Sacto 9-1-1
November 30, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who left children in house with dead mother?

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

QUESTION: Sometime in the late 1990s, a father killed his wife and left his young children in the home. Whatever happened to the kids and the father?
Submitted by: Tim Thayer, North Highlands

ANSWER: Former McClatchy High School teacher Robert Castorena pleaded no-contest to second-degree murder in the 1996 stabbing death of his wife, Janice Baker-Castorena.

November 30, 2012
Two accused of trying to sell marijuana to narcotics officers

Two men described by authorities as validated gang members from the Sacramento area were arrested in El Dorado County after they allegedly tried to sell marijuana to narcotics investigators.

On Tuesday, the Western El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team received information from a Sheriff's Department employee that he had received an offer to trade a vehicle and one quarter pound of marijuana for a vehicle that he had listed for sale on Craigslist, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Department news release. Narcotics investigators initiated contact with the buyer, arranging to meet him Wednesday in a parking lot at 3935 Park Drive in El Dorado Hills.

The investigators contacted Somyouth Chanthongdao, 27, at his vehicle. After agreeing to the exchange, they were led to another, nearby vehicle and were shown approximately a quarter pound of marijuana in the trunk, officials said.

November 30, 2012
Two men arrested in Rocklin, Lincoln vehicle burglaries

Rocklin police have arrested two men in connection with vehicle burglaries at Sierra College and in the city of Lincoln.

Mark Dingman, 39, and Jordan Edwards, 29, both of Rocklin, were arrested today following an investigation of four separate auto burglaries reported Wednesday on the Sierra College campus.

Based on physical evidence and investigative leads, officers within hours obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 2300 block of South Whitney Boulevard in Rocklin. When they served the search warrant, officers found evidence from the Sierra College burglaries, according to a Police Department news release. Officials said the investigation also tied Edwards and Dingman to a vehicle burglary that had occurred earlier in the morning near Twelve Bridges and East Joiner Parkway in Lincoln.

November 30, 2012
Shooter gets 55 years to life in Foothill Farms murder

Manuel Martin Guzman was sentenced to prison today for 55 years to life for the July 17, 2011, shooting death of Mario Jose Rodriguez.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Pamela Smith-Steward gave the 39-year-old Guzman the term as a result of the defendant's second-degree murder conviction in September.

According to testimony at trial, the shooting took place in Guzman's Foothill Farms apartment during a dispute the two men had over the 36-year-old victim's former girlfriend.

November 30, 2012
Former NFL player gets life term for robberies, sex assaults

Former National Football League defensive lineman Keith Jerome Wright was sentenced today to a prison term of 114 years to life, plus 120 years and eight months, for sexually assaulting a woman and robbing two men in their Natomas area homes last year.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage told Wright, 32, a college graduate who was raised in a stable home, "it's stunning you find yourself in the position you find yourself today." A jury on Oct. 22 convicted Wright on 19 felony counts related to three residential robberies.

Wright maintained his innocence and claimed he did not get a fair trial. Savage characterized the comment,"in light of the evidence in this case," as "remarkable."

Testifying at trial, Wright said his sexual contact with the victim in the case was consensual. The judge said such testimony, in effect, "continued his assault against the victim."

A Santa Clara native, Wrigtht was raised in Sacramento and played football at Sacramento City College before he was recruited by the University of Missouri. He was later drafted by the Houston Texans and played on their practice squad, along with those of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

November 30, 2012
Preliminary findings show nothing criminal in South Area fire death

A preliminary investigation failed to find anything criminal in the death of a woman whose body was found in a burned South Sacramento County duplex on Thursday.

Pending a coroner's autopsy and a fire department investigation, there was no "criminality" involved said Sgt. Jason Ramos with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters were called to the duplex in the 5400 block of Sky Parkway about 2 p.m. Thursday. A citizen reported that flames were coming from one unit in the duplex.

November 30, 2012
Update: Major Roseville street open again after auto-pedestrian crash

Harding Boulevard in Roseville is open again after being closed for five hours last night after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.

Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said a man in his 40s was crossing southbound Harding Boulevard in the 200 block at 5:57 p.m. and walked into the path of a Toyota Prius. The driver was unable to stop in time and the vehicle hit the man.

The pedestrian was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. His condition this morning was upgraded to serious.

Gunther said the accident occurred during rainy conditions, and the man was crossing in mid-block, not in a crosswalk.

Harding Boulevard remain closed until 11 p.m. Thursday while police investigators examined the scene.

November 29, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What were circumstances of fatal Nov. 24 crash?

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

QUESTION: What happened to the single-car accident at 4 a.m. Nov. 24? I know the passenger died. The driver was taken to the hospital. Did he or she live, and what was the cause of the accident?
Submitted by: Tammy Cowan, Sacramento

ANSWER: Samuel Bagdikyan, 33, of North Highlands died Nov. 24 when the 2007 Toyota Scion in which he was riding crashed into a brick soundwall.

November 29, 2012
Roseville's Harding Blvd. closed after pedestrian hit by vehicle

Harding Boulevard in Roseville is closed to traffic in both directions between Estates Drive and Lead Hill Boulevard after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.

Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said a man in his 40s was crossing southbound Harding Boulevard in the 200 block at 5:57 p.m. and walked into the path of a Toyota Prius. The driver was unable to stop in time and the vehicle hit the man. Gunther said he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

She said the accident occurred during rainy conditions, and the man was crossing in mid-block, not in a crosswalk.

Harding Boulevard will remain closed while police investigators examine the scene. Gunther said the investigations typically take several hours. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes this evening to avoid the area.

November 29, 2012
Two people injured in Foothill Farms apartment complex fire

Two people were transported to an area hospital with injuries suffered during a two-alarm fire tonight that damaged eight apartment units in the Foothill Farms area.

Firefighter Michelle Eidam, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, said crews were called to the apartment complex at 5101 Hackberry Lane, just south of Madison Avenue, at 5:37 p.m.

The fire started in the kitchen of an apartment, where a man was cooking and spread into a breezeway that provides access to four upstairs units.

November 29, 2012
Big-rig crash, fuel spill close lanes on Highway 50 in Sacramento

The left two lanes of westbound Highway 50 near Fifth Street in Sacramento are expected to remain closed until about 8 p.m. because of a jackknifed big-rig.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Michael Bradley said it was raining shortly after 5 p.m. when a passenger vehicle changed lanes in front of the big-rig. The tuck driver slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision and the big-rig jackknifed. One of the saddle fuel tanks was punctured, spilling 80 to 100 gallons of diesel on the roadway, Bradley said.

The crash occurred on an elevated portion of the freeway, but Bradley said the fuel was contained to the roadway and did not flow into the drainage system.

No other vehicles were damaged and no one was injured.

November 29, 2012
UPDATE: Missing Elk Grove man found safe, turns self in to police

Nicholas Lomack image010.jpgLomack truck image011.jpgAn Elk Grove man reported missing earlier today has been found safe.

Elk Grove police reported tonight that 33-year-old Nicholas Lomack turned himself in to the Police Department.

Lomack (pictured) drove away from his Elk Grove residence about 9:30 a.m. today in a 2010 white Toyota Tundra pickup truck (similar to the one pictures) with California license plate 8T78462, according to a Police Department news release. The family member told police that Lomack left his home with a semiautomatic 9mm handgun and was believed to be suicidal.

November 29, 2012
Elk Grove man headed to prison for ID theft, credit card fraud

An Elk Grove man has been sentenced to prison for identity theft and credit card fraud.

Chief U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. today sentenced 23-year-old Thang Quoc Nguyen to seven years and eight months in prison for three counts of credit card fraud and two counts of aggravated identify theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Nguyen fraudulently used credit cards issued to other people to make online purchases, according to court documents. He frequently purchased expensive items, listed himself as authorized to make a third-party pickup of merchandise and took delivery of thousands of dollars worth of goods before the fraud was detected and the sales were canceled.

November 29, 2012
Suspected eco-terrorist linked to arsons in California surrenders

RebeccaRubin.jpegBy Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A woman charged as an eco-terrorist in Sacramento, Oregon and Colorado, and who has been an international fugitive for 10 years, surrendered to the FBI Thursday.

By pre-arrangement, Rebecca Jeanette Rubin, who is a Canadian citizen, was taken into custody at the international border in Blaine, Wa.

After an initial appearance in U. S. District Court in Seattle, Rubin will be transferred in custody to Eugene to face trial in the largest eco-terrorism prosecution in U.S. history.

November 29, 2012
Woodland police arrest man inside business after break-in

A Woodland man was arrested Wednesday evening after he was found inside a store where a break-in had been reported.

Woodland police responded about 6 p.m. to a report of a commercial burglary in progress at 420 Grand Ave. When officers arrived, they found that someone had smashed out the front window of the business.

After establishing a perimeter around the building, officers located a man inside the business, according to a Police Department news release. He was later identified as 35-year-old Francisco Javier Tapia Jr.

November 29, 2012
Regulators bar woman who served poisonous mushrooms from facilities

By Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com

The caregiver who unwittingly served poisonous mushrooms to patients at a Loomis home for the elderly will be barred from working at any such facilities in the future, state regulators have decided.

Four of the five patients who ate poisonous mushrooms foraged from outdoors and served by the caregiver, Lilia Tirdea, at Gold Age Villa earlier this month have died. Tirdea and one other person also were sickened but both are recovering, officials said.

An investigation by the state Department of Social Services has determined that the poisonings were accidental, according to a report issued Thursday afternoon. Nevertheless, regional manager Donna Teutschel wrote in a letter to Tirdea, "your continued or future contact with clients or presence in any child care or residential care facility" licensed by the state "constitutes a threat to the health and safety" of clients.

November 29, 2012
Two Sacramento County residents appointed to Superior Court

Steven Gevercer.jpgBunmi Awaoniyi.jpgTwo judgeship appointments were announced today to the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Bunmi O. Awoniyi of Elk Grove and Steven M. Gevercer of Sacramento to the positions. Both are Democrats.

Awoniyi, 48, has served as a principal attorney with a family law practice since 1994. She is a certified family law specialist.

She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.

Gevercer, 54, has served as a senior assistant attorney general at the Attorney General's Office, Civil Division, Tort and Condemnation Section since 2011. He served as a supervising deputy attorney general from 2008 to 2011.

He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary S. Mullen.

Each position pay $178,789 a year.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bunmi O. Awoniyi, right, and Steven M. Gevercer

November 29, 2012
Rio Linda ax murder trial begins

RB Axe Murder 3.JPGBy Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

A Rio Linda ax murder trial began in Sacramento Superior Court today with the prosecutor claiming defendant Steven Zinda chased down his victim and killed him in a muddy field with four chops to his head in a premeditated and deliberate slaying.

But Zinda's defense attorney claims the death of David Valdez in March 2011 was the product of a burglary Zinda interrupted at his home and came only after Zinda and Valdez struggled outside the home.

"At the end of the case, we're going to ask you to find Mr. Zinda guilty of a homicide, and the homicide will be voluntary manslaughter," defense attorney Tom Johnson told the jury this morning in a third floor courtroom at the courthouse downtown.

November 29, 2012
Doctor says brain damage accounts for Hirschfield anti-social behavior

Attorneys for Richard Joseph Hirschfield began their defense in the penalty phase of his murder trial today by putting a psychiatrist on the stand who said the convicted sex murderer has a badly damaged brain.

Hirschfield's brain does a terrible job of processing emotional impulses, and it fails to exercise proper control over his behavior, University of California at San Francisco associate professor Dr. Douglas Tucker told the defendant's Sacramento Superior Court jury.

"I can say there is brain damage," Tucker testified, adding that Hirschfield's cerebral dysfunction put him at risk of developing antisocial behavior.

