Sacto 9-1-1
October 31, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspect in 2010 stabbing at South Natomas apartment?

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

QUESTION: What happened to William Todd? He shot, or stabbed, and killed a man off Azevedo Avenue in Natomas a few years back.
Submitted by: Curious the Cat, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted William Todd of first-degree murder for the 2010 stabbing death of 44-year-old David Paul Endres.

October 31, 2012
Sacramento DA adds charges against man with ties to missing woman case

Authorities have more than tripled the number of charges against a Sacramento County man whose girlfriend has been missing since 2008 and is presumed dead after prosecutors further reviewed evidence in a separate case, according to officials.

Randy Macedo, 57, has not been charged in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Regina Garcia. Instead, his charges stem from a search of his Arden Arcade home this summer.

That search, prompted by an ex-girlfriend concerned about the welfare of Garcia's young daughter, breathed new life into Garcia's missing person case, and ultimately led Sacramento County sheriff's to dig up Macedo's backyard in search of Garcia's body.

October 31, 2012
Suspect arraigned in assault on man left for dead on Yolo road

A Shafter man was arraigned Tuesday in Yolo County in connection with an assault on an Arbuckle man who was found with gunshot and stab wounds Oct. 1 on County Line Road in the Dunnigan area.

Danny Joe Stearman, 64, was arrested Oct. 9 in Shafter and was booked into Yolo County Jail on suspicion of attempted homicide in the shooting and stabbing of 49-year-old Mark Cullen. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Lance Faille said Stearman is the uncle of Cullen's ex-wife.

Cullen was found by a co-worker near the Yolo-Colusa County line. When Cullen failed to show up for his scheduled midnight shift at Adams Vegetable Oils Inc. in Colusa County, the co-worker called Cullen's cell phone. Cullen was able to answer the phone and told the co-worker that he was on County Line Road and was dying, according to sheriff's officials.

October 31, 2012
Fugitive in child molestation case returned from Philippines

Shrum+image.jpgA fugitive from Sacramento County sought in connection with a child molestation case has been returned to the United States from the Philippines.

Scott David Shrum (pictured), 46, is being held in Sacramento County Jail without bail, accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a child.

In January 2010, Sacramento County sheriff's detectives investigated a report that Shrum had maintained an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female child who lived in a home with Shrum, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The alleged activity took place over a period of several years when the victim was between 7 and 14 years old.

October 31, 2012
Prosecutor labels Hirschfield 'evil' and 'incomprehensible'

A prosecutor tore into Richard Joseph Hirschfield today for what she called his "incomprehensible" and "evil" attack on John Harold Riggins and Sabrina Marie Gonsalves, whose deaths 32 years ago brought into real life the worst fears society harbors about predators in its midst.

"I was given responsibility for this case many years ago," Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet told a Sacramento Superior Court jury as closing arguments began in Hirschfield's murder trial. "I've lived with it a long time now, and I've thought about this day a lot -- the day that I hand over to you, entrust to you, this case to ensure that justice is done for John and Sabrina, and what happened to them."

Eight weeks after the trial began, Bladet told the jury that what happened to the two 18-year-old UC Davis sweethearts "can't be predicted," and "can't be prevented," that nobody could have protected themselves from what Richard Hirschfield did on the night of Dec. 20, 1980. But she said it is now time for the seven men and five women on the jury "to have the courage to confront reality" and "affix responsibility to where it belongs."

Hirschfield, 63, is facing four special-circumstance allegations of murder during the course of kidnap, rape and oral copulation, along with multiple murders. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if he is convicted.

October 31, 2012
Woman dies in Rancho Cordova crash

A motorist died last night on Sunrise Boulevard when her car went out of control and struck a tree.

Rancho Cordova police responded to the accident on Sunrise Boulevard north of Douglas Road about 9:30 p.m. Paramedics were also dispatched.

The driver, who has not been indentified pending notification of family, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A preliminary investigation revealed that her car was northbound on Sunrise Boulevard when it veered toward the right shoulder of the road and struck the curb. The car then abruptly turned toward the center median where it hit a tree.

October 31, 2012
Beale AFB site of drone protests

The California Highway Patrol said that nine protesters were taken into custody by military personnel Tuesday during a demonstration at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville.

The CHP was called in to assist Beale personnel at entry gates to the base about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. The CHP said that about 25 people were protesting.

The protesters were demonstrating against the use of unmanned aircraft by the military. The activists demand the banning of all drone aircraft.

October 31, 2012
Woman dies after being hit by SUV on Franklin Boulevard

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a pedestrian who died after being hit by a sport utility vehicle on Franklin Boulevard earlier this week.

She was identified as 43-year-old Kimberlee Sue Johnson. Her place of residence was not available.

The California Highway Patrol reported that Johnson was crossing Franklin Boulevard, just north of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, about 7 p.m. Monday outside of the crosswalk.

She entered traffic directly into the path of a GMC Yukon. The SUV struck her, causing major injuries. She died later at the hospital.

October 30, 2012
Bella Vista High student reportedly injured in accidental shooting on way to school

A Bella Vista High School student accidentally shot himself in the leg this morning while en route to school with a gun, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The Sheriff's Department received a call from the high school, at 8301 Madison Ave. in Fair Oaks, shortly before 9 a.m., reporting that a 16-year-old male student had brought a loaded gun to the campus. Staff members detained the student until law enforcement officers arrived.

Sheriff's officials said the incident was handled by a Safe Schools deputy, working under contract with the San Juan Unified School District.

October 30, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was killer caught in slaying of Rancho Cordova office workers?

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

QUESTION: In fall 1985, two women went to work at an office along east Highway 50. It was a Saturday, so, I surmise, they were intending to catch up on some uncompleted tasks. They were killed by the custodian, I believe. I have been haunted by the fact that they were doing extra but were killed doing their job. Was the killer caught and what happened to him?
Submitted by: Robert, Sacramento

ANSWER: Timothy Pride, a janitor, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for fatally stabbing two female co-workers at Progressive Casualty Insurance in Rancho Cordova on the Labor Day holiday in 1984.

October 30, 2012
Granite Bay man enters guilty plea in aircraft repair case

A Granite Bay man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft.

According to court documents, Jerry Edward Kuwata, 63, conspired with others to conceal from customers and the Federal Aviation Administration facts about repairs done by WECO Aerospace Systems Inc.

The firm was founded in 1974 with a repair station in Lincoln and another in Burbank. Among other activities, WECO repaired and overhauled aircraft electronic components and flight instruments, including electromechanical rotables and converters. But those repairs were not being done in accordance with the manufacturer's Component Maintenance Manual and FAA regulations, and false information about the repairs was communicated to customers, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

October 30, 2012
Man arrested, accused of owing $600,000 in child support

A man accused of failing for 21 years to pay court-ordered child support has been arrested in El Dorado County.

Martin Seebach, 58, was arrested Monday and is charged in a criminal complaint with two felony charges of grand theft against his now adult children. He also is charged with four misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order, for failing to pay the court-ordered monthly amounts toward his child support arrears, according to an El Dorado County District Attorney's Office news release.

Over the last 21 years, Seebach has failed to comply with his court-ordered obligations and currently has an arrears balance totaling more than $600,000, the highest in the county, authorities said.

October 30, 2012
South Natomas runaway teen reunited with family

A teenager who ran away from her South Natomas home has been reunited with her family, Sacramento police detectives said.

Nicholette Garner, 14, was reported missing by her parents Oct. 15. Police said the teen left a note saying she was running away and crawled out of the window of her family's home on Pony Express Drive.

Sacramento police said the girl was found by another police department and returned to her family on Oct. 22.

October 30, 2012
Rocklin man pleads guilty to child pornography charge

A Rocklin man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to possessing child pornography.

John Patrick Frost Jr., 28, admitted to one count of possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

On March 12, 2009, a photo-sharing website reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cybertipline that a user had posted child pornography to their page, according to court documents. Further investigation led to a Placer County residence where Frost spent time.

October 30, 2012
Off-duty sheriff tackles shirtless man disrupting prep football game

By Ed Fletcher

The shirtless man tackled after interrupting the football game between Colfax and Placer high schools Friday night has been identified as Patrick Hurley.

The man who tacked him - applying the "Hit of the Year" - Troy Minton-Sander is an off duty Placer Sheriff's Department lieutenant. He is a former player for Placer High and is the he father of a current team member, Stone Sander.

"He was there off duty watching his son play football," explained Lt. Mark Reed, a spokesman for the Placer Sheriff's office.

October 30, 2012
Sacramento police render life-saving aid to man

Sacramento police officers were praised for their quick action in saving a person who collapsed from a heart attack on a downtown street.

The officers learned that a person was on the pavement across the street from them at 7th and K streets about 5 p.m. Monday. They hurried to the man who they determined had no pulse and was not breathing.

They immediately called for fire department paramedics and began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. The officers continued CPR until fire personnel arrived to transport the man to the hospital.

The attending physician stated that the quick work of the officers saved the person's life, according to a police watch summary. The condition of the man, who was in his 50s, is said to be improving.

October 30, 2012
CHP leader at Sacramento HQ is honored

Thumbnail image for Prieto and Farrow Award.JPGThe highest-ranking female California Highway Patrol officer has been honored for her pioneering work in law enforcement.

CHP Assistant Commissioner Ramona Prieto was recently presented with the Trailblazer Award by the California Peace Officers' Association. She received the award for her professional accomplishments and for enhancing the stature of women in law enforcement.

Prieto is a 36-year CHP veteran. She was the first female motorcycle officer, riding on patrol for five years in Los Angeles.

October 30, 2012
Bike rider dies after falling in Watt traffic lane

A bicyclist died after being hit by a vehicle early this morning when he fell from his bicycle in a traffic lane.

The CHP received a call at 12:47 a.m. today that a male bike rider had been hit by a vehicle on northbound Watt Avenue between Owens Way and Plymouth Drive in North Highlands, said officer Rich Wetzel.

The male rider struck the raised center divider between lanes and fell. A vehicle then hit the bicyclist, killing him.

He died at the scene. The bicyclist's name was not immediately available.

October 29, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to special ed teacher arrested in child porn case?

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

QUESTION: There was a special education teacher who worked at Will C. Wood by the name of Mark Cline. He was taken to jail for pornography. Can you tell me what happened?
Submitted by: Tami, Sacramento

ANSWER: Mark Allen Cline, a former special education teacher at Will C. Wood Middle School in Sacramento, was indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2011 for receipt and possession of child pornography.

October 29, 2012
Sacramento women accused of staging vehicle collision

Three Sacramento women have been arrested and a fourth is sought in a case of alleged insurance fraud.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that Susan Lee, 24, Angelique Jones, 20, and Angela Medeiros, 40, have been arrested on three felony counts each of insurance fraud. The fourth suspect, Krystelmaree Marquez, 23, also of Sacramento, has an outstanding arrest warrant.

According to detectives, on Dec. 11, 2011, Marquez rented a U-Haul truck and added the extra insurance protection policy. The following day, while driving that vehicle, Marquez was involved in a collision with a Toyota Yaris driven by Medeiros, with Lee and Jones as passengers. As a result of the collision, all four women claimed injuries.

October 29, 2012
Update: Roseville girls' tale of being held against their will looks untrue

Roseville police say that two teenage girls missing since Thursday have returned home, and their earlier story of being held against their will does not check out.

A police spokeswoman said the two are safe at home in Roseville. Officers have spoken to the girls at length today and determined that they left last week on their own.

Both girls sent text messages to their fathers Thursday night saying they were with males who wouldn't let them leave.

October 29, 2012
Sacramento men arrested for forgery of green cards

Two Sacramento residents have been arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit IDs.

Laurel Velasquez, 30, and Pedro Izehuatl, 45, were arrested after a four-month investigation by the California Department of Justice. They are suspected of selling counterfeit driver's licenses, green cards and a social security card.

During the investigation, special agents conducted an undercover operation during which they purchased dozens of counterfeit federal green cards. Driver's licenses and a social security card were bought from Velasquez for $100 each.

Equipment used to make the counterfeit documents was seized, according to a DOJ press release.

October 29, 2012
UPDATE: Folsom motorist injured in collision with freight locomotive

The California Highway Patrol reports that a 78-year-old Folsom man suffered moderate injuries this morning when the van he was driving collided with a freight train locomotive near Folsom Boulevard and Watt Avenue.

