court day from the regularly-scheduled six hours of testimony.

September 24, 2012
Colfax man to face charges after being stopped by deputy's bullet

A Colfax man shot by a Placer County deputy over the weekend faces charges after he is released from the hospital.

Shaun Rainsbarges, 40, was shot once in the torso by a deputy about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after he refused deputies' demands that he drop a knife, according to a press release from the sheriff's department.

Deputies were called to his home in the 24000 block of Tokayana Way for a report of domestic violence Sunday night. When deputies arrived, Rainsbarges was in front of the house with a knife.

September 24, 2012
Roseville police name man shot by one of their officers

Roseville police have released the name of a man shot by an officer during a struggle Saturday night.

He was identified as Paul Lawson Storey, 35, of Roseville.

A Roseville police officer Saturday shot and killed Storey who authorities said was resisting arrest and fighting with a fellow officer.

September 24, 2012
Name released in fatal shooting at Sacramento County party

The name of the young man who was shot when a house party went awry has been released today by the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

Dijon Augustine Smith, 19, of Sacramento was killed and a 39-year-old man seriously injured in shootings early Sunday in the 7600 block of Daya Way, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Sgt. Jason Ramos said deputies prior to the shootings had gone to a home at Countryfield Drive and Daya Way southeast of Gerber and Power Inn roads after complaints about a loud party there.

September 23, 2012
Armed man fatally wounded, collapses outside Placerville home

By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com

A 37-year-old man was shot to death, apparently shortly after he entered a home in the 3100 block of Lo Hi Way in Placerville while armed with a handgun, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said today.

Officials said the El Dorado dispatch center received a report of a gunshot in the area just before midnight on Friday. A second report said the man who had entered the residence and had been shot to death with a shotgun.

The fatally wounded man left the residence, but made it only as far as the outside of the door before he collapsed.

Deputies arrived at the scene just after midnight to find the man face-down. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was withheld pending notification of family members.

Sheriff's officials, noting that a homicide investigation is underway, declined to release additional details. No arrests have been made.

September 23, 2012
Roseville police kill suspect who they say fought with officer during arrest

A Roseville police officer last night shot and killed a suspect who was resisting arrest and fighting with a fellow officer, the department said in a news release today.

According to police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther, the incident began shortly before 11 p.m. Sautrday in the 1600 block of Sierra Gardens Drive.

Officers were investigating reports that a "very intoxicated" man who was armed with a baseball bat had pushed a woman in a domestic disturbance. The suspect ran off when police arrived.

September 23, 2012
Investigation continues in fatal south Sacramento shooting

By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com

One man was killed and another seriously injured in shootings early today in the 7600 block of Daya Way, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Sgt. Jason Ramos said deputies prior to the shootings had gone to a home at Countryfield Drive and Daya Way southeast of Gerber and Power Inn roads after complaints about a loud party there.

Deputies returned at 2:45 a.m. after reports of gunshots, Ramos said.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies found the two gunshot victims. The 39-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was transported to a hospital with what officials called life-threatening injuries.

September 22, 2012
Coroner IDs man shot in South Natomas home-invasion robbery

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the man fatally shot during a robbery in South Natomas last week as 22-year-old Raymond Richard Apodaca.

Sacramento police found Apodaca after responding to calls of a shooting in the 3500 block of Summer Park Drive in South Natomas late in the evening Sept. 14. Officers administered first aid, but Apodaca was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said it appeared Apodaca was shot during a home-invasion robbery. No suspects have been identified.

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

September 21, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was sentence for mother, son in money laundering scheme?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What was the sentence for Betty Gracia and Anthony Portillo for money laundering?
Submitted by: Forty Niner Wayne, Sacramento

ANSWER: Anthony Portillo of El Dorado Hills and his mother, Betty Gracia, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento in April 2011 to money laundering and concealing a felony respectively.

September 21, 2012
Man receives 36-years-to-life prison sentence for 1992 murder

A man convicted of a 1992 murder in Sacramento has been sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.

A Sacramento County jury in August convicted Michael Peterson, 47, of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of John Arana. He was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne Gilliard, according to a news release from the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Arana, 40, died of stab wounds Nov. 5, 1992, at his home in the 5400 block of 10th Avenue. A few days after his death, his stolen truck was found about a mile from his home.

September 21, 2012
West Sacramento man convicted of 1981 murder to remain in prison

A West Sacramento man convicted of robbing and killing a 68-year-old amputee in 1981 will remain in prison after Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a Board of Parole Hearings decision to grant him parole.

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office today announced the governor's decision in the case of Roger Moore.

On March 6, 1981, Moore and Charles Williams robbed and beat to death Paul Ward, an amputee who used a wheelchair. Ward's partially clothed body was later found in a West Sacramento parking lot.

September 21, 2012
Sacramento man convicted of engaging in sex with minor

A Sacramento man has been convicted of sexual conduct with a minor who he pursued via social media.

A Yolo County jury today convicted Ronald Vikash Chand, 32, of five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Chand became involved with the victim when she was 15 years old, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

Authorities said he lied to her about his age and, knowing that she was 15 years old, he pursued her on Facebook and by text messages. On multiple occasions, he picked her up at her high school and engaged in sexual acts with her in his car and at a West Sacramento motel.

Chand is to be sentenced Oct. 22 by Yolo Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall.

September 21, 2012
Man sentenced to prison for molesting youth in library restroom

A 44-year-old man has men sentenced to six years and four months in prison for engaging in sexual conduct with a minor in a restroom at the Carmichael Library.

Mark L'Ilith was convicted by a Sacramento County jury in August of six counts of child molestation. He was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena Gweon.

L'Ilith frequently visited the Carmichael Library at 5605 Marconi Ave. On two different dates in October 2011, he engaged in sexual conduct with a 14-year-old boy in a library restroom stall during business hours, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. The victim did not know L'Ilith. Officials said he met L'Ilith by chance in the restroom.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested L'Ilith in December. They obtained a search warrant for his email account, where they discovered numerous emails between L'Ilith and strangers in which he suggested meeting at the library to engage in sex acts in the restroom.

September 21, 2012
Former CHP officer arrested, accused of sex with minor

Holland, Robert.jpgA 15-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual acts with a minor while off duty.

Robert C. Holland (pictured), 46, who worked out of the CHP's Truckee office, was arrested at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday after allegations were brought to the attention of the CHP, said Capt. Tim Malone, commander of the Truckee area office. Malone said a search warrant was served at Holland's Loyalton home. He was taken into custody by CHP personnel and booked into Nevada County Jail, with bail set at $500,000.

Malone said Holland's employment with the CHP ended Wednesday, and the results of the criminal investigation are being forwarded to the Sierra County District Attorney's office.

September 21, 2012
Attorney General: Grass Valley company bilked investors of more than $2.3 million

Four people associated with a Grass Valley real estate company have been arrested on suspicion of securities fraud, conspiracy and elder abuse in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that costs investors more than $2.3 million, according to authorities.

Prosecutors allege that Gold Country Lenders used investor funds to pay earlier investors and fund projects in which the company's owner had a financial interest, according to a news release from the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Arrested as a result of the investigation by the Attorney General's Special Crimes Unit were: Gold Country Lenders CEO Philip Lester, 65; his wife, Ellen Lester, 65; Lester's sister and Gold Country Lenders CFO Susan Laferte, 58; and Jonathan Blinder, 58, according to the news release.

Philip Lester and Laferte are being charged with 66 felony counts of elder abuse, securities fraud and conspiracy, the release states. Ellen Lester is being charged with two felony counts of conspiracy and securities fraud; Blinder with four felony counts of securities fraud.

The investigation began in October 2010, in response to complaints by investors.

"These defendants exploited their personal relationships with these victims and emptied their bank accounts," Harris said in a written statement. "Schemes that target the elderly are especially heinous, which is why prosecuting fraud and elder abuse needs to remain priorities for law enforcement."

The investigation was the topic of a series of stories by The Bee last year.

September 21, 2012
Coroner IDs man fatally stabbed outside Citrus Heights home

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the man stabbed to death outside his Citrus Heights home Tuesday night as 29-year-old Juan Rangel Villanueva.

rangel.jpgResidents of the home on the 5600 block of Mariposa Avenue tried to render aid to Villanueva, pictured at left, when he was discovered shortly before 11 p.m., as did Citrus Heights police officers who arrived on scene. However, Villanueva was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Villanueva was attacked in front of the house.

Police say they have no viable leads and are asking that anyone with information about this crime call the Police Department at (916) 727-5500.

September 21, 2012
80-mph chase through Woodland ends with arrest

A high-speed chase on city streets ended with an arrest last night in Woodland.

The pursuit began when an officer tried to stop a vehicle about 11 p.m. Thursday on Pioneer Avenue near Farnham Avenue. The driver fled southbound on Pioneer Avenue at an estimated 80 mph, according to police.

The chase continued westbound on East Gum Avenue and then to East Street. Other officers caught up when the suspect vehicle hit a curb at Fourth Street and Gum Avenue.

There, the driver got out of his vehicle and started running. He was apprehended by officers after a short chase.

Silverio Delgado Jr., 30, of Woodland was arrested on suspicion of evading arrest, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.