November 29, 2012
Bad start to birthday for Arden Arcade gas station crasher

A driver lost control of her car this morning, smashing into the front of a gas station in Arden Arcade.

Ava Wynn had finished filling her car with fuel about 8 a.m. when she began to pull away from the pump. Wynn, a Natomas resident, said as she went around one car when her vehicle suddenly accelerated and eventually went through the front of the AMPM gas station at El Camino and Howe avenues.

Wynn's vehicle also hit a car during the accident. One woman sweeping in front of the AMPM minimart had to rush to get out of the way.

"It happened so fast, you can't even think," said Wynn, who was filling up before heading into work.

Today, Wynn said, is her birthday.

November 29, 2012
Mother riding with child booked on suspicion of DUI in Sacramento crash

Patricia Hemenway, 27.JPGSacramento police say a woman was driving under the influence with her young son in the back seat when her vehicle hit a parked car.

Patricia Hemenway, 27, hit the parked car about 6 p.m. Wednesday near Riverside Boulevard and Broadway in the Land Park area. When officers arrived they determined that Hemenway was DUI.

Her 5-year-old son, riding in her car at the time of the crash, received minor injuries, according to a police log.

In addition to being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Hemenway was also arrested for suspicion of child endangerment, police said.

PHOTO CAPTION: Patricia Hemenway

November 29, 2012
Update: Daring takedown of suspected Galt killer ends standoff

corey.JPGA Galt man suspected of killing a Sacramento County animal control officer is in custody this morning after an all-night standoff with law enforcement.

The animal control officer went to a Galt home Wednesday afternoon to tend to cats and dogs left behind by an evicted resident. The home was supposed to be empty.

But when the officer and a bank official approached, a shotgun blast exploded through the front door, killing the animal control officer and prompting a lengthy standoff with police from across the county.

November 28, 2012
Woodland police arrest man in attempted kidnapping

A 23-year-old homeless man has been arrested in the attempted kidnapping of a woman Sunday at a Woodland shopping center.

Police reported that Kyle Hall was taken into custody without incident at 3 :40 p.m. today in the parking lot at 1720 E. Main St.

About 3:35 p.m. Sunday, police were dispatched to the Westgate Shopping center at 367 Main St. regarding an attempted kidnapping. A 31-year-old Woodland woman reported that she was walking between parked vehicles in the parking lot when a man seated in a pickup truck opened his door, blocking her way. She said the man grabbed her by the hair and pulled her toward the truck.

November 28, 2012
Trial set for woman accused of trying to kill Bodie's handler

A judge today ordered a Chico woman to stand trial for the attempted murder of a police officer in the Land Park shooting earlier this year in which the officer's K-9 partner, Bodie, was seriously injured and the defendant's boyfriend was killed.
V9hzk.St.4.jpeg

Leslie Marie McCulley, 29, also will be tried on two weapons related charges, one count of felony evasion and another of receiving stolen property. She was taken into custody following a pursuit in which Bodie the police dog was shot in the jaw and paw. The German shepherd still is recovering from its injuries, but its handler, Officer Randy Van Dusen, said the dog is expected to possibly return to duty in another month.

McCulley's boyfriend, Lucas Jerome Webb, 33, was shot and killed by Van Dusen. The officer testified at a Sacramento Superior Court preliminary hearing today that he returned fire and fatally wounded Webb after the suspect first shot the dog and then fired once in the direction of the officer. The shootings took place in the backyard of a house on the 1100 block of Robertson Way after a police chase of a stolen car authorities say was driven by Webb.


November 28, 2012
Placerville police expand citizen volunteer program

The Placerville Police Department's SHIELD volunteer program has been expanded to include qualified individuals age 21 and older.

Officials announced that the acronym for the program previously limited to senior volunteers also has been modified to stand for "Specialized Help in Enforcement-like Duties."

SHIELD volunteers can participate in a variety of activities, including vehicle maintenance, office work, traffic control, special events, National Night Out, patrol and vacation checks, according to a department news release.The program offers participants training and an opportunity to provide basic law enforcement support, working alongside members of the Police Department staff.

For more information, call Julie Burns, the police chief's executive assistant, at (530) 642-5210.

November 28, 2012
Update: Authorities identify, make contact with suspected shooter in Galt

galt_truckB.jpgBy Kim Minugh and Ed Fletcher
kminugh@sacbee.com

Police officers have had two brief phone conversations with the suspect shooter who has barricaded himself in a Galt home after fatally shooting an animal control officer earlier today, according to authorities.

The suspect shooter, who lived at the 1st street home until being evacuated Tuesday, is 65-year-old Joseph Francis Corey, said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

"The primary goal is to get him to come out and surrender," Ramos said, adding later: "We are trying to establish his state of mind."

Authorities have not yet released the name of the animal control officer killed in the early afternoon shooting. A bank official who was with him suffered a "superficial wound," Ramos said.

November 28, 2012
Placer DA passes on case against Sierra College official

The Placer County District Attorney's office has declined to file charges against Sierra College Associate Dean of Athletics Thomas Gang.

While Gang and the school have agreed to part ways, the terms of the agreement are still being worked out, said Sue Michaels, a spokeswoman for the community college.

Gang was arrested in August for felony domestic violence.

The DA's office said after reviewing the case there was "insufficient evidence to prove to a jury that a crime had been committed."

Gang previously faced accusations he assaulted and verbally abusing a Mendocino College security guard.

A private investigator hired by Mendocino College used video of the incident in concluding an assault did not take place. No charges were filed.

November 28, 2012
Missing Sacramento woman back home

Brendle Cook attachment.jpgBrendle Cook car attachment.jpgSacramento police say a missing 20-year-old woman has returned home.

Brendle Cook had last been seen about 5 p.m. Friday when she left a friend's house in the 1600 block 16th Street in Sacramento. She was considered to be an at-risk missing person, and her family reports that she has no history of leaving without notifying them of her whereabouts, according to a Police Department news release.

November 28, 2012
Report on Katt Williams' alleged outlandish driving to go to Sacramento DA

Comedian Katt Williams' legal problems continue as CHP officers prepare reports related to his alleged strange behavior in Sacramento over the weekend.

Williams, an actor and stand-up comedian, has been in trouble with the law before. He was found in 2006 with a stolen gun in his briefcase at Los Angeles International and recently had troubles in the Bay area.

He was sued by a concertgoer who said he and hundreds of fans were cheated when Williams took off his clothes and challenged people to fight during a concert in Oakland earlier this month.

November 28, 2012
Craigslist scam swindles El Dorado County woman of $3,500

Another scam that started on Craigslist has left an El Dorado County woman out $3,500.

Roseville police report that the woman recently listed her car for sale on the web classified. A man who said he was from San Francisco told her he wanted to deposit money into her bank account to reserve the vehicle.

The seller provided the man her bank account information over the phone. The buyer deposited a check into the seller's account, however, the check apparently never cleared before the man called again.

In an aggressive manner, he demanded his money back because his daughter had obtained a loan for the car. The seller withdrew $3,500 in cash from her account and gave the money to a woman who clamed to be the man's daughter in a Roseville parking lot.

That's the last the seller saw of her money. The bank told the seller the deposited check was fraudulent.

Police said a banking source told them it takes two-to-seven days for a check to officially clear, even if the balance on the bank account appears to increase.

Wise words from the Roseville police department's public safety newsletter:

"Don't spend or act on a check or other money transfer from a stranger until you've contacted your bank to confirm the deposit went through. Never give your bank account or other personal information to a stranger and don't do business with anyone who's intimidating or tries to pressure you into a sale."

November 27, 2012
Ask Sacto 911: Was anyone arrested in 2002 shooting deaths of brothers in Del Paso Heights?

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

QUESTION: Whatever happened to the case of two brothers who were killed the day after Thanksgiving in 2002 in Del Paso Heights? Did they ever find the person?
Submitted by: Mr. Augustus, Sacramento

ANSWER: Jovon Latrell Jordan was convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of Gregory Augustus, 18, and Hudson Augustus, 20, in November 2002.

November 27, 2012
Sex offender accused of living too close to day care facility

Truckee police have arrested a registered sex offender after he was reportedly found living within 2,000 feet of a day care facility.

The Police Department's investigation division regularly monitors and contacts local registered sex offenders to encourage compliance and lawful behavior, according to a department news release. In California, convicted sex offenders are required to register with the local law enforcement agency when they change their address or residence. The requirement also applies to transient or homeless registrants.

In October, registered sex officer Gustavo Ramirez, 20, moved to Truckee and registered with Truckee police, acknowledging the restrictions, which included a prohibition from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care facility. On Nov. 21, police found that Ramirez had deceived officers regarding the location of his true residence, officials said. The location allegedly violated the restrictions regarding its proximity to a day-care center.

Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of failing to register and violating probation. He was booked into the Nevada County Sheriff's Department's Truckee substation jail.

November 27, 2012
Man dies trying to go between light-rail train cars

A man died this afternoon as he was going between two cars of a light-rail train.

Regional Transit spokeswoman Alane Masui said the accident was reported at 3:50 p.m. She said the man, who according witnesses appeared to be inebriated, went between the first and second cars of a four-car outbound train at the Globe station on Del Paso Boulevard. He apparently became caught, and his body was discovered when the train pulled into the Arden/Del Paso station about a half-mile down the line.

The accident disrupted light-rail service on the Blue Line. Service was restored shortly after 9 p.m.

November 27, 2012
Arrest made in April burglaries of Auburn Airport businesses

Verbrugge+Photo.jpgAn Alta man has been arrested following a seven-month investigation into burglaries of businesses at the Auburn Airport.

Donald Verbrugge (pictured), 50, was arrested today on suspicion of burglary and grand theft.

Auburn police initially had little information or evidence to go on, but through subsequent investigative work, Verbrugge was identified as a suspect, according to Police Department news release.

November 27, 2012
Sacramento man reports being kidnapped, robbed in Woodland

A Sacramento man reported that he was kidnapped and robbed early this morning in Woodland as he was heading home from work.

Woodland police received a call from the man about 2:20 a.m. He reported that, after leaving work about 2 a.m., he was driving on East Main Street. When he reached the intersection with County Road 102, two men stopped him in the roadway and forced their way into his vehicle, according to a Police Department news release.

The victim said the two men were wearing dark clothing, gloves and ski masks. He believed one of the men was armed with some type of gun, although he did not see a weapon.

November 27, 2012
Sheriff's deputies identify suspect, motive in fatal Rancho Cordova stabbing

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department has identified the suspect arrested today in connection with the death of a 55-year-old man in Rancho Cordova on Monday night as 28-year-old Tywan Johnson.

Deputies arrested Johnson on suspicion of murder. They allege he fatally stabbed the victim, who has not yet been identified by the coroner's office, in a dispute over money.

The two were acquaintances, said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Johnson, who was arrested at his home in Sacramento County, had several outstanding warrants for his arrest from the Sacramento Regional Transit District for allegedly evading fares, according to jail booking records.

The victim's body was discovered outside of a pet clinic on La Loma Drive about 8 p.m. Ramos said he was a transient who frequented the Rancho Cordova area.

Authorities were alerted to the stabbing after a woman who saw the man's body flagged down a firefighting crew. They found the man on the ground with a bicycle.

Information from a witness and evidence at the scene prompted detectives to identify Johnson as the suspect, Ramos said.

Johnson previously faced just one criminal case in Sacramento County. According to Superior Court records available online, Johnson pleaded no contest in 2005 to a misdemeanor count of petty theft.

November 27, 2012
Fourth person dead from Loomis mushroom poisoning

Officials have reported that a fourth person has died from a mushroom poisoning incident at a Loomis senior care facility.

