Sacto 9-1-1
January 31, 2013
Two women sought in road-rage related stabbings

Sacramento police are asking the public's help in identifying suspects in a stabbing that occurred Wednesday afternoon.

Officers responded to Del Paso Boulevard and Southgate Road regarding a report that two people had been stabbed. They arrived to find two women in their 20s who had suffered multiple and potentially life-threatening stab wounds, according to a Police Department news release.

Police said they believe the stabbings were the result of a road-rage incident involving the occupants of two vehicles. It apparently started in the area of eastbound Interstate 80 and southbound Interstate 5.

January 31, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Were parents convicted in child's 2005 beating death?

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

QUESTION: In the winter of 2005-06, an 11-month-old boy named Alan was beaten to death at Vince's Motel on Folsom Boulevard. Both parents were arrested. Were either one of them convicted?
Submitted by: L. Darragh, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Robbie Woodson of murder in the April 2005 death of his 11-month-old son, Allan Woodson.

January 31, 2013
Elk Grove residents invited talk with police over coffee

Elk Grove residents will have an opportunity to discuss questions and concerns with local police officers over a cup of coffee Feb. 7.

Officers from the Elk Grove Police Department's Problem Oriented Policing Unit will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. at two McDonald's restaurant locations, 8282 Laguna Blvd. and 8710 Elk Grove Blvd., as part of the "Coffee with a Cop" program.

The program is intended to strengthen the partnership between the Police Department and the community. Residents can ask specific or general questions related to their neighborhood.

Additional dates and locations for get-togethers will be posted on the Police Department's website at www.elkgrovepd.org as they become available.

January 31, 2013
Help sought to ID bank robbery suspect dubbed 'Bad Hatter Bandit'

Bad Hatter Bandit image_image3_large (1).jpgThe Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force is asking the public's help to identify a man suspected of robbing three Sacramento-area banks in the past two months.

Authorities have dubbed the suspect (pictured) the "Bad Hatter Bandit" because in each instance he has worn one of a variety of black hats.

All three robberies have occurred at Chase Bank branches, with the suspect hitting the branch at 3501 Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento twice, on Nov. 29 and Tuesday. The branch at 1800 Douglas Blvd. in Roseville was robbed Jan. 10.

January 31, 2013
Three Sacramento residents indicted in bank fraud scheme

Three Sacramento residents were indicted today by a federal grand jury for allegedly stealing the identity of U.S. Postal Service and department store customers to commit bank fraud.

Glen Patrick Shoults, 26, Jackie Lester Shoults, 31 and Kathleen S. Wade, 29, allegedly obtained stolen mail largely from Sacramento and Elk Grove postal customers.

According to court documents, between February 2012 and Dec. 15, 2012, Wade worked at a Sacramento department store. Her boyfriend, Glen Shoults, and his brother, Jackie Shoults, are alleged to have conspired with Wade to use her position to make fraudulent transactions on bank and credit card accounts.

January 31, 2013
UPDATE: Missing Rancho Cordova teenager found safe

Ciera Buckley MP+Buckley+Pic.jpgA Rancho Cordova teenager who had been missing for several days has been located and reunited with her family, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Ciera Buckley (pictured), 15, had last been seen at her home Sunday in the 9800 block of Lincoln Village Drive. Authorities said she was considered to be at-risk because her disappearance is inconsistent with her normal behavior.

January 31, 2013
Death Row killer dies at San Quentin

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

KARIS C53616.jpg

James Leslie Karis Jr., who was sentenced to death in 1982 after he abducted two women near Placerville and killed and raped one of them, died on San Quentin's Death Row today.

Karis, 61, was found unresponsive in his cell, where he was housed alone, and pronounced dead at the prison at 6:40 a.m.

He was sent to Death Row on Sept. 20, 1982, but legal battles that cost millions of dollars continued for years and led to him being resentenced to death as recently as 2007.

He was convicted of raping and murdering Peggy Pennington, 34, and the attempted murder of a 27-year-old woman.

January 31, 2013
Sacramento police arrest man for allegedly brandishing knife

Sacramento police arrested a man in Del Paso Heights on Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly brandished a large knife at several people, including a Grant High School student walking home from the campus.

DAVES, TOM-42.jpgShortly before 5 p.m., police responded to the 500 block of Morey Avenue after receiving multiple calls of a person walking with a large knife. Officers several times ordered the man to drop the knife, and the man eventually complied.

The man, later identified by Sacramento police as 42-year-old Tom Daves, was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a knife and violating the terms of his probation.

Daves is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $170,000 bail, according to booking records.

The incident prompted Grant High officials to send a letter home to families alerting them to the incident. The letter indicates the student was approached by a man who brandished a knife and appeared to be intoxicated. The student was not injured.

"Let me assure you that the safety of our students is our top concern on and off campus. We take this incident very seriously, and we're asking for your help in addressing the important issue of student safety," Principal Craig Murray wrote in the letter. "Please remind your children to always be cautious and aware of their surroundings as they walk to and from school, and the importance of reporting suspicious activities, threats or disturbing information to you or a trusted adult."

Bee staff writer Melody Gutierrez contributed to this report.

January 31, 2013
Boy killed when car is broadsided near Wheatland

A four-year-old died in a collision at an intersection Wednesday northwest of Wheatland.

The California Highway Patrol said that boy was in a Honda Civic headed southbound on Rancho Road about 4:30 p.m. A Nissan Sentra, traveling eastbound on Ostrom Road, failed to stop at a stop sign where the two roads intersect, according to a CHP press release.

The Nissan struck the passenger side of the Honda, killing the four-year-old boy. Alcohol does not appear to be a cause of the crash.

The investigation into the collision is on-going, according to the CHP.

January 31, 2013
Woman carjacked in Elk Grove at gunpoint

carjack.JPGA young woman peacefully eating her lunch in an Elk Grove department store parking lot was carjacked at gunpoint.

Elk Grove police are looking for the heavy-set man who pointed a gun at the 19-year-old woman who was in her car eating lunch about noon Monday outside Kohl's department store, 9650 Bruceville Road.

The man, described as being in his early 20s, leaned into the car's open window, pointed a handgun at the woman and forced his way into the vehicle. When another motorist honked his horn, the carjacker let the woman get out of the vehicle with her purse.

The suspect drove away with her cell phone. The car, a maroon 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant, license plate 5EEW575, is still missing.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 478-8060.

January 31, 2013
Update: Missing Citrus Heights mother, son found safe in Reno

pics.jpgboy.jpgA woman and her 7-year-old son who had been sought by Citrus Heights police because of concerns about the boy's welfare have been located in Reno.

Danielle Virginia Lake walked into the Reno Police Department with her son, Justice, indicating that she had seen a news story in Reno, according to a Citrus Heights Police Department news release. Reno police, as the request of Citrus Heights police, took boy into protective custody.

Justice Terrence Seiler of Citrus Heights had been last seen at his home on Sunday and was believed to be with his 41-year-old mother.

A police news release stated, "circumstances surrounding the contact of Justice at his home," prompted the request for the public's help in finding the boy.

January 31, 2013
Women stabbed in Northgate neighborhood street fight

Sacramento police are investigating a fight that resulted in the stabbing of two women on a city street.

Officers were called about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a fight that began near Northgate Boulevard and the Arden Garden Connector. Police said that two vehicles pulled over and the occupants got out.