September 20, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in fatal 2009 stabbing?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Can you please tell me who was convicted for the murder of David Dale Fry? The victim in his 30s was stabbed multiple times with a knife after being pulled into an apartment in his complex. What happened with this case?
Submitted by: TFry, West Sacramento

ANSWER: A mother and son were arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing 35-year-old David Dale Fry in October 2009, but the district attorney declined to charge them with murder.

September 20, 2012
Detectives investigating sexual assault of woman in Carmichael home

Detectives are investigating the sexual assault of a 30-year-old woman by a stranger who woke her as she slept in her Carmichael home Sunday, according to authorities.

The woman was awakened about noon to find an unknown man standing by her bed with a knife, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department report.

The man ordered her to remove her clothes, removed his and sexually assaulted her, the report states.

The woman's Edgerton Way home was unlocked at the time, according to the Sheriff's Department.

"It sounds like the epitome of a scary-as-it-gets sex assault by a stranger," said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

The suspect was described only as a white man between 20 and 30 years old, 5 feet tall and wearing dark clothing.

September 20, 2012
Coroner IDs woman found dead in North Highlands parking lot

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified a woman found dead in a North Highlands parking lot last month as 23-year-old Myesha Fisher of Fairfield.

Fisher's body was discovered in the 3400 block of Myrtle Avenue early Aug. 28, after callers reported a woman down in the area.

Paramedics found Fisher, who suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body, and pronounced her dead at the scene.

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives learned that Fisher had last been seen shortly after midnight walking alone in the area. Nobody reported gunshots in the vicinity, and sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos said detectives have no leads in the case.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

September 20, 2012
Granite Bay man charged with bank and wire fraud

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A federal grand jury indictment returned Thursday in Sacramento charges a Granite Bay man with mail, wire and bank fraud that allegedly cost lenders more than $3 million.

The indictment accuses Ryan William Costo, 37, of overstating his income and financial assets in applying for three loans: a $1.95 million loan from Citimortgage Inc. for the purchase of a residence, a $3 million loan from Washington Mutual Bank for the purchase of another residence, and a $1.35 million loan from Bank of America for a classic 1945 P-51 aircraft.

According to the indictment, Costo also caused various false account statements and tax returns to be submitted to the lenders in order to procure the loans.

September 20, 2012
Sacramento DA charges father with murder in death of 8-year-old son

Prosecutors have charged a 31-year-old man with murder in the death of his 8-year-old son after he allegedly twice beat the child.

When Robert Bonnard appeared in court Wednesday, the District Attorney's office filed an amended complaint, charging Bonnard with murder and four counts of child abuse.

Bonnard's son, Eshawn Bonnard, died Sept. 5, nine days after he was rushed from his Arden Arcade home to the UC Davis Medical Center with a traumatic brain injury.

Paramedics were told Eshawn had suffered a seizure, but doctors believed that the boy's injuries were inconsistent with such an episode and called authorities.

The day after the boy was admitted to the hospital, as he lay in a coma, Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested Bonnard, alleging he was responsible for the child's injuries.

The criminal complaint against Bonnard alleges he once beat the boy with a vacuum attachment, and another time inflicted great bodily injury, causing the brain injury.

September 20, 2012
No foul play suspected in dorm room death of Sac State student

A Sacramento State student was found dead this morning in his dorm room.

The student, who resided in the American River Courtyard residence hall, was not immediately identified. The student's parents have been notified, but the his name was being withheld until more family members could be informed.

Cause of death has not been released, pending an autopsy. University police indicate there "was no disturbance in the student's room," a statement on the California State University, Sacramento, website says.

Sacramento State Police Chief Mark Iwasa said that there were no signs of foul play.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the student's family during this difficult time," said Lori Varlotta, vice president for Student Affairs.

September 20, 2012
Jury convicts man in HIV murder, finds he killed previously

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Steven Arthur Duarte of first-degree murder in the March 18, 2008, shooting death of Serena Lynne Williams in her Carmichael home. Prosecutors said Duarte killed Williams because he thought she gave him the HIV virus.

Jurors also found in a hearing in the early afternoon that Duarte, 56, also murdered a man in Sacramento in 1975. The jury's confirmation of the special circumstance allegation of Duarte having been convicted of second-degree murder in the earlier case means that he is likely to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Judge Timothy M. Frawley scheduled Duarte's sentencing for Oct. 19.

According to court documents, Duarte previously had been convicted in the May 24, 1975, shooting death of a man named Donald Erdman. Detectives told the Sacramento grand jury that indicted Duarte that the victim had been shot once in the head. Erdman's body was found on the American River levee near North 10th Street with his pants down to his knees, the documents said.

Duarte was convicted of second-degree murder in the Erdman killing. He received a term of seven years to life in prison. He served five years.

The body of Serena Williams, 35, was found slumped over her kitchen stove in her residence in the 4900 block of Douvan Court. She had been shot once in the left eye.

September 20, 2012
Update: Gloria Drive apartment fire controlled after woman jumps to safety

Firefighters have gained control of a two-alarm fire at an apartment house on Gloria Drive near 43rd Avenue in south Sacramento this morning.

The fire, affecting four units, two downstairs and two upstairs, broke out around 7:30 a.m.

Firefighters have searched the apartments. There had been an early report of somebody trapped in one unit, a Sacramento City Fire Department official reported.

One woman was trapped on a second floor balcony and was forced to jump. She was transported to the hospital for treatment of her injuires.

September 20, 2012
Ceremony to mark 40th anniversary of tragic crash into Farrell's

FARRELLS FIREMAN.JPGA ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of an airplane crash into a south Sacramento ice cream parlor that killed 22 people is scheduled for Sunday.

The ceremony in remembrance of the victims who died in the 1972 crash into the Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor across Freeport Boulevard from Executive Airport will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The ceremony at a memorial commemorating the day is being conducted by the Firefighters Burn Institute and the City of Sacramento. The memorial site is at the police and fire department headquarters, 5770 Freeport Blvd.

The tragedy occurred when an old war jet failed on takeoff from the airport during an air show.

PHOTO CAPTION: Fire and police officers rescue survivors of the Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor air accident on September 24, 1972. An F-86 jet crashed into the parlor killing 22 people. (Sacramento Bee / Leo Neibaur)

September 20, 2012
Sac PD provide tips to help cut down on property crime

The Sacramento Police Department has released six tips to help cut down on burglary, vandalism and graffiti:

 Observe: After a property crime, officers canvass neighborhoods looking for witnesses. Something observed may be critical to an investigation.

 Report: If a crime is witnessed, call it in.

 If something doesn't seem right, call the cops.

 Know your neighbors: watch out for one another.

 Use outdoor lights to prevent crime.

 If evidence is found, leave it alone. Burglary tools, broken property and abandoned spray cans left by suspects are police evidence.

September 19, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to teen stabbed at Luther Burbank High?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the boy who was stabbed at Luther Burbank High School a couple of years ago?
Submitted by: Jessica, Sacramento

ANSWER: In May 2005, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed in the chest in what police at the time described as a fight between associates of two rival street gangs on the steps of Luther Burbank High School.

September 19, 2012
Sacramento man headed to prison for cocaine trafficking

A Sacramento man has been sentenced in federal court in Sacramento to 20 years in prison for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.

Daryl M. Summerfield, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.

Between 2003 and March 2006, Summerfield had cocaine shipped in vans from California to Alaska, according to court documents. The vans were driven to Seattle, then shipped from Seattle to Alaska. When the cocaine arrived in Alaska, Summerfield flew to the state and oversaw its distribution through a network of drug distributors in Alaska, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

September 19, 2012
Victim of fatal crash in Cool identified as Georgetown woman

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office has identified the woman found dead Friday in an overturned vehicle in Cool as 22-year-old Marissa Forster of Georgetown.

Sheriff's deputies responded just before noon Friday to a report of a vehicle accident in the 2400 block of Highway 193 in Cool. They found a vehicle upside down 30 to 40 yards from the roadway. It appeared that the crash occurred some time before it was reported, but the time has not been determined, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Authorities said Forster was the only occupant of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner's investigation determined that she died of massive and immediate head trauma.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

September 19, 2012
Folsom man sentenced to prison for receiving child porn

A Folsom man was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento to five years in prison for receiving child pornography.

Matthew Mark Battersby, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Upon release from prison, he will be subject to 10 years of supervised probation, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, in September 2011, law enforcement officers identified a computer at Battersby's address offering files of child pornography on an Internet file-sharing service. Law enforcement agents established a direct connection with Battersby's computer and downloaded a video of child pornography. On Sept. 22, 2011, agents searched Battersby's residence and found approximately 15 image files and 179 video files of child pornography on his computer, authorities said.

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. The Sacramento task force investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement and sex trafficking.

September 19, 2012
Man draws 115-year-to-life sentence for 2010 crime spree

A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to 115 years to life in prison for a string of crimes he committed in Citrus Heights and North Highlands two years ago.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian sentenced James Earl Lawhead under the "three strikes" law, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

On July 25, 2010, Lawhead disguised himself and robbed the manager of the Blockbuster Video store, 7291 Greenback Lane, at gunpoint as the woman walked to the bank to make a store deposit, authorities said. Following a Citrus Heights Police Department investigation, a warrant was issued for Lawhead's arrest.