Placer County Sheriff's officials were notified by a mortuary Tuesday morning about the latest fatality. Sheriff's officials have identified the victim as Dorothy Mary Hart, 92.

Three others, Frank Warren Blodgett, 90, Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, and Barbara Lopes, 86, died earlier this month after consuming soup made from wild mushrooms collected by a caregiver at Gold Age Villa.

Several others, including the caregiver, were hospitalized after eating the soup. The incident is being investigated by the California Department of Social Services.

November 27, 2012
Trashing of car linked to Black Friday fight at Galleria

fox40.jpgA Black Friday fight at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville resulted in the arrest of four people suspected of taking revenge on one of the combatants by trashing his family's car.

Roseville police said that Friday morning two groups who knew each other got into a fight at the mall. Two males began bumping into each other and trading insults, some of the comments gang-related.

The fight eventually erupted when the insults moved to the second floor of the mall in front of a shoe store. Police were notified of the fight at 12:23 p.m. and by the time officers got to the area of the ruckus, all fighters had dispersed.

November 26, 2012
Assault victim found dead in Rancho Cordova

Rancho Cordova Police are investigating the death of man who was found severely beaten in front of a pet clinic this evening.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos, spokesman for the Police Department, said an officer was en route to another call about 8 p.m. when he was flagged down by a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crew that had responded to a report of an assault victim at Folsom Boulevard and La Loma Drive.

They had been flagged down by a woman who reported that a man was severely injured in front of the pet clinic. They found the man on the ground with a bicycle at 2890 La Loma Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

November 26, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to woman sought in 1987 homicide near Lincoln?

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

QUESTION: Twenty years ago or more Rich Turner was shot six times with his own revolver and killed by a woman that came with him here from Oklahoma. He was in his trailer house on 10 acres in Placer County a few miles from Sierra College Boulevard and 193 north of Lincoln Newcastle Highway. Was she ever caught and what happened to her?
Submitted by: Goldwyn, Orangevale

ANSWER: Susan Michelle Greenberg pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the May 1987 shooting of 40-year-old Richard Turner.

November 26, 2012
Police seek man who robbed 81-year-old Woodland woman

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com
Woodland police are seeking a man who robbed an elderly woman as she was walking home after shopping Sunday morning.

Police said the 81-year-old woman was on foot, returning to the 400 block of Ashley Avenue about 11:15 a.m. She was using a walker with a compartment under the attached seat, and her wallet was in the compartment.

The woman passed a man and, after passing him, she was pushed against him as he reached around her to remove her wallet from the compartment, according to a Police Department news release. He then left on foot.

November 26, 2012
Victim's family testifies to devastation of the 'sweetheart' murders

The penalty phase of the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial began today with three family members of one of his victims telling the jury how the loss of John Riggins personally devastated them.

Dr. Richard Riggins testified he has never been able to fully forgive himself for failing to protect his 18-year-old son, who, along with the Sabrina Gonsalves, were abducted by HIrschfield Dec. 20, 1980, and killed after the defendant sexually assaulted Gonsalves.

"Visualizing the way he died, his head wrapped in tape, his throat cut, trying to get air for himself from the wound in the neck you've seen, knowing he's dying and I wasn't there -- I failed in my biggest duty to him," Riggins testified. "I feel very guilty about that. I know it's irrational... but there's that basic duty of getting your child into adult life, and I didn't do that."

November 26, 2012
Near-kidnapping at Woodland shopping center

A woman was nearly kidnapped at a Woodland shopping center over the weekend, police said.

The 31-year-old woman was walking between parked vehicles in the Westgate shopping center on Main Street Sunday afternoon when a man opened his truck door to block her path. Then, the suspected kidnapper grabbed the victim's hair.

Police said he pulled her toward the pickup but she screamed for help. A bystander heard her cries and approached.

November 25, 2012
UPDATE: Victims identified in crash near Placerville

By Loretta Kalb and Kim Minugh
lkalb@sacbee.com

Officials released the names Sunday of four people, including two children, who were killed in a two-car collision on Highway 50 just east of Placerville.

The crash happened around 6 p.m. Saturday, when a 2004 Toyota Prius headed west in the Apple Hill area veered across four lanes of traffic and into the path of a minivan.

Three people in the Prius who died at the scene were identified by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office as 38-year-old Sheng Kun Su, who was driving; 39-year-old Shu Zhen Zhao; and 8-year-old Shawn Su, all from Oakland.

November 25, 2012
Smoke alarm alerts sleeping couple to fire in Antelope home

An Antelope couple escaped a fire in their home early this morning after being awakened by their smoke alarm, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

When firefighters arrived on Moose Creek Court just before 2 a.m., the home's garage and attic were engulfed in flames, according to a news release from the district.

After searching the home to make sure no one was inside, firefighters attacked the fire and kept it contained to the garage and attic, with no damage to the living area, saving about $150,000 in personal property, the release states.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

District officials remind residents to test smoke alarms monthly and change batters when clocks are changed. Almost two-thirds of home fire-related deaths occur in homes with no working smoke detectors, according to the district.

November 25, 2012
Firefighters battle blaze in vacant Carmichael store; cause believed to be arson

Sacramento Metropolitan firefighters fought an aggressive fire at a vacant store in Carmichael last night that left $300,000 in damage in its wake, according to authorities.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a strip mall at 6340 Fair Oaks Boulevard about 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, according to a news release from the fire district. Crews from nine engines and five trucks extinguished the blaze without any injuries and only minor damage to one of two neighboring businesses.

Fire crews had been in the store recently and noted the instability of the roof. That knowledge assisted firefighters in battling the blaze safely, the news release noted.

Investigators have determined that the fire was caused by arson. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Arson Tip Line at (916) 859-3775.

November 25, 2012
Crash near Placerville kills four, including two children

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

A horrific two-car collision on Highway 50 just east of Placerville claimed the lives of four people Saturday night, including two children, when a car headed west in the Apple Hill area veered across four lanes of traffic and into the path of a minivan.

Early reports late Saturday had indicated that at least one person had died. Around midnight Saturday the word came that the death toll was much worse.

Three people in the car, a 2004 Toyota Prius, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 6:05 p.m. They were identified Sunday night as 38-year-old Sheng Kun Su, the driver; 39-year-old Shu Zhen Zhao and 8-year-old Shawn Su, all from Oakland.

November 25, 2012
Bicyclist , 45, dies in Truckee accident

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee correspondent

TRUCKEE -- A Los Gatos man died Saturday after his bicycle and a vehicle collided at the west end of downtown Truckee.

Robert Koechlin Jr., 45, was pronounced dead at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, where he was transported by firefighters who had taken over life-saving efforts from citizens at the scene.

The early-afternoon accident occurred at the McIvers Roundabout on Donner Pass Road.

November 24, 2012
Pilot dies in Calaveras plane crash

By Ed Fletcher

efletcher@sacbee.com

The pilot of a small plane has died after his aircraft crashed at around 3:42 p.m. Friday, three-quarters of a mile south of the Calaveras County airport.

The identity of the pilot has yet to be released. Upon arriving on scene, deputies determined the pilot had succumbed to his injuries, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

The aircraft, a single-engine, home-built Coot A-Amphibian, was inbound at the time of the incident, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing the investigation.

November 24, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What became of teen who killed friend near Mather AFB?

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

QUESTION: In the late 1980s or early '90s, a teenager was found killed outside of Mather Air Force Base by the canal off of Douglas Road. What were the details of this crime and what was the outcome of the person responsible for it? I know the suspect robbed the victim's parents house on base to make it look like the victim did it.
Submitted by: Rich, Citrus Heights

ANSWER: Jeffery Michael Creagan pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the execution-style slaying of a friend, 17-year-old Clarence Dixon, on July 2, 1990.

November 23, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was arrest made in fatal shooting of CCC worker?

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

QUESTION: Has there ever been an arrest made in the killing of Jonah Lamar Simms? He was shot and killed on Nov. 21, 2008. He was a respectful young man who was trying to find his way in the world. He had just started working for the CCC in Sacramento and was shot and killed walking home from work after completing his first full week at his first job. I was his supervisor and not a day goes by that I don't think about him.
Submitted by: Steve Holderness, Roseville

ANSWER: Arthur Alexander McCall was convicted in December 2011 of the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Jonah Lamar Simms.

November 23, 2012
Elk Grove man accused of burglarizing Rocklin garages, sheds

An Elk Grove man has been arrested by Rocklin police on suspicion of burglary after officers responded to a report of a prowler.

Kenneth Oryan Linden, 26, is suspected of taking items from several unlocked garages and storage sheds, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers received a report about 2:40 a.m. Thursday of a prowler in the 6400 block of Sonora Pass Way. The resident reported seeing a man in light-colored clothing walking in her interior courtyard.

November 23, 2012
Death of prisoner in Lodi jail is under investigation

By Melody Gutierrez
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

An in-custody death is being investigated in Lodi, where officers found an inmate unresponsive during a jail check Thursday, according to the Lodi Police Department.

Police arrested 43-year-old James Romero around 5 p.m. Thursday after he was found trespassing in a Lodi residence. Romero had an active warrant for violation of his parole and was booked into the Lodi city jail.

Officers later found Romero unresponsive and began resuscitation efforts. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A task force from the Lodi Police Department, San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and San Joaquin County Sheriff-Coroner's Office will investigate the death, as with any in-custody death.

November 23, 2012
Bee carrier killed in crash is identified

By Tony Bizjak
tbizjak@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Bee newspaper carrier killed in a car crash early Thanksgiving morning has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner as Kim Ngoc Nguyen, 37, of Sacramento.

Nguyen died when her sedan hit a power pole at about 6:20 a.m. on the 5500 block of 14th Avenue in the Tahoe Park and Tallac Village area. A passenger in the car was injured. Sacramento police officers said Nguyen appeared to be making morning deliveries when the crash occurred.

Alcohol was not involved, they said. Nguyen worked for the Metro Media News company, one of the Bee's contracted delivery companies.

See earlier story here.

November 23, 2012
Update: Photo of person of interest in Red Hawk Casino stabbing released

Juarez (1).jpgBy Melody Gutierrez
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

Authorities released a photo of who they call a person of interest in the stabbing death of man at Red Hawk Casino on Wednesday night.

After interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office reported in a news release that detectives are looking for a man named Estaphen Juarez (pictured) as a person of interest in the incident.

The sheriff's office reported that deputies were dispatched to the Shingle Springs casino at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday following an alleged stabbing on the sixth floor of the casino parking structure.

Earlier today authorities identified the man stabbing victim as 19-year-old Gene Mcarn, from Sacramento County.

Mcarn was transported by friends to Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, where he was pronounced dead.

Call The Bee's Melody Gutierrez, (916) 326-5521. Follow her on Twitter @MelodyGutierrez

November 22, 2012
Fire burns hydroelectric plant near Oroville

A massive fire burned Thursday in one of the hydroelectric generating units connected to Oroville Dam on the Feather River.

The fire began at 7 a.m. Thursday in the Thermalito Pumping-Generating Plant, downstream of Oroville Dam at Thermalito Forebay.

No one has been injured in the fire, which is believed to have started in the control room, said CalFire Capt. Keith Castillo.

Damage is likely to be extensive to the equipment in the building and the structure itself, said Ted Thomas, a DWR spokesman.

No power outages are expected, nor any water shortages for customers of the State Water Project.

-- Matt Weiser

November 22, 2012
Sheriff's deputies seek Auburn Boulevard cigarette store robbers

By Bob Shallit
bshallit@sacbee.com

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies are seeking the identities of two people suspected of the armed robbery of an Auburn Boulevard store.

The say the suspects, a man and a women, entered the Why Pay More Cigarette Store in the 5000 block of Auburn Monday afternoon.