A fight began, which resulted in the stabbing of the two women. The wounded women got back in their car and drove to Del Paso Boulevard and Southgate Road where they called police.

Homicide detectives were called in due to the seriousness of injury. Nobody has been arrested.

The women were transported to the hospital for treatment of their injuries.

January 30, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What is status of man accused of killing Fair Oaks woman?

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

QUESTION: I had a friend, Carole Sturgis, who lived in Fair Oaks and was killed on July 15, 2012. What ever happened to the man involved?
Submitted by: Jeanne, Fair Oaks

ANSWER: Moses Stanley Trotter, 32, remains in Sacramento County Jail charged with murder in the death 79-year-old Carole Jane Sturgis.

January 30, 2013
Citrus Heights man accused of burglaries, auto thefts

A Citrus Heights man has been arrested in connection with several burglaries that have occurred in the city in recent weeks.

Citrus Heights police officers contacted a suspicious looking man in the 7800 block of Sayonara Drive about 2:34 a.m. today. The man, identified as Scott Alan James, 42, was found to be in possession of jewelry, and officers located a flat-screen television and other property nearby, according to a Police Department news release.

The property was found to belong to a resident in the 6600 block of Rinconada Drive. Police said the home had been broken into and the property stolen while the residents slept.

January 30, 2013
Infant reportedly left in car during father's alleged burglary

rusher.jpgA Pine Grove man has been arrested on suspicion of residential burglary and child endangerment after he disclosed that he had left his 7-month-old son in his vehicle during an alleged break-in.

An Amador County sheriff's deputy was dispatched to a residence on Toyon Road in Pine Grove about 8:40 a.m. Monday regarding a report of a suspicious man and vehicle. While en route, the deputy was informed that the man had approached a home, knocked on the front door and looked through windows before leaving.

The deputy contacted the witness and checked the area. While doing so, the deputy found the suspicious vehicle parked in another driveway on Toyon Road, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

January 30, 2013
Man sentenced for 2011 attempted murder, carjacking

A man who pleaded no contest to attempted murder and carjacking has been sentenced to eight years and eight months in state prison.

Jose Camilo, 32, was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge John P. Winn.

On March 30, 2011, Camilo intentionally rode his bicycle into the side of a car waiting at a stoplight at Florin and Power Inn roads, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. He then entered the car through the passenger door, beat the 51-year-old driver, forced her out of the car and sped away.

January 30, 2013
Placer County Sheriff's office seeks thieves who stole safe

The Placer County Sheriff's office is asking the public's help in finding two men who lugged a safe out of a Loomis liquor store early Saturday morning.

At 4:20 a.m. Saturday two men were seen on the store video surveillance camera forcing entry into the Stone Tree Liquor & Food on Taylor Road.

The first suspect is described as being approximately 6 feet tall, weighing about 250 pounds and wearing a sweatshirt with "SKIN" written on the front in white lettering. The second man carrying out the safe was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the work "Champion" in red lettering on the back.

January 30, 2013
Roseville police say wanted man may be armed, dangerous

Gary_Lee_Fowler.JPGRoseville residents are asked to be on the look-out for a man who is suspected of stealing a half dozen cars over the weekend.

Gary Lee Fowler, 43, (pictured) may be armed with a handgun, Roseville police said. If anyone sees Fowler, who police said has a history of drug use and violence toward officers, do not try to approach or detain him.

Instead, police said, call 911 immediately.

January 30, 2013
Court appearance rescheduled on mayor's aide

The court appearance of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's former office manager was rescheduled today to give her lawyer more time to examine financial records in the case in which she is accused of improperly using her city-issued credit card.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel D. White set Feb. 13 as the next court date for LIsa Serna-Mayorga, 40, who is accused of misappropriating public funds in reportedly running up $19,000 in expenses. Serna-Mayorga is being represented by defense attorney William Portanova.

January 30, 2013
Two arrested in Sacramento prostitute's ordeal

Gunn.JPGBrewer.JPGA self-professed prostitute from Sacramento told authorities that she was forced to perform sexual acts with a shotgun to her head, according to the Amador County Sheriff's office.

The 23-year-old woman told deputies she had performed sex acts for money at a home on Cosumnes Lane in Plymouth in the past, according to a Amador County Sheriff's office press release.

She alleged that on Jan. 23 that two men she knew as Vince and Mike beat her, tied her up and forced her to perform sex acts with a shotgun held to her head.

She was then driven around before being thrown out of a car. She eventually was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Deputies went to the home where the attack was said to have occurred, gathering evidence at what they said was the residence of Vincent M. Brewer.

Detectives identified the woman's suspected attackers as Brewer, 30, (pictured right) of Plymouth and Michael L Gunn, 38, (pictured left) of Martell via a photo lineup.

Gunn and Brewer were arrested Friday on suspicion of kidnapping and sex charges.

January 30, 2013
Man who killed woman in Discovery Park convicted of murder

A jury today convicted a man of first-degree murder for stabbing a woman to death last year in Discovery Park and then setting her body on fire.

The verdict was returned against Robert Albert Thompson, 37, for the the killing on Feb. 14 of Sharion Renay King, 43.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell L. Hom scheduled Thompson's sentencing for March 1. Thompson is facing a term of 25-to-life, plus additional time for the use of the knife in the killing.

January 30, 2013
Jury convicts man of murder in Tahoe Park stabbing death

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Jesus Gallegos of first-degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2010, stabbing death of Triston Ashley Salladay in Sacramento's Tahoe Park neighborhood.

Superior Court Judge Steve White scheduled the sentencing on Gallegos, 23, for March 15. Gallegos is facing a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, plus additional time on the jury's finding that he used a knife in the course of killing Salladay, 23.

Gallegos' had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, but his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Amy Rogers, withdrew the insanity plea before the verdict was announced today.

January 30, 2013
Missing Sacramento man found by observant citizen

Sacramento police report that a 24-year-old man who had been missing since Thursday has been found.

Christian Lopez was considered to be at risk because he is developmentally delayed. He had been missing since about 10 a.m. Thursday when he was seen inside the Walmart store at 3661 Truxel Road in the Natomas area.

A person who recognized Lopez from a missing person bulletin called police who located him in the 1000 block of Garden Highway. He was re-united with his family on Tuesday.

January 30, 2013
Man booked on suspicion of bicycle ride-by shooting in Oak Park

Sacramento police arrested a man for a ride-by shooting into a home in Oak Park.

Police said that they responded about 6 p.m. to a report of a home being fired upon in the 3300 block of 37th Street. Police said a bicyclist rode by the residence and fired multiple shots into the dwelling.

Nobody inside the home was hit. An investigation led officers to Elias Lee Rizak, 36, who was taken into custody at his home. Officers also recovered a firearm.

He was booked into jail on charges that included suspicion of shooting into an inhabited dwelling, assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm.

January 30, 2013
Elk Grove police need help finding flower store robber

florist.JPGElk Grove police have released the photo of a florist shop robber.

The armed man entered Nina's Flowers, 8517 Elk Grove Blvd., at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. The robber took money from a store employee and was last seen walking through the store parking lot.

He was described as a white man with facial hair in his mid-twenties, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. He wore sunglasses, a dark sweatshirt, a white shirt, dark blue jeans and white athletic shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Elk Grove police detectives at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Tipsters to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

January 30, 2013
Free catalytic converter engraving Feb. 9 in Citrus Heights

Motorists can have catalytic converters etched with their license plate numbers for free in Citrus Heights.