September 19, 2012
Yolo DA finds no criminal conduct by UC Davis pepper spray officers

By Darrell Smith

dvsmith@sacbee.com

The pepper-spraying of students by UC Davis police officers last November was not criminal conduct, Yolo County District Attorney's office concluded Wednesday following an inquiry into officers' response to protestors on the campus.

"(V)iewing the incident through the totality of the circumstances, there is insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of force involved in the November 18, 2011, pepper spraying was unlawful and therefore warrants the filing of criminal charges," officials said in a statement announcing the report's findings.

The response by campus police clad in riot gear last Nov. 18, punctuated by the image of police Lt. John Pike calmly pepper-spraying seated student protestors, was met with international scorn.

Pike was later relieved of duty; his police chief, Annette Spicuzza, resigned under fire; and withering reports from a specially-convened task force led by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso and independent consultant, Kroll, detailed a dysfunctional police department and "systematic and repeated failures" by university leaders.

Pike said he had not heard of the decision by the DA, but added that he was "extremely relieved."

"I have not reviewed or seen their report, but I am relieved at knowing they are not going to be bringing any charges," he said.

September 19, 2012
UPDATE: Parolee surrenders after stand-off at Sacramento apartment complex

A parolee has surrendered to Sacramento police after spending much of the afternoon holed up in an apartment complex.

The parolee, identified as 23-year-old Lamont Young, had fled from officers and taken refuge in an apartment at Mack Road and Center Parkway.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said the incident began at 12:38 p.m. when Young fled from a vehicle and officers pursued him to the apartment complex.

Morse said apartments were evacuated near the unit where Young was holed up. He said Young came out of the apartment and was taken into custody at 5:37 p.m.

Morse said the Young was wanted for a parole violation.

September 19, 2012
UPDATE: 60 inmates involved in New Folsom Prison riot that left 13 injured

Sixty inmates were involved in a riot at New Folsom Prison today that left one inmate with a gunshot wound from a correctional officer's rifle and 12 more inmates with injuries, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Four of the 13 inmates have already been treated and returned to New Folsom Prison, formally known as California State Prison-Sacramento. An unknown number of inmates suffered minor injuries and were treated at the facility, according to a news release from the CDCR.

No correctional officers were injured in the melee, which began about 11:15 a.m. at one of the prison's maximum security, general population yards. Prison officials say the cause of the riot is under investigation.

To break up the fight, correctional officers used less-than-lethal methods, including "blast dispersion rounds," before resorting to their Mini 14 rifles. Officers fired six shots, injuring one inmate, according to the CDCR news release.

The other inmates suffered stab wounds or head trauma.

Officers recovered four inmate-made weapons, the news release states.

California State Prison-Sacramento houses more than 2,600 inmates, most of them serving long sentences or those who had behavior issues at other institutions.

September 19, 2012
Coroner: Man shot girlfriend, then self in Colonial Heights murder-suicide

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The man found dead in his Colonial Heights home last week appears to have fatally shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Eugene K. Stevenson, 43, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest that authorities believe was self-inflicted, said Supervising Deputy Coroner Kim Gin. His girlfriend, Kassandra Atterberry, 41, died of multiple gunshot wounds, Gin said.

Last week, Sacramento police described the incident as a murder-suicide, but did not disclose the manner of death or who they believed was the assailant.

September 19, 2012
Light rail to Folsom restored after broken insulator, grass fire

Light rail cars to Folsom were back on track this morning after a broken insulator caused a disruption of passenger train service Tuesday afternoon.

About 2 p.m. Tuesday service was interrupted on the line between the Sunrise and Historic Folsom stations. Buses were called upon to ferry train passengers around the problem.

A Regional Transit official said an insulator broke and caused an electrical wire to fall. A resulting fire burned more than 6 acres. About 50 firefighters battled the blaze for about an hour before controlling it.

September 19, 2012
Update: Citrus Heights police release more information on fatal stabbing

Citrus Heights police this morning are investigating the fatal stabbing of a man found last night outside his residence.

Police were called about 10:50 p.m. to a home in the 5600 block of Mariposa Avenue across the street from Skycrest Elementary School. Initially, residents of the home tried to render aid to the man.

Once police arrived, officers also attempted life-saving efforts. However, the man was pronounced dead shortly after police responded.

Police said it appears that the man was attacked in front of the house. The victim's name has not been released, however, he is described as being in his late 20s or early 30s.

The motive for the stabbing is not known. Police do not have any information to indicate the killing is gang related.

Investigators continue to gather evidence this morning.

September 19, 2012
Update: Name of passenger in Jeep-bus collision released by coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office today has released the name of the man killed in a collision between a school bus and a sport-utility vehicle near Rancho Cordova.

He was identified as Lawrence Perez, 66, of Sacramento.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jasper Begay said the crash occurred at 3:50 p.m. Tuesday. A 1996 Jeep Cherokee was westbound on Jackson Highway when the driver ran a red light at Sunrise Boulevard, Begay said. An Elk Grove Unified School District bus traveling southbound on Sunrise, with only the driver on board, struck the passenger side of the Jeep.

Begay said that Perez, a passenger in the Jeep, died at the scene.

The Jeep's driver, a 50-year-old woman, was taken to a hospital with moderate to major injuries, and the bus driver was taken to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries, Begay said.

The accident remains under investigation, but Begay said the he expects the driver of the Jeep to be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

September 18, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to wrong-way driver in fatal Highwy 50 crash in El Dorado County?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Several years ago, an employee of Home Depot in Placerville finished his work shift and was driving home on Highway 50 westbound when his vehicle was hit head on by a vehicle traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. The driver of the westbound vehicle was killed in the accident and the driver of the wrong-way vehicle was seriously injured. The Home Depot employee had recently been married. Was the wrong-way driver ever convicted?
Submitted by: Pokopete, Garden Valley

ANSWER: Theresa Ghersanich pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter while driving intoxicated in the crash that killed Bruce Michael Bone of Orangevale.

September 18, 2012
Update: One person killed, two injured in school bus-SUV collision

A man was killed and two women were injured this afternoon in a collision between a school bus and a sport-utility vehicle near Rancho Cordova.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jasper Begay said the crash occurred at 3:50 p.m. A 1996 Jeep Cherokee was westbound on Jackson Highway when the driver ran a red light at Sunrise Boulevard, Begay said. An Elk Grove Unified School District bus traveling southbound on Sunrise, with only the driver on board, struck the passenger side of the Jeep.

Begay said the male passenger in the Jeep died at the scene. His name was not released pending notification of family.

September 18, 2012
Citrus Heights woman accused of making false police report

A Citrus Heights woman was arrested this evening, accused of making a false police report that led officers to cordone off an apartment complex this afternoon.

Citrus Heights officers responded to the 12800 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard about 3 p.m. after receiving a call from Nicholl Schmid, 31, who said there were men in her apartment with guns and they wouldn't let her leave, according to a Police Department news release.

Police received information that Schmid was in an apartment with one man. Officers were able to contact the man, who came out of the apartment without incident. Police subsequently negotiated with Schmid, who agreed to leave the apartment, and officers detained her.

After further investigation, police arrested Schmid on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and making a false police report. She was booked into Sacramento County Jail.

September 18, 2012
Man arrested after traffic stop turns up counterfeit money

ANTHONY+BUTLER+-23.jpgAn early morning traffic stop resulted in an arrest after Sacramento police officers found counterfeit money in the vehicle.

Anthony Butler (pictured), 23, was arrested after his vehicle was stopped at 1:49 a.m. today in the 6000 block of Stockton Boulevard. Sacramento police said Butler was arrested on suspicion of possessing counterfeit currency and for violation of his probation.

Butler was booked into Sacramento County Jail and is being held without bail.

September 18, 2012
Fatal collision involving school bus reported near Rancho Cordova

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal collision that occurred this shortly before 4 p.m.at Jackson Road and Sunrise Boulevard.

According to the CHP website, the collision involved a school bus and a Jeep.

Details were not immediately available. Return to www.sacbee.com for more information.

September 18, 2012
Shooter admits to manslaughter in 2010 Rancho Cordova killing

A man who shot and killed a woman's ex-boyfriend pleaded no contest Monday to voluntary manslaughter charges in Sacramento Superior Court.

Isaac Merciful Martinez, 21, entered the plea in the July 10, 2010, shooting death of Damien Burkholder in the 3000 block of Laurelhurst Drive in Rancho Cordova.

Martinez entered the plea after testimony had begun in his murder trial in front of Judge Michael P. Kenny.

Besides the voluntary manslaughter, Martinez admitted to gang and gun enhancements that will are expected to extend his total sentence under the plea arrangement to 31 years. Kenny scheduled Martinez' sentencing for Oct. 19.

According to court testimony, Martinez was in his car making out with a woman when Burkholder, her ex-boyfriend, showed up and a fight ensued.

September 18, 2012
Update: Folsom light-rail service to be restored in time for Wednesday commute

UPDATE: A grass fire at Folsom Boulevard and Highway 50 in Folsom this afternoon has disrupted light-rail service, but Regional Transit officials say they expect service to be restored in time for the Wednesday morning commute. RB RT Fire 1.JPG

The fire and a problem with an overhead wire has disrupted service on the light rail's Gold Line between the Sunrise and Historic Folsom stations. RT spokeswoman Alane Masui said this evening that shuttle buses will continue to transport passengers to and from the two stations those in between this evening. Riders are asked to walk to a nearby bus stop. Service on the Gold Line ends at 7 p.m.