The female pulled a gun on the clerk and demanded money from the cash drawer. The clerk at first refused to open the drawer but complied after the woman hit a low-hanging surveillance camera with her gun and then threatened to shoot the clerk, according to the Sheriff's Department press release.

November 22, 2012
Man stabbed to death at Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

A man was killed in a stabbing Wednesday night at Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office reported that deputies were dispatched to the casino at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday following an alleged stabbing. A male victim was transported by friends to Marshall Medical Center in Placerville. Life-saving efforts at the hospital were unable to revive the man and he was pronounced dead.

The victim's name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of relatives.

After interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene, the Sheriff's Office reported in a news release that detectives are looking for a man named Estaphen Juarez as a person of interest in the incident.

November 22, 2012
Early-morning crash kills one person, injures another on 14th Avenue

A person was killed and another injured this morning in a single-vehicle accident on 14th Avenue between the neighborhoods of Tahoe Park and Tallac Village.

Sacramento police say a blue four-door sedan hit a utility pole at 6:40 a.m., killing one of the occupants and injuring another.

Sacramento Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said alcohol was not involved.

November 21, 2012
Three convicted in Cordova robbery-murder of casino winner

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted three men of robbery and murder in the Dec. 29, 2008, shooting death of a man who prosecutors say was targeted for the $16,000 he won gambling at an Indian casino.

The verdicts came in against Derrick Dwayne Sam, 34, Shannon Shorter, 36, and Genneledward Miles Jr., 30, for the murder, robbery, abduction and torture of Timothy Lance Brodie, 30. Prosecutors said Brodie was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Rancho Cordova apartment complex when he tried to escape after he had been abducted and beaten in an effort to force him to disclose where he hid his winnings.

Sentencing for Miles has been scheduled for Dec. 21 in front of Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard. Sam and Shorter are slated to be sentenced by Gilliard on Jan. 11.

November 21, 2012
Third person in Loomis poison mushroom case dies

A third person has died as a result of being fed poisonous mushrooms earlier this month at a Placer County senior care facility, the state Department of Social Services has confirmed.
The name of the victim has not been released.

A spokesman for the Department of Social Services said the licensee, Gold Age Villa, called Monday to report the third death as a result of consuming mushroom soup that a caregiver had served using mushrooms foraged from the grounds.

The Department of Social Services, which is charged with investigating the incident, said it can not release any additional information while its inquiry is ongoing. The heath status of the remaining victims is unknown.

Gold Age Villa in Loomis remains open with one resident, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, and Barbara Lopes, 86, died earlier as a result of the poisoning.

November 21, 2012
Roseville police report car burglars getting away with iPads, laptops

Roseville police report that residents are leaving cell phones, laptops and other devices in their vehicles, making them easy pickings for car burglars. Sometimes, the vehicles are left unlocked.

Here's recent thefts from the Roseville police public safety newsletter:

• Someone broke the windows of two pickups in the parking lot in the 700 block of Sunrise Avenue on Nov. 13. A laptop was taken.

November 21, 2012
Police seek public's help after 'innocent victim' slain in Del Paso Heights

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento police seek the public's help in determining how a young man ended up dead in Del Paso Heights on Tuesday night.

Police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said the victim, identified today as 19-year-old Michael Burdan, appears to be an "innocent victim" who was shot while riding his bicycle from the home of one relative to another.

Detectives are trying to unravel specifics about the shooting, which occurred at North Avenue and May Street about 6:45 p.m., and want help in the case, Gigante said.

"They're working it hard," she said of detectives. "It's sad when something like this happens. It's tragic."

Police and paramedics responded to the scene after callers reported hearing gunfire and a person down in the street. Burdan's body was found in the road, where he died.

Investigators have identified no suspects or motive.

Burdan's Facebook page shows he graduated from Foothills High School. In his biographical information, he wrote that he loved school, his family and his girlfriend.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Crime Alert tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

November 20, 2012
Man fatally shot in Del Paso Heights

By Darrell Smith
dsmith@sacbee.com

A man was fatally shot on a Del Paso Heights street Tuesday night, and police continue to search for the shooter.

The man's body was found at North Avenue and May Street. Neighbors heard gunshots just before 6:45 p.m., and called police, said Sacramento Police Officer Michele Gigante. Officers and first responders arrived to find the man dead, Gigante said. The victim was described as in his late teen or early 20s, she said.

Who the man was or why he was shot remained unclear Tuesday.

November 20, 2012
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department joins Facebook, Twitter

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department recently has grown its social media presence on Twitter and Facebook as part of its community outreach efforts.

A few months ago, the agency joined Facebook, and this month joined Twitter. Officials are using the accounts to distribute news releases, as well as publicize surveillance videos that show outstanding suspects, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Remember, though, that crimes should not be reported using either social media site. Emergencies should be reported to 911, and non-urgent matters should be reported by calling sheriff's dispatch at (916) 874-5115.

Find the Sheriff's Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sacsheriff and on Twitter @sacsheriff.

November 20, 2012
Elk Grove police provide 10 safety tips for holiday season

Elk Grove police will ramp up shopping center patrols -- with officers on foot, in squad cars and in unmarked vehicles during the holiday season.

Car break-ins, pick-pocketing, robbery and other crime can spike during the season, police said. To stem theft, Elk Grove police presence will increase from Friday through Dec. 24.

Shoppers can also take steps to protect themselves. Officer Chris Trim provides the following safety tips for shoppers:

• Keep packages and other valuables in the car trunk, out of sight.

• Don't carry a lot of cash.

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card.

• Carry a purse under your arm with the strap across your body.

• Put wallets in the front pants pocket.

• Be aware of surroundings.

• Shop with a friend if going out after dark.

• Park in a well-lit area.

• Look inside your car before entering the vehicle.

• Lock car doors and roll up windows even if inside the store for only a few minutes.

November 19, 2012
Sacramento police close southbound Truxel Road after multi-car collision

Sacramento police are closing southbound lanes of Truxel Road in South Natomas following a collision involving three cars.

The collision occurred on Truxel Road at Pebblewood Way.

Check back later for more information.

November 19, 2012
Two die in Pilot Hill house fire

Two people died last night in a fire that destroyed an old house in Pilot Hill.

The fire was reported at 4531 Salmon Falls Road at about 6 p.m. Sunday. An El Dorado County Fire District engine from Cool responded in seven minutes to the single-family home engulfed in fire.

Firefighters tried to enter the home but could not because of the flames. Neighbors told them that two people were inside the home, which investigators said was about a century old.

November 19, 2012
Citrus Heights police say wife's beef with co-worker ends with husband's jail booking

Citrus Heights police said a husband is suspected of ramming one of his wife's co-workers and another man into a plate glass window with an SUV.

Detectives said that the incident began Sunday with an argument between two co-workers. One of the co-workers allegedly called her husband who went to the 7900 block of Auburn Boulevard about 9 p.m. Sunday.

There, the co-worker who had argued with the woman, was on foot in front of a closed business. That is when the husband, identified as Anthony Ray Robinson, 47, of North Highlands, ran his sport utility vehicle into his wife's co-worker and another man, police said.

November 19, 2012
Yuba City teen dies after car goes out of control on wet pavement

An 18-year-old died when the car in which she was riding spun out of control on a wet Garden Highway and hit a tree.

The California Highway Patrol reported that Kayla Lizama-Pierson, 18, of Yuba City died from her injuries suffered in the crash that occurred about 11 p.m. Saturday night. The CHP said that Lizama-Pierson was in a Honda Civic driven by another 18 year old, Natalie P. Boutilier of Yuba City, on the Garden Highway near Barry Road, when the car began to lose traction after negotiating a slight curve int he road.

The car began spinning and traveled off the road, entering a walnut orchard south of Yuba City. The car slid sideways through the muddy orchard before the passenger side hit a tree.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are a factor in the crash, according to the CHP.

November 19, 2012
Boy killed in Elk Grove traffic accident is identified

A boy killed Sunday in a motor vehicle accident has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's office as Edward Hill, 12, of Elk Grove.

The boy was riding a bike and crossing with a friend at Bond Road and Elk Crest Drive when he was involved in a collision with a pickup truck pulling a camper trailer, said Sgt. Scott French of the Elk Grove Police Department.

It's not clear exactly how the accident happened, but the truck driver is not suspected of any wrongdoing, French said. The boy was hit by the side and the front of the trailer but not the truck, he said.

November 18, 2012
12-year-old boy hit by trailer, killed on Elk Grove street

By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

A boy leaving an Elk Grove shopping center was killed today in a motor vehicle accident.

The 12-year-old boy was riding a bike and crossing with a friend at Bond Road and Elk Crest Drive when he was involved in a collision with a pickup truck pulling a camper trailer, said Sgt. Scott French of the Elk Grove Police Department.

It's not clear exactly how the accident happened, but the truck driver is not suspected of any wrongdoing, French said. The boy was hit by the side and the front of the trailer but not the truck, he said.

November 18, 2012
Airman found dead in Nevada County identified

An airman found dead in his vehicle off Highway 20 Friday was identified as Ayaz "Neil" Ali, 41, said Nevada County sheriff's officials.

Ali reportedly was stationed in Georgia and was visiting Northern California's Beale Air Force Base. Beale officials said the airman had been missing since Tuesday evening when he left the base.

The California Highway Patrol said Ali's Toyota Camry was spotted about 3:30 p.m. at Wild Turkey Lane and Highway 20 by state highway workers. A body found inside the car had been dead for at least a day, CHP said.

Nevada County sheriff's officials said it appeared Ali suffered head injuries in the single-car accident. Toxicology tests will determine if drugs or alcohol were factors in the death.

November 17, 2012
Sacramento police, transit officials investigate collision of lightrail train, tractor trailer

Three people were taken to local hospitals tonight after a lightrail train collided with a tractor trailer carrying almonds north of downtown Sacramento.

None of the injuries were serious or life-threatening, according to authorities.

The collision occurred shortly after 6 p.m. at the intersection of North 12th and North B streets. The train was travelling northbound on North 12th and the tractor trailer, on its way to the Blue Diamond plant, was southbound on North 12th and attempting to turn left onto North B street, said Mike Wiley, general manager of Regional Transit.

Under normal circumstances, Wiley said, all traffic lights at that intersection would be red to allow the train, travelling against the flow of traffic on North 12th, to safely pass through. It was not immediately clear, however, whether the collision was the result of a mechanical issue or an error by either driver.

Wiley said officials had video from the train to review during the investigation.

The two-car lightrail train was carrying about 65 passengers, two of whom were transported to area hospitals, Wiley said. The third patient was the driver of the train. The remaining passengers boarded shuttle buses provided by Regional Transit.

Officials were on scene for several hours as they processed the scene and cleared away almonds that had scattered on the roadway.

November 17, 2012
Woman struck by light-rail train in Midtown identified

By Richard Chang and Bill Lindelof

rchang@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a light-rail train early Friday morning.

Regional Transit officials said a review of video images of a light-rail accident this morning shows that the victim, 65-year-old Veronica Brown of Sacramento, was pushing a man in a wheelchair just before she was struck by the train.

An RT spokeswoman said the 5:30 a.m. collision at 19th and R streets killed the woman pedestrian who was pushing a man in a wheelchair where tracks cross over the sidewalk on the west side of 19th Street. For an unknown reason, the man fell from the wheelchair, clear of the tracks and the oncoming train.

The woman did not avoid the train headed downtown from South Sacramento. She was hit and ended up beneath the light-rail train.

Brown died on the scene, while the man was taken to a hospital. The train was stopped on 19th Street for several hours for an investigation.

November 16, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to teenager charged in 1986 double homicide?