The silver Chrysler Town and Country van was westbound on Folsom Boulevard in the left-turn lane at the Watt Avenue intersection, and a Union Pacific Railroad locomotive was westbound on the Union Pacific tracks approaching Watt at 10 mph, according to a CHP news release.

Officials said the driver of the van failed to see the railroad crossing arms in the lowered position blocking traffic on northbound and southbound Watt Avenue. The man drove through the crossing arm, striking it with the windshield portion of the vehicle, and traveled directly into the path of the oncoming train. The locomotive struck the left side of the van, and the van spun out of control away from the railroad tracks as the train came to a stop, authorities said.

The van driver was transported to U.C. Davis Medical Center.

CHP officials said the collision is under investigation.

October 29, 2012
Teens die in rollover accident near Chico

Two teens died over the weekend east of Chico in a rollover accident, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said in a press release that a 2003 Acura with three teens was approaching a curve in the roadway on South Park Drive near Shaw Circle in Magalia about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night when the car went out of control due to the 16-year-old driver's "turning movements and unsafe speed."

The car left the roadway, hitting a utility pole and a tree before overturning. The car's two passengers, a girl and a boy, were killed.

October 28, 2012
Victim identified in Saturday night homicide near Galt

The Sacramento County coroner has identified the victim of a homicide in rural south Sacramento County.

Kelly Dale McClurg, 60, was pronounced dead at 9 p.m. Saturday night at a home on Dillard Road near Highway 99.

According a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, McClurg had suffered a gunshot wound. The victim was discovered by two acquaintances, who were later questioned but are not considered suspects.

Authorities are still seeking suspects and a motive in this case.

October 27, 2012
Roseville police, families seek missing teen girls

By Hudson Sangree

Roseville police are looking for two teenage girls who didn't return home after school Thursday.

Both girls sent text messages to their fathers that night saying they were with "male subjects" who wouldn't let them leave, according to a news release.

Melissa Perez, 16, and Angelina Loredo, 14, asked their families not to call police, but said they were scared and couldn't phone or text again.

October 27, 2012
Man arrested after multiple home break-ins, Citrus Heights police say

By Richard Chang

A man who broke into multiple homes and fled from police is behind bars, authorities said.

Officers were called out to the 8400 block of Pearl Way in Citrus Heights at 10:30 p.m. Friday for a botched burglary attempt. Police said the suspect, identified as Daniel Travis Tinney of Fair Oaks, fled in a stolen vehicle after the homeowner confronted him.

The 23-year-old Tinney crashed the vehicle into a telephone pole near Twin Oaks Avenue and Mariposa Avenue and then fled on foot, according to police reports.

Shortly after, a resident of the 7600 block of Roberts Lane called police after the suspect entered his house and "made threats to shoot the people inside." A police helicopter found Tinney leaving the house and making his way towards another home at the 7600 block of Twin Oaks Avenue.

Police then took Tinney into custody and booked him into Sacramento County Jail on multiple charges, including burglary and home invasion, according to reports.

October 27, 2012
Man, woman arrested for alleged pimping of two teen girls

By Richard Chang

Roshann Harris, 30, and Jason Wilson, 24, are behind bars after pimping and pandering two juvenile girls, authorities said.

The pair was allegedly pimping two runaway girls from a motel in the 1400 block of 30th Street.

Sacramento police made contact with the two girls Monday night and determined they had been missing out of Wisconsin since the beginning of October, police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said.

October 26, 2012
Coroner identifies south Sacramento homicide victim

The Sacramento Coroner's Office identified the victim in Monday's south Sacramento homicide as Ruji Fang. Fang, 55, died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.

The Sacramento Police Department believe Fang's live-in girlfriend Yanqun Tan is responsible for the killing.

She arrested for the killing and remains in custody at the county jail.

Police discovered the Fang's body in a home on Emerald Creek Court, near Lemon Hill Avenue and the 65th Street Expressway, after being alerted by a female caller about a possible dead person at the address.

The police had not previously disclosed the nature of Fang and Tan's relationship. They are now calling the incident domestic violence, said Doug Morse, a spokesman for the department.

October 26, 2012
Man who murdered toddler son sentenced to 25 years to life

A man who murdered his 22-month old son for giving him dirty looks was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White told Paul Gappo Harper, 31, that "the underlying psychological dimensions" of the case "are significant." But White said the murder of the defendant's son, Paul Harper Jr., "was one of the most heinous and cruel and ongoing that the court has seen."

White imposed the 25-to-life term on Harper for his no contest plea to killing his son in the course of abusing him. Harper also had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, but the judge stayed 15-to-life term for the same facts in the same case.

Harper's wife, Theresa, 27, also pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for failing to protect her son. She was sentenced in July to a 15-years-to-life term.

October 26, 2012
Fundraiser for McKinley Park rebuild set for Sunday

Food trucks and live music will converge at Sutter's Land Park Sunday to help raise money for the rebuilding of McKinley Park's playground.

Sacramento City Councilman Steve Cohn and mobile food vendor organization SactoMoFo are planning the event, which will include a beer and wine garden.

The benefit will be from noon to 4 p.m. at Sutter's Land Park, north of the railroad tracks at 28th and B streets.

October 26, 2012
Accessory gets eight years for girl's killing on Auburn Boulevard

A teenager who pleaded no contest to being an accessory to murder and then testified against the shooter in the killing of a 14-year-old Sparks, Nev., girl at an Auburn Boulevard teen party two years ago was sentenced today to eight years in state prison.

Nikko Jermaine Alexander, now 19, received the sentence from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette for the July 11, 2010, shooting death of Lanajah Nachelle Dupree.

Alexander had initially been charged with murder in the case, but took the plea deal in exchange for his testimony against the gunman, Jaivonne Flenory-Davis, who was convicted and sentenced to 102 years to life in prison.

October 26, 2012
Federal prisoners escape from Lassen County

martinez.jpgTwo inmates from a federal prison camp in Lassen County escaped sometime Thursday evening, said U.S. Marshal's deputies.

Marco Polo Aguilar-Martinez, 31, and Milton Antonio Borjas, 42, were last seen Thursday afternoon at the medium-security prison in Herlong, CA, said deputy Frank Newsom. During a night check, both men were missing. After a search of the premises, deputies determined the inmates were not at the camp, which is about 45 miles south of Susanville.

Both men were serving sentences for methamphetamine sales and illegal immigration. Newsom said both should be considered dangerous.

Anyone with information about the two escapees should contact U.S. Marshal's Service in Sacramento at 916-930-2030. Callers can remain anonymous, and a reward is possible for information leading to the capture of the fugitives.

PHOTO CAPTION: Marco Polo Aguilar-Martinez, 31, and Milton Antonio Borjas, 42. U.S. Marshal's Service

October 26, 2012
Judge orders murder trial for ex-park worker in boss' slaying

dupree.JPGA judge today ordered Dupree Pierre Barber to stand trial for murder in the Jan. 23 shooting death of Cordova Recreation and Park District maintenance supervisor Steve Ebert.

Judge Marjorie Koller found that there was enough evidence to suggest that Barber, 48, was lying in wait when he allegedly killed Ebert, 59. Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard said before today's preliminary hearing that prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty on Barber, meaning the defendant would face a life term in prison with no chance of parole if he is convicted.

At today's hearing, Sacramento sheriff's Det. Stan Swisher testified that employees at the park district told him that Barber had recently been laid off prior to the killing of Ebert. Barber also had filed a racial discrimination complaint in 2009 against Ebert and other district officials. Barber later dropped the suit.

Swisher testified that Barber purchased a new car shortly before Ebert was slain. The same vehicle, the detective said, was found close to where Ebert was shot and killed around 6 a.m. coming to work at Hagan Community Park in Rancho Cordova. The car had a .357 revolver that had been fired six tiimes on the rear floorboard.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dupree Pierre Barber. Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee

October 26, 2012
Jury convicts man of murder in 2006 carjacking death

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Taurus Aquarius Baker of first-degree murder for the Feb. 10, 2006, broad-dayling shooting death of Joseph Wayne Bush during an attempted carjacking.

Judge Steve White scheduled the sentencing on Baker, now 23, for Jan. 18.

Authorities say that Baker shot and killed Bush, 38, around 1 p.m. in the parking lot of a shopping center at 6051 Mack Road, at the site of Carl's Jr. and Seafood City Supermarket.

Bush had just dropped his young son off at a nearby school before he was murdered, authorities said. Police said that before his death, Bush had recently returned to the Sacramento area after driving to Illinois in search of work but coming back when he couldn't find a job.

October 26, 2012
Woman, two dogs die in Citrus Heights mobile home park blaze

A fire in a Citrus Heights mobile home park claimed the life of a female resident early Friday morning.

The unidentified woman was found dead, along with two small dogs, inside a recreational vehicle at the Auburn Vista Mobile Home Park at 7721 Auburn Blvd., when Sacramento Metro firefighters arrived on the scene about 2:30 a.m., said Battalion Chief Patrick Ellis.

Ellis said the RV was apparently the woman's home.

October 26, 2012
Update: Rancho Cordova triple-murder suspect charged

20121026_HA_Grigoriy.JPGBy Kim Minugh and Anne Gonzales

The man accused in this week's brutal triple homicide in Rancho Cordova was formally charged today with three counts of murder, with the special circumstance that multiple murders were committed.

Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 19, appeared before Sacramento Superior Court Judge John P. Winn in a cage crowded with four Sacramento County sheriff's deputies. He was assigned a public defender.

Prosecutors allege he used a knife to kill his sister-in-law, 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov, and her two toddlers, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir on Tuesday. They have not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty in the case, said Steve Grippi, assistant chief district attorney.

According to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office, Alina and Avenir suffered stab wounds to the neck and torso and Emmanuela suffered stab wounds to the chest.

October 25, 2012
Davis police to step up Halloween enforcement

Davis police officials say they will be deploying extra officers in an effort to decrease drunk or impaired driving on Halloween.

"Local revelers should be aware that their Halloween disguises won't make them invisible to the police, sheriff or CHP officers who will crack down on drunk and drug impaired drivers throughout the region with an aggressive Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort," said Davis Police Chief Landy Black in a news release.

Police officials advise revelers to plan a safe way home.

October 25, 2012
Police sobriety checkpoint planned Friday in midtown

The Sacramento Police Department will be operating a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Friday night in Sacramento's midtown area.

The checkpoint will be set up at 21st Street and Capitol Avenue at 8 p.m. and will run from five to seven hours.

Drivers traveling though the checkpoint may be asked to undergo a field sobriety test. Drivers will also be asked for a valid driver's license.

October 25, 2012
Help sought in identifying bank robber

Bank 12-286626 211-3.jpg
The Sacramento Police Department is looking for help identifying a suspect (photos, left) in an Oct. 17 bank robbery.

During the 9:10 a.m. robbery of the Community Commerce Bank along River Park Drive the African American male assailant threatened to shoot the employees, but no gun was seen.

The man is described as being in his 20s, 6-feet tall with a muscular build. He had short, shaved hair and was wearing a Bank 12-286626 211-4.jpgteal and black plaid short-sleeved shirt and dark jeans.

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to this robbery or can identify this suspect to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Police Department.

October 25, 2012
Family of Rancho Cordova murder victims speak out

20121025_HA_HOMICIDE0234.JPGWeary and choked with emotion, the family of the young mother and two toddlers slain in Rancho Cordova spoke for the first time publicly about the victims at a press conference Thursday.

"She cared a lot for me, for all of us, for our parents, for our family," said Denis Bukhantsov, the husband of Alina Bukhantsov, 23, who was brutally killed in their home along with their children, Emmanuela, 3, and Avenir, 2.

His brother, Grigoriy Bukhantsov, a 19-year-old high school dropout, is being held on three counts of murder in the bloody attack.

October 25, 2012
Second alleged sexual assault victim testifies against doctor

clip_image002.jpgscottanderson.jpgA second alleged victim completed two days of testimony today in the Dr. Scott Dodd Anderson sexual assault trial, saying the workers comp physician molested her during two visits in May 2009.

The woman, who is now 63-years-old, said she went to see Anderson during a visit for a hip injury she suffered on the job with a large state agency. Her name and place of employment are both being withheld by The Bee because of the nature of the charges.