The fire was started when an insulator on the light rail track blew, said Michelle Eidam, spokesperson for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

September 18, 2012
21 indicted in crackdown on student aid fraud

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A crackdown on student aid fraud in California was announced in Sacramento today by U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner and U.S. Department of Education Inspector General Kathleen Tighe.

They said 21 individuals have recently been indicted in Sacramento and Fresno for participating in student aid fraud schemes at 17 schools. The prosecutions grew out of investigations by Tighe's office aimed at shutting down fraud rings seeking to unlawfully exploit the federal aid programs offered to students.

"Federal student aid exists so that individuals can make their dreams of a higher education a reality, not for criminals to use as a personal slush fund," said Tighe at a press conference.

September 18, 2012
Update: Mother of Elk Grove beating suspect dies

The mother of an 11-year-old boy facing charges for lashing her with an electrical cord, has died.

Elk Grove Police spokesman officer Chris Trim said the mother's death was not related to any injuries allegedly inflicted by her son. The mother suffered from a pre-existing medical condition, Trim said.

The mother died about 9 p.m. Monday at a local hospital. The exact cause of death will have to come from the Sacramento County Coroner's office, Trim said.

The boy was released to the custody of his father on Monday. The boy has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.

The 51-year-old woman was beaten so severely she required hospitalization. The Bee is not naming the boy or the mother to comply with its policy of not identifying juvenile suspects.

The boy was his mother's primary caregiver. He was arrested on Sept. 10.

Details about the mother's disability have not been disclosed.

September 18, 2012
Update: Authorities say Foresthill bridge jumper is veteran daredevil

mug.jpgA man who had to be rescued from a perilously bending branch of a tall pine tree after parachuting from the Foresthill Bridge claims to be a veteran BASE jumper, authorities said today.

Rescuers early this morning were able to free Raymond Arrieta (left), 26, who became stuck in the tree below the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn. He was cited for being in the park after hours and participating in an unsafe activity, both misdemeanors.

The BASE jumper leapt from the bridge just before 9 p.m. but became caught in a Ponderosa Pine tree on his way down. The jumper was stuck in the tree about 100 feet above ground.

CalFire, Placer County Sheriff's deputies and California State Parks crews responded to the scene and figured how best to bring the base jumper to safety.

Responders called upon a Pacific Gas & Electric boom truck to pluck the jumper from the tree about 2:15 a.m. Arrieta was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

September 17, 2012
Foresthill Bridge jumper injured, stuck in tree

By Darrell Smith
dvsmsith@sacbee.com

Rescuers are working tonight to free an injured base jumper stuck in a tree under the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn.

The base jumper leapt from the bridge just before 9 p.m. but became caught in a tree on his way down, said CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant. The jumper remains about 100 feet above ground, Berlant said.

CalFire, Placer County and California State Parks crews have converged on the scene and are figuring how best to bring the base jumper to safety.

September 17, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What were circumstances of 1990s Land Park shooting?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What were the circumstances surrounding the drug-related shooting of Michael Savage in Land Park in the mid to late 1990s?
Submitted by: Mike, Elk Grove

ANSWER: Michael Savage was shot in the back of the head and his 18-year-old companion, Andre Carter, was killed in February 1995 as they attemtped to buy drugs at William Land Park.

September 17, 2012
Man who killed brother gets 32 months on weapons charge

A man accused on a weapons charge in the shooting death of his brother has pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 32 months in state prison.

Robert Manuel Steward, 34, entered his plea Sept. 10 in Sacramento Superior Court. He had been arrested after the July 2 shooting death of Dwain Latroy Steward, 40, at a residence in the 2500 block of Warrego Way near La Riviera Drive.

No charges were filed in the shooting, but Steward was named in a complaint with being an ex-con in possession of a weapon. According to court online records, Steward pleaded guilty in 1999 to assault with a deadly weapon.

Sheriff's officials said Steward claimed he shot his brother in self defense.

September 17, 2012
Rocklin teacher arrested in student sex case

A 33-year-old high school teacher was arrested by the Rocklin Police Department on Monday and is being held on suspicion of having an "unlawful intimate relationship" with a 17-year-old female student.

Matthew Yamamoto, a Whitney High School physics teacher, remain in Placer County jail pending $100,000 bail, said Lt. Lon Milka, a spokesman for the department.

He faces charges for child molestation and for arranging for a meeting with a minor for purposes of committing a lewd act.

Milka said the department received a call from a parent suspecting an inappropriate relationship on Saturday. Detectives were able to confirm enough facts to make an arrest, Milka said. He said the relationship was sexual in nature and had been going on for a couple months.

Milka said they are looking into whether there are any other victims.

Yamamoto lives in Rocklin.

September 17, 2012
Seventeen arrested in pot bust near Elk Grove

By Darrell Smith

dvsmith@sacbee.com

Seventeen people were arrested and 1,500 plants seized when state drug agents shut down a marijuana growing operation Monday near Elk Grove.

The 7 a.m. raid by the state's Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, wrapped a month-long investigation into the grow, tucked into cornfields and processed in a barn east of Interstate 5 near Lambert Road, said Department of Justice spokeswoman Michelle Gregory.

Gregory said the operation, first spotted by helicopter, was a sophisticated one. Photos showed the harvested marijuana drying on racks under shade of the barns and equipment agents believe was used to process the pot.

September 17, 2012
UPDATE: Fugitive in custody after Carmichael standoff

A fugitive wanted by the U.S. Marshal's Office has been taken into custody after a standoff at a Carmichael apartment complex.

Sacrarmento County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said the man was apprehended after deputies fired tear gas into the unit in the Westwood Apartments at Westwood Lane and Marconi Avenue, east of Mission Avenue.

Ramos said marshals went to the complex shortly before 11:30 a.m. searching for a fugitive from the state of Washington. They saw the man walk out of an apartment with a woman. When they approached him, he ran back inside the apartment.

September 17, 2012
Car-theft suspect accused of ramming Citrus Heights police car

Corey Lather.jpgA San Francisco man was arrested Saturday after allegedly ramming a Citrus Heights police car as he tried to flee from officers.

About 6:30 p.m., a Citrus Heights officer spotted an occupied stolen vehicle near Greenback and Van Maren lanes. The driver, identified as 27-year-old Corey Lather (pictured), fled in the vehicle, according to a Police Department news release.

The officer pursued Lather onto Mariposa Avenue and continued onto Challis Court. Lather turned around in the cul de sac and attempted to escape by ramming the police vehicle, officials said.

September 17, 2012
Judge says juror has 'consented' to Facebook postings release

The Sacramento juror who posted his thoughts on Facebook about a gang beating trial he sat on two years ago moved closer today to turning over his writings to a judge who ordered him in February 2011 to make them available.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny, following a meeting in his chambers with attorneys for the lawyer, Facebook and five defendants who want a new trial, said the juror has "consented" to the turnover.

Kenny said from the bench he will give the juror two weeks "to provide a specific dump of all information" he wrote and received on his Facebook page during the 2010 trial. The juror has fought the order for 17 months but has failed to have it overturned in various appellate courts.

The judge scheduled another hearing on the juror's Facebook postings for Oct. 1. The five defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 2.

September 17, 2012
Update: Sacramento police say Grant coach apparently shot girlfriend, then self after argument

COLEMANLAND.jpg

RDB453A.jpgSacramento police said today that it appears a Grant High School coach fatally shot his girlfriend, then shot himself.

Police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said in a written statement that Edward K. Coleman and his girlfriend Luv C. Land apparently argued Friday evening, the last time their respective family members heard from the couple.

Officers discovered the bodies of the couple in their Natomas house Sunday morning after family members said they hadn't heard from them for nearly two days.

Michele Gigante said both had gunshot wounds and a firearm was found near the bodies.

September 16, 2012
Grant assistant coach, girlfriend found dead

By Melody Gutierrez and Joe Davidson
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

Sacramento police officers discovered the bodies of a couple in their Natomas home Sunday morning after family members said they hadn't heard from them for nearly two days.

The man was identified as Grant High School assistant football coach Ed Coleman, according to school officials.

The Bee was unable to identify the woman, as the Sacramento County Coroners Office did not release the names of the two people.

September 16, 2012
Rancho Cordova man dies of gunshot wounds

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

Sacramento County Coroner's officials have identified a man shot to death in Rancho Cordova late last week as 33-year-old Clifton Riddle.

Sheriff's officials found Riddle in his car at the 2400 block of Moraine Circle on Thursday night after he called them to say he had been shot.

Riddle was taken to a hospital with injuries from multiple gunshot wounds to various parts of his body, Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said.

September 16, 2012
Juvenile father arrested in Woodland baby kidnapping

A 16-year-old father was arrested today for investigation of kidnapping his 5-week-old baby from the child's mother, police said.

Sgt. Steve Sexton reported that the kidnapping occurred Saturday night at a home in the 1200 block of Alice Street in Woodland.

Police responded to the call shortly 10:30 p.m. Witnesses told police that the suspect argued with the 16-year-old mother of the baby before forcibly taking the child and leaving in a vehicle.

After about 45 minutes, the suspect returned the child to the mother and fled again before police arrived, authorities said.