The Citrus Heights Police Department is teaming up with Scott's Econo Lube N' Tune to offer the service in an effort to reduce the theft of the emission control devices.

The engraving will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at Scott's, 8013 Arcadia Drive near Sunrise Mall.

Thieves often steal the emission control devices from high-off-the-ground trucks and SUVs because they can easily slide under the vehicles and then unbolt or saw off the converter.

The converters are stolen for the metals contained within the devices. Thefts have occurred at shopping centers and home driveways, according to Citrus Heights police.

January 30, 2013
Public's help needed to ID suspect in midtown video

Sacramento police detectives have released a video (below; allow it to slowly load, about 1 minute) of a midtown robbery, hoping that the public can lead them to a culprit who held up two people.

The robbery occurred last month and shows two people being ordered to the ground before a wallet and cell phones are taken.

Officers admit that the face of the robber is not visible on the darkened, fuzzy video. However, detectives hope that someone may recognize the suspect's voice or mannerisms.

The robbery occurred at 26th and H streets at about 9 p.m. on Dec. 20.

January 30, 2013
Parking lot mechanic faces numerous charges in Auburn

cassidy.jpgA parking lot mechanic in Auburn was booked into jail after being caught trying to fix a stolen Jeep Cherokee.

Auburn police officer Stan Hamelin was patrolling Old Town Auburn in the early morning hours on Tuesday when he saw Peter Paul Cassidy, 65, (pictured) working on a 1987 Jeep Cherokee in a parking lot.

Hamelin conducted a records check on the vehicle and discovered it was reported stolen from an owner in Nevada. Cassidy was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft.

A search also turned up credit cards belonging to the registered owner of the Cherokee and a phony $100 bill. Cassidy was also booked for being in possession of stolen credit cards and forgery.

January 29, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who went on rampage with baseball bat?

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

QUESTION: I worked with a guy who won some money at a casino and had his friend claim it for lack of ID. The friend kept the money and my co-worker went on a rampage, attacking and killing him with a bat before going into the house and attacking two young girls sleeping and then going next door and trying to attack an elderly couple. What was the outcome after his arrest. This happened around 2001-2003 I believe.
Submitted by: Robert, Stockton

ANSWER: Luis Orosco was found guilty of murder and five counts of attempted murder after going on a rampage at a house in North Highlands in August 2004.

January 29, 2013
Sacramento County Jail inmate found dead in cell

A Sacramento County Jail inmate was found dead in his cell Monday after apparently hanging himself.

The 34-year-old man was identified in Sacramento County Coroner's online records as Israel Mendoza of Chowchilla. He had been taken into custody earlier in the day and was booked into jail for public intoxication, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Shortly before noon, a deputy conducting a visual inspection of the holding cell found the victim hanging with a piece of clothing around his neck. Officials said it appeared he had fashioned the piece of clothing into a ligature around his neck.

Deputies immediately entered the cell and removed the item of clothing. Medical staff at the jail along with other jail staff members attempted to perform life-saving measures until outside emergency medical personnel arrived. The man was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Sheriff's Department will conduct an inmate death investigation in accordance with department procedures and state laws, officials said. The Sacramento County Coroner's office will determine the cause of death and forward its findings.

January 29, 2013
Two Woodland men arrested after report of attempted break-in

A report from an alert neighbor led to the arrest of two men accused of attempting to burglarize a Woodland home this morning.

Police officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Howard Drive at 10:34 a.m. regarding suspicious circumstances. A neighbor reported that two men ran from the back yard of a residence after trying to break into the home.

Officers stopped a vehicle spotted leaving the area and contacted the occupants, Surjit Singh, 21, and Israel Rodriguez, 20, both of Woodland. The two men had allegedly smashed a rear window of the residence and run from the back yard, according to a Police Department news release.

January 29, 2013
Alleged rape victim likely to testify at former cop's hearing

Baker,+Gary-49.jpgA judge Tuesday scheduled a special hearing for the alleged victim to testify in the alleged rape case filed against a former Sacramento police officer.

The 78-year-old woman identified only as "Jane Doe" will testify against the former officer, Gary Dale Baker, 49, in a "conditional examination" that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel D. White set for March 6.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday said in her motion for the conditional examination that the alleged victim "suffered a severe stroke which limited her ability to communicate."

Under state law, attorneys can request conditional examinations if witnesses are about to leave the state, if they are so "sick or infirm" that they may not be able to attend trial, if they are 65 or older or if their lives are in jeopardy.

January 29, 2013
Roseville detectives book suspected robber thanks to bank photos

Bank robber.GIFSecurity camera photos released to the media last week have led to a tip and then arrest of a man suspected of robbing two banks.

Last week, two U.S. Bank branches inside Safeway supermarkets were robbed. In both cases, the robber presented a note demanding money. He left with cash in both instances.

The robberies occurred Jan. 22 at the Safeway, 989 Sunrise Ave., and three days later at the Safeway at 9045 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd.

January 29, 2013
DA links suspects in Old Sacramento New Year's killings to gangs

Sacramento prosecutors have filed an amended complaint on the fatal New Year's Eve shooting in Old Sacramento charging that the killing of two victims that resulted from a spilled beer was gang-related.

Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz said in Sacramento Superior Court today that the alleged shooter in the Dec. 31 incident, Carlito Montoya, 22, is a Norteno gang member.

Ortiz also identified Charles Wesley Fowler-Scholz, 34, as a Norteno. Fowler-Scholz is accused of an assault with a deadly weapon during the fracas at the Sports Corner Cafe in which Daniel Ferrier, 36, and Gabriel Cordova, 35, were shot and killed.

January 29, 2013
Loomis robbery suspect sought by deputies

Suspect.JPGPlacer County sheriff's deputies need help in identifying a man sought in connection with robberies at two Loomis businesses.

On Jan. 16, at about 11:30 a.m., the man held up the Star Liquor Store on Taylor Road. Two days later, the same man held up the Valero gas station on Penryn Road about noon.

A handgun was used in both robberies.

He is described as about 5 feet 7 inches tall and in his mid-20s. In one robbery he wore a black hooded sweatshirt and a black knit cap.

January 29, 2013
Traffic stop on Highway 99 leads to drug arrests

Gaspar Roberto Garcia.JPGSacramento police said a traffic stop turned into a narcotics bust last night on Highway 99.

Officers saw a vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 99 near Mack Road about 11 p.m. and began to pull it over for a possible traffic violation. As the vehicle was coming to a stop, somebody inside threw an item out the window, according to a police crime summary.

Jason Anthony Breen.JPGThe object came to rest on the shoulder of the road. Police said they later recovered the object, which was identified as narcotics.

Gaspar Roberto Garcia, 38, was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics and non-narcotics. Jason Anthony Breen, 35, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a dangerous drug.

January 29, 2013
Pedestrian dies after hit by vehicle on Fair Oaks Boulevard

A pedestrian died when struck by a vehicle this morning on Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The man was hit about 6:30 a.m. on Fair Oaks Boulevard near San Juan Avenue. Westbound lanes of Fair Oaks Boulevard between San Juan and Marshall Avenue were partially blocked until 8 a.m. as California Highway Patrol officers conducted an investigation and waited for Sacramento County Coroner's Office deputies to arrive.