She said Anderson made her bend over an examination table on her first visit and that he then inappropriately touched her buttocks.

October 25, 2012
Memorial fund set up for relatives of three slain in Rancho Cordova

A memorial fund has been set up for the surviving family members whose loved ones were slain in a bloody attack in Rancho Cordova on Tuesday afternoon.

The Denis Bukhantsov Memorial Trust Fund, set up in the name of the victims' husband and father, was set up through Premier West Bank. The account number is 82804765. There are several branches in the Sacramento region, including one at 9340 East Stockton Boulevard in Elk Grove, 95624.

The fund will benefit the family of 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov and her two children, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir. Denis Bukhantsov found their bodies in the family's Rancho Cordova duplex on Tuesday afternoon.

The couple's youngest child, a 6-month-old boy, was found safe in another room.

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives arrested Denis Bukhantsov's brother, 19-year-old Grigoriy Bukhantsov, on suspicion of three counts of murder. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

October 25, 2012
Coroner: Sacramento murder victim died of trauma and asphyxiation

A Sacramento man found dead in his home Monday afternoon died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation from a plastic bag being placed over his head, according to Sacramento County coroner's reports.

Police arrested a 52-year-old woman on suspicion of murder in connection with the death. Yanqun Tan is in custody at the county jail, where she is ineligible for bail. No court dates have been set in the case.

The victim's name is not being released, pending notification of relatives, but he is described as a male, age 55.

Police discovered the man's body in a home on Emerald Creek Court, near Lemon Hill Avenue and the 65th Street Expressway, after being alerted by a female caller about a possible dead person at the address.

Tan also lives at the house, but police have not said what her relationship is to the man, nor have they speculated about a motive for the killing.

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

October 25, 2012
Memorial fund set up for Folsom crash victim

A memorial fund has been set up to help care for the family of a man killed in an early morning head-on crash in Folsom on Oct. 13.

Meanwhile, the other driver who died in the accident has not yet been positively identified by the county coroner's office.

The family of Steven Schwartz, 28, of Orangevale, has set up an account for his surviving 18-month-old son, also named Steven.

October 25, 2012
Folsom hosts motorcycle police skills competition

Motorcycle cops will display their road-handling skills at the Folsom Police Department's annual Police Motor Skills Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Palladio and Broadstone parkways in Folsom.

Motorcycle law enforcement officers from California and Nevada will compete against each other in a variety of riding challenges. The event is free, but spectators are encouraged to bring non-perishable canned food items as donations for Folsom's Twin Lakes Food Bank.

Volunteers from the police department and Folsom Lake College's Administration of Justice Club will also be on hand to provide free catalytic converter etching for trucks and SUVs. Catalytic converters are commonly stolen from vehicles, and etching them with identifying information can help police trace the stolen parts.

For more information, contact Folsom police at 916-355-7234.

October 24, 2012
Sacramento man who died in crash wasn't wearing seat belt

A Sacramento man who died in a single-car accident Friday was not wearing a seat belt, said California Highway Patrol officers.

Anthony Garcia, 21, was driving his 2005 Toyota Tundra westbound on Interstate 80 at 5:52 p.m Friday when he lost control of the vehicle while trying to exit onto Madison Avenue. The vehicle hit a metal guardrail. The impact caused the driver's-side door to open and Garcia was thrown from the car.

Garcia was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital, where he died.

October 24, 2012
Woman drives car into Sacramento River, swims to safety

During early morning rain, a Walnut Grove woman drove her car into the Sacramento River Wednesday and swam to safety, said the California Highway Patrol.

Maria Lopez, 52, was driving her car northbound on Grand Island Road about 5:35 a.m. when she failed to make the curve in the roadway and drove the car off the road. The car went down an embankment and into the Sacramento River, according to CHP reports.

Lopez was able to get out of the car as it was sinking and started swimming for the shore. She seemed disoriented at first, possibly because of the darkness, and was swimming further out in the river, until a local resident and witness on a nearby shore helped guide her to safety.

October 24, 2012
U.S. Army officer convicted of sex crime in Sacramento

An Army lieutenant colonel was convicted Tuesday by a Sacramento County jury, after a January incident when he propositioned a 13-year-old girl walking to a Land Park school to perform a sexual act.

Lt. Col. Jason Shepard, 41, was found guilty of solicitation of a minor with the intent to commit an act of oral copulation, and of annoying and molesting a child.

Shepard was based at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and was in Sacramento on military business at the Army Depot on Fruitridge Road at the time of the offense.

October 24, 2012
Update: Names of 3 victims slain in Rancho Cordova released
brotherinlaw 2.jpeg
Denis and Alina Bukhantsov, top photo, take a ride in a buggy in West Sacramento during their wedding on April 26, 2008 (Photo by Sacramento wedding photographer Sergey Bidun). Above, a recent photo of Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 19, was provided by a family friend.
By Kim Minugh, Anne Gonzales and Ed Fletcher

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has released the names of the three victims found slain in their Rancho Cordova duplex on Tuesday afternoon.

They are 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov and her children, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir.

PHOTO GALLERY: Mother, two children slain in Rancho Cordova home

Alina Bukhantsov's brother-in-law, 19-year-old Grigoriy Bukhantsov, is accused in the crime. He was arrested early this morning on suspicion of three counts of murder, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

All three of the victims had injuries "consistent with sharp force trauma," said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. They were found dead in their De Soto Way duplex about 3:30 p.m. by the husband of the woman, who is also the father of the children.

It is his brother who is the suspect in the brutal killings.

October 23, 2012
Update: Deputies looking for van associated with triple-homicide in Rancho Cordova

1a.jpgBy Kim Minugh and Ed Fletcher

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department officials are looking for a minivan they believe was stolen from the Rancho Cordova duplex where three bodies were discovered this afternoon.

The van is a white Chrysler Town and Country van with a California license plate of 6LFY276.

Authorities believe the van was stolen from the duplex where a young mother and her two toddlers were found dead.

Deputies were called to a home in the 10100 block of Desoto Way after the woman's husband, who is also the children's father, came home and found the bodies, said Sgt. Jason Ramos. The man didn't have access to a phone and went to a neighbors house for help, fearing that possible attackers were still in his home. The neighbor then called 911 about 3:30 p.m., Ramos said.

Deputies arriving at the house found the the bodies of the woman, described as being in her 20s, and a 3-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy dead in one room. A third child, a 6-month-old boy, was found crying but unharmed in another room, Ramos said.

October 23, 2012
Testimony concludes in Hirschfield trial

Testimony concluded today in the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial, with the case scheduled to go to a Sacramento Superior Court jury late next week.

Attorneys for the 63-year-old defendant accused in the Dec. 20, 1980, killlings of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves finished their case with readings from transcripts and playing taped recordings. The transcripts and recordings contained statements from witnesses that the Hirschfield lawyers say cast suspicion on a group of four defendants who have since been exonerated.

The prosecution called a retired sheriff's detective, Bob Bell, as a rebuttal witness. He testified that his agency, based on its concern over the reliability of informant Ray Gonzales, lost interest in pursuing the so-called "Hunt Group" of defendants. Yolo County authorities picked up the theory that the Hunt Group killed Riggins and Gonsalves and charged the four suspects. But they were forced to dismiss the case when the DNA on a semen-stained blanket found in Riggins van excluded all of them and ultimately pointed toward HIrschfield.

After both sides rested their cases, Judge MIchael W. Sweet scheduled closing arguments in the case for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Hirschfield is accused of murder and sexual assault in the case. He faces the death penalty if jurors convict him and sustain special-circumstance allegations of multiple murders, and murder during the course of a kidnap, rape and forced oral copulation.

October 23, 2012
UPDATE: Mother, two children found dead inside Rancho Cordova home

By Kim Minugh

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department officials have confirmed that three bodies found Tuesday afternoon inside a Rancho Cordova home are that of a woman and her two young children.

Deputies were called to a home in the 10100 block of Desoto Way after the woman's husband, who is also the children's father, came home and found the bodies, said Sgt. Jason Ramos. The man didn't have access to a phone and went to a neighbors house for help, fearing that possible attackers were still in his home. The neighbor then called 911 about 3:30 p.m., Ramos said.

Deputies arriving at the house found the the bodies of the woman, described as being in her 20s, and two children -- a girl, 3, and a boy, 2 -- dead in one room. A 6-month-old boy was found crying but unharmed in another room, Ramos said.

October 23, 2012
Police arrest woman in connection with south Sacramento killing

Sacramento police have arrested a 52-year-old woman in connection with the death of a man whose body was found Monday afternoon, according to authorities.

Detectives arrested Yanqun Tan on suspicion of murder, said police spokesman Officer Doug Morse. She is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail where she is ineligible for bail.

The victim's name has not yet been released by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office. Police also have not yet released how the man died, or his relationship to Tan.

October 23, 2012
Sacramento deputies arrest man after 2-year-old boy cut with machete

A 30-year-old man was arrested last week after he cut a 2-year-old boy with a machete during an argument with another man in Arden Arcade, according to authorities.

The boy was taken to the hospital for treatment, but his injuries were not life-threatening, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department report.

The suspect, identified as James Norman, went to the adult victim's residence in the 2100 block of Bluebird Lane the afternoon of Oct. 17, and the two got into an argument, the report states. The suspect then allegedly grabbed a machete from his car, lunged toward a 2-year-old boy and cut him with the machete, the report states.

October 23, 2012
Coroner IDs inmate found dead in New Folsom prison cell last week

The New Folsom prison inmate found dead in his cell last week has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as 51-year-old Raymond Johnston.

Johnston's death is being investigated as a homicide after he was found unresponsive in his cell the night of Oct. 17 during a prisoner count at California State Prison, Sacramento, sometimes referred to as "New Folsom" prison, according to authorities.

His cause of death has not yet been released.

Johnston had was serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for assault with intent to commit a sex act in Contra Costa County, authorities said. He had been in prison since December 2001.

His 46-year-old cellmate is suspected in Johnston's death, prison officials said. The cellmate, who was being held in a segregation unit pending the outcome of the investigation, is serving a 17-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder in Alameda County.

October 23, 2012
Jury finds Yolo deputies acted legally in Woodland man's death

By Denny Walsh

A federal court jury today rejected the claim of a Woodland couple that their eldest son's killing by a Yolo County sheriff's deputy was unconstitutional under federal law and wrong under state law.

The seven-member panel found that Luis Gutierrez was totally to blame for his own death on the afternoon of April 30, 2009.

Three deputies, all members of the Yolo County Gang Task Force dressed in plain clothes and in an unmarked car, testified Gutierrez ran when they stopped and tried to talk to him as he walked along a sidewalk on an overpass in Woodland. When one of the deputies overtook Gutierrez, he pulled a knife and slashed at the deputy, two of the officers told the jury. A deputy who was behind Gutierrez fired the fatal shot into his back, according to the testimony of the two officers and the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy.

The jury deliberated a full day on Monday and two hours today, the trial's 13th day. The civil rights lawsuit brought by Gutierrez's parents named the three deputies and the county as defendants.

October 23, 2012
Rape charges dismissed against Sacramento workers comp doctor

clip_image002.jpgscottanderson.jpgTrial began today in the case of a Sacramento workers compensation doctor accused of taking sexual improprieties with his patients, but the most serious charges of rape, forced oral copulation and attempted sodomy have been stripped out of the complaint against him.

Dr. Scott Dodd Anderson who formerly worked at U.S. HealthWorks on Folsom Boulevard still faces 22 counts in the Sacramento Superior Court trial before Judge Eugene L. Balanon. They are split between misdemeanor sexual battery counts and felony charges that Anderson engaged in sexual contact with four patients.

Deputy District Attorney Laura West did not say why the more serious charges were dismissed. Defense attorney Patrick K. Hanly said they were dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

October 23, 2012
Attempted carjacking suspect nabbed in Rocklin after abandoning baby in gridlock

A Sacramento man was arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking and child endangerment in Rocklin Monday afternoon, after leaving a baby in a stalled vehicle in traffic on Sierra College Boulevard.

Alan W. Rose, 26, was booked into Placer County Jail. He reportedly was a passenger in a sedan at Sierra College and Ridge Park Drive, when he grabbed the keys from the ignition, causing the car to stall, and exited the car.