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

QUESTION: A kid I met in 1985 or '86 was charged with double homicide. He was only 15 or 16. Did the killer ever get convicted?
Submitted by: Joe, Sacramento

ANSWER: Randall Ray Houseman and Gary Dale Hines were convicted of the September 1986 gunshot slayings of Kathryn and Donna Roberts and the theft of the Roberts family's pink roadster.

November 16, 2012
Indictment accuses Citrus Heights man of mortgage fraud

A Citrus Heights man was arraigned today in federal court in Sacramento on mortgage fraud charges.

Daniel Gherasim, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday for bank fraud, false statements on a loan and credit application, money laundering, and structuring in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud a bank in obtaining a home equity loan, according to a Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, in November 2008, Gherasim submitted a fraudulent loan application for a home equity line of credit that he took out on a home he owned at the time in Folsom. The application inflated the amount of equity he had in the property.

November 16, 2012
Elk Grove man, brother charged with student loan fraud

An Elk Grove man and his brother are in federal custody, charged with student loan fraud.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday returned a 12-count-indictment charging Mordechay Altit, 33, of Elk Grove, and his brother Shay Din Altit, 44, of Los Angeles in a scheme to fraudulently obtain student loans, according to Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, Mordechay Altit obtained more than $200,000 in student loans from banks through fraudulent representations. He allegedly submitted applications on which he fraudulently represented the names of the students applying for the loans, their Social Security numbers, their incomes, and that they were attending or planned to attend schools such as Harvard Law School, the Yale School of Medicine and California State University, Sacramento.

November 16, 2012
Two men convicted of attempted murder in gang-related shooting

Two men have been convicted of multiple charges including attempted murder, use of a gun and gang allegations stemming from a 2008 drive-by shooting.

A Sacramento County jury on Wednesday returned guilty verdicts for Xuan Le and Darann Sing, both 20 years old

About 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8, 2008, a group of approximately 10 people were standing outside a house in south Sacramento's Elder Creek neighborhood. Two cars carrying Khom Zing Tong gang members drove by and passengers from each car opened fire on the group, striking the house, several cars and seriously injuring four people, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. The Sacramento Police Department found 32 9mm casings in the street.

Le and Sing are to be sentenced Jan. 3 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian.

November 16, 2012
Man convicted in fatal stabbing outside marijuana dispensary

A Sacramento County jury has found a gang member guilty of second-degree murder in the of stabbing 24-year-old Jesus Galvan during a fight in front of a Sacramento marijuana dispensary last year.

Nestor Ardon, 23, was also convicted of personal use of a knife and a gang enhancement, as well as two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, use of a knife and gang enhancements.

On April 20, 2011, Ardon, a validated Sureno gang member, was sitting in his vehicle outside the R&R Wellness Center marijuana dispensary, on Quinta Court near Stockton Boulevard, waiting for his girlfriend to purchase marijuana, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Three Norteno gang members came out of the dispensary and stood in front near Ardon's vehicle. After some looks were exchanged between them, the victims began to back up their car to leave. When Ardon reversed his truck to block them in, they got out of their car and threw water bottles at Ardon's vehicle, officials said.

November 16, 2012
Missing airman found dead in vehicle in Nevada County

A man found dead this afternoon in a vehicle off Highway 20 in Nevada County is believed to be an airman who had been reported missing from Beale Air Force Base.

The vehicle was found near Mooney Flat Road in Nevada County, about a mile east of the Yuba County line.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Marc Morrison said the CHP received a report about 3:30 p.m. from a California Department of Transportation employee who was working in the area and spotted the vehicle. The employee found a man inside and reported that he appeared to have been dead for at least a day.

November 16, 2012
CA Attorney General Kamala Harris releases report on human trafficking

A week and a half after California voters passed Proposition 35, beefing up penalties for people convicted of human trafficking, Attorney General Kamala Harris has released a report looking at the prevalence of the problem and what can be done to address it.

The report, titled "The State of Human Trafficking in California 2012," is based on information gathered by a "work group" Harris assembled in January to update a 2007 report on the problem.

The group found that between mid-2010 and mid-2012, nine regional task forces in California initiated more than 2,500 investigations into human trafficking, identified more than 1,200 victims and arrested nearly 1,800 suspects.

November 16, 2012
Twenty people indicted in gang-related drug, arms trafficking case

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has returned nine indictments charging 20 people with drug and arms trafficking by the Nuestra Familia prison gang and its affiliated Norteno gang members.

The indictments, returned on Thursday, are the product of a two-year collaborative investigation that focused on disrupting and dismantling a violent, gang-affiliated drug and weapons trafficking organization, according to Herbert M. Brown, special agent in charge of the Sacramento Division of the Federal Bureau of investigation.

The Nuestra Familia is described by authorities as a violent prison gang based in the California and federal prison systems, whose members exert control over street-level Norteno gang members engaged in drug trafficking and violent crime. During the course of the investigation, agents gathered evidence that many of the defendants were either members of the gangs or an associate of the Nuestra Familia, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

November 16, 2012
Woman pushing wheelchair killed in Midtown light-rail train accident

light_rail_crash.jpglightrail_crash_two.jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Regional Transit officials said a review of video images of a light-rail accident this morning shows that the pedestrian who died on the tracks was pushing a man in a wheelchair just before she was struck by the train.

An RT spokeswoman said the 5:30 a.m. collision at 19th and R streets killed the woman pedestrian who was pushing a man in a wheelchair where tracks cross over the sidewalk on the west side of 19th Street. For an unknown reason, the man fell from the wheelchair, clear of the tracks and the oncoming train.

The woman did not avoid the train headed downtown from South Sacramento. She was hit and ended up beneath the light-rail train.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, died at the scene. The man was taken to a hospital.

The train was stopped on 19th Street for several hours for an investigation but the road is now open.

PHOTO CAPTION: The accident closed 19th Street and S and Q streets. Bill Lindelof/Sacramento Bee

November 15, 2012
Suspect sought in Elk Grove sexual assault

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

Elk Grove police are calling on the public to help find a man suspected in a sexual assault on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Police describe the man as white or Latino, 5 feet, 9 inches, 165 pounds, with short messy hair, a "5 o'clock shadow," and clad in a black sweatshirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call Elk Grove Police Department's detective bureau at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Crime Alert callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

Tips can also be sent via SMS text message by entering CRIMES (274637) on a cell phone, followed by Tip732 (agency identification number) and the message.

November 15, 2012
Sacramento theater group suffers thefts, organizes Friday fundraiser

A Sacramento theater group is hosting a fundraiser Friday night to recover from the loss of more than $30,000 in equipment during two burglaries last month.

The thefts were "devastating," according to volunteers with Sacramento's Best of Broadway theater group, and put the non-profit organization's future at risk.

"They've taken away all of our technological infrastructure from us," said Chris Carlson, director of the "Relight the Night" fundraiser planned for Friday night. "In order to produce our show next year, we're either going to have to rent equipment ... or we're going to replace all that equipment."

November 15, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who embezzled from Marysville retirement home?

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

QUESTION: What ever happened to Thom V. Randle who pleaded guilty to embezzlement of money from a retirement home? We heard he got sent to federal prison. Was he forced to pay restitution etc., too?
Submitted by: Glenn Loughlin, Chico

ANSWER: Thom V. Randle pleaded guilty in May 2010 to computer fraud and money laundering in connection with his theft of $693,000 from the Columbian Retirement Home in Marysville.

November 15, 2012
CHP to accept officer job applications

For the first time in three years, the California Highway Patrol will accept new officer applications.

The CHP announced today that the department will accept online applications Jan. 3 through Jan. 5 from people interested in a career as a officer.

"Officers are needed throughout California," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.

Applicants must be 20-35 years old, a U.S. citizen, have no felony convictions and be a high school graduate. Applicants must complete a selection process that includes a written test, physical ability test, panel interview, background investigation, medical evaluation and psychological evaluation.

Those interested in applying, or looking for more information, can visit www.chpcareers.com.

November 15, 2012
Vehicles left running are stolen by thieves in Roseville

Roseville police report two cars left running by their owners were recently stolen.

The first theft occurred Nov. 8 when a resident in north central Roseville left his 2003 Dodge Ram pickup warming up in his drive way about 6 a.m. A big guy in a hooded sweatshirt jumped in and drove off in the truck.

It hasn't been seen since.

November 15, 2012
Lincoln man arrested for suspected drunken driving in fatal crash

California Highway Patrol officers have arrested the motorist they suspect was driving drunk when he caused a head-on collision near Lincoln that killed a man.

The suspected drunken driver has been identified as Andrey Yushchuk, 43, of Lincoln. He was arrested at the hospital where was treated for his injuries.

The dead man has been identified by the Placer County Sheriff's Department as Gabriel Rodriguez, 53, of Live Oak.

November 15, 2012
Yuba City man dies when car partially submerges in ditch

A Yuba City man died when his car ended up in a watery ditch in Sutter County.

The 74-year-old man was driving along Tarke Road at Maroni Road west of Yuba City on Wednesday morning when his car left a curved stretch of the roadway for an unknown reason, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The car then went down a steep embankment, rolled over and came to rest upside down in a water-filled ditch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name has not been released pending notification of family.

November 14, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What is status of man arrested in 1980 South Lake Tahoe killing?

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

QUESTION: What is going on with the man/case who was arrested in Carmichael this year for a killing that took place 30 years ago in South Lake Tahoe?
Submitted by: George, Fair Oaks

ANSWER: Andrew Evan Sanford is in El Dorado County Jail awaiting trial in the death of 16-year-old Richard E. Swanson.

November 14, 2012
Arrest made in stabbing at Sikh Temple in Yuba City

The Sutter County Sheriff's Office today announced the arrest of a Yuba City man in connection with a stabbing at a Sikh Temple on Sunday.

Mangal Singh Sanghera, 43, was arrested and booked into the Sutter County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and violation of probation, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Sheriff's deputies responded shortly after 6:30 p.m Sunday to the Sikh Temple in the 2400 block of Tierra Buena Road in Yuba City, where 50 to 100 people were reported fighting with sticks. When they arrived, deputies found a 30-year-old man with a stab wound to his upper body.

November 14, 2012
Sacramento woman sentenced for $1.3 million tax refund fraud

A Sacramento woman had been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in a $1.3 million tax refund fraud scheme.

Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 25, was sentenced today in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. McKinnie also was ordered to pay $962,079 in restitution and will be subject to three years of supervised release following her time in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

McKinnie and co-defendants Nadiyah Muhammad Woods, 33, and Nakia Renee Vaughn, 26, also of Sacramento,conspired to defraud the United States by filing false tax returns using TurboTax, a commercial Internet tax-filing service, according to court documents. To obtain money from the false tax return filings, the women used a TurboTax service that loaded debit cards with the tax return money after the return was filed and approved. The defendants had the debit cards and checks mailed to various addresses under their control in Sacramento County.

November 14, 2012
Fugitive admits false bomb threats targeting Rocklin, Auburn homes

A federal fugitive who had claimed that bombs were sent to residences in Rocklin and Auburn has pleaded guilty to making hoax bomb threats.

Stephen J. Isoczky Jr., 60, of Los Angeles pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to two counts of making bomb threats and a single count of lying to federal agents, according to a Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, on Sept. 2, Isoczky contacted the national telephone network of the United States Postal Inspection Service claiming to be a concerned citizen alerting authorities to impending letter bombs. Isoczky claimed the bombs were going to be delivered shortly to a residence in Rocklin.