No details about the collision were immediately available.

January 29, 2013
No remains found yet in digging for San Joaquin serial killer victims

After several days of digging, the FBI and drilling experts have not found any human remains at a well in Linden where a search is being conducted for victims of two San Joaquin County killers.

Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel began working at the well on Jan. 7 in a search for the victims of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog. Last week, digging began after the initial site preparations.

The experts don't exactly know the depth of the well, despite using a bore and camera. The excavating of the well is done by hand.

January 28, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to Fiddletown man who murdered girlfriend?

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

QUESTION: What ever happened to Jack Sackrider for the murder of his girlfriend sometime in the early '90s?
Submitted by: Terry A. Fulton, Sacramento

ANSWER: Jack Sackrider pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 1999 death of his girlfriend, Tina Ray Foligno.

January 28, 2013
Sacramento Police seek help locating missing 24-year-old man

Christian Lopez.jpgSacramento police ask the community's help in locating a 24-year-old man who has been missing since Thursday.

Christian Lopez (pictured) is considered to be at risk because he is developmentally delayed. He has been missing since about 10 a.m. Thursday when he was seen inside the Walmart store at 3661 Truxel Road in the Natomas area.

Family members reported that Lopez has no history of going missing for this length of time and he is not familiar with the Sacramento area, according to a Police Department news release.

January 28, 2013
Transient arrested in sexual assault of woman in Davis

Davis police announced the arrest this afternoon of a 25-year-old man in connection with the sexual assault of a woman outside a church Saturday morning.

About 2:30 p.m. today, police received a call from a citizen who reported seeing a person who matched the description of the suspect in the case. Officers responded to the area and located Christopher Turk, whom they described as a transient, at a shopping center in West Davis.

Turk was taken into custody without incident. During a search, physical evidence was recovered that connected Turk to Saturday's incident, according to a Police Department news release.

January 28, 2013
Meeting tonight to discuss mailbox break-ins in Pocket-Greenhaven area

A community meeting will be held this evening to discuss mailbox break-ins in Sacramento's Pocket- Greenhaven area.

The meeting with representatives of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive.

Troy Dickinson, a spokesman for the Postal Inspection Service in Sacramento, said the meeting is intended to gather information from residents and to provide information on how to report mailbox break-ins and mail theft.

January 28, 2013
Trial opens in infant's day care center death

By Sam Stanton

sstanton@sacbee.com

Nearly two years after 10-week-old Avin Rominger died inside a Mather-area day care home, the child endangerment trial of Sacramento county's former "child care provider of the year" began in Sacramento Superior Court this morning.

Sheila Caceres, 32, faces trial on one felony count of child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of violating fire safety regulations at her Sheila's Garden Daycare, which operated out of her 2,800-square-foot home until after Avin died Feb. 23, 2011.

Investigators have said Caceres gave them conflicting stories of what happened prior to Avin being found unresponsive inside her home, and prosecutor Nancy Cochrane indicated in her opening statement that Caceres lied to detectives and asked her daughter to lie to them, also.

January 28, 2013
Five arrested in Sacramento car insurance fraud case

Five people from the Sacramento region were arrested on suspicion of staging an elaborate case of insurance fraud.

James Adkins, 44, of Loomis filed a claim in May 2010 with his insurance company and credit union, alleging his 2002 Cadillac Escalade was stolen, according to investigators from the California Department of Insurance.

Adkins also allegedly made statements to the insurer and law enforcement that his Cadillac was taken from his Sacramento home. Investigators allege that Adkins, Justin Highsmith, 33, of Fair Oaks, James Peacock, 38, of Sacramento staged the theft.

January 28, 2013
1 person hit, killed by freight train in Davis

A Union Pacific freight train that originated in Roseville struck and killed a man sitting on Union Pacific railroad tracks in Davis this morning.

The man was hit about two miles from the nearest railroad crossing. An investigation is underway, according to UP.

Davis police said that they initially were called to the fatality at about 4:30 a.m., responding to the area of Second Street and Pena Drive.

January 28, 2013
Garamendi to inspect fire damage at Beale

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield, this afternoon will inspect heavy fire damage sustained earlier this month to a large building at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville.

An estimated $10 million in damage was caused to the 38,000-square-foot Civil Engineering Squadron Building, when fire swept through the structure Jan. 21. Because it was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the building was largely empty of personnel, limiting the chance of fire injury.

One person was in the building at the time of the fire's beginning. That person safely got out.

January 28, 2013
Sacramento man identified in week-old shooting

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a man killed a week ago by a resident in the Hagginwood neighborhood of north Sacramento.

The dead man has been identified as Raymont Dwayne Sears, 50, of Sacramento.

Information released by Sacramento police at the time of the crime, Jan. 20, described the confrontation that led to the death of Sears:

January 27, 2013
Woman reports sexual assault on grounds of Davis church

A woman was sexually assaulted and robbed Saturday outside a Davis church, police in Davis said.

The assault occurred on the property of the Davis Community Church, 412 C Street at around 11:20 a.m., police said. The victim reported that she was approached by a man who brandished a stabbing instrument. He then sexually assaulted her, said officers.

Before fleeing the man also took personal property belonging to the victim, according to the department press release.

The suspect is described as a heavy-set African-American male in his early 20s and around 6 feet tall. He was described as having a "bad complexion" and was last seen wearing dark-colored clothing and red shoes.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Davis Police Department at (530) 747-5400.

January 27, 2013
Alert police officer arrests suspect in week-old crime

By Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

A Sacramento police officer spotted a vehicle he remembered from a week-old hit-and-run case, leading to the arrest of the driver Saturday night.

A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle on Jan. 18 at Alhambra Boulevard and Broadway, throwing him to the ground. The driver drove away shortly after hitting the bicyclist.

The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and was treated and released.

About 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, the police officer who responded to the Jan. 18 crash saw a vehicle matching the description of the one that hit the bicyclist. He stopped the driver at 33rd St. and 3rd Ave.

"The officer noticed fresh damage in the car's quarter panel and remembered the vehicle description from the report he had taken the week before," said Officer Doug Morse, police spokesman.

Donald Morgan, 67, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

January 27, 2013
Man struck by RT light rail dies Saturday

By Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

A man was struck and killed by a Sacramento light rail train Saturday morning.

George Healy, 56, address unknown, appears to have intentionally walked between two light rail cars where he was hit and killed near the Marconi/Arcade station about 8:30 a.m., said Alane Masui, a Regional Transit spokesperson.

It is unclear if the train was moving or not when he attempted to walk between the coupled cars. The incident is still under investigation.

January 27, 2013
Police looking for would-be bank robber in Citrus Heights

BankRobber.JPGBy Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

A Citrus Heights bank was the target of an attempted robbery Saturday morning, according to police.

A man attempted to rob a teller at the Wells Fargo Bank, 8477 Auburn Blvd., about 11:10 a.m. The suspect passed a note to the teller. No weapon was seen.

The suspect, described as a white male in his 30s with a shaved head, left the bank without getting any money, after other employees became aware of the attempted robbery, police said. He fled and was last seen running southbound on Auburn Boulevard.

The case is being jointly investigated by Citrus Heights Police Department and the FBI. Anyone with information about this attempted robbery are asked to contact the police at (916) 727-5500, or Sacramento Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357.)