He left behind his girlfriend, the driver of the car, and their infant inside the car, according to Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka. Milka said the speed limit along that stretch is 50 miles per hour.

October 23, 2012
Sacramento attempted rape suspect wanted

Johnta Waters.JPGA Sacramento man is suspected of entering a Greenhaven-area home and fondling a woman while she slept earlier this month.

Sacramento police said Johnta Lexus Waters, 20, is wanted on a warrant for attempted rape and burglary in connection with the incident.

On Oct. 12 at about 1:20 a.m., a 36-year-old woman was asleep in her home on Fountain Oaks Circle, when she was awakened by a male stranger groping her. The victim screamed, and the man ran out of the residence.

Officers were later able to identify the suspect as Waters. Police are asking for the public's help in locating him.

Waters is described as African-American, about 5-feet-10-inches tall, weighing about 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He has ties to the south Sacramento area.

Anyone with information about Waters is asked to contact Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP (4357) or text to 274637 (CRIMES,) enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

PHOTO CAPTION: Johnta Lexus Waters, 20

October 23, 2012
Police investigating homicide in south Sacramento

Sacramento police are investigating a homicide of a man found in a home in the 100 block of Emerald Creek Court.

Police said they were dispatched to the house about 4:43 p.m. Monday when a woman with knowledge of the deceased person gave them a tip. Police did a welfare check at the home, and found a dead man inside.

Investigators said the woman who called police also lived at the address where the body was discovered. She is being questioned and investigators are working the case as a homicide. Police said it doesn't appear to be a random act, but no further information was available.

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information on this homicide to contact Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES), enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

October 22, 2012
Man who attempted two carjackings arrested, Rocklin police say

By Ed Fletcher

Rocklin Police arrested a 26-year-old Sacramento man who they believe Monday afternoon attempted to carjack two vehicles.

Officers responded at a report of an attempted carjacking at 3 p.m. Monday on Sierra College Boulevard near Ridge Park Drive.

A man in his 20s exited a stalled sedan on Sierra College Boulevard and attempted to stop two vehicles traveling on Sierra College and force the drivers out, according to the department press release.

After his attempts were unsuccessful, the man fled on foot, after throwing the keys to the vehicle he was initially driving. Officers arrived and arrested Alan W. Rosa, 26, of Sacramento in a nearby field.

October 22, 2012
Sacramento police seek help in finding man suspected of groping woman

Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in locating a 20-year-old man they suspect of breaking into a home and groping a woman.

The incident occurred about 1:20 a.m. Oct. 12, when a 36-year-old woman awoke to find a stranger groping her, said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante. The woman screamed, and the man ran out of the house.

Johnta Waters.jpgPolice later identified the suspect as 20-year-old Johnta Lexus Waters (pictured at left), Gigante said. A warrant has been issued for Waters' arrest on suspicion of attempted rate and burglary, the spokeswoman said.

Waters is described as black, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, according to police. He has ties to south Sacramento.

Anyone with information about Waters' whereabouts is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637. Enter "SACTIP" followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

October 22, 2012
Former NFL player convicted in Natomas home invasions

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted a former National Football League defensive lineman on 19 counts stemming from three home invasion robberies in the North Natomas area in the summer of 2011 in which he also sexually assaulted a female victim.

Keith Wright, 32, will be sentenced on Nov. 16 by Judge Michael A. Savage as a result of his convictions today on four counts of forced oral copulaton, three counts of burglary, four of robbery, five of kidnap and three of false imprisonment

A University of Missouri player who earlier competed at Sacramento City College, Wright, who originally was from Santa Clara, was taken on the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft and signed to a three-year, $925,000 deal with the Houston Texans, according to published reports. He was later signed as a free agent to the practice squads of the Indianapolis Colts, the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions.

Prosecutors charged him with late-night break-ins at three separate homes in the North Natomas area, robbing his victims at gunpoint of cash and other valuables. In one instance he held a revolver to the head of a woman while he forced her to orally copulate him, jurors found. Then he forced her to drive him to an ATM machine where he unsuccessfully sought to withdraw $300 cash, according to court documents.

Two of his victims were Qatari nationals who said the robber stole currency from their native country. Sacramento police checked with a currency exchange and found out that a man matching Wright's description, accompanied by a woman, had traded in Qatari riyalis for dollars. The woman gave the exchange an address. Investigators set up a surveillance on her residence and arrested Wright Aug. 29, 2011.

October 22, 2012
Meadow Vista man dies in Truckee crash

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

TRUCKEE -- A 64-year-old Meadow Vista man died Saturday after his car left Highway 89 about 10 miles north of Truckee, struck a tree and burst into flames.

Passing motorists quickly put out the fire, but the driver, Steven Metzgar, sustained fatal injuries in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol report.

The accident occurred at 1:50 p.m. north of Hobart Mills Road.

According to the report, Metzgar was driving a Lexus southbound on Highway 89 at a high rate of speed when it ran off the right side of the road and collided with a large tree.

The CHP is investigating the accident and asks that any witnesses contact Officer J. J. Varanini at (530) 582-7570.

October 22, 2012
South Sacramento youth convicted of attempted murder

By Anne Gonzales

When his sister took a punch in the face, gang member DeAngelo Holley decided to get revenge.

On his 16th birthday, he wrapped a white t-shirt around his face so only his eyes could be seen, grabbed a shotgun and shot a rival gang member in the head in a south Sacramento home on Aug. 20, 2011, according to Sacramento police.

A Sacramento County jury on Friday convicted Holley, who was tried as an adult, of attempted murder for the shooting. He was additionally found guilty of shooting into an inhabited dwelling, with enhancements for causing great bodily injury, using a gun and being in a gang.

October 21, 2012
Arizona murder suspect arrested in North Highlands

U.S. Marshals and Sacramento sheriff's deputies today arrested a 29-year old Mohave County, Az., man on suspicion of second-degree murder, authorities said.

Zane Kiel Mason was taken into custody around 4 p.m. in the 5000 block of Roseville Road after a three-hour surveillance, according to a U.S. Marshals Service press release. Mason was taken into custody without incident and is being held in the downtown jail on a no-bail extradition hold.

Mason was wanted on suspicion of stabbing and killing Gregory Stephen Zeller, 51, in the victim's Fort Mohave, Ariz., home on Aug. 22, according to the "America's Most Wanted" web site. The program featured Mason's case on Oct. 5 and Sept. 7.

Mason is scheduled for an appearance Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court

October 20, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What were circumstances of 1999 shooting death in south Sacramento?

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

QUESTION: In 1999, a man named Albert Valli in south Sacramento shot and killed another man. He received 10 years in Solano Prison. What were the circumstances and who was the victim?
Submitted by: Curious1, Sacramento

ANSWER: Albert Patrick Valli was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the May 1999 death of 39-year-old Doug Zimmerman.

October 19, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to defendants in real estate fraud case involving Elk Grove man?

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

QUESTION: Whatever happened to Hoda Samuel and the co-defendants in a real estate fraud case? Has this case gone to trial? Have any of the defendants been sentenced.?
Submitted by: Steve, Roseville

ANSWER: According to federal court online records, Hoda Samuel of Elk Grove and five other defendants are scheduled for trial Jan. 17 in Sacramento.

October 19, 2012
Woodland man dies trying to cross Highway 113 on foot

A 49-year-old Woodland man died this evening when he was struck by a car while trying to cross Highway 113 on foot.

Sgt. Andy Hill of the California Highway Patrol said two men were walking along the freeway about 7:30 p.m. collecting aluminum cans when they decided to cross the roadway near Gibson Road. One man made it safely across the northbound lanes, but the second man ran into the path of a northbound Ford Focus traveling in the fast lane. He was struck by the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released pending notification of family.

The occupants of the Ford were not injured.

October 19, 2012
Alert students, motorists called key to school bus safety

The California Highway Patrol is reminding school bus riders and motorists to pay attention to each other to ensure safety.

"I see the driver -- the driver sees me" is the theme of this year's National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 22-26.

Studies show that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride for children is when they get on and off the bus, according to a CHP news release. Motorists are urged to pay close attention to school buses on local roads and to be aware of their flashing lights. In California, flashing yellow lights on a school bus are a warning to slow down and prepare to stop, while flashing red lights require all motorists to stop.

October 19, 2012
Man sentenced to prison for attempting to stab game warden

A Klamath man has been sentenced to two years in state prison for attempting to stab a game warden.

Brandon Jon Proctor, 25, had pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced Thursday in Humboldt Superior Court, according to a California Department of Fish and Game news release.

On Sept. 25, while investigating an unrelated elk poaching incident in Orick, Warden Paul Weldon was flagged down by a frantic couple with a tire iron, Fish and Game officials said. The motorists pointed to Proctor, shouting that he had slashed their tire with a knife.

October 19, 2012
Convicted sex offender accused of transporting child porn

A convicted sex offender has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento for transportation of child pornography.

The indictment was returned Thursday against Jason Garrett Duran, 42, of Sacramento. According to court documents, Duran on Oct. 9 allegedly sent several images and one video of suspected child pornography via email to an undercover officer.

Duran had been convicted of lewd and lascivious contact with a minor under the age of 14 and was paroled June 24 after serving a sentence of 10-1/2 years, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

October 19, 2012
Police urge caution after woman assaulted in downtown Davis

Davis police are reminding people to take precautions after a woman was sexually assaulted while walking in the city's downtown area late Thursday.

The woman was walking in the area of Fourth and J streets about 11:50 p.m. when she was grabbed from behind by a male and sexually assaulted, according to a Police Department news release. The assailant was last seen running eastbound on Fourth Street.

So far, police said, no description of the assailant has been provided. They ask anyone who was in the area and may have seen a suspicious person to call the Davis Police Department at (530) 747-5400.

Police remind people to:

* Always be aware of their surroundings.

* Walk confidently or with a purpose.

* Try to stay in well-lighted, well-populated areas.

* Travel with another person.

October 19, 2012
Sacramento sisters sentenced to prison for child prostitution

By Richard Chang

Two Sacramento sisters were sentenced to prison this week for running a child prostitution ring.

Tynisha Hornbuckle, 24, and Tamrell Hornbuckle, 26, pled guilty to the sex trafficking of minors in May. Tynisha Hornbuckle was sentenced Thursday to 15 years and 8 months in prison, while Tamrell Hornbuckle received 12 years and 7 months.

In 2008, the pair forced a 13-year-old runaway to work as a prostitute, court documents show. The child prostitution ring soon expanded to include at least two other victims.

Latrelle Hornbuckle, Cherrelle Hornbuckle, Tammy Brown, and Jacqueline Wade, all co-defendants in the case, have pleaded guilty to their involvement in the sex trafficking, but have not yet been sentenced.

Tynisha and Tamrell Hornbuckle made all the arrangements for the child prostitutes, including setting up a place, time and customer, according to court documents.

October 19, 2012
Inmate re-captured after brief escape from Woodland jail

An teenage inmate in Woodland was re-captured after he scaled a barbed-wire topped jail fence.

A correctional officer saw Gabriel Eugene Weston, 18, climbing the perimeter fence at the Leinberger Correctional Facility in Woodland about 6:35 a.m. today. Within minutes, Yolo County Sheriff's deputies arrived and surrounded the area with the help of Woodland police.

Soon, citizens reported seeing Weston. He was eventually found at the nearby Gibson Plaza Shopping Center behind some Dumpsters.

He was taken to the Monroe Detention Center where he was booked on an escape charge.

Weston had been in jail since Tuesday after Davis police for suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction or delaying a peace officer and driving without a license.

October 19, 2012
Files shed light on 5 of Sacramento's Boy Scout abuse cases

By Sam Stanton

Files on five of the 13 Sacramento-area Boy Scout leaders suspected of child abuse became available today and indicate that each of them had been investigated by law enforcement.

The files are part of a trove of secret information released Thursday by the Boy Scouts of America, which had kept information for decades on leaders suspected of inappropriate behavior with youngsters.

The files, released after a court battle, were compiled and released by Portland attorney Kelly Clark on his website,

October 19, 2012
Woman accused of striking boys released from jail again

By Richard Chang

Tresa Bales-Sterba, the woman whose car allegedly struck two boys as they walked to school two weeks ago, is now free again, after she was briefly taken back into custody Thursday.