November 14, 2012
UPDATE: Pair booked after high-speed chase through Foothill Farms

KROGSGAARD, ALLISON - 25.JPGLAW, JASON - 33.JPGA man and a woman were arrested following a high-speed chase through Foothill Farms and along Interstate 80.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said deputies were assisting the Sacramento Police Department, which had identified a man wanted on a active felony warrant and who was believed to be in the Foothill Farms area. He was spotted about 5:10 p.m. in a car with another person at Walerga Road and Oak Hollow Drive. The car was seen traveling though an alley, and when officers try to stop it, the vehicle sped away.

Ramos said the pursuit headed south on Roseville Road traveling through the McClellan Park area and reaching speeds of up to 90 mph. The driver eventually entered eastbound I-80 and exited at Greenback Lane. The chase ended at Walnut and Kohler avenues, north of Madison Avenue and west of Auburn Boulevard.

November 14, 2012
UPDATE: Greenback Lane reopens following collision

Citrus Heights police report that Greenback Lane has reopened to traffic.

Westbound lanes between Fair Oaks Boulevard and Arcadia Drive were closed earlier this evening because of a collision that resulted in serious injury.

The collision, which involved a motorcycle and a pick-up truck, is under investigation.

November 14, 2012
Public's help sought to identify suspect in copper theft

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public to help identify a man who broke into a cellular tower near Watt and Myrtle avenues in North Highlands and removed copper wire and related materials.

To view a surveillance video and find out how to submit a tip, see the website at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcEcJ374tjA.

November 14, 2012
Police investigate attempted sexual assault at Elk Grove park

Elk Grove police are investigating an attempted sexual assault that occurred late Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the softball complex at Elk Grove Regional Park.

Police said the incident occurred about 6:05 p.m. A 37-year-old woman was leaning into the back of her parked vehicle when a man she did not know attacked her from behind and tried to sexually assault her. The woman was able to fend him off by pushing and punching him several times in the body and face, according to a Police Department news release.

The man fled and was last seen running north through the park.

November 14, 2012
Sacramento police Chief Rick Braziel to retire at end of year

Sacramento police Chief Rick Braziel has announced he will retire at the end of this year.

Braziel - popular among his troops, community leaders and city leadership - has served as chief of the department since 2008. He has been with the Sacramento Police Department since 1979.

His retirement will be effective Dec. 29.

According to a news release from the department, Braziel, 52, believes that signs of better economic times indicate it is time for him to move on.

"My job was to run as hard and as far as possible, then pass the baton to the next chief, who will run faster and farther than me," Braziel was quoted as saying in the news release.

In a news release, City Manager John Shirey described Braziel's departure as "a great loss for our community." He said he anticipates appointing an interim chief until a permanent replacement is found.

"The Chief has been grooming his leadership team for more responsibility and there are a number of strong internal candidates in the organization that can fill this position," Shirey was quoted as saying in the news release.

November 14, 2012
Small plane lands along Highway 65

planeonhighwayA.jpgA small plane landed in the center divider of Highway 65 in Placer County today, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Nobody was injured when the plane landed about 10:30 a.m. along the lanes of Highway 65 just north of Blue Oaks Boulevard near Roseville.

Photo caption: John Mares of Redonda Beach landed his Beach Debonair on the northbound lane of Highway 65 near Sunset Blvd. in Placer Co. Wednesday morning. He said he had a problem with a fuel line and lost fuel to the engine. Photo by Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

November 14, 2012
Sacramento deputies to hand out free turkeys at youth basketball event

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Activities League will be hosting its last "Friday Night Hoops" event of the year this Friday - and will be giving out free turkeys to the families of youth participants.

The "Friday Night Hoops" program, hosted at the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center in Oak Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., pairs sheriff's deputies and at-risk youth from the area in basketball games and drills. The program is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 15 and is free.

In preparation for Thanksgiving next week, deputies this week will be handing out free frozen turkeys to the families of youths who attend Friday night.

Deputies also are seeking donations of frozen turkeys. Those that are not handed out Friday night will be saved for a later event during the holiday season, said Deputy Cary Trzcinski, who heads the Sheriff's Activities League.

To donate, or for more information about the "Friday Night Hoops" event, contact Trzcinski at (916) 627-5606.

November 14, 2012
Update: Driver killed in head-on collision near Lincoln identified as Live Oak man

The driver who died this morning in a head-on collision near Lincoln has been identified by the Placer County Sheriff's Department as Gabriel Rodriguez, 53, of Live Oak.

The collision was caused by a suspected drunken driver, who suffered major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officers were called to the crash on Sierra College Boulevard near Twelve Bridges Drive about 6:20 a.m. The CHP reported that the crash involved two minivans and a truck.

November 13, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in slaying of Desert Storm veteran?

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

QUESTION: There was an incident back in the early '90s -- I believe one of the perpetrators was named Mario Lawson. What was the outcome of this case?
Submitted by: Natasha, Sacramento

ANSWER: Mario Lawson was one of three men convicted of murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Richard D. Harper in September 1993.

November 13, 2012
UPDATE: Police say man found in Robla area had multiple gunshot wounds

Sacramento police are investigating a homicide after a male in his 20s was found with gunshot wounds this evening at Sextant and Sully ways in the Robla area.

Police received a call at 6:36 p.m. reporting that someone had been shot. Capt. Mike Bray said officers found the young man in the street.

Bray said it is not known whether the man was shot at that location or elsewhere. He said neighbors reported that they hadn't heard any gunshots, but just saw the man lying in the street.

November 13, 2012
High-speed chase ends in crash off Highway 99 near Galt

One man was arrested and two were hospitalized in critical condition following a high-speed chase that ended in a crash off Highway 99 near Galt this afternoon.

Lt. Jim Uptegrove of the Galt Police Department said officers were called about 11 a.m. to the 900 block of Whitford Court regarding a residential burglary. The resident reported that someone had knocked on her front door and when she didn't answer, the individual went to the rear of the house and attempted to get inside. The woman fled and called police.

When officers arrived, the would-be intruder was gone, but police found that a screen on the rear of the house had been removed and a window broken. Neighbors reported seeing two Latino men in a maroon vehicle driving through the neighborhood about the time of the break-in.

November 13, 2012
Three men arrested in September's state mining museum heist

The California Highway Patrol has announced the arrest of three men in connection with the Sept. 28 robbery of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa.

The robbery involved the theft of more than $1 million in precious metals, mostly gold.

Search warrants were served this morning in El Dorado, Sacramento and Sutter counties.

November 13, 2012
Suspect sought in burglary of Yuba County sandwich shop

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department is investigating a break-in of a Subway shop that included theft of the restaurant's safe.

The burglary occurred early Sunday at the sandwich shop in the 1600 block of North Beale Road in the Linda area.

Deputies are using surveillance footage in an effort to identify the suspect. The footage indicates that a male pried open the door to the business just before 6 a.m., according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The individual entered the store and stole a safe. Officials said the value of the property in the safe has not been determined.

November 13, 2012
CHP campaign aims to improve motorcycle safety

The California Highway Patrol is launching a year-long educational campaign to reduce the number of collisions involving motorcycles.

California is home to more than 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists, but each each hundreds are killed and thousands are injured. According to preliminary data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, the number of motorcyclists killed increased nearly 20 percent from 2010 to 2011. This followed a two-year decline in motorcycle-involved collisions, according to a CHP news release.

"Motorcycle awareness is a priority for the California Highway Patrol and a key to saving lives on the roadway," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a written statement. "Education combined with enforcement will help reinforce the concept that all motorists need to safely share the road."

November 13, 2012
Placerville-area man arrested in Monday night shooting

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a shooting at his Placerville-area home Monday night.

The victim, a 55-year-old Citrus Heights man, was taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and is expected to recover from his injuries, officials said.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Dispatch Center received calls about 7:30 p.m. reporting that gunfire was heard in the 3600 block of Wamego Road, southwest of Placerville. As deputies were en route to the location, a caller reported that someone had been shot at a residence.

November 13, 2012
Robbers hold up Laguna resident on street

A man was robbed at gunpoint on a Laguna neighborhood street Monday evening.

The man was walking down the street near Francesca Street and Kamal Court about 5 p.m. when he was confronted by four men. One was armed with a handgun.

The thieves took the young man's cell phone, wallet and cash, according to Sacramento police.

Police said one of the robbers had a red hat, another had short dreadlocks and a wore black peacoat, and a third had short hair, and wore a white t-shirt and black pants. All four were described as black men and around 20 years old.

November 13, 2012
Man arrested for chemical spraying of Sacramento police

A man was arrested on suspicion of assault with caustic chemicals after spraying fire extinguishers at Sacramento police officers.

Police said that Austin Turner, 27, illegally entered the break room of a business on College Town Drive, near Howe Avenue and Highway 50. When police arrived about 5:45 a.m. Monday he refused to come out.

Instead, Turner used two fire extinguishers to spray at officers through a bottom door vent. Eventually, officers were able to get inside and take Turner to Sacramento County Jail.

He was booked on suspicion of chemical assault, burglary and resisting arrest.

November 12, 2012
Early morning kitchen fire damages Sacramento County home

Fire officials issued reminders for preventing and extinguishing cooking-related fires after a kitchen fire caused an estimated $10,000 damage to a south Sacramento County home early this morning.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were called to a home in the 8200 block of Homefield Way, north of Elsie Avenue and east of Power Inn Road, about 1 a.m. and arrived to find a fire in the kitchen. Nine residents were quickly evacuated and firefighters were able to knock down the fire in less than three minutes, according to a Fire Department news release.

The fire was confined to the kitchen and did not extend to the attic. No injuries were reported.

November 12, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to teens in Christmas Eve slaying of homeless man?

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

QUESTION: What ever happened to the teenagers that shot and killed a homeless man under the freeway by Miller Park? I think it happened in 1986. Are they still locked away? It was said it happened on Christmas Eve.
Submitted by: Just Wondering, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two boys, ages 17 and 15, were arrested in the unprovoked killing of a transient on Dec. 24, 1984.

November 12, 2012
Woman arrested after death of pedestrian in South Sacramento

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a pedestrian killed when hit by a car in the South Area late Friday night.

He was identified as 50-year-old Sounthone Thevadaenaphay.

A California Highway Patrol spokesman said that a car driven by Maria Castillo, 59, of Sacramento was southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at 41st Avenue about 11:15 p.m. Friday when her vehicle struck Thevadaenaphay.

He died at the scene. The CHP spokesman said Castillo fled the scene to her nearby residence.

She was later arrested at her home on suspicion of manslaughter and hit-and-run, according to the CHP.

November 12, 2012
Natomas home site of 750 plant marijuana grow

Potgrow.jpegA man was booked on suspicion of stealing electricity and growing 750 marijuana plants inside a Natomas home.

Police were called to the home in the 2900 block of Myotis Drive about 6 p.m. Saturday on a report of a foul odor, which was apparently coming from the hundreds of plants inside the house.

The occupant of the home, a man in his 50s, who is not being identified due to an on-going investigation, was arrested on suspicion for stealing power to run the grow lights inside the home and for cultivation of marijuana for sale.

November 12, 2012
Four men from Sacramento linked to vacuum-packed marijuana

Four men from Sacramento County were booked into jail after Redding police stopped a rental truck with 300 pounds of vacuum-packed marijuana.

Police said they received information that a U-Haul pickup and a Nissan Altima would be coming through Redding with a large amount of marijuana. Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, officers made separate stops on two vehicles matching the earlier descriptions of the pickup and the car.

A police dog alerted to marijuana in the pickup and officers found 300 pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags. The other officer searched the Altima and found packaging material, vacuum-sealing equipment and a walkie-talkie identical to one found in the truck, according to a police press release.

November 12, 2012
UPDATE: Police release description of pickup sought in Stockton Boulevard hit-and-run

Sacramento police have released a description of a pickup truck sought in connection with the hit-and-run death of a 61-year-old bicyclist Sunday.