When the suspect came back a third time, shortly before 1 a.m. today, he was arrested by waiting officers. He was booked into Yolo County Juvenile Hall.

September 16, 2012
Auburn man arrested in fatal recreational boating crash

sandow122923.jpgA 53-year-old man has been arrested for investigation of manslaughter in the boating collision Saturday evening on Englebright Lake that left two people dead and two others injured, a Yuba County Sheriff's official said today.

Sheriff's Lt. Damon Gil said Jeffrey Sandow of Auburn was arrested this morning at the Yuba County Sheriff's Department.

Gil said the investigation shows Sandow was under the influence of alcohol while piloting one of the two power boats in the collision. The Sheriff's Department received a report on the crash shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

September 16, 2012
Placerville's 'Rock Fire' is 60 percent contained, officials say

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

A wildfire near the hairpin turn where Highway 193 meets Rock Creek Road has burned 45 acres north of Placerville and is 60 percent contained, a battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said today.

Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson said no structures were threatened in the Rock Fire, which started shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday and burned in a northerly direction. The fire has burned mainly brush land north of Placerville and the Chili Bar Reservoir and south of Georgetown.

September 15, 2012
Sacramento man killed during robbery of his home

By Richard Chang
rchang@sacbee.com

A 22-year-old man was shot and killed during a home robbery late Friday night, Sacramento police said.

The shooting occurred around 11 p.m. at the 3500 block of Summer Park Drive. Officers found the wounded man in his apartment and gave emergency medical aid, but the victim died on the scene, according to police spokesman Doug Morse.

Police are still investigating the shooting.

September 14, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was outcome of trial for man accused of kidnapping, raping teen?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What is the current status of the Richard S. Johnson trial?
Submitted by: VXSGUY, Antelope

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury in June convicted Richard S. Johnson of sexually assaulting a child younger than 14 and also found an allegation of kidnapping to be true.

September 14, 2012
Teens injured when SUV overturns in I-80 collision in Auburn

Eight teenagers were injured this afternoon in a collision between an SUV and a tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 80 in Auburn.

The crash occurred about 12: 50 p.m. According to the California Highway Patrol, a 2013 Freightliner tractor-trailer rig was traveling eastbound on I-80 near Highway 49 in the right lane when a 2004 green Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by a 17-year-old Auburn girl entered the freeway from northbound Highway 49.

The SUV driver lost control of her vehicle and collided with the right side of the tractor-trailer, according to a CHP news release. The SUV also struck a guardrail and overturned, coming to rest in the roadway.

September 14, 2012
Woman arrested in fatal July shooting in south Sacramento area

A 20-year-old woman has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman in south Sacramento two months ago.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department announced that Andreawanna Clemmons, 20, was taken into custody at her Sacramento residence earlier today in the death of 38-year-old Lisa Bisher. Clemmons was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of murder and is ineligible for bail at this time, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Deputies were dispatched shortly after 3 a.m. July 18 to the 7900 block of Loucreta Drive regarding a woman who had been shot. They arrived to find Bisher with a gunshot wound to her upper body. Bisher was transported to an area hospital, where she died.

September 14, 2012
Chico mortgage broker sentenced to prison in kickback scheme

A Chico mortgage broker was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento to three years and 10 months in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Kesha Danine Fortune Haynie, 41, was convicted by a jury in March of two counts of mail fraud in connection with the scheme. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia.

According to testimony presented at trial, Haynie operated Empire Mortgage in Chico. From April through December 2007, she originated fraudulent loan applications in connection with a cash-back-to-buyer mortgage fraud scheme, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

September 14, 2012
Defendants in fatal pot shooting turn down plea deal

A woman and her son accused in the shooting death of a purported pot thief last year refused a plea deal today that would have guaranteed them no worse than a year in county jail.

Instead, Vanna Nomesiri and her son, Chinda Nomesiri, chose to go to trial, which Sacramento Superior Court Judge Raoul M. Thorbourne scheduled for Feb. 12.

Vanna Nomesiri, 52, is accused of involuntary manslaughter in her fatal shooting of Vue Cheng, 29. Her 32-year-old son has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities say he beat Cheng with a shovel after his mother shot the man.

September 14, 2012
Three convicted murderers receive lengthy prison terms

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

Three gang members received lengthy prison terms today for their convictions on murder and other charges in the Jan. 10, 2011, shooting death of Deandre James Ellison in the driveway of his Del Paso Heights home.

Jesse Juan Cornejo, 23, received a term of 130 years to life, plus two months, from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan. Cornejo's brother, Adam Michael Cornejo, 18, and Isaac Vasquez, 17, were each sentenced to 129 years to life, plus four months.

According to evidence at trial, the defendants -- found by jurors to be acting for the benefit of their street gang -- shot and killed Ellison, 20, following an exchange of hard looks in front of the victim's house.

September 14, 2012
Killer sentenced in south area murder; DA going for more

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet today sentenced London Ramon Shaw to 15 years to life in prison, plus 10 more years, for his second-degree murder conviction in the July 16, 2009, south area shooting death of Sevon Boles.

Shaw, 24, of San Francisco, received the added 10 years to his term for the use of a firearm in the killing of Boles.

Prosecutors had charged Shaw with being shooter, but jurors did not reach a finding on whether Shaw personally used the firearm. Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz today asked for a retrial on that issue, and Sweet scheduled Shaw for a Sept. 28 arraignment. A finding that he was an actual gunman could increase Shaw's sentencing enhancement to 25 years to life.

A second defendant, Dominique Lavance Givens, 25, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

The shooting of Boles, 26, took place during a confrontation in an apartment complex on Sunnyslope Drive. No motive for the shooting was ever firmly established.


September 14, 2012
Coroner IDs 2nd body in Colonial Heights murder-suicide

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the man found dead in his Colonial Heights home Wednesday night as 43-year-old Eugene K. Stevenson.

The bodies of Stevenson and his girlfriend, 41-year-old Kassandra Atterberry, were discovered in the 15th Avenue home after a relative who hadn't heard from them in a few days came to check on them.

Sacramento police said they believe the two died in a murder-suicide, but have not said who they believe was the aggressor or how the two died.

Autopsies are scheduled for today.

September 14, 2012
Seven indicted in $100 million Ponzi scheme

By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton

dwalsh@sacbee.com

After at least four years of investigation, federal authorities announced sweeping indictments of seven businessmen who they say ran the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the region.

Lee Loomis and his father-in-law, John Hagener, were charged along with five associates in an indictment unsealed today that accuses each of 19 counts of mail fraud and 31 counts of wire fraud.

Federal authorities have said losses from the scheme the men allegedly pioneered could top $100 million and affected investors nationwide who poured their life savings and retirement accounts into bogus business deals that offered them returns as high as 12 percent.

September 14, 2012
Possible Antelope arson under investigation

Firefighters are investigating a possible arson in Antelope this morning after putting out a home fire, Sacramento Metro Fire District officials said.

At 2:53 a.m., firefighters received a call of a house fire at 7858 Caber Way. Firefighters saw smoke coming from the house and knocked on the front door. The door was locked and nobody answered, causing firefighters to force entry.

When searching through the house, nobody was found inside.

Firefighters put out multiple fires located in the attic and the hallway of the house.

The fire is currently under investigation.

September 14, 2012
Update: Woman arrested in motorcyclist's death

Victoria Brinkley-Hunter,  57.jpgSacramento police arrested Victoria Brinkley-Hunter today in connection with Thursday night's fatal motorcycle crash, police officials said.

Brinkley-Hunter, 57, was arrested on suspicions of felony hit and run and driving under the influence.

The Sacramento Coroner's Office identified the victim in the accident as 45-year-old Phillip Montiero.

The crash happened just after 7 p.m. at the intersection of 24th Street and 45th Avenue near the Sacramento Executive Airport. Brinkley-Hunter allegedly fled the scene in her vehicle after striking Montiero, leaving him injured in the street, police said.

Montiero was transported to a local hospital and died later of his injuries.

PHOTO CAPTION: Victoria Brinkley-Hunter

September 14, 2012
Police: Auburn man threatens roommate with chainsaw

An Auburn man allegedly chased his roommate through their home while wielding a chainsaw, according to the Auburn Police Department.

Officers responded to a call near Gold and Virginia streets at 12:15 a.m. Thursday. Marvin Daniels, 63, had reportedly chased his roommate down a hallway and into a bedroom armed with a running chainsaw, police said.

Daniels' roommate stayed in the bedroom until Daniels went outside the home and took the screen off the window to the room in which the roommate was staying, according to a police. Daniels then held his revved-up chainsaw through the open window, police said in a press release.

September 13, 2012
Motorcyclist killed in collision near Executive Airport

A 45-year-old man was killed this evening after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle.

Sacramento police said the crash occurred at 7:10 p.m. at 24th Street and 45th Avenue, near Sacramento Executive Airport. The vehicle left the scene, leaving the injured motorcyclist in the roadway.

The motorcyclist was transported to an area hospital, where he died of his injuries. His name has not been released pending notification of family.

September 13, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone convicted in 2003 killing of North Sacramento can collector?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Were there any convictions in the December 2003 killing of Thanh Khaleck around Traction Avenue in North Sacramento?
Submitted by: Sam, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two men pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the December 2003 slaying of Thanh Khaleck, 43, who was shot and killed as he collected cans on a North Sacramento bike trail to support his family.