Henry Perez-Rocha, 6, and Juan Perez-Rocha, 8, were struck in a crosswalk Oct. 5 at Greenback Lane and Mariposa Avenue on their way to Skycrest Elementary in Citrus Heights.

Police said that a Chrysler 300 driven by Bales-Sterba, 52, of Orangevale collided with a Chevy Suburban in the intersection, then spun into the children. The boys' mother was walking behind her sons with another child and witnessed the accident.

Hours after the collision, Citrus Heights police arrested Bales-Sterba on suspicion of felony driving under the influence with injury and misdemeanor driving with a suspended or revoked license.

She was released from the Sacramento County Jail after posting $100,000 bail. But during a Thursday morning court appearance, the judge raised the bail to $200,000 after a toxicology report showed Bales Sterba was under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs at the time of the crash, said Sacramento County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Shelly Orio.

The District Attoney's office filed a motion to increase bail based on the toxicology report and other factors, Orio said.

Bales-Sterba was taken back into custody Thursday, but was released the same day after posting the additional bail.

Eight-year-old Juan is recovering at home, while Henry, 6, is still listed in critical condition at UC Davis Medical Center. Henry was in a coma as of Saturday, said Candice Perez, the boy's aunt.

October 19, 2012
UPDATED: Police make arrests in two-year-old State Fair robbery

Gene Felder.JPGAntonio Harvey.JPGBy Anne Gonzales and Bill Lindelof

It was a long time coming, but two men accused of robbing a California State Fair concessionaire at gunpoint two years ago are behind bars.

Gene Irvin Felder, 34, and Antonio T. Harvey, 52, were arrested by Sacramento police Thursday on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

The pair are accused of stealing just over $200,000. They are being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail without bail.

During the fair's run on July 21, 2010, the men allegedly gained access to a cash counting office for the Ovations foodservice company in the grandstands of the fairground's race track, while three employees were counting the day's receipts at closing time about 10 p.m. They walked out with cash stuffed into a plastic bag.

October 19, 2012
Retired Sacramento K9 dies of cancer

A beloved Sacramento police dog who retired in 2011 died Thursday, after being diagnosed with cancer just a few days ago.

K9 Buck, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, spent his final days with his canine colleagues on the force and his handler, Sacramento Police Officer Randy Van Dusen.

As a patrol dog, K9 Buck was assigned to the SWAT division, where he helped serve warrants and performed high-risk searches for dangerous suspects, according to the Sacramento Police Canine Association.

October 18, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone brought to justice for 1991 slaying of Elverta man?

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

QUESTION: A classmate of mine by the name of Greg Knecht was murdered in 1991. Was his killer ever brought to justice?
Submitted by: Just Wondering, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two men were arrested for the 1991 slaying of 19-year-old Gregory Justin Knecht of Elverta. One admitted to the killing and the other was acquitted.

October 18, 2012
Man arrested after search turns up marijuana, guns

Sanchez-Moscoso,+Gilbert+19+-years-old.jpgA traffic stop Wednesday afternoon led to the arrest of a 19-year-old man on suspicion of marijuana and weapons offenses.

About 3:58 p.m., Sacramento police officers conducted a traffic stop that led to a warrant search of a home in the 8400 block of Hermitage Way, in the North Laguna area, according to a Police Department news release. During the search, officers seized approximately 15 pounds of marijuana, seven guns and approximately $20,000 in cash, officials said. The firearms seized were described as an assortment of handguns and two shotguns.

Officers arrested Gilbert Sanchez-Moscoso (pictured). He was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and removing serial numbers on a firearm.

Police ask anyone with information pertaining to the case to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

October 18, 2012
Sign-ups open for catalytic converter etching event in Rocklin

The Rocklin Police Department and Sierra College Auto Club will team up to offer free catalytic converter etching Nov. 3.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the auto shop on the Sierra College campus, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin.

Participants' vehicle license plate number will be etched on the converter and the etching painted for easy recognition. Each vehicle also will receive a small window decal indicating "This vehicle's catalytic converter has been etched by Rocklin PD" This can deter criminals and provide police with investigative tools to identify victims and arrest thieves, according to a Police Department news release.

October 18, 2012
Sacramento detectives arrest two in connection with fatal Arden Way shooting

williams.jpgSacramento County sheriff's detectives have arrested to suspects in connection with the fatal shooting of a man outside an Arden Way motel last month, according to authorities.

Ceasar Williams, 27 and pictured at left, and Michael Nunally, 28 and pictured below left, are accused in the Sept. 25 death of the 29-year-old victim, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. The victim's name has not yet been released by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Deputies found the victim after hearing reports of a shooting in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Arden Way, near Howe Avenue, about 9 p.m. the night of Sept. 25. Further investigation led detectives to identify Williams and Nunally as suspects in the crime, Ramos said.

Williams was arrested on suspicion of murder Oct. 16 and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. Nunally already was in custody at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center for an alleged parole violation when he was arrested on suspicion of murder, Ramos said.

nunally.jpgDetectives have not yet determined the motive for the shooting, and they are investigating the possibility that other suspects were involved, Ramos said.

They also suspect there were witnesses who did not come forward, and are asking that anyone with information call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

October 18, 2012
West Sacramento man pleads guilty to mortgage fraud charges

A West Sacramento man pleaded guilty today in federal court to mortgage fraud charges arising from home sales in the Sacramento area.

According to court documents, Sean McClendon, 46, participated in the loan origination process for buyers and in each instance the buyers' income and assets were falsified to qualify for the loans.

Co-defendant Anthony Salcedo allegedly compensated McClendon and another co-defendant, Anthony Williams, for finding buyers for four properties owned by or associated with Salcedo, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Some of the payments by Salcedo allegedly went to the buyers of the property, although the payments were never disclosed to the lenders as part of the purchase and sale agreements, officials said.

October 18, 2012
Alleged 'johns' arrested in sting along Watt Avenue corridor

Eleven men were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution during a Sacramento Sheriff's Department sting operation Wednesday.

"Operation Zero Tolerance" focused on the Watt Avenue corridor near Interstate 80, an area that has seen a proliferation of prostitution and associated criminal activity in recent years, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.Deputies from the sheriff's North Patrol Division and problem-oriented policing units participated in the operation.

Arrested on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution were David Axtell, 30, Brandon Close, 26, Jorge DeLaCuesta, 49, Vincent Gaxiaola, 19, David Heers, 37, Donald Hickey, 44, Alexander Kurchin, 27, Kenneth Melton, 28, Jose Roman, 41, Thomas Simon, 52, and Vladimir Voytitskiy, 54. All were booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail.

October 18, 2012
Fourth grade teacher nabs teenage theft suspect

By Diana Lambert

Coach Todd Shadbourne was running with his soccer team in Elk Grove Monday evening when he saw two teenagers on bicycles being chased by people in green smocks.

The Starbucks employees were yelling for the bicyclists to stop.

Shadbourne let the first bicyclist whiz past, but jumped in front of the second teen, grabbed him by the belt loop and wrested him from his bike.

"Obviously, something wasn't right," said Shadbourne, who teaches fourth grade at Foulk's Ranch Elementary.

He was right. The two teens had just rode through the drive-thru of Starbucks at Elk Grove-Florin and Bond roads and snatched the tip jar from the window, according the Elk Grove Police Department.

Their bounty: $10 in bills and change.

October 18, 2012
Roseville PD arrest man suspected of seeking sex with teen

By Ed Fletcher

A 33-year-old Lake County man remains in Placer County jail after being arrested earlier this week on suspicion of attempting to arrange a meeting with a Roseville teen for sexual purposes.

Robert George Schmidt, 33, of Lakeport, allegedly drove to Roseville on Sept. 29 to meet with a male teen, according to the Roseville Police Department.

The boy's parents, who had found "inappropriate" text messages on his cell phone, intervened and confronted Schmidt, the police said.

October 18, 2012
UPDATED: 13 Sacramento-area men listed in Boy Scout 'perversion files'

By Sam Stanton, Phillip Reese and Kim Minugh

The so-called "perversion files" released today after a lengthy court battle with the Boy Scouts of America contain references to 13 former Scout leaders in the Sacramento region, including a notorious case involving three former volunteers with the organization who were arrested and accused of trying to form a Sacramento chapter of the North American Man Boy Love Association.

The files, which date as far back to the 1960s and as recently as the 1980s, name men from Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Roseville, North Highlands and outlying areas from Lodi to Chico.

At least one of the men appears to still be living in the Sacramento area, according to a listing for him on the state's sex offender registry.

October 18, 2012
New Folsom inmate killed; cellmate is suspect

The death of an inmate at New Folsom prison is being investigated as a homicide.

The 51-year-old inmate was found unresponsive in his cell a little after 9 p.m. Wednesday during a prisoner count. His name has not been released.

The inmate has been in prison since Dec. 10, 2001, serving a 25-year-to-life sentence from Contra Costa County for assault with intent to commit a sex act. Cause of death was not released.

October 18, 2012
Redding PD: Suspected robber gets shovel handle to head in beef jerky haul

A Shasta County man was hit over the head with a shovel handle before fleeing with beef jerky in mini-mart robbery that went badly for him, according to Redding police.

Police said that they were called at 12:02 a.m. today to a Valero gas station/mini-mart in the Redding. They were provided a description of a robber who had just fled.

A short distance away, officers arrested William James Cree, 25, the suspected robber, and Tana Shannon Tracy, 35, his suspected getaway driver.

Police said that their investigation revealed that Cree entered the mini-mart and began to aggressively order around the store clerk, 44-year-old John Bourdon. Cree, police said, wanted cash, but Bourdon refused to turn over any of the store money.

Cree began to steal merchandise, which prompted Bourdon to order him out of the store, police said. Cree refused, according to a police press release, prompting the store clerk to strike Cree on the head with a shovel handle.

Cree ran from the store to the getaway car and eventually was taken into police custody. His alleged take: some beef jerky.

October 17, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Do police typically use robo-call alerts in missing person cases?

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

QUESTION: I live in Oak Park and last night I got a phone call at 11:30 p.m., when I was in bed, half asleep, and it was a recorded message from the police department about a missing boy. Earlier in the evening, a cop helicopter flew above my neighborhood for 20 minutes with loud-speaker alerts about the boy. I've gotten used to helicopters flying above my neighborhood, but the robo-phone call from the police was a first. Do you know if such calls are now standard police procedure?
Submitted by: Sleepless in Oak Park, Sacramento

ANSWER: Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said the department uses its Reverse911 program to notify residents of situations involving health and safety concerns.

October 17, 2012
Grass Valley police announce service cuts due to tight budget

Loss of personnel due to declining city revenues will result in a cutbacks in police services in Grass Valley.

Beginning next month, the Police Department will merge its dispatch operations with the Nevada County Sheriff's Office. It also will initiate new lobby hours for people requiring services at police headquarters, new protocols for when a police officer may be requested, and alternative reporting methods for various categories of crimes, according to a Police Department news release.

The lobby will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with staff members providing services that include offender registrant processing, records requests, parking permit purchases, traffic and parking citation payments, and special event application processing. The lobby will be closed to the public on weekends and major holidays.

October 17, 2012
Classic Mustang stolen from Woodcreek High campus was family treasure

Mustang Picture.jpgA Roseville family is asking the public's help in locating a red 1965 Mustang GT Fastback (pictured) that was stolen Tuesday from the parking lot at Woodcreek High School.

Kim Frkovich said the classic car had been passed down through three generations. Her father restored it in 1984 and gave it to her as a college graduation gift. It was one of four '65 Mustang Fastbacks that he restored, with one for himself and one for each of his three daughters.

Frkovich said her car hadn't been driven for 20 years when her father and a friend decided to "re-restore" it. Her son, Tanner, started driving it to school in January.

October 17, 2012
Former Sacramento teacher gets 18 years for child sex crimes

Thumbnail image for RB Preston Lewis 3.JPGFormer Sacramento teacher Preston Lewis was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in state prison for child sex crimes.

Lewis, who taught special education students at Sam Brannan Middle School, reached a plea deal last month in which he pleaded no contest to three felonies and a misdemeanor for molesting a 7-year-old boy, sending sexual text messages to 14-year-old student and possessing child pornography.