Police said the Molly Arndt was riding her bicycle across Stockton Boulevard near Lawrence Drive about 5:45 p.m. Sunday when she was hit by a white pickup truck heading northbound. Arndt was taken to a hospital where she died from her injuries.

Police spokeswoman Officier Michele Gigante said today that based on evidence found at the scene, police are looking for a 1992 to 1998 white Chevy 1500 pickup with a tool box in the back. It is believed to have a damaged driver's side headlight assembly.

November 9, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was outcome in case of Hiram Johnson High teacher accused of battery?

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

QUESTION: What was the outcome of the case where a Sacramento teacher slapped a student on the buttock at Hiram W. Johnson High School? The teacher's name was Timothy Carter, a math teacher.
Submitted by: Hailey, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury found Hiram Johnson High School math teacher Tim Carter not guilty of misdemeanor battery against a student.

November 9, 2012
Woodland woman reports assault by intruder armed with knife

Woodland police are trying to locate a man who reportedly entered a home and raped a woman at knifepoint early Wednesday.

Officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Oak Avenue about 3 a.m. regarding a report of a rape in progress. When they arrived, they found the victim at a neighbor's house. She told them she thought the suspect was still in her home, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers went to the house but did not find the suspect inside. A search of the surrounding area also proved fruitless.

November 9, 2012
Mercedes crashes through house in Folsom neighborhood

Folom crash 550185_547599955256385_1574982589_n.jpgFolsom police are trying to determine what caused a motorist to crash through a house this evening.

Police spokesman Jason Browning said the incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. A woman driving a Mercedes crashed through a house at the corner of Oak Avenue Parkway and Willowcreek Drive. The vehicle went through a bedroom at the front of the house, Browning said. No one was home at the time.

The driver, who was alone in the vehicle, suffered minor injuries. Police said neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to have been a factor in the crash.

Photo Courtesy Folsom Police Department

November 9, 2012
Jury finds West Sacramento man guilty of domestic violence

A 24-year-old West Sacramento man has been convicted of domestic violence.

A Yolo County jury on Wednesday found Andrew Jose Ochoa guilty of dissuading a witness, domestic violence, vandalism and possession of tear gas by a felon.

According to evidence presented during the trial, West Sacramento police were dispatched to Ochoa's apartment after his girlfriend called 911. The jury heard the 911 call in which the victim told Ochoa to stay away from her, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

November 9, 2012
Granite Bay teen arrested, accused of firebombing residence

A 15-year-old Granite Bay boy has been arrested on suspicion of four counts of attempted homicide in the Wednesday night firebombing of an occupied residence.

The youth was taken into custody Thursday by Placer County sheriff's deputies. He is being held in Placer County Juvenile Hall in Auburn.

The boy, a sophomore at Granite Bay High School, went to the home in the 4800 block of Bentwood Way in Granite Bay about 11:30 p.m., according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department news release. He allegedly threw a large rock through a window at the front of the house, and then threw a bottle containing a flammable liquid at the same window, which started a fire.

November 9, 2012
Authorities say they've caught man dubbed Roaming Rapist, suspected in dozens of assaults

dereck Sanders.JPGA man suspected of being the Roaming Rapist, an assailant who assaulted a dozen women throughout Sacramento County from 1998 to 2003, has been arrested, law enforcement officials announced today.

Dereck Jermaine Sanders, 39, was booked into Sacramento County Jail early this morning. He is charged with 35 counts of forcible sexual assault involving 10 victims ages 14-42, in nine separate incidents.

He was implicated through a "familial DNA" match, which traces family characteristics, to a brother, who is a convicted felon, and recently had been arrested on three unrelated sexual assaults.

Sanders was connected by a direct DNA match through trash he threw out at his Isleton home on Wednesday.

November 9, 2012
Gang member gets life for 'Compound' murder

A Sacramento street gang member was sentenced today to life in prison with no chance of parole for the 2010 robbery killing of a man in a north side apartment building known as "The Compound."

Superior Court Judge Roland L. Candee also gave Ricardo Lynn Hall, now 21, an additional 25-to-life term for his use of a firearm in the killing of Matthew Maurizzio, 39.

The fatal 1:30 a.m. shooting on Jan. 23, 2010, took place in the apartment complex on Dixieanne Avenue in North Sacramento that has gained notoriety in recent years as one of the region's most problematic gang, drug and crime locations.

According to evidence at trial, Maurizzio, a recovering drug addict who had been managing an apartment building near the Royal Oaks Post Office, wound up in the multi-unit Compound on a relapse. Witnesses said he was robbed and shot by three men who approached him in the alley behind the complex. Maurizzio ran out of the apartment building but collapsed in a front yard nearby and died, witnesses said.

No charges were filed on two men authorities identified as Hall's accomplices, both of whom testified at trial and eventually identified Hall as the shooter.

A jury convicted Hall of first-degree murder on Oct. 4.

November 9, 2012
Woodland Episcopal church burglarized

A Woodland church was ransacked last night by a burglar, police said.

Woodland police said that St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 515 Second St., was entered by a burglar breaking an office window. Once inside, the burglar vandalized the office and ransacked the church, police said.

A fireplace tool was used to open desk drawers and cabinets looking for items of value. The exact value of property stolen is not known, according to a police press release.

November 9, 2012
Redding PD: 'Crazed' knife-wielding man at Sears, Walmart is arrested

Redding police said they arrested a knife-wielding man who was acting in a crazed manner inside a Walmart and in a Sears parking lot.

Police said the man, identified as David Michael Macleod, 20, a Redding transient, first threatened a man sitting in his truck in a Sears parking lot about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Police said Macleod, armed with a crowbar and a knife, threatened to kill the man.

About 15 minutes later, police were called to the nearby Walmart on Dana Drive where "a crazed white male carrying a knife was threatening people and acting irrationally," according to a police press release.

November 9, 2012
Another electrical fire prompts warning from Sac Metro Fire

The third fire traced to electrical problems in 30 days has prompted a suburban fire district to caution homeowners about doing electrical repairs themselves.

On Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters were called to the 8100 block of Dunes Court, near Highway 99 and Calvine Road, where a garage was engulfed in flames. Crews stopped the fire from spreading into the home and also rescued the family dog and cat.

The residents of the home were away at the time of the fire. Arson investigators determined "the cause to be electrical in nature," according to a fire district press release.

November 8, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Any convictions in 2010 grad night shooting at Elk Grove hotel?

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

QUESTION: On high school grad night in June 2010, a celebrating senior grad/athlete was shot and killed while celebrating at the Holiday Inn Express in Elk Grove. Was that crime ever solved and the culprits brought to justice?
Submitted by: CTrapp, Elk Grove

ANSWER: Nine people were arrested in connection with the shooting death of 18-year-old D'andre Blackwell, a popular former Valley High School basketball player, on June 5, 2010.

November 8, 2012
Arrest made in Wednesday night shooting at 15th and S streets

Sacramento police have arrested a 35-year-old man in connection with the fatal shooting Wednesday night of Jesse James Nunez.

Nunez, 36, was found at 15th and S streets about 8:41 p.m. after a patrol sergeant heard several gunshots, and a witness reported that a shooting had just occurred and people were seen scattering from the area.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said representatives of another law enforcement agency arrested Elpidio Tellez on warrants just south of the area that police were searching last night. Aware of the shooting and the search that was under way, they notified Sacramento police of the arrest.

Morse said Sacramento police investigators interviewed Tellez today and arrested him on suspicion of homicide in Nunez's death. Morse said he did not have any information on the what led to the shooting.

November 8, 2012
Davis man arrested after pursuit from Woodland to Natomas

A man who allegedly threatened to kill a woman in Woodland this afternoon led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a collision and his eventual capture in a Natomas neighborhood.

Woodland officers were dispatched about 1:11 p.m. to the Del Valle Super Mercado at 500 Kentucky Ave. in Woodland after a woman called police and said that Larry Ventimiglia, 25, of Davis had just threatened to shoot and kill her at that location. When officers arrived, the victim said that Ventimiglia had left in a white Saturn.

While police were investigating the incident, another Woodland officer spotted Ventimiglia driving in the area of North and Fourth streets. The officer tried to catch up to Ventimiglia, who began speeding eastbound on North Street across East Street. Several other Woodland officers joined in the pursuit, which continued through residential streets and onto eastbound Beamer Street, where speeds reached more than 90 mph in the industrial area, according to a Police Department news release.

November 8, 2012
Family of man shot to death by deputy files $10 million suit

By Denny Walsh

dwalsh@sacbee.com

The family of a man shot and killed in February by a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy sued the county and Sheriff Scott Jones on Thursday, seeking more than $10 million in compensation for alleged constitutional violations.

Lamont Harmon, 47, was shot by Deputy Nathan Burnette in the early hours of Feb. 6, when Harmon, who had been walking across a Kmart parking lot on Stockton Boulevard in Oak Park, ran from deputies who purportedly wanted to question him about a stolen vehicle.

The department's version of events is that Burnette, a 10-year veteran, caught and struggled with Harmon and fired a Taser gun, which missed.

Harmon reached into his waistband, causing the deputy to think he was grabbing a weapon, so he fired his service pistol multiple times at Harmon.

The suit, filed in Sacramento federal court on behalf of Harmon's mother, wife and 13-year-old daughter, contains a contradictory version.

November 8, 2012
17 arrests, seizures result from Sacramento FBI task force gang sweep

An FBI task force roundup resulted in the arrest of 17 men today after an investigation into drug and firearms trafficking by suspected gang members.

The Sacramento Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force served arrest and search warrants after a nearly two-year investigation.

"Takedowns such as these demonstrate that the FBI and its task force partners are committed to disrupting violent gang activity," said Herbert M. Brown, special agent in charge of the Sacramento division.

An FBI press release stated that the task force of local, state and federal officers identified drug traffickers with membership or other ties with the Nuestra Familia prison gang.

The operation also seized drugs, cash and vehicles. Included in the seizures were about 12 cars, $35,000 in cash, 30 weapons, 25 pounds of methamphetamine, 40 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and Oxycontin.

November 8, 2012
Teen suspect arrested in homicide off 65th Avenue

Sacramento police have arrested a 17-year-old suspect in the killing last night off 65th Avenue near Florin Road and 21st Street.

City police spokeswoman Michele Gigante said the suspect has been booked into juvenile hall.

Meanwhile, Sacramento County Coroner's deputies have released the name of a homicide victim killed last night in midtown.

November 8, 2012
Suspected burglar killed by Fair Oaks homeowner identified by coroner

The man shot to death by a Fair Oaks homeowner during what Sacramento County sheriff's detectives believe was a residential burglary has been identified by the coroner's office.

He was identified as David Anthony Williams, 27, of Fair Oaks.

The homeowner who shot Williams was arrested for suspected weapons violations, not murder, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

November 8, 2012
One person dead, one injured in shooting in Meadowview

One person died and another was treated for injuries following a shooting in the Meadowview area Wednesday night.

Sacramento police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said officers responded at 7:42 p.m. to a report of shots fired in the 2100 block of 65th Avenue. When they arrived, they found evidence of a shooting but no victims.

Investigators at the scene then received calls from police officers assigned to an area hospital who reported that people were arriving with gunshot wounds.

November 7, 2012
Sacramento police investigate fatal shooting at 15th and S streets

Sacramento police are searching for suspects in a fatal shooting that occurred at 15th and S streets.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said a patrol unit was near the location at 8:41 p.m. when officers heard gunshots. Almost simultaneously, officers saw a suspicious vehicle leaving the area and followed it for a couple of blocks. At that point, the driver pulled over and ran from the vehicle.

Morse said a gun was found in the area of the vehicle.