January 27, 2013
Woodland police officer injured in scuffle, patrol dog subdues suspect

A Woodland police officer was assaulted and injured while wrestling a suspect to the ground in the early morning hours Saturday. The officer's K-9 police dog ended the scuffle by biting the suspect on the arm.

Reggie Joe Dickerson, 44, a transient from the Sacramento area, was booked at the Yolo County Jail on felony charges of resisting an officer using force, resisting an officer and causing injury, and violation of probation. He is being held without bail.

The officer, who was not identified by Woodland Police Department, stopped Dickerson on his bicycle about 12:45 a.m. in the 100 block of West Main Street, for riding on the sidewalk and not using a light, according to police reports.

January 25, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What is status of case against former Creative Frontiers school principal?

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

QUESTION: What is the legal standing of the Citrus Heights private school principal? It's been quite a while since he was charged, and I haven't seen any information lately.
Submitted by: J. Smith, Sacramento

ANSWER: A preliminary hearing for Robert Benson Adams, former principal of Creative Frontiers school in Citrus Heights, has been continued several times.

January 25, 2013
Update: Sacramento police investigate shooting at pawn shop in central city

Sacramento police are investigating a shooting during a robbery this afternoon at a pawn shop in the central city.

The victim - an employee of the shop, located on 16th Street near E Street - was shot during an attempted robbery just after 3 p.m., said police Officer Doug Morse.

The victim was shot once, and his wounds are not life-threatening, police say.

January 25, 2013
Sacramento sheriff's detectives seek help with ID of robbery suspect

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying a man they suspect is responsible for at least one robbery and an attempted robbery this week.

The man is described as a white or Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5-feet, 6-inches tall and weighing 140 pounds. He wore dark sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt during both crimes, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The first crime detectives attribute to this suspect occurred about 2:30 p.m. Monday at a Rite-Aid on Elk Grove-Florin Road. The suspect displayed a handgun, demanded prescription drugs from employees and fled with undisclosed number of pills, the Sheriff's Department reported.

January 25, 2013
Judge sentences Hirschfield to death

Andy Furillo

afurllo@sacbee.com

Richard Joseph Hirschfield sat impassively today while a Sacramento judge sentenced him to the death penalty for the murders of UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves more than three decades ago.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet told Hirschfield that pending the outcome of his appeals, "you shall be put to death by a manner and means prescribed by law" for the Dec. 20, 1980, killings of the two 18-year-olds who were abducted after working as volunteers on a production of the Davis Children's Nutrcracker.

His voice waivering, Sweet told the parents of the two murdered students, "I recognize there is nothing I can say that can adequately convey anything that will console you, that your lives changed permanently in the worst possible way. You have endured so much. The tortured history of this case must have taken away any hope you had that the person responsible for these acts would be discovered and held to answer.

"Hopefully, with the jury's verdicts in this case, they have provided you some measure of closure and comfort, and that justice in some small way has and will be served," Sweet said.

January 25, 2013
'Sweetheart' murderer Hirschfield gets death sentence

By Andy Furillo

A Sacramento County Superior Court Judge today sentenced Richard Hirschfield to death for the murders of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves 32 years ago.

This morning Judge Michael Sweet said the homicides were "so horrendous, so evil," in earlier denying a motion to modify.

Hirschfield was convicted in November for the Dec. 20, 1980, abduction and murders of Riggins and Gonsalves, both of whom were 18.

He also was convicted of a sexual attack on Gonsalves. The two were kidnapped after they had worked on a production of The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were discovered two days later near Lake Natoma.

January 25, 2013
Drunk driver checkpoint scheduled for Natomas

A drunk driver checkpoint will be in place tonight in Natomas.

Sacramento police will be conducting the checkpoint on Truxel Road near Bannon Creek Drive beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for about six hours.

Officers will be looking for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. They will also checking to see if drivers have a valid license.

The goal of the checkpoint is to "promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving and serve as a deterrent to potential impaired and unlicensed drivers," according to a police press release.

January 25, 2013
Semi truck hits power pole after hitting cow

A semi truck driver suffered minor injuries after he hit a cow and then slammed into a power pole in San Joaquin County.

January 25, 2013
Roseville police make graffiti and turf damage arrests

Roseville police have made arrests in two vandalism incidents, one involving graffiti and the other "donuts" at a city park.

About 5 p.m. Wednesday, an officer driving on Roseville Parkway noticed two teens drop a backpack on a bike trail and then walk away.

The officer found 38 cans of spray paint in the backpack and the vehicle of the 17 year olds from Rocklin, according to a public safety newsletter. The boys were arrested.

January 25, 2013
Sobriety checkpoint planned tonight in South Natomas

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver license checkpoint tonight in the South Natomas area.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling on Truxel Road near Bannon Creek Drive will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol or drug-impaired drivers. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release.

Motorists caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, police said.

January 24, 2013
Pedestrian hit by pickup crossing highway in Grass Valley

A Grass Valley man was injured this evening when he was struck by a pickup truck while trying to cross Nevada City Highway on foot.

Grass Valley officers responded about 7:30 p.m. to a report of a traffic accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian in the southbound lanes of Nevada City Highway.

A preliminary investigation determined that Michael Damon Race Romero, 23, was crossing the highway from east to west when he was struck by a southbound 1994 Mazda pickup driven by William Fike, 20, of Nevada County, according to a Police Department news release.

January 24, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to woman who killed daughters in early '90s?

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

QUESTION: Whatever happened to Avelina Luna and the killing of her children?
Submitted by: John, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury found Avelina Luna guilty of first-degree murder in the asphyxiation deaths of her two elementary school-age daughters at their Natomas home in March 1993.

January 24, 2013
Two women arrested; suspected of identity theft in California, Nevada

Ebony Hayes.jpgBianca Fleming.jpgTwo women suspected of involvement in more than 30 cases of identity theft in California and Nevada have been arrested by Vacaville police.

About 4 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the BevMo! store at 1621 E. Monte Vista Ave., where an employee reported that someone had placed an online order using a stolen credit card. The suspects arrived at the store to pick up the order, but when they learned the store would not honor the transaction, they tried to leave, according to a Police Department news release.

Police detained the suspects, identified as Ebony Tyresha Hayes (left photo), 27, of San Francisco and Bianca Michelle Fleming (right photo), 29, of Pinole, a short distance from the store.

January 24, 2013
Fourth sister sentenced in child sex-trafficking case

The last of four sisters to be sentenced for their participation in a child sex-trafficking operation has been sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison.

Cherelle Elizabeth Hornbuckle, 26, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Morrison C.England Jr.

Her co-defendants included her sisters Tynisha Hornbuckle, 24, who was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison; Tamrell Hornbuckle, 26, sentenced to 12 years and seven months; and Latrelle Hornbuckle, 25, sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Their mother, Tammy Brown, 44, was sentenced to three years in prison.

January 24, 2013
Bodies of Amador County mother, child found in ice-covered pond

The bodies of an Amador County woman and her 5-year-old daughter reported missing earlier this week were found this morning in an ice-covered pond on their Pine Grove property.

Divers recovered the bodies of Karen Diane Anderson, 46, and Amelia Noelle Arago, 5, about 30 feet from the shore of the pond, according to an Amador County Sheriff's Office news release. Officials said there was no evidence of trauma or foul play.