A Bee investigation last year found Lewis had been accused of inappropriate behavior as a teacher on three occasions, including twice after the state revoked his foster care license in 2007.

The state Department of Social Services barred Lewis in 2007 from being employed, visiting or contacting any facility licensed by the department after he was accused of fondling a boy and showering with another.

Lewis continued to teach in the Sacramento City Unified School district until 2010 when he was accused of communicating with one of his special education students with the intent to commit a sexual offense.

For more on this story, read

October 17, 2012
Prominent North Sacramento activist will not face charges over alleged threats

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office has decided not to pursue criminal charges against a prominent North Sacramento resident who allegedly threatened to burn down a former city official's house at a public meeting Monday night.

The decision not to prosecute Bob Slobe, 57, was based on a review of police reports and the fact that the alleged victim, former city manager Bob Thomas, did not want charges filed, according to a statement from the DA's office.

"Thomas stated that he and Slobe are longtime friends and neighbors and this was an isolated incident," according to the written statement.

Sacramento police arrested Slobe on suspicion of making criminal threats Monday night after he twice threatened to burn Thomas' house down. The two men were at a public forum to discuss the proposed move of the Casino Royale card room to the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake off Highway 160.

Thomas was moderating the discussion when Slobe's alleged outburst occurred.

The proposed move of the card room - partly owned by the son of former Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas - is opposed by some North Sacramento residents who fear it will draw more traffic and crime to the area.

Slobe is the scion of a well-known family that once owned the land that is now North Sacramento and is married to federal judge Kim Mueller, a former city councilwoman. He has been a long-time activist for his community, and most recently has been involved in discussions about how to handle the homeless population living on the American River Parkway, 400 acres of which his family gave to the county.

October 17, 2012
Sacramento police seek help in finding missing 14-year-old girl

Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in finding a 14-year-old girl who has been missing from her family's Natomas home since Sunday night.

garner.JPGNicholette Garner was last seen about 10 p.m. Sunday, said police Officer Michele Gigante.

Sometime thereafter, she crawled out the window of her bedroom at a home on Pony Express Drive, Gigante said.

October 17, 2012
Update: Citrus Heights police say shooting was about marijuana, not break-in

Citrus Heights police went to the 7700 block of Bierston Street this morning after reports that a resident had shot an intruder.

Turns out, the supposed intruder was actually the resident's former rooommate, who came to settle a drug dispute by grabbing some of the resident's pot plants growing in the backyard, according to Citrus Heights police.

The 34-year-old former roommate was taken to a local hospital with shotgun wounds that were not life-threatening, police said. The resident, later identified by police as 37-year-old Jeri Higby, was taken to jail.

Police arrested Higby on suspicion of arrest with a deadly weapon. He is being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $75,000.

When police arrived, they found the victim in the resident's backyard. Higby was cooperative, authorities said; however, it was not immediately clear whether initial information that the man he shot was trying to break in was accurate.

Detectives later learned that Higby was in an ongoing fight with his former roommate regarding an amount of marijuana, according to Detective Chad Morris. That former roommate came to the Bierston Street home today and attempted to take marijuana plants from the backyard. The shooting followed an argument between the men, Morris said.

According to Sacramento Superior Court records available online, Higby has a criminal record that includes convictions for misdemeanor possession of stolen property and grand theft.

He was sent to a drug diversion program in 1998 and again the next year after he was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, records show. That charge later was dismissed.

October 17, 2012
Officer-involved shooting in Stockton wounds man

An officer-involved shooting occurred today in Stockton involving San Joaquin County sheriff's deputies.

A press release from the department states that SWAT deputies were helping narcotics investigators serve a search warrant at a home in the 3700 block of East Miner Street about 6 a.m. when the shooting occurred.

A man armed with a shotgun was shot when entry by deputies was made into the home. The man was transported to a hospital, but his condition has not been released.

No deputies were injured. No additional information was released.

October 17, 2012
Man arrested by Sac deputies for school break-in

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man on suspicion of breaking into a school today to steal tech equipment.

The man, who was not immediately identified, is suspected of burglarizing a classroom at Orangevale Open K-8, 5630 Illinois Ave., early this morning. Deputies were able to recover four i-Pads and a document camera, according to a school district spokesman.

A laptop and a projector are still missing.

Fox40 reported that a police dog found the suspect hiding in a doghouse.

October 17, 2012
Roseville painting outdoor plumbing devices green

The City of Roseville is asking local businesses to join in painting certain oft-stolen brass plumbing devices a shade of green.

The city's utility department is painting city-owned backflow prevention devices green in hopes that they can easily be identified as coming from Roseville. The brass backflow valves, installed as part of fresh water systems, are taken by thieves who sell them for scrap.

When thieves cut them from piping, water service is interrupted and repairs are costly, according to a Roseville police e-newsletter.

"Our goal is to clearly mark these devices coming from Roseville so that if they are found in the possession of a suspected thief or at a scrap yard, we'll be able to more easily identify them as stolen property," the newsletter stated.

The city is also encouraging private businesses to paint their backflow devices "Roseville green."

October 16, 2012
UPDATE: Boy reported missing in Oak Park found safe

Dejay+Lott,+14.jpgA 14-year-old boy who was reported missing in the Oak Park area this evening has been found safe at Franklin Boulevard and Florin Road, according to Sacramento police.

Police said Dejay Lott (pictured), who was considered at risk because of a mental disability, got into an argument with his mother as they were traveling in her car about 8 p.m., and when they came to a stop, the boy got out. His mother was unable to locate him and called police.

Officers responded and began searching neighborhoods.

October 16, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone convicted in 1993 slaying of Sacramento prosecutor?

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

QUESTION: In 1993, Brian Hintz, a Sacramento prosecutor, was shot an killed in Elk Grove. Was anyone convicted, and what was the outcome of the trial?
Submitted by: D. Pinto, Elk Grove

ANSWER:Brian Hintz, a deputy district attorney in Sacramento, was fatally shot Sept. 29, 1993, by his 17-year-old nephew on property Hintz owned in Elk Grove.

The youth, who was not identified by The Bee because of his age, was convicted in Juvenile Court of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to the California Youth Authority in 1994. He was to be eligible for release in four years.

The prosecutor said the youth shot Hintz, 32, in the chest with a hunting rifle after the two argued over an engine hoist the boy did not have permission to use.

Hintz's family said the shooting was especially tragic because the teen, who had been shuttled among family members' homes, had been closer to Hintz than to any other adult.

The youth had been living with a friend in a camper shell on Hintz's property in the Laguna area for about a month before the shooting.

A visiting judge heard the case and the state Attorney General's Office prosecuted it because of potential conflicts stemming from Hintz's job as a deputy district attorney.

Have a Sacto 911 question? Submit it here.

October 16, 2012
Olivehurst man sentenced in Iowa for federal marijuana, weapons offenses

A Yuba County man has been sentenced to prison by a federal court judge in Iowa after pleading guilty to weapons charges and to possessing medical marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

Kelvin Maximillion Stanford of Olivehurst was sentenced Oct. 11 in Cedar Rapids by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade to two years in federal prison. He was stopped on Interstate 80 driving from California with nearly 3 pounds of medical marijuana, a firearm and a stun baton, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Stanford pleaded guilty in July to possessing with the intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana and being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.

October 16, 2012
Authorities seek dog that bit jogger in West Sacramento

The Yolo County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help to locate a dog involved in a biting incident Oct. 6 in West Sacramento.

A woman was walking a dog on a leash about 11 a.m. in the area of a bike bath in the 3500 block of Bridgeway Lakes Drive when another woman jogged by on the bike path. The dog lunged at the jogger and bit her, causing moderate injury, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The dog owner stopped and advised the victim that her dog was current on its rabies vaccination, but the victim failed to get any personal information from the dog owner at the time to be able to verify the information, officials said. Animal Services authorities received the bite report from the victim, but a search of the area has failed to locate the owner or the dog.

October 16, 2012
Coroner IDs woman accidentally shot by boyfriend in Natomas

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the woman fatally shot by her boyfriend Monday morning as 34-year-old Desire Ann Miller.

The boyfriend, who has not been identified and is not in custody, told Sacramento police officers he fired because he mistook Miller for an intruder.

The shooting occurred about 5:30 a.m. on Battlecreek Circle in Natomas. The boyfriend immediately called 911 and was cooperative with investigators, according to police.

Related story: Boyfriend tells police he fatally shot girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder

October 16, 2012
Panel to recall notorious Sacramento crimes

Puente_NoPlea.JPGSome of the most sensational crimes of the past century in Sacramento will be discussed by a panel of retired lawmen, lawyers and a jurist.

Former Sacramento Union reporter Steve Martarano will host the gathering 7 p.m. Sunday at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St. The event is free and open to all ages.

Among the cases scheduled to be discussed is that of Dorothea Puente, the F Street landlady convicted of killing her tenants and burying them in her backyard. Also sure to be recalled is the case of Richard Trenton Chase.

In the late 1970s, Chase killed six people in the Sacramento area. He was known as the "Vampire Killer" because he drank the blood of his victims.

PHOTO CAPTION: .Dorothea Puente talks with her attorneys Kevin Clymo, left, and Peter Vlautin at her arraignment n Sacramento Superior Court on nine murder charges. Puente did not enter a plea. RANDY PENCH/Sacramento Bee

October 16, 2012
Informant sticks to decades-old murder story; DA blasts him

A police informant who was central to a now-discredited theory of murder in the killings of two UC Davis students 32 years ago reaffirmed today that one of four defendants charged but later released in the case admitted to him that he and another of the original suspects were responsible for the slayings.

Raymond Gonzales, a long-time operative for assorted Sacramento area law enforcement agencies, said that Richard Thompson told him that he and David Hunt committed the Dec. 20, 1980 murders of John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

DNA extracted from a semen-stained blanket in Riggins van, however, excluded Hunt, Thompson and two others originally-charged defendants, and Yolo County prosecutors were forced to drop charges on them. The Sacramento DA's office, meanwhile, charged Richard Joseph Hirschfield with the murders, based on the DNA evidence, and it was in his trial that Gonzales testified today as a defense witness. Hirschfield faces the death penalty if he is convicted.

October 16, 2012
Pedestrian on I-5 downtown hit by 3 vehicles

A man died after being struck by three vehicles on northbound Interstate 5 downtown early this morning.

The California Highway Patrol first received a call at 4:18 a.m. of a man walking on the freeway between the J Street and Richards Boulevard off ramps. Moments later, dispatchers received a second call that at least one vehicle had hit the man.

A CHP press release said the man walked directly into the path of a Toyota. The man's body was then hit by a Honda and then a final time by another vehicle.

The first two drivers stopped, but the third vehicle fled the scene, according to the CHP.

The 49-year-old dead man's name and city of residence have not been released.

October 16, 2012
Novice motorcyclist dies in crash along Sacramento River

A beginning motorcycle rider on a just-purchased Yamaha motorbike died last night on Highway 160 in the delta.

Boun Cha Vang, 29, of Sacramento, had just purchased his motorcycle Monday evening and was out on a ride in the country with other cyclists. Vang at some point became separated from the group.

For unknown reasons, Vang's motorcycle left the roadway across the Sacramento River from the town of Clarksburg about 8:40 p.m. Monday and struck a metal guard rail. Vang was ejected from the motorcycle and died on the scene.

He was wearing a full mask helmet while on the motorcycle. However, the California Highway Patrol noted in a press release that that the helmet came off in the crash and may not have been properly worn. The helmet was found unstrapped.

When Vang's fellow riders discovered he was not with the pack, they retraced their route to the crash scene. His fellow riders told officers Vang was a novice rider who had never previously owned a motorcycle.

October 16, 2012
Man shot during pig slaughter dies from wound

A 28-year-old Elk Grove man who was accidentally shot in the face during the slaughter of a pig for a family celebration has died, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

He was identified Koua Vang. Vang had been on life support at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento hospital

The shooting happened at 6:25 a.m. Saturday at Vang's residence in the 8400 block of Kinder Lane, a rural area near Calvine and Grant Line roads, said Christopher Trim, an Elk Grove police spokesman.