September 13, 2012
Update: Man accused of paying undercover detective to kill pregnant wife

Sacramento police have arrested a 30-year-old man after he allegedly tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his wife, who police have now revealed is pregnant.

Nasim.jpg

About 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, patrol officers received information that Hader Nasim (pictured) was searching for someone to kill his wife, according to a Police Department news release. Homicide and undercover detectives were called to investigate.

A meeting was set up between an undercover detective and Nasim to discuss the specifics of how and when Nasim wanted his wife killed. At the meeting, Nasim told the detective that he wanted him to immediately kill his wife in exchange for money, police said.

September 13, 2012
CHP identifies woman who died in Auburn Boulevard crash

The California Highway Patrol has identified the woman who died in a collision in the Foothill Farms area Wednesday night as 19-year-old Tayler Hutchins of Sacramento.

According to a CHP news release, Hutchins was an unlicensed driver.

The collision occurred about 7:30 p.m. as Hutchins was driving a white 1991 Lexus LS400 eastbound on Auburn Boulevard at Garfield Avenue.

September 13, 2012
Coroner IDs second victim in Rancho Cordova double-homicide

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the second victim fatally shot in a Rancho Cordova apartment Tuesday night as 68-year-old James Anthony Angelonis.

Angelonis and his caregiver, Sandra Foster, were fatally shot by two unknown assailants who ran into a West La Loma Drive apartment about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The attack was witnessed by an 11-year-old girl who hid in a closet during the shooting, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The suspects, who were described only as wearing dark clothes, have not been identified.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

September 13, 2012
Boy accused of beating mom appears in court

By Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com

A boy accused of beating his disabled mother with an electrical cord made his first appearance in court today, virtually swallowed by his chair as he sat next to his defense lawyer in Sacramento County Juvenile Court.

The Elk Grove youth, looking wide-eyed and younger than his 11 years, is facing charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with injuries to his mother. Police arrested him at school Monday after they investigated a report that he had physically abused his mother, who is 51 and suffers from disabling medical conditions. According to a police spokesman, the mother and son lived on their own in an Elk Grove home, where the son had primary responsibility for his mother's care.

Juvenile Court referee Natalie Lindsey appointed public defender Steven Garrett as the boy's attorney, and postponed his arraignment until Monday.

September 13, 2012
Yuba County deputies seek suspects after shot fired into vehicle

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department is investigating a report that someone shot into an occupied vehicle in the East Linda community Wednesday night.

Deputies responded to the 6000 block of Gossett Avenue just before 11 p.m. after a 28-year-old woman reported that someone had shot at her vehicle. The woman told deputies that she and her 27-year-old boyfriend were in her Ford Explorer southbound on Gossett Avenue when a northbound vehicle drove up beside them.

One of the people in the northbound vehicle got out of the car and attempted to enter the Explorer, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The boyfriend, who was driving the Explorer, accelerated to prevent the man from getting into the vehicle. As they drove away, the occupants reported hearing what sounded like a gunshot, followed by something striking their vehicle.

September 13, 2012
Twin Rivers PD hit with excessive force lawsuit

By Denny Walsh and Melody Gutierrez
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A civil rights lawsuit was filed today in Sacramento federal court on behalf of five men who were arrested two years ago by a Twin Rivers police officer for what they say was no apparent reason. The plaintiffs also say that later at the police station three of them were brutally choked by another Twin Rivers officer before they were taken to the Sacramento Main Jail and booked.

On Sept. 17, 2010, Officer Taras Chernyy approached four of the men while they were sitting peacefully in a car on a North Highlands street and, when one of them pressed the officer on what they had done to deserve his attention, Chernyy pulled his service revolver and summoned a small army of officers from three departments, who responded with guns drawn, according to the suit filed by Sacramento attorney Stewart Katz.

At the police station, Officer Branche Smith flew into a tirade because the handcuffed men questioned the validity of their arrests, and he used both hands to choke Andrew Latshaw, the most verbal of the four, Demonte Kelly and Austin Westall, the civil suit charges. Branche then pointed a Taser gun at Westall's chest and threatened to "light you up" if Westall didn't "stop shaking."

Smith is facing misdemeanor criminal charges in connection with the incident.

"These actions took place within the view of nearly half of the Twin Rivers Police Department's officers," the suit alleges. "None of the officers took any steps to intervene or protect the plaintiffs."

The district attorney's office declined to bring charges against any of the five arrestees on a long list of suspected crimes authored by the officers.

Christopher Breck, Twin Rivers police chief at the time of the incident, has been on paid administrative leave since November.

In addition to Latshaw, Kelly and Westall, plaintiffs include Jovon Kelly and Andrew Gutierrez, who was not in the car but asleep in a nearby house when the police invasion started. Also a .plaintiff is Wendy Segarra, who owns the car the four were in and is the mother of Westall's girlfriend. She was not at the scene of the arrests and had loaned Westall the car, which was impounded.

Named as defendants are Breck; Smith; Chernyy; Twin Rivers Sgt. Chue Lor and Officers Anthony Ruiz and Emily Kelly, who were at the scene of the arrests; Frank Porter, former Twin Rivers Unified School District superintendent, and Ziggy Robeson, the district's deputy superintendent. The latter two and Breck are accused of fostering a culture that encouraged abuses of police powers and allowed them to go unpunished.

The suit alleges multiple constitutional violations, including unreasonable seizure, excessive force, derelict supervision and training, and unlawful taking of the car.

"Unfortunately," the suit states, "these five plaintiffs are still saddled by the (state) Department of Justice records, which reflect their arrests on what on the face seem to be serious felonies....These computer entries continue to cause great difficulties for plaintiffs in both employment pursuits and in seeking further education."


September 13, 2012
Regents approve pepper spray settlement

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

The University of California regents today approved a settlement to end the lawsuit filed last February over the pepper spray incident at UC Davis.
The regents approved the deal in a closed session during a meeting in San Francisco, a spokesman said, but details of the agreement will not be released until they are filed with the federal court in Sacramento, where the suit was filed.
A total of 21 current and former students who were hit with pepper spray during a Nov. 18 deomonstration on campus sued over the incident and were represented by Sacramento attorney Mark Merin and the American Civil Liberties Union.

September 13, 2012
Sacramento police: Bodies found in Colonial Heights result of apparent murder-suicide

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified one of two people found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in a Colonial Heights home Wednesday as 41-year-old Kassandra Atterberry.

Atterberry was a Fresno resident, according to the coroner's office.

Sacramento police detective said today that they suspect both people died in a murder-suicide. However, they cannot yet say which person was the aggressor, said Officer Doug Morse.

September 13, 2012
Sacramento police arrest former teacher on suspicion of lewd acts with a student

By Kim Minugh and David Ruiz
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento police this week arrested a 38-year-old teacher on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor.

digino.jpgMichael Digino was released from the Sacramento County Main Jail on Wednesday, according to jail booking records.

Digino taught at Merryhill School in the Pocket area until the allegations came to light, according to a letter to parents from the school's principal, Denise Ondrof.

September 13, 2012
Update: Fatal accident causes closure of westbound Highway 12 near Lodi for several hours

A pick-up truck driving eastbound along Highway 12 near Lodi was involved in a head-on collision with a big rig traveling westbound today around 6 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Angel Arceo.

A second collision involving three vehicles followed about seven minutes later, according to a CHP report.

Witness statements say the pick-up was swerving back and forth along the highway before crashing. Arceo said CHP officers have no suspicion of drugs or alcohol.

September 13, 2012
CHP Officer Youngstrom's funeral today, public welcome

Funeral services for slain California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon Youngstrom are planned for today at 10 a.m. in Vacaville.

Services will be held at The Mission Church, 6391 Leisure Town Road, in Vacaville. A press release from the California Highway Patrol said the family has asked for privacy, but understands if members of the public wish to attend.

Youngstrom was shot and killed after a routine traffic stop on Sept. 4 along Interstate 680. He was attending to a dead deer on the side of the freeway when a fellow CHP officer flagged down a Jeep for suspicions of an obstructed license plate. After a few seconds of talking with the driver, Youngstrom was fired at and died later after being taken off life support at a Walnut Creek hospital.

September 12, 2012
Woman dies in collision following reported traffic dispute on Auburn Boulevard

A 19-year-old Sacramento woman died this evening in a collision on Auburn Boulevard in the Foothill Farms area.

California Highway Patrol Officer Lizz Dutton said the woman was driving a 1991 white Lexus eastbound on Auburn Boulevard near Garfield Avenue about 7:30 p.m. when, according to witnesses, a blue BMW came up fast behind her as she was stopped at a stop sign. The woman yelled at the occupants of the car and then reportedly tried to prevent them from passing her, first by repeatedly hitting her brakes and then by pulling in front of the car when it went into a turn lane.

Dutton said the woman lost control of her car and traveled into the westbound lane, where her vehicle was struck broadside by a 1991 Mercedes. The Lexus overturned and came to rest on its wheels.

September 12, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was outcome of case involving weapons seized in Lincoln?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What became of the two people arrested in Lincoln for possession of multiple firearms and hand grenades. One of them was a woman, the other a man. Have they gone to court yet? What was the outcome?
Submitted by: Jim, Boston

ANSWER: Eric William Smith and Jennifer Mulhern, both of Lincoln, were arrested in January 2011 following a drug and gang investigation by the Roseville Police Department's Crime Suppression Unit.