The Sheriff's Office received a report about 3 p.m. Monday of a loose llama at 14130 Spring Canyon Lane in Pine Grove. A deputy and a county animal control officer secured the llama, but they were unable to locate anyone at the home at the time.

January 24, 2013
Authorities: Suspect in hostage situation was wanted for alleged burglary in Contra Costa County

The man who allegedly held a woman hostage in her Tahoe Park home while hiding from police Wednesday had an outstanding warrant for his arrest on suspicion of a felony burglary charge, according to authorities.

ADGER, ANTWAN-49.jpgAntwan Adger, 49, was wanted in connection with a burglary in Contra Costa County, according to a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department there.

Sacramento police discovered the warrant for Adger's arrest after he had holed up in a 64th Street home, near 2nd Avenue, and kept a 36-year-old resident there against her will. The woman, Cathy Scoto, eventually ran from the home and was unharmed.

The ordeal unfolded after a California Highway Patrol officer tried to stop Adger for an alleged traffic violation, according to Sacrament police. Adger allegedly failed to yield, and fled the car after crashing it near Kroy Way and Broadway in Tahoe Park. The officer gave chase, but lost sight of Adger.

Adger entered Scoto's home through an unlocked back door, Scoto said. After Scoto fled the home, Adger eventually surrendered to police and was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and burglary and the outstanding warrant, according to police.

Adger was found to be unarmed.

January 24, 2013
Citrus Heights man sentenced in child pornography case

A 27-year-old Citrus Heights man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

Derrick James Kennedy was sentenced today in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. Kennedy also will be subject to 10 years of supervised release following his prison term, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Kennedy pleaded guilty in March to one count of possession of child pornography. According to court documents, law enforcement agents traced user-sharing files of child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing program to Kennedy's Citrus Heights residence.

January 24, 2013
Indictment charges Folsom man with producing child porn

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a four count indictment today, charging a former nurse with production of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that in May 2011, Daniel Ratner, 45, of Folsom attempted to produce visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. The indictment also alleges that between Aug. 1 and Nov. 23, 2012, Ratner produced child pornography involving the same minor, and that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 8, 2012, he attempted to produce visual depictions of six additional minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Ratner is in Sacramento County Jail, having been charged by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office in December with multiple counts of indecent assault, possession of child pornography and production of child pornography.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Folsom Police Department, the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon, who is prosecuting the case.

January 24, 2013
Former El Dorado Hills man pleads guilty in investment fraud scheme

A former El Dorado County man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme.

Daniel Chartraw, 39, entered the plea today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. He is to be sentenced May 2 by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr.

Between Jan. 1, 2007, and Nov. 30, 2011, according to court documents, Chartraw defrauded numerous investors by falsely representing investments in mines, mining and refinery equipment, oil commodities, precious metals concentrate, and multimillion-dollar certificates of deposit.

January 24, 2013
Alleged Davis bomb maker had an accomplice, prosecutor says

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

Yolo County prosecutors say UC Davis researcher David Snyder had liquid and solid explosive materials and the components to detonate them when he triggered an explosion in his Davis apartment Jan. 17. He also had help, they allege.

"There was somebody who helped him," said Michael Cabral, assistant chief deputy district attorney, who is prosecuting the case, following Snyder's arraignment on explosives and weapons charges Thursday. Cabral said the person is connected to UC Davis, but is not a faculty member, and was questioned by authorities.

Earlier, his hand heavily bandaged, Snyder appeared for his arraignment in jail-issued uniform as his attorney Jessica Graves requested his bail be reduced. Snyder remains held at Yolo County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail pending a Feb. 8 bail hearing.

Graves maintained after the brief hearing that the Jan. 17 explosion at Snyder's apartment was the result of a "very unfortunate accident."

"We look forward to the process to clear his name," Graves said.

January 24, 2013
Second suspect booked in death of Rosemont motorist

Rodolfo Villa.JPGAnother man has been arrested in the shooting death of a motorist last week in Rosemont.

Rodolfo Villa, 22, (photo) was taken into custody on Wednesday and booked into jail on suspicion of homicide.

Earlier this week, Michael Almeda, 19, was arrested for the same crime. He also has been booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of homicide.

On Jan. 17, Alexander Brian Chavez, 21, was found unresponsive in the driver's seat of a Chevrolet Suburban by Sacramento County sheriff's deputies who responded to reports of shots fired.

His sport utility vehicle was stopped in the middle of the roadway, facing northbound on Westporter Drive at Lilibet Avenue. A female passenger inside the SUV at the time of the shooting was uninjured.

Chavez died at the scene. The initial investigation revealed that another vehicle was seen speeding from the scene just after shots were fired.

Anyone with information is asked to call the homicide bureau at (916) 874-5115.

January 24, 2013
Judge rules video shown by KCRA-TV was a public document, throws out lawsuit

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A Yolo County judge on Thursday rejected claims by a victims' advocacy group that a video showing the June 2008 shooting death of a Yolo County Sheriff's deputy played at trial and later aired by Sacramento's KCRA-TV violated the privacy of the slain deputy's family.

Attorney Nina Salarno Ashford of Crime Victims United represented the family of Deputy Sheriff Tony Diaz, killed by Marco Topete following a chase near Dunnigan.

Salarno Ashford argued for a protective order stopping viewing of the dashboard camera video that captured the shooting, citing privacy provisions in what is known as Marsy's Law that are designed to protect the privacy of crime victims and their families. Members of the Diaz family attended the hearing but did not speak with reporters.

January 24, 2013
Stolen PlayStation led to stabbing death, prosecutor says

An argument over a stolen PlayStation video game console led to the stabbing death of a 23-year-old man three years ago in Sacramento's Tahoe Park neighborhood, a prosecutor told a jury today.

Jesus Gallegos, now 23, is facing murder charges in the Feb. 14, 2010, killing of Triston Ashley Salladay, 23, at the victim's residence in the 3500 block of 53rd Street.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall said in his opening statement that Salladay had complained to friends and neighbors about the theft of his PlayStation. KIndall said Gallegos confronted Salladay about the theft allegations and then fatally stabbed him in the ensuing argument.

January 24, 2013
Barbell-wielding man allegedly breaks windows of Sacramento fire and police vehicles

Vanthon Som.JPGA man was arrested for allegedly smashing the windows of a Sacramento fire truck and a police car.

Vanthon Som, 32, (pictured) was booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting and vandalism.

Fire crews in the 8200 block of Arroyo Vista Drive in South Sacramento called for police help about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A crime summary notes that prior to police arrival, Som is alleged to have swung a large barbell at a fire truck, breaking windows.

It is further alleged that Som turned his aggression on the first arriving officer, smashing the back window of her patrol car. Som was eventually subdued after officers deployed beanbag rounds and a Taser.

No officers or firefighters were injured. Som was treated for minor injuries.

January 24, 2013
Sacramento PD: Father arrested at casino for leaving child behind in vehicle

Joseph Paiva.JPGA man has been arrested for allegedly leaving his daughter inside a vehicle while he was in a South Sacramento casino, according to police.

Joseph Robert Paiva, 25, (pictured) was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment. Police said officers were hailed by a security guard who noticed movement in a vehicle parked in the 6000 block of Stockton Boulevard around 1:30 a.m. today.

Officers investigated and found a two-year-old girl inside the vehicle. Police said a further investigation revealed that the girl was left in the vehicle for more than an hour.