October 15, 2012
Police arrest prominent North Sacramento resident on suspicion of making threats

Police arrested a prominent North Sacramento resident this evening after he allegedly made threats to burn down the home of former Sacramento city manager Bob Thomas, according to authorities.

Bob Slobe, whose family originally developed the North Sacramento area, was taken into custody about 7 p.m. during a community forum about the proposed relocation of a card room to a local hotel, said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante.

About 100 people were in attendance at the forum, which was being moderated by Thomas, Gigante said.

Thomas serves as a consultant to a group that seeks to move the Casino Royale card room - owned in part by the son of former Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas - to the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake off Highway 160.

Thomas was moderating the discussion at the front of the room this evening when Slobe began yelling at one of the speakers to "shut up," Gigante said. When the speaker sat down, Slobe allegedly turned his attention to Thomas.

"In a loud and threatening voice, Slobe yelled, 'I'm going to burn your house down' to Bob Thomas," Gigante said. She said Slobe repeated the threat a second time.

Sacramento police Capt. Jim Maccoun, who commands the city's north sector and was in attendance, asked Slobe, 57, to step outside, but Slobe "became angry and a bit resistant," Gigante said.

Maccoun then arrested Slobe on suspicion of making criminal threats, Gigante said. He was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on a felony count and, as of this evening, was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

The plan to relocate the Casino Royale has come under fire from some North Sacramento residents who fear the move would invite crime and traffic problems.

Slobe's family once owned much of the land that became what is now North Sacramento. His family also transferred 400 acres of what is now the American River Parkway to Sacramento County in 1989.

October 15, 2012
U.S. Marshals nab suspected child molester in Orland

By Kim Minugh

A 44-year-old accused child molester was arrested in Orland today after being on the lam since January 2011, according to authorities.

The Tehama County Sheriff's Department was investigating allegations that Pascual DeJesus had repeatedly committed lewd and sexual acts with a child under the age of 14 when he fled, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service's Eastern District of California.

The next month, a warrant was issued for his arrest, but DeJesus was believed to be in Mexico, the release states.

October 15, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 Crime Q&A: Was anyone caught in 1980s homicide in Lincoln Village?

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

QUESTION: A friend of mine was murdered in Sacramento in 1985, named Gary Wells. Was his murderer ever caught and what happened to him? I believe his name was Dwayne Richardson. What actually happened that night?
Submitted by: sin dawg, Sacramento

ANSWER: Dwayne Michael Richardson pleaded guilty in the 1984 shooting death of 19-year-old Gary Wells.

October 15, 2012
Sheriff's Activities League restarts Friday night basketball program for youth; donors needed

By Kim Minugh

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Activities League has revived its "Friday Night Madness" basketball program for youths in the Oak Park area.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, teens are invited to the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center, 4036 14th Avenue, for some basketball with sheriff's deputies and volunteers with the Sheriff's Activities League.

The free program is designed to build relationships between law enforcement officers and residents in the areas they serve, including youths.

October 15, 2012
Linda man arrested after meth found during vehicle stop

A Linda man was arrested after a Yuba County sheriff's deputy reported finding more than an ounce of methamphetamine in his vehicle.

A deputy was on patrol in the 3200 block of Erle Road about 2 a.m. Saturday when he stopped a vehicle driven by Larry Dorsey, 47, who is on parole, a Sheriff's Department news release shows.

During a search of Dorsey's vehicle deputies located more than 37 grams of methamphetamine packaged in several different baggies. They also seized a syringe and a small amount of heroin, officials said.

Dorsey was booked into the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of possessing controlled substances for sale and transporting controlled substances.

October 15, 2012
Three arrested in raid on Wilton marijuana growing operation

Wilton marijuana photo 2.JPGThree people were arrested this morning after law enforcement officers raided a marijuana growing operation in the Wilton area.

Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, said the plants were spotted in the 9700 block of La Clair Road via aerial surveillance.

Agents with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team removed 337 plants and destroyed them on site (pictured). Gregory said 200 to 300 pounds of processed marijuana were seized along with a loaded rifle.

Arrested were Ket Sanesanong, 58 and his wife, Janet Sanesanong, 54, as well as Khamphanh Savantphone, 58. All were booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion marijuana cultivation and cultivation for sale.

Photo courtesy California Department of Justice

October 15, 2012
Arrest made after man wounded in Saturday shooting in Winters

A 54-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a shooting in Winters on Saturday.

Winters police received numerous calls about 3 p.m. regarding a shooting near Third and Baker streets. Callers said a 49-year-old man had suffered gunshot wounds.

Officers found the alleged shooter in the 600 block of Third Street standing near a blue Chevrolet Impala.

October 15, 2012
Prosecution rests in Hirschfield murder trial

Prosecutors rested their case today in the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial. Defense attorneys then immediately launched their presentation, questioning a detective who investigated four suspects who previously were cleared in the killings of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

The witness, former Davis police Det. Fred P. Turner, told the Sacramento Superior Court jury how he picked up the cold case seven years after the Dec. 20, 1980, bludgeon and slashing deaths of the two 18-year-old victims. He said he built his case on an informant who "elicited remarkable information" during a taped conversation with one of the four previous suspects in a skid-row hotel in Los Angeles.

Details from informant Ray Gonzales' conversation with the suspect, Richard Thompson, implicating himself or the other purported accomplices never made it onto the tape, however. Turner said he then told Gonzales to record his own recollections onto a new tape.

October 15, 2012
All lanes now open after I-5 hay spill

All lanes of southbound Interstate 5 in southern Sacramento County are open again after a spill of hay.

Lane closures occurred about 9 a.m. today just south of Twin Cities Road when a big rig crashed. The rig dumped 50-60 bales of hay.

The hay was removed and the lanes re-opened at about 10:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

October 15, 2012
UPDATE: Boyfriend tells police he fatally shot girlfriend after mistaking her for intruder

A man who told police that he fatally shot his girlfriend this morning after mistaking her for an intruder has been released following interviews with police, but authorities say the investigation is continuing.

The man telephoned authorities about 5:30 a.m. to report that he had accidentally shot his girlfriend, police said. Officers immediately responded to the home on Battlecreek Circle in Natomas where police began an investigation.

The man "called in, saying he had accidentally shot his girlfriend, believing her to be an intruder," said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante. "She was transported to the hospital and has succumbed to her injuries."

October 15, 2012
UPDATE: Suspect identified in stabbing aboard boat in Sacramento channel

A man suspected of stabbing another man aboard a sailboat along the Sacramento River on Sunday evening has been identified by police as Robert Parke, 40, of West Sacramento.

West Sacramento police report that a group of people were on a 40-foot sailboat moored in the Sacramento Deep Water Channel when an argument began. Alcohol was being consumed, police said.

A some point a 27-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by a 40-year-old West Sacramento man aboard the vessel. Police responded about 6:30 p.m. Sunday to the boat at the Port of Sacramento to find the younger man suffering from several stab wounds.

He was transported to a hospital where he was reported in stable condition. Parke was booked into Yolo County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

October 14, 2012
Driver killed in Folsom collision was Orangevale resident

By Anne Gonzales

A driver who was killed in a fiery head-on crash at Folsom Lake Crossing was identified Sunday by the Sacramento County coroner's office as Steven Schwartz, 28, of Orangevale.

The driver of the other car was badly burned and had not been positively identified by Sunday afternoon, according to Folsom police.

A BMW sport-utility vehicle was traveling at "extremely excessive" speeds when it crossed the double yellow lines and hit a Honda compact car being driven by Schwartz about 12:20 a.m. Saturday, police said.

October 14, 2012
I-5 car crash fatality identified

By Anne Gonzales

The Sacramento coroner's office identified the victim of a Friday morning head-on collision in south Sacramento County as Benjamin Hernandez De La Cruz, 32, of Sacramento.

He was driving south on Interstate 5 near Twin Cities Road about 6:20 a.m. when his car crossed over the center median, spun out of control and in to the path of another car traveling northbound on the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of the northbound car, a 35-year-old Walnut Grove woman, could not avoid the collision, according to the CHP. Both cars careened off the road and onto the freeway shoulder.

De La Cruz was declared dead at the scene. The other driver was transported to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

October 14, 2012
Elk Grove man, 28, critical after brother accidentally shoots him in the face

By Anne Gonzales

A 28-year-old Elk Grove man is on life support after being accidentally shot in the face by his brother Saturday while slaughtering a pig for a family celebration, authorities said.

Elk Grove police identified the victim as Koua Vang. He suffered life-threatening injuries and was listed in critical condition at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento hospital Sunday afternoon.

The shooting happened at 6:25 a.m. at Vang's residence, in the 8400 block of Kinder Lane, a rural area near Calvine and Grant Line roads, said Christopher Trim, an Elk Grove Police spokesman.

October 13, 2012
Update: Man killed in Folsom crash had been designated driver

Two men are dead after a BMW SUV crashed head-on into a Honda compact car on the Folsom Lake Crossing shortly after midnight today, police said.

Folsom Police arrived at 12:28 a.m. to find a burning BMW and a totaled Honda, according to police spokesman Sgt. Jason Browning. He said the BMW was traveling at "extremely excessive speeds," when it crossed the double yellow lines and hit the Honda compact. Both drivers died instantly.

Police have identified the Honda driver, but the BMW driver has not yet been identified since his body was badly burned. There were no other people inside the vehicles.

The Honda driver's wife told police Saturday morning that her husband was in Folsom because he was the designated driver and had just finished dropping off his friends, Browning said.

Police are still investigating whether alcohol or drugs were a factor. The crash closed Folsom Lake Crossing for over eight hours, before it was re-opened shortly before 9 a.m. today.

October 12, 2012
Crashed vehicle belonging to missing man found near South Lake Tahoe

A vehicle registered to an Elk Grove man who was reported missing in May was located today down a steep embankment off Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe.

Sgt. Dan Paxton of the California Highway Patrol said the vehicle, a 2001 Honda Civic, was spotted near Johnson Pass Road about 2 p.m by a person walking a dog in an area above the crash site. He said the vehicle was about 100 feet down an embankment on the south side of Highway 50.

When officers reached the vehicle and found no one inside, the El Dorado County sheriff's search and rescue team brought in a dog to search the area. Paxton said human remains were found about 100 feet from the vehicle.

October 12, 2012
Minor injuries reported after car ends up under big rig on I-80

Remarkably, CHP officials say, two people suffered only minor injuries this evening when a Toyota ended up halfway under a big rig.

The crash occurred about 8:45 p.m. on eastbound Interstate 80 near the Madison Avenue onramp. CHP spokeswoman Officer Lizz Dutton said details on how the collision occurred were not immediately available, but a Toyota ended partly under the big rig, with the two vehicles partially in the slow lane and on the right shoulder. Another car ended up in the center divider.

Crashes such as this usually result in a fatality, Dutton said, but the drivers of the Toyota and the other car apparently suffered minor injuries. The truck driver was not injured.

The freeway was cleared at 9:46 p.m., the CHP reported.

October 12, 2012
Electrical problem blamed for Orangevale mobile home fire

ovalefire image005 (1).jpgFire officials say an electrical problem appears to have caused a fire that damaged a mobile home in Orangevale this morning.

Shortly after 8 a.m., an elderly resident of the mobile home at 9340 Orangevale Ave. heard a "pop" in the back bedroom that was followed by fire, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.

Fire crews responded to a report of heavy smoke and found a fire in the rear section of the mobile home.With residents safely outside the home, firefighters worked to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring homes. Officials said the fire was quickly brought under control and confined to back section of the home.

No injuries were reported.

Damage from the fire was estimated at $20,000.

Photo courtesy Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District

October 12, 2012
Roadside welfare check turns up 16 pounds of marijuana

Five people were arrested today on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale after a Yolo County sheriff's deputy made an an early-morning welfare check on occupants of a U-Haul truck.

The truck was parked on County Road 82b, off Highway 16 near Capay at 2:30 a.m. While speaking with the occupants, the deputy smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Other deputies arrived and searched the truck. During the search, they found more than 25 bags of marijuana weighing approximately 16 pounds, officials said.

October 12, 2012
South Lake Tahoe broker sentenced for embezzling from clients

A South Lake Tahoe investment broker has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for stealing from clients' accounts.