September 12, 2012
UPDATE: Man, woman found dead at Colonial Heights home

Sacramento police are investigating the deaths of a man and woman who were found this afternoon at a home in the 5100 block of 15th Avenue.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said family members had gone to the home shortly after 5 p.m. to check on the welfare of individuals they had not heard from for some time. They found the man and woman, both in their 40s. Morse said the two were boyfriend and girlfriend.

Police declined to release any information on the cause of death. Morse said detectives are still investigating at the scene.

September 12, 2012
High-speed chase in El Dorado County ends in casino parking lot

A man on probation was arrested this afternoon after leading Placerville police on a high-speed chase with a child in his vehicle.

Placerville officers went to the Safeway parking lot about 12:30 p.m. to conduct a probation search of Paul Deocampo, 27, who had been seen in the area, according to a Police Department news release. When officers approached his parked vehicle, Deocampo refused to obey their commands and started to reach into his vehicle for an unknown object, police said. Deocampo then started his vehicle, and one of the officers reached in through the driver's side door try to keep him from driving away.

Police said Deocampo began to drive off, dragging the officer about 10 feet. The officer was able to break free, and Deocampo sped out of the parking lot.

September 12, 2012
Red-light cameras installed at Foothill Farms intersection

A new red-light photo enforcement camera system is scheduled to go into operation Thursday at Auburn Boulevard and Garfield Avenue, in the Foothill Farms area.

The system is being tested and is to go "live" at 12:01 a.m., according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. At 12:01 a.m. Oct. 13, red-light violators at the intersection will begin to receive citations by mail.

September 12, 2012
Man accused of carjackings, robberies in Amador County

knowlesbrowder.jpgA 37-year-old Jackson man was arrested Tuesday afternoon, accused of carjackings and robberies at area motels and a church center.

Jackson police officers responded about 1 p.m. Tuesday to the Best Western motel regarding a disturbance involving Ryan Bran Knowlesbrowder (pictured). Officers subsequently reported that Knowlesbrowder had left the area and was last seen driving a stolen purple sedan.

About 1:25 p.m., Amador County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Sundance Motel, 12484 Depot Road in Martell regarding a report that a man matching Knowlesbrowder's description unlawfully entered several rooms, two of which were occupied, and attempted to obtain keys to vehicles. He reportedly fought with one person over vehicle keys, then left on foot, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

September 12, 2012
Sacramento Police ask for help catching Del Paso Heights burglar

burglary1.JPGburglary3.jpg
Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in identifying a burglar who hit a Del Paso Heights business last month.

Officer Michele Gigante said the suspected burglar broke into a business on the 2100 block of Grand Avenue shortly before 6 a.m. on Aug. 16. Cameras caught the suspect's image on film, and police hope someone in the public will recognize him, she said.

The suspect is described as a man in his high 20s to early 30s, medium build with short dark hair. He has been seen wearing a camouflage baseball hat, dark shoes, and gray sweatpants.

Anyone with any information regarding the individual is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

This post was updated by The Bee's Kim Minugh.

September 12, 2012
Deputies investigating home-invasion robbery in Rio Linda

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are investigating a home-invasion robbery in Rio Linda today in which a man was beaten with a baseball bat, according to authorities.

The man's condition is not known, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Check back later for more information.

September 12, 2012
'Bad Hair Bandit' gets 10 years in prison

badhair.JPGCynthia Lynn Van Holland was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for 21 bank robberies, a Department of Justice press release said. Van Holland must also pay more than $33,000 in restitution, according to United States District Judge Kimberly J. Miller's sentence.

Van Holland, 48, is described as a "transient" from the states of Idaho and Washington. Van Holland robbed banks across California, Washington, Oregon and Montana. The last bank she robbed was a Bank of the West branch in Auburn on Aug. 15, after which a witness saw her flee and reported her license plate number.

During the bank robberies Van Holland wore a variety of "unusual wigs and disguises" the release said, resulting in her 'Bad Hair Bandit' title.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cynthia Van Holland

September 12, 2012
Goods for homeless Sacramento vets reported stolen

By Stephen Magagnini smagagnini@sacbee.com

More than $23,000 in goods intended to help 400 struggling California veterans was stolen from Boy Scout Camp Pollock, according to Sacramento Stand Down.

"They took everything from two ladders in a closed electric crate, right down to hoodies, men's socks, military style boots, baseball caps, bath towels, hygiene products, over 500 brand new pairs of men's underwear, pots pans and big cooking vessels," said Barbara Ross, director of 2012 Sacramento Stand Down, which every year provides free services to hundreds of homeless veterans from the Korean War to Afghanistan.

September 12, 2012
Judge delays Hirschfield case to Sept. 24 over lawyer's injury

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

A judge today postponed the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial until Sept. 24 as a result of a knee injury to defense attorney Linda Parisi that required surgery.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet agreed to delay the trial, on the request of Parisi's two fellow defense attorneys, assistant public defenders Ken Schaller and David Lynch.

Hirschfield, 63, is accused of abducting and killing UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both 18, on Dec. 20, 1980. The couple was last seen leaving the Veterans Memorial Theater in Davis after assisting in the production of The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were found 30 miles east off of Folsom Boulevard in a ravine near the Rancho Cordova-Folsom border.

September 12, 2012
Fire strikes abandoned Rancho Cordova motel for fifth time

By David Ruiz
druiz@sacbee.com

If 'lightning always strikes twice' and 'good things comes in three,' then a vacant Rancho Cordova motel is proving 'fire favors five.'

The First Value Inn at 10271 Folsom Boulevard caught fire Monday for the fifth time in two years according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire press release.

At 1:34 P.M. Sacramento Metro firefighters responded to reports of thick smoke coming from the Rancho Cordova motel. When the crew arrived, they found the vacant motel with a fire on the first floor and temporary fencing surrounding it, the release said.

September 11, 2012
Two people found fatally shot in Rancho Cordova apartment

West_LaLoma_Murder.jpgSheriff's deputies are searching for assailants in the neighborhood around West La Loma Drive in Rancho Cordova after two people were fatally shot in an apartment this evening.

Sgt. Jason Ramos said deputies were called to the area about 8:45 p.m. He said an 11-year-old girl had gone from her home to an apartment across the street at 2086 West La Loma. As she entered the apartment, two individuals rushed in behind her, knocking her to the floor.

The girl got up and ran from the apartment. As she ran back across the street to her own apartment complex, she heard two gunshots. She told her family what happened and they called 911.

September 11, 2012
Woodland boy reports suspicious encounter with truck driver

Woodland police are investigating a report that a man may have tried to lure a boy into a truck late this afternoon.

An officer responded to a report of suspicious circumstances. A 12-year-old boy told the officer that he was outside Lee Middle School, 520 West St., about 5:20 p.m. when a man in a pickup pulled up next to him.

The man asked the boy if he knew what time is was. He then asked the youth if he wanted to look in the truck, and then if he wanted to get in the truck, according to a Police Department news release. After the boy said "No" to each question, the man drove away from the area.

September 11, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in '93 love triangle' murder?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Somewhere around 1994, Harry Ambler was murdered in a bizarre love triangle. Whatever happened to the convicted parties?
Submitted by: Brandon, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two men eventually were convicted of the 1993 shooting death of 26-year-old Harry Shahan Ambler Jr.

September 11, 2012
Parolee from Carmichael accused of drugs, weapons offenses

Michael Ramborger image001 (5).pngA Carmichael man suspected of selling drugs in Roseville and other communities throughout the region has been arrested by Roseville police.

Detectives from the department's vice and narcotics enforcement team arrested Michael Ramborger (pictured), 45, last week in the 2500 block of Marconi Avenue in Sacramento County's Arden Arcade area. During the arrest, detectives seized six ounces of methamphetamine and a quarter-ounce of heroin, according to a Police Department news release. Authorities said both drugs were packaged for sale. Also seized were a loaded handgun with its serial number removed and other illegal items.

Ramborger was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of drug an weapons offenses and is being held in Sacramento County Jail in lieu of $290,000.

He also is being held without bail on a "flash incarceration" on suspicion of violating the terms of his post release community supervision. Authorities said Ramborger is a state prison parolee classified under AB109 as a "nonviolent, non-serious, non-sex-offender." Post release community supervision offenders are supervised by county probation and local law enforcement officers, rather than state parole officers.

September 11, 2012
Folsom pair arrested following robbery at Roseville bank

oldach_cody.jpegholkko_alexandra.jpegTwo Folsom residents have been arrested in connection with a bank robbery Monday afternoon in Roseville.

Officers responded at 12:59 p.m. to a robbery that had just occurred at the Bank of America in Roseville Square.

A man armed with a butcher knife approached a clerk and presented a note demanding money, according to a Roseville Police Department news release. The clerk gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash, and he left the bank. No injuries were reported.

September 11, 2012
DA's office warns of scam promising prize money for upfront fee

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully is advising residents to beware of a scam that promises prize money for a significant upfront fee.

Leyne Milstein, the city of Sacramento's finance director, said she alerted the DA's office, along with the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies this week after her father nearly became a scam victim.