Paiva, the child's father, was in a nearby casino. The child was placed in care of Child Protective Services.

January 24, 2013
Bird strike turns around aircraft at Sacramento International

airline.JPGA bird strike forced a departing Southwest jet to turn around this morning and land at Sacramento International Airport, an airport spokeswoman said.

Flight 454 en route to Ontario International Airport hit a bird after takeoff from the airport, forcing it to land about 7 a.m. The plane landed safely and passengers were re-booked on another aircraft.

Bird strikes are not unusual at Sacramento International. Most flights continue as normal, but in some cases, jets aborted takeoffs or returned for damage assessments.

PHOTO CAPTION: Birds at sunset fly in the sky as a Southwest Boeing 737 jet flys into the sky after leaving the Sacramento International Airport in February 2008. On Thursday, a bird strike forced a departing Southwest jet to turn around this morning and land at Sacramento International Airport, an airport spokeswoman said. Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

January 24, 2013
UPDATE: Investigators say Maita Nissan fire started during gasoline theft

A fire that heavily damaged three vehicles at a car dealership in Arden Arcade was caused by someone stealing gasoline, according to fire officials.

Fire crews were summoned shortly after 4 a.m. today to Maita Nissan at 2820 Auburn Blvd., where three vehicles were burning. A fourth vehicle suffered radiant heat damage.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews put out the fire and prevented its spread to neighboring Skip's Music store.

Arson investigators determined that an explosion occurred while gasoline was being stolen from the vehicles.

Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to call the Metro Fire Arson Tip Line at (916) 859-3775.

January 23, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was sentence for man convicted of sexually assaulting children?

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

QUESTION: What was Dion Dametrice Tolliver sentenced to for sexual assault on multiple children?
Submitted by: Misty, Sacramento

ANSWER: Dion Dametrice Tolliver was sentenced Jan. 11 to 25 years to life in state prison, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.

January 23, 2013
Nevada County man to forfeit $2.4 million in property in marijuana case

A Nevada County man has been sentenced to prison and ordered to forfeit $2.4 million worth of property in a case involving marijuana cultivation and structuring of cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton today sentenced Charles Miller Hilkey Jr., 58, a resident of the Nevada City area, to four years and one month in prison. The judge also ordered Hilkey to forfeit to the United States 25 pieces of property in Oregon and California valued at more than $2.4 million, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Hilkey pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on Feb. 21, 2012. He was taken into custody following today's hearing.

January 23, 2013
South Lake Tahoe police officer arrested, accused of witness tampering

A South Lake Tahoe police officer was arrested today, accused of witness tampering.

The arrest of John Gerald "Johnny" Poland followed a three-year investigation, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation news release. He was taken into custody without incident this morning in South Lake Tahoe.

According to court documents, the violations include two counts of corruptly persuading a person to alter, destroy or conceal an object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding, and attempting to do so, as well as three counts of corruptly persuading another person with the intent to influence the testimony of a person in an official proceeding, and attempting to do so. Poland's alleged actions reportedly took place while he was on and off duty.

January 23, 2013
Plumas County man draws prison term for seeking sex with minor

A Plumas County man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sex acts.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller also sentenced Larry Gorbet Jr., 33, of Chester to 20 years of supervised release, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, on Sept. 25, 2011, Gorbet met with his cousin and her friend, a 13-year-old girl, in the city of Susanville. During the meeting, Gorbet provided the girls with marijuana and talked about the prospects of the 13-year-old becoming his girlfriend.

January 23, 2013
Rocklin man sentenced for possessing child pornography

A Rocklin man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton also sentenced John Patrick Frost, 28, to a lifetime of supervised release following his prison term, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Frost pleaded guilty in October to one count of possession of child pornography. According to court documents, on March 12, 2009, a photo-sharing website reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cybertipline that a user had posted child pornography to its page. Further investigation led to a Placer County residence where Frost spent time.

January 23, 2013
Apple plant work area briefly evacuated after employee reports feeling ill

Five people were briefly evacuated from a work area at the Apple plant on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove this morning after an employee reported feeling ill while repairing an Apple product.

Deputy Chief John Michelini of the Cosumnes Fire Department said fire crews were called to the plant at 10:30 a.m. The employee reported that, while working on the item, what appeared to be a white crystal substance fell out of an earphone. Shortly afterward, the employee began to feel ill.

Michelini said a hazardous materials team was summoned to inspect the area and the device, and the immediate work area was evacuated as a precaution. The team found no evidence of any contamination, and employees were allowed to return to the area after about 30 minutes.

Michelini said the employee who reported feeling ill was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The reported symptoms, he said, were typical of a cold or flu.

January 23, 2013
UPDATE: Police identify suspect arrested following Tahoe Park barricade

TahoePark.jpgADGER, ANTWAN-49.jpg A man who surrendered peacefully after barricading himself inside a Tahoe Park home this afternoon has been identified by Sacramento police as 49-year-old Antwan Adger (pictured).

He was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and burglary. Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said authorities found that Adger also had a felony warrant from a jurisdiction outside Sacramento County.

Police said they are still trying to ascertain whether Adger is the motorist who fled from the California Highway Patrol and disappeared into a house on 64th Street moments after crashing his vehicle.

Initially, police believed the suspect had held a woman in the house hostage. A woman left the home safely at 2:20 p.m. -- about 60 minutes before the suspect surrendered.

Earlier today, police had evacuated the neighborhood as they surrounded the house with the SWAT team and negotiators. Police were in contact with the man in the house at 64th Street and Second Avenue.

The incident began shortly before noon when an outside agency was pursuing a vehicle for a traffic violation, Morse said. The vehicle crashed in the area of Broadway and Kroy Way.


PHOTO CREDIT: Kim Minugh, Sacramento Bee.

January 23, 2013
Sacramento sheriff's deputies make arrest in Rosemont homicide

A man has been arrested in the shooting death of a motorist last week in Rosemont.

On Thursday night, Alexander Brian Chavez, 21, was found unresponsive in the driver's seat of a Chevrolet Suburban by Sacramento County sheriff's deputies who responded to reports of shots fired.

His sport utility vehicle was stopped in the middle of the roadway, facing northbound on Westporter Drive at Lilibet Avenue. A female passenger inside the SUV at the time of the shooting was uninjured.

The initial investigation revealed that another vehicle was seen speeding from the scene just after shots were fired.

A sheriff's department investigation led them to Michael Almeda, 19, who was taken into custody Tuesday evening. He has been booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of homicide.

January 23, 2013
Digging of San Joaquin well to begin in search for serial killer victims

Shermantine.JPGWith preliminary site preparations completed, the excavation process begins Thursday of a well in Linden in a search for remains belonging to victims of two San Joaquin County killers.

The excavation operation of the dirt-filled well is expected to take days, if not weeks.

Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel and drilling experts began working at the well on Jan. 7 in a search for the victims of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

The experts still don't exactly know the depth of the well, despite using a bore and camera. The excavating of the well will be done by hand.

Excavated dirt will be moved to an area for sifting. If remains are encountered during sifting or excavation, the process will stop to figure out how to best recover remains, according to an FBI press release.