Police are searching an area with the assistance of a helicopter and K-9 units. He said two people have been detained, but officers haven't determined whether they were involved in the incident.

Morse said shooting victim was a man in his 30s. His name has not been released.

November 7, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What is status of Roseville man accused in child sex abuse case?

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

QUESTION: What is going on with the trial of the man arrested last June for alleged child sex abuse over a period of 10 years, Michael Nodine? I heard of his arrest and a trial date set in August, but it's well past August and I have yet to hear anything?
Submitted by: Testify, Sacramento

ANSWER: Michael Scott Nodine, 45, remains in Placer County Jail awaiting trial, with bail set at $1 million.

November 7, 2012
UPDATE: Missing Elk Grove teenager found safe

Dominic Zanartu image (1).pngA 13-year-old boy reported missing in Elk Grove has been located.

Elk Grove police said Dominic Zanartu (pictured), who is autistic, was found at an AM/PM market on Grant Line Road and will be returned home.

The youth had last been seen at Harriet Eddy Middle School, in the 9300 block of Soaring Oaks Drive, about 3:15 p.m. today. Police said he was apparently upset because he knew that his television and computer privileges would be taken away due to a poor progress report.

November 7, 2012
West Sacramento police schedule annual community meetings

The West Sacramento Police Department will hold its annual community meetings at four locations this month.

The meetings offer residents an opportunity to obtain important information and discuss issues of mutual concern. Primary topics will be the city's newly revised alarm ordinance and special event application process, according to a department news release.

To accommodate residents, meetings will be held at different Washington Unified School District schools. Meetings are scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m.:

• Thursday at Riverbank Elementary School, 1100 Carrie St., for the Bryte and Broderick areas.

• Tuesday at Westmore Oaks Elementary, 930 Westacre Road, for the central West Sacramento area.

• Nov. 27 at Stonegate Elementary School, 2500 La Jolla St., for the Southport area.

• Nov. 29 at the West Sacramento Police Department, 550 Jefferson Blvd., for the city's commercial areas.

November 7, 2012
Sacramento Coroner: Natomas infant died of blunt force trauma to head

A 5-month-old baby boy who Sacramento police alleged died at the hands of his uncle suffered blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

The infant, who has not yet been identified, died Sunday after being hospitalized Oct. 31 when his mother found him unresponsive in their Natomas apartment, according to police.

Thumbnail image for TAGHAP, WENDELL -34.jpgThe next day, Sacramento police arrested the boy's uncle, 34-year-old Wendell James Taghap, on suspicion of felony child abuse charges. After the boy's death, they booked him on suspicion of murder.

Taghap is expected to appear in court Thursday.

According to police, the boy suffered injuries while in the care of Taghap. When the boy's mother returned home, she thought he was asleep. She realized he was unresponsive when she checked on him later, and called 911.

November 7, 2012
Not a Hallmark ending for Woodland card store burglary suspect

A Woodland Hallmark card store was ransacked during a break-in this morning.

Police were called about 12:30 a.m. today to the Hallmark store at 375 West Main St. in the Raley's shopping center where a man was reported to have broken a window and climbed into the store.

Officers ordered anyone inside to come out, but got no reply. A police dog was then let into the store through the broken window.

Minutes later, the dog bit the burglar and dragged him to the ground. Drew Dean Biondo, 29, who police said is a transient on parole for arson, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, violation of parole and obstructing an officer.

Police said numerous merchandise displays were destroyed and items thrown about the store. Fragile pieces of merchandise were shattered, police said.

Store owners estimated at least $10,000 in damage, police said.

November 7, 2012
Purse contents purloined at Roseville grocery stores

Thieves have targeted shoppers at Roseville grocery stores.

A Roseville police public safety release notes two instances of thefts from shoppers last week in which thieves grabbed items out of shoppers' purses.

The first occurred Oct. 30 at a grocery store in Roseville Square when someone took items from a purse in a shopping cart. The thief reached into the purse and took a wallet, cash, ID and credit cards.

A second theft occurred Nov. 1 when police said two men worked together to distract and then steal from shoppers at a grocery store on Pleasant Grove Boulevard. One of the men engaged women in conversation about shopping, while the other tried to reach into purses.

During the Nov. 1 incident, a security officer detained one of the men when he saw him take a cell phone from a woman's purse. The 29-year-old Fair Oaks man was arrested on suspicion of robbery and committing a felony while out of jail on bail for another felony.

His alleged accomplice fled from the store.

Police advise shoppers to keep purses closed and keep an eye or hand on them while shopping or loading groceries into a car.

November 7, 2012
Update: Fair Oaks homeowner arrested after shootings - one fatal - of suspected burglars

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives arrested the Fair Oaks man who shot two suspected burglars in his home early this morning, authorities say.

One of the two suspects died.

The homeowner was arrested for suspected weapons violations, not murder, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

November 6, 2012
Two people injured in Arden-Arcade apartment fire

Investigators were working today to determine the cause and origin of a Monday night apartment complex fire in Arden-Arcade area that critically injured one person and displaced residents of a 14-unit building.

Firefighter Michelle Eidam, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, said the two-alarm fire was reported at 11:29 p.m. in the 2700 block of Castle Hill Court, east of Fulton Avenue and north of El Camino Avenue. Crews arrived to find a fire burning in second story units of a two-story building.

Eidam said two people were injured. Firefighters rescued a man from one unit and he was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in critical condition. Eidam said a woman was also treated at the scene for minor injuries.

November 6, 2012
Jury acquits Sacramento doctor on two sex charges, hangs on others

clip_image002.jpgscottanderson.jpgA Sacramento Superior Court jury acquitted Dr. Scott Dodd Anderson on two counts of sexually abusing his patients but failed to reach verdicts on 15 others, prompting Judge Eugene L. Balanon to declare a mistrial on them.

Deputy District Attorney Laura West told the court immediately after the verdicts that her office will retry Anderson on the remaining counts.

Anderson had initially been charged on 26 felonies -- including three rapes -- and 15 misdemeanors, on suspicion that he had inappropriate physical contact with five patients. The complaint had been pared down to 13 felonies and nine misdemeanors when testimony began in his trial on Oct. 23, with the three rape counts dismissed by the DA's office due to insufficient evidence. Five more counts were dismissed during the trial.

November 6, 2012
Sacramento uncle now a murder suspect after infant nephew dies of injuries

A 5-month-old baby who was hospitalized last week after suffering trauma allegedly at the hands of his uncle has died, Sacramento police say.

TAGHAP, WENDELL -34.jpgOfficers arrested the boy's uncle, identified as 34-year-old Wendell James Taghap, on Nov. 1 on suspicion of cruelty to a child in connection with the case. Today, police arrested him on suspicion of murder, said spokesman Officer Doug Morse.

The assault allegedly occurred Oct. 31 when the baby was in Taghap's custody in the 2600 block of Truxel Road in Natomas, Morse said. When the baby's mother returned from work, she thought he was sleeping and left him to rest. Later, she checked on him, found him unresponsive and called 911.

The boy died at a local hospital on Sunday, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office. An autopsy has not yet been performed.

Taghap declined an interview at the Sacramento County Main Jail, where he is being held in "total separation" from other inmates, likely because of the nature of the charges against him.

Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation.

November 6, 2012
Suspicious device on North Highlands lawn determined to be safe

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies determined a suspicious device found in North Highlands this morning was not dangerous.

Deputies received reports just before 11:30 a.m. today that a two-foot-long pipe, capped at both ends, was found in a yard in the 5800 block of Canary Drive near Watt Avenue and A Street, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Several homes in the area were evacuated and the bomb squad was called out to investigate.

Investigators later determined the object was safe.

-- By Kim Minugh

November 6, 2012
Update: Authorities release name of son accused of killing father in Rosemont

Sacramento County sheriff's officials have identified the teen suspected of killing his father this morning as 18-year-old Daniel Cartwright.

Cartwright image.jpgDetectives booked Cartwright into the Sacramento County Main Jail this afternoon on suspicion of murder in connection with the shooting death of his 40-year-old father, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

The Sacramento County Coroner's office today identified the father as Richard Alllen Cartwright.

Deputies discovered the man's body in an apartment in the 4000 block of South Watt Avenue after a 911 caller reported he had shot his father. Upon pulling into the complex, deputies found the younger Cartwright, who identified himself as the caller, Ramos said.

In a nearby unit, deputies found the victim with a single gunshot wound and the weapon they suspect was used in the crime, Ramos said.

Ramos said detectives believe the shooting occurred several hours before the 911 call was placed; however, he did not elaborate on a reason for the delay.

November 5, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to woman who killed daughter in 1990s?

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

QUESTION: In 1994 or 1995, Paula Scott killed her child. She was sent to a mental hospital before she could stand trial. What has happened to her since?
Submitted by: Shirley, Sacramento

ANSWER: Paula Lynn Scott pleaded no contest to strangling her 5-year-old daughter, Jesusita, in 1998 to spite her husband.

November 5, 2012
Seven aboard overturned boat owned by Elk Grove resident rescued from Tomales Bay

Seven people were rescued Sunday afternoon from a boat owned by an Elk Grove resident after it overturned in Tomales Bay, trapping two children inside the small cabin.

Sgt. Ed Hoener of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Helicopter Unit said the air unit along with the sheriff's Marine Unit responded at 1:28 p.m. to a report of an overturned boat in the surf at the mouth of Tomales Bay, just south of Bodega Bay. The units were patrolling the area because it was the opening weekend of the recreational crab season.

The helicopter unit arrived in less the two minutes and found four people clinging to an overturned boat. One was holding a 3-year-old child, and none was wearing a life jacket, Hoener said.

November 5, 2012
Hirschfield convicted in Davis sweetheart murders

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

A Sacramento Superior Court jury has delivered a guilty verdict against Richard Joseph Hirschfield for the 1980 murders of John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves.

The 63-year-old Hirschfield was accused in the slashing and bludgeoning deaths of the U.C. Davis students, both of whom were 18 when they were abducted.

November 5, 2012
Man with prior convictions sentenced for February burglary

A 61-year-old man with convictions for previous crimes has been sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison for a February robbery and residential burglary.

A Sacramento County jury in August convicted Jonathan Mayhew Watson of the robbery and burglary. The court further found the Watson had five previous convictions for crimes including residential burglary, attempted residential burglary, forcible rape and rape by threat, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ernest Sawtelle.

On the evening of Feb. 28, the victim returned home to find that Watson had broken into her apartment and was rifling through her belongings, authorities said. The woman screamed for help and Watson fled from the residence.

November 5, 2012
Woodland police investigate shooting that wounded 18-year-old

Woodland police are investigating a Sunday night shooting incident in which an 18-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

Police responded at 8:41 p.m. to multiple reports of a gunshot in the the 1200 block of Donnelly Circle. The victim reportedly was seen getting into a car that immediately left the area, a police news release stats.

About 10 minutes later, officers were dispatched to Woodland Memorial Hospital to investigate a report of a man suffering from a gunshot wound. They found an 18-year-old Woodland resident with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his lower right leg. The man was later taken by ambulance to Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael for further treatment.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 666-2411. Callers may remain anonymous.

November 5, 2012
Jury to return verdicts in Hirschfield murder trial at 4 p.m.

A Sacramento Superior Court jury has reached verdicts in the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial.

The verdicts are scheduled to be announced at 4 p.m. today, after less than one full day of deliberations on the part of the panel.

HIrschfield, 63, is accused in the Dec. 20, 1980, slashing and bludgeon killings of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both of whom were 18.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty on HIrschfield with special-circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the course of rape, kidnap and oral copulation.

Follow Andy Furillo on Twitter for updates: @andyfurillo