Lori Zoval, 47, also will be subject to three years of supervised release following her prison term for embezzling client money while employed as a licensed investment broker with a brokerage firm in Folsom. She was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., and a hearing was scheduled for Nov. 2 to determine the restitution amount, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Zoval pleaded guilty to using her position of trust to embezzle at least $24,939 from the investment and retirement accounts of her clients between October 2005 and April 2006. At sentencing, however, the court found that she had stolen more than $430,000 from these clients, a married couple close to retirement.

October 12, 2012
UPDATE: Man found after reported missing in West Sacramento

savala.JPGWest Sacramento police say that a man reported missing has been located and is with his family.

Tony Savala (pictured) had last been seen about 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Margaret McDowell Senior Center at 1525 Merkley Ave. in West Sacramento.

Police said Savala is not from West Sacramento and was unfamiliar with the area. He was considered at risk because he suffers from dementia and other medical conditions that require medication, according to a Police Department news release.

October 12, 2012
13-year-old girl missing since Sept. 7 found in North Highlands

A 13-year-old girl missing since early September was found Thursday morning in North Highlands, according to authorities.

Kaylecia Jackson had been considered an at-risk missing person since she disappeared from her Sacramento County home Sept. 7.

After she was located, she was taken into protective custody and her parents were notified, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

October 12, 2012
Update: Antelope gas pipe leak stopped

Residents have been allowed back in their homes after a ruptured gas line in an Antelope neighborhood was crimped off.

Construction crews broke the 2-inch natural gas line when working in the vicinity of Walerga Road and Singing Tree Way about 10 a.m., sending gas into the air, said fire officials.

Pacific Gas & Electric crews responded, dug holes on either side other the rupture, and crimped off the pipe. With the leak stopped about 11:45 a.m., about 10 residents, who earlier had been evacuated, were allowed back inside their homes.

Crews had been digging to install the base for a new street lamp when the break occurred. The damaged portion of the pipe line will be fixed this afternoon, said a representative from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

October 12, 2012
Career criminal sentenced to life term in prison for raping two Sacramento County victims

A Sacramento Superior Court judge slammed convicted rapist Frank Rackley Sr. with a life-long sentence this morning as his two victims and their supporters looked on.

In May, a jury convicted Rackley, a career criminal with a history that dates back to his days as a teenager, of two counts of forcible rape and two other counts of sexual assault. For those crimes, plus special allegations found to be true and because of prior strikes, Judge Greta Curtis Fall handed down a sentence of 141 years to life.

Rackley's victims, 16 and 30 at the time of the attacks, were working as prostitutes when he picked them up. The victims attended today's sentencing but did not speak. They left the courtroom and were quietly congratulated, hugged and kissed by supporters in the courthouse elevator.

October 12, 2012
Update: CHP reveals details of morning's fatal I-5 crash

A man died when his car crossed over the freeway median separating lanes on Interstate 5 in southern Sacramento County and collided with an on-coming vehicle.

The California Highway Patrol said the 32-year-old Sacramento man was driving southbound on I-5 near Twin Cities Road about 6:20 a.m. when his car crossed over the center median.

The car spun out of control and into the path of another car headed northbound on I-5. The driver of the on-coming northbound car could not avoid collision, crashing into the man's vehicle.

Both cars careened off the roadway and onto the freeway shoulder, according to the CHP. The man was declared dead at the scene; his name was withheld pending notification of family.

The driver of the northbound car, a 35-year-old woman from Walnut Grove, was transported to the hospital with minor-to-moderate injuries.

October 11, 2012
Inderkum High teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with minor

Cyr,+Rebekah+33.jpgA 33-year-old teacher at Inderkum High School has been arrested, accused of inappropriate conduct with a minor.

Rebekah Cyr (pictured) turned herself in at the Sacramento County jail today following a police investigation. According to the Inderkum High website, Cyr teaches English at the Natomas Unified School District campus.

On Sept. 12, the Sacramento Police Department began an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct by Cyr toward a 17-year-old male student. She is accused of making inappropriate advances and communication with the youth, according to a Police Department news release.

October 11, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Who was convicted of 1980s mutilation-murder in Sacramento?

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

QUESTION: In the mid-1980s, Stephen Rogers was killed in Sacramento. Police found some of his body parts in the trunk of his car while another man was installing a stereo in the car in a Sacramento city alley. Who was convicted and what was the outcome of the trial?
Submitted by: Elizabeth Lady, Elk Grove

ANSWER: Timothy Robert Sugars admitted to the first-degree mutilation-murder of his friend, Stephen M. Rogers, and was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison.

October 11, 2012
Testimony in Davis 'sweethearts' case reflects passage of time since double slayings

Today's proceedings in the Davis "sweethearts" trial were a reminder of just how long this case has been winding its way through Sacramento's criminal justice system.

First, jurors heard from Dr. Pierce Rooney - or at least a videotaped version of him. The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on John Riggins - killed with his girlfriend Sabrina Gonsalves just before Christmas in 1980 - has died since he testified in the 2007 preliminary hearing to decide whether Richard Hirschfield would stand trial for the murders.

A judge ruled that he should stand trial, and the video of that 2007 testimony was played Friday for jurors who are now tasked with deciding whether Hirschfield is responsible for the brutal slayings more than three decades ago.

October 11, 2012
Sacramentans sentenced in interstate marijuana shipping case

Two men were sentenced in federal court in Sacramento today for charges related to an interstate marijuana shipping business.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Jauwon Pierre Wilder, 28, to two years in prison, and Charles Wilson, 35, to 10 months in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Both men are from Sacramento.

According to court documents, in 2011 co-defendant Keni Renta ran a business that sold marijuana interstate. He obtained a majority of his supply from other California growers. Wilson grew marijuana for the business, and Wilder helped launder the proceeds from the operation.

October 11, 2012
Parole denied Davis man convicted of murdering son in 1994

A Davis man convicted in 1994 of murder and child abuse in the beating death of his 14-month-old son will remain in prison.

The Board of Parole Hearing commissioners on Wednesday denied parole to 42-year-old Manuel Bermudez, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. The hearing took place at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, where Bermudez is serving life in prison.

A Yolo County jury convicted Bermudez of murder in the child's death, which occurred in January 1994.

October 11, 2012
Controlled burn near Elk Grove today

A controlled grassland burn may be noticeable by Elk Grove residents today.

Federal and local firefighters will be burning up to 37 acres of grassland within the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The burn will take place south of Elk Grove, north of Lambert Road and about a mile west of Interstate 5.

Smoke should quickly dissipate, according to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The burn helps with firefighter training, reduces high grass fire danger and improves wildlife habitat.

October 11, 2012
Mallet-wielding man chases Roseville dog-walker

A homeless man armed with a mallet recently chased after a Roseville woman, prompting police to warn residents about late-night walks alone.

Police said the incident happened about 11 p.m. Oct. 3 when a woman walking her small dogs behind an office complex in the 1300 block of Blue Oaks Boulevard was frightened by a man who jumped out of a sleeping bag.

The man, who brandished a mallet, screamed threats before chasing after the woman.

October 10, 2012
Suspected Auburn homicide victim was San Francisco resident

A man whose body was found off a roadway in Auburn on Monday morning has been identified by police as Larry Colvin, 33, of San Francisco.

Detective Dustin McLaughlin said Colvin died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and the case is being investigated as a homicide. Police have not determined why Colvin was in Auburn.

McLaughlin said few details are currently being released because of the continuing investigation.

October 10, 2012
Girl, 11, awakens to drunk intruder sleeping in her bed

An 11-year-old girl awoke Saturday morning in Antelope to find a strange, intoxicated man sleeping alongside her, authorities said.

The girl sneaked out of bed without disturbing the man, then alerted her mother, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reported. The girl and her mother were not injured, and the man later arrested, officials said.

The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Harvinder Badesha, allegedly entered the Pepperridge Drive home through an unlocked door or window, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. He then went upstairs and got into bed with the girl, Ramos said.

The girl woke up about 7 a.m. and noticed the man next to her, got out of bed and got her mom, Ramos said. Her mom confronted the man, then held him inside the home until deputies arrived.

Deputies arrested Badesha on suspicion of burglary. Ramos said Badesha was intoxicated at the time he was arrested.

October 10, 2012
Boy, 6, remains in coma, older brother released after car struck both
Henry_Perez.jpg  Juan_Perez.jpg

By Kim Minugh

Little Juan Perez-Rocha (above, right) is finally out of the hospital, but he keeps wanting to go back.

That's where his little brother, 6-year-old Henry (above, left), remains, still slumbering in a coma that set in when the two boys were struck by a car while walking to school Friday morning.

Eight-year-old Juan seems to understand what's going on around him, said the boys' aunt, Candice Perez, and he wants to be there for his brother.

October 10, 2012
Former owner of Lincoln firm indicted for fraudulent aircraft repairs

A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment charging a Granite Bay man with conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts.

According to court documents, William Hugh Weygandt, 63, is the former owner and president of WECO Aeropsace Systems Inc., a Federal Aviation Administration-certified aircraft repair station based in Lincoln, which was purchased n 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

Former WECO executives -- Jerry Edward Kuwata, 60 of Granite Bay; Michael Dennis Maupin, 58, of Arbuckle; Scott Hamilton Durham, 39, of Roseville; Christopher Warren MacQueen, 53, of Lincoln; Douglas Arthur Johnson 52, of Granite Bay; and Anthony Vincent Zito, 47 of Saugus -- were previously indicted by the grand jury in September 2011 for conspiracy and fraud involving airplane parts, and mail fraud. Kuwata, Durham, MacQueen and Johnson are also charged in the superseding indictment. Maupin and Zito have pleaded guilty to federal offenses and await sentencing, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

October 10, 2012
Would-be thieves reportedly raid Loomis marijuana garden

The Placer County Sheriff's Department is investigating after would-be thieves reportedly raided an outdoor marijuana garden in Loomis this morning.

A Loomis man called the Sheriff's Department at 4:53 a.m. and said that several men wearing masks raided his garden as he slept outside to guard his 100 plants. The men did not take any pot, but they fired two shots at the house as they fled, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The man told sheriff's dispatchers that two or three individuals entered his back yard in the 9100 block of King Road. The man ran into his home to tell his roommate what was happening, and the would-be thieves ran back to their vehicle. As they headed east on King Road, the intruders fired two rounds into the house. No one in the residence was injured.

Although the case in still under investigation, sheriff's officials said it appears that the marijuana was being illegally grown. All 100 plants, which were 5 to 6 feet tall, were uprooted and removed from the property. Authorities said the owner of the plants could face criminal charges.

October 10, 2012
Trust fund set up, carwash scheduled to benefit injured Skycrest students

Bales.Sterba_Teresa.jpgA trust fund has been set up and a carwash scheduled to help the family of two boys who were injured when hit by a driver in Citrus Heights last week.

Henry Perez-Rocha, 6, and his brother Juan, 8, were hit by the car shortly after 8 a.m. Friday in the intersection of Greenback Lane and Mariposa Road while walking to Skycrest Elementary School.

Witnesses said the boys were in the crosswalk when the car driven by Tresa Bales-Sterba, pictured at left, sideswiped another car at the busy intersection, spun out of control and struck the boys.

October 9, 2012
Asked Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to senior-transport worker accused of killing Folsom woman?

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

QUESTION: What happened to Sylvester Griffin, the man who killed an elderly woman in her home?
Submitted by: Anthony, Modesto

ANSWER: Sylvester Griffin was sentenced in May to life in prison without possibility of parole for the rape and asphyxiation murder of 64-year-old Alice Lynn Murphy.

October 9, 2012
UPDATE: Missing Foothill Farms man reunited with family

Bouzoumita.jpgA 54-year-old man who had been missing from his Foothill Farms residence for two days has been located.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reported this evening that Farhat Bouzoumita (pictured) has been reunited with his family.

He had been reported missing after leaving his apartment in the 4400 block of Oakhollow Drive on Sunday evening. He was considered at risk because of a potentially life-threatening medical condition, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

October 9, 2012
Homicide suspected in death of man found off road in Auburn

Auburn police are investigating a possible homicide after a man's body was found this morning off a roadway in the city.

Sgt. Dale Hutchins said police received a call about 9:20 a.m. from a resident who reported seeing what appeared to be body off to the side of the road in the 100 block of Park Street.

"There's a strong likelihood of homicide," Hutchins said.