Milstein said her father received a call informing him that he had won a lottery. All he needed to do to claim the prize was purchase two $500 Green Dot Moneypak cards and meet lottery representatives at a bank. Once he provided the representatives with the cards, they would deposit a multimillion-dollar check in his account.

September 11, 2012
14 year term in huge mortgage fraud case

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Christopher Jared Warren was sentenced Tuesday in Sacramento federal court to 14 years and seven months in prison for his role in the notorious Loomis Wealth Solutions mortgage and investment frauds and for robbing a Florida mortgage lender of $7.4 million.

While Warren spent just a few months with Roseville-based Loomis Wealth Solutions, the deals he did resulted in losses to six major mortgage lenders of almost $12.5 million.

After a protracted hearing and more than a little hesitation, U. S. District Judge John A. Mendez chose to go with the prison term agreed upon in January as part of his plea bargain with the government. He pleaded guilty to identity theft and wire fraud related to cheating lenders out of nearly $20 million.

Warren, 29, has been held in the Nevada County jail since early 2009, when he was arrested after a brief but peripatetic flight from federal authorities. Some of his loot is still missing.

September 11, 2012
Firefighters climb Sacramento's Renaissance tower to remember 9/11 brethren

RP MEMORIAL STAIR WALKA.jpg

By David Ruiz

druiz@sacbee.com

Close to 400 firefighters, policemen, their family members waited expectantly Tuesday morning in a vacant retail space on the first floor of downtown Sacramento's Renaissance Building. In a few minutes, 343 firefighters would begin a 110-story climb to honor their fallen New York counterparts who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 11 years ago today.

Last year, for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, firefighters came from Los Angeles and San Diego to make the climb, said coordinator Captain Eric Guida of the Sacramento Fire Department. He said he made the climb for the first event four years ago, but has transitioned to planning it since then.

Tuesday, the firefighters from Sacramento, Woodland, El Dorado, San Jose, and more were present.

Clipped onto each climber's jacket was a deceased firefighter's name, each representing one of the 343 who died on 9/11. At the end of the climb, each firefighter added the name to a memorial and rang a bell.

Before the ascent, a marching crew of eight - equipped with drums and bagpipes - walked through the crowd creating a center aisle.

At the end of the aisle stood guest speaker Captain Mike Dugan of the New York Fire Department who responded to the September 11 attacks. Dugan thanked the volunteers for their compassion and honor.Lining up for the hour and a half task, firefighters were visited by their wives and children who wished them good luck.

To complete 110 stories, firefighters must climb 26 stories three times over and then climb all the way to the roof - 32 stories - on the fourth repetition.

Guida said that firefighters sign up to volunteer in July, and extra names are put on a standby list. Since scheduling conflicts are common, Guida said almost everybody on the standby list gets the opportunity to climb.

On the 26th floor and basement are beverages and snacks for the firefighters when they need to refuel. Guida said that if a climber becomes too tired to continue, another climber on the standby list can finish the climb.

Guida said having separate climbers for the same name doesn't dilute the purpose. "What matters is that those names get to the roof."

Photo caption: Firefighters walk up the steps toward the top of the Renaissance Tower in Sacramento on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 to honor all 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo by Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

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September 11, 2012
Linnea Lomax hanged herself, father says; memorial scheduled

RB Lomax 3.JPGBy Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Linnea Lomax, the 19-year-old UC Davis student found dead last week along the American River, hanged herself, her father said today.

Craig Lomax made the disclosure during a press conference in Placerville called to thank the volunteers who had spent months searching for Lomax, who disappeared 10 weeks ago after leaving a psychiatric hospital.

Lomax had been depressed and fearful that she might fail a final exam at school.

Surrounded by more than a dozen family members and friends, Craig Lomax and his wife, Marianne, talked about their daughter's bright spirit, her rapid descent into mental illness and her tragic end.

"Her delusional fears overcame her," Craig Lomax said in relaying the suicide.

"She is our dear, sweet daughter who could not be loved more," he added later. "Our pain right now is great because our love is great."

The Lomaxes thanked friends and family for their support and the Sacramento community - including throngs of strangers who helped in the search - for its kindness.

"From the homeless to the elite, you made our daughter your daughter," Craig Lomax said. "You made our need inspire your prayers."

They also thanked firefighters, police and mental health professionals who tried to help Linnea.

Craig Lomax said he and Marianne are devastated and unable to see clear solutions right now. However, he said they hope to create change that can prevent other deaths like Linnea's.

"We feel the loss was unnecessary and unavoidable," he said. "We look forward to playing our part in change that saves lives."

The Lomax family also announced that a public memorial service has been scheduled for noon on Sept. 22 at the Green Valley Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville.


Photo caption: Craig Lomax, left and his wife Marianne Lomax react during a news conference at Cold Springs Community Church in Placerville on Tuesday. Photo by Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

September 11, 2012
Lawyer hurts knee, Hirschfield trial delayed

The Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial in Sacramento Superior Court was delayed today when one of the defense attorneys injured her knee in a first-floor courthouse lobby slip-and-fall.

Linda Parisi sustained the injury before the fifth day of testimony in the trial of HIrschfield, 63, who is accused of murder and sexual assault in the slashing deaths of 18-year-old UC Davis students Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins nearly 32 years ago.

Sheriff's deputies took Parisi out of the courthouse today in a wheelchair that had been used to transport her client.

It was not clear when Parisi would be able to return.

The prosecution had scheduled 16 witnesses to testify today in front of Judge Michael W. Sweet.


September 11, 2012
Sacramento to observe anniversary of 9/11 attacks

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, firefighters, police officers and citizens observed a moment of silence today at 8:46 a.m. EST and later laid a wreath at the Pentagon to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Sacramento memorials begin this morning, too.

At 8 a.m., Sacramento city firefighters will continue the annual tradition of climbing the Renaissance Tower four times over to honor the 343 NYFD firefighters who died during the attack on the World Trade Center. The repeated climb totals 110 stories, the same amount New York firefighters had to climb during the rescue effort after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

John Vinson of West Sacramento has continued his flag memorial located on Jefferson Boulevard and South River Road. The memorial is open to the public.

The Cal Expo 9/11 memorial is once again open and free to the public today. The memorial includes over 125,000 pounds of wreckage from the original site of the attacks along with smaller memorials to flights 93 and 77.

September 10, 2012
Two Elk Grove students receive burns from experiment gone wrong

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Two students at an Elk Grove middle school received minor burns from a chemical experiment gone awry Monday.

The accident, resulting in first-degree burns, to two eighth-grade male students occurred at around 2 p.m. Monday at Joseph Kerr Middle School, said Elizabeth Graswich, a spokeswoman for the district.

The experiment, involving chlorine tables and rubbing alcohol, was conducted outdoors at an adjacent park, Graswich said. She said the teacher conducted the experiment but that somehow - after the chemical reaction - the children were exposed to the chemicals.

September 10, 2012
Rancho Cordova motel burns, again

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department officials say that earlier fire damage to the Value Inn in Rancho Cordova was so extensive it was hard to tell whether Monday afternoon's fire actually resulted in any new damage to the troubled structure.

The fire, at 1:33 p.m., was the fifth fire at the 10271 Folsom Blvd. building in the last two years, said Michelle Eidam, a firefighter paramedic with the department.

There were no injuries as a result of the one-alarm fire at the building officially deemed inhabitable, but believed to be home to a number of squatters, Eidam said.

The city has been trying over the last two years to get the building demolished, said Rancho Cordova Vice Mayor Linda Budge. The location at the corner of Folsom and Mather Field and its proximity to transit makes it a site with "unlimited opportunity," she said.
- Ed Fletcher

September 10, 2012
Two El Dorado County men charged in teen's drug-related death

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Two El Dorado County men were arrested Monday and are facing felony manslaughter charges in connection with the drug-related death of a Pollock Pines teen.

Jesse Howard Roberts, 21, and Elijah Lee Richter, 20, both of Camino, were arrested and booked into El Dorado County jail on felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, the El Dorado Sheriff's Office announced.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, Alejandro Nunez Avila, 15, is believed to have voluntarily ingested a hallucinogenic drug sometime late Saturday or early Sunday.

September 10, 2012
Man convicted in love-triangle shooting death

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Manuel Martin Guzman of second-degree murder in the July 17, 2011, love-triangle shooting death of Mario Jose Rodriguez in a Foothill Farms apartment.

Rodriguez, 36, who had been residing in a drug treatment program in Galt, went to the apartment in the 3900 block of Madison Avenue and got into a confrontation with Guzman, who is now 39. The dispute between the two centered on an ex-girlfriend of Rodriguez who had become involved with Guzman, according to Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley Franzoia.

Judge Pamela Smith-Steward scheduled the sentencing on Guzman for Nov. 2.

September 10, 2012
16 Complex Fire in Colusa County now 90 percent contained

The 16 Complex fire, which began last Tuesday, has now burned a little less than 18,000 acres and is 90 percent contained as of 6:30 a.m.

The 16 Complex Fire is two separate fires located about four miles apart along Highway 16 and south of Highway 20 in Colusa County.

Last week Highway 16 was closed to everybody, but has since been reopened. All evacuations have also been lifted. Over 1,100 firefighters have worked together to control the blaze.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the location of the fire was difficult to reach. He said several firefighters had to be brought in by helicopt