PHOTO CAPTION: San Joaquin Sheriff deputies and Department of Justice personnel sift for human remains excavated from an abandoned well in the 27000 block of Flood Road about six miles east of Linden Sunday. This was supposedly a burial site of the "Speed Freak Killers" Wes Shermantine and Loren Herzog. Craig Sanders/ Stockton Record

January 23, 2013
Rancho police, sheriff's deputies begin 'Adopt-A-School' program that includes campus visits

Rancho Cordova police and Sacramento County East Division sheriff's deputies will become a larger presence in some schools through a bonding program now underway.

The "Adopt-A-School" program endeavors to strengthen ties between law enforcement, schools and the community. The effort, which began last week, focuses on 19 schools.

Officers will be making stops during regular patrol duties to visit campuses. They will attempt to cultivate working relationships with students, teachers, classified staff and principals, according to a Rancho Cordova police press release.

In addition, officers will conduct presentations about the role of the police officer, emphasize the importance of class work and stress the importance of staying away from drugs and crime.

The program supplements the police presence at schools that already have School Resource Officers. Other responsibilities of officers in the Adopt-A-School program may include assisting school staff in counseling sessions and serving as mentors to students.

Schools involved in the program include Cordova Gardens, Cordova Meadows, Cordova Villa, Navigator, Peter J. Shields, Rancho Cordova Elementary, White Rock, Williamson, Sunrise, A.M. Winn, Abraham Lincoln, Mather Heights, Sierra Enterprise, James W. Marshall, Sequoia, Isador Cohen, Golden Empire, Gold River Discovery and O.W. Erlewine.

January 22, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone arrested in 1970 killing of nurse?

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

QUESTION: In or around 1969 or 1970, a nurse by the name of Judith Ann Hakari was kidnapped in the late evening from the parking lot of Sutter Memorial Hospital. Her body was found in a shallow grave in Weimar. Were there any arrests made in connection with this crime?
Submitted by: Nancy, Carmichael

ANSWER: The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department website lists the death of Judith Ann Hakari as one of the homicide cases being re-evaluated by its Cold Case Investigations Unit.

January 22, 2013
Yuba County men accused of hate crime in Marysville attack

Three Yuba County men have been arrested on federal hate crime charges for what authorities allege was a racially motivated attack on an African American woman and a white man in Marysville in April 2011.

Billy James Hammett, 28, and Perry Sylvester Jackson, 27, both of Marysville, were arrested today and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd. Both entered not-guilty pleas, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. They are scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez on Jan. 29.

The third man, Anthony Merrell Tyler, 32, of Olivehurst, surrendered today in Sacramento and is to be arraigned Wednesday.

January 22, 2013
Owner of Elk Grove firm convicted in mortgage fraud scheme

The owner of a mortgage company in Elk Grove has been convicted in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

After a 10-day trial, a federal jury in Sacramento found Hoda Samuel, 60, of Elk Grove guilty of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and of 30 individual counts of mail fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Samuel, a licensed real estate broker, was the owner and principal operator of Liberty Real Estate & Investment Co., a real estate agency, and Liberty Mortgage Co, a mortgage brokerage business, according to evidence presented during the trial. Between April 5, 2006 and Feb. 26, 2007, Samuel's companies facilitated 30 residential real estate transactions that defrauded the lending institutions that provided the financing.

January 22, 2013
Auburn police identify woman found dead in tent

A woman found dead inside a tent in Auburn on Friday has been identified by police as Shelly Jump, 45.

Auburn police announced today that an autopsy has been performed and, at this time, Jump's death does not appear to have resulted from foul play.

At 12:51 p.m. Friday, officers responded to 300 block of Auburn Ravine Road to an area commonly referred to as the West America Bank Trail, regarding a report of deceased person in a tent. Police said the tent was in an area where transients are known to camp.

January 22, 2013
Truckee officials warn against skating on area lakes, ponds

Truckee police and fire officials are warning people of the dangers of ice skating on Sierra lakes or ponds.

They cited particular concern about people seen skating on Donner Lake. Despite extremely cold conditions during the past month, warmer temperatures recently have made the ice unstable.

Unlike the eastern United States, the Truckee area typically doesn't experience the consistently cold temperatures to sustain ice on area lakes and ponds due to their size and water currents, according to a city of Truckee news release. Current conditions on Donner Lake are similar to conditions five years ago when a skater fell through the ice and drowned. The ice was thought to be strong and safe, but it proved to be thin and weak, officials said.

January 22, 2013
Police seek identity of Roseville bank robbery suspect

US Bank 1-22-13 Pic 1.gifRoseville police are asking the public's help in identifying the suspect in a bank robbery that occurred this afternoon.

About 12:45 p.m., a man went to U.S. Bank service branch in the Safeway at 989 Sunrise Ave. He presented the teller with a demand note and received an undisclosed amount of cash, according to a Police Department news release.

Police said the man may be associated with a mid-1990s blue Chevrolet Suburban that was seen leaving the area immediately after the robbery. The suspect (pictured) was described as white man with a scruffy appearance, in his mid to late 20s, and wearing large winter gloves.

January 22, 2013
Solano County man convicted of two Davis home burglaries

A Solano County man has been found guilty of burglarizing two Davis homes in July 2011.

A Yolo County jury last week convicted Jimmy Medel, 45, of two counts of residential burglary, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's office news release.

On July 13, 2011, after dropping his wife off at work in Davis, Medel drove around the city and stopped about 8 a.m. at a residence on Stanford Place. Authorities said Medel broke in through the front door and went through the home to the garage.

January 22, 2013
Sacramento Police Department announces hiring process, informational workshops

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Police Department has announced that the agency is hiring for the first time in several years, thanks in part to money that will come from the voter-approved Measure U sales tax increase.

The department is hiring recruits to attend its academy and police officers who would move laterally from another agency.

Agency officials are not yet sure exactly how many officers will be hired, as they wait to hear how much of the Measure U funding the department will receive. However, officials said they want to get the word out after a long hiatus from sponsoring recruits through the police academy.

January 22, 2013
Woman reported critically injured in Arden Arcade kitchen fire

A woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition this morning following a kitchen fire at an Arden Arcade residence.

Sacramento Metropolitan fire crews responded to the 2800 block of Joseph Avenue at 8:48 a.m. The first units to arrive reported heavy smoke coming from the front door and began to fight the fire while searching for victims. A man was helped out of the house, and a woman was located in a back bedroom, according to a Fire District news release.

The woman had suffered burns and was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center's burn unit. The man was not injured.

January 22, 2013
Coroner IDs teen fatally shot in Oak Park last week

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the man fatally shot in Oak Park last week as 19-year-old Anthony Navarro.

Navarro was walking on 39th Street south of Broadway when an unknown shooter fired from a passing vehicle, according to Sacramento police. Navarro was hit multiple times and died later at a hospital.

Police have not made any arrests.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

January 22, 2013
Sacramento man pleads guilty to roommate's murder

A man who was scheduled to begin a murder trial last week on charges that he had bludgeoned his roommate with a bar bell and stabbed him has pleaded no contest instead.

Anthony Bettanini, 51, entered his plea to second-degree murder charges Friday in Sacramento Superior Court to the Aug. 23, 2010, killing of William Goldsbury in their apartment in the 3700 block of Norwood Avenue.

Bettanini's sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 22 in Department 63.

January 22, 2013
Murder trial begins for three in cabbie's shooting death

cabbie.jpgTrial began today for three men accused of murder and robbery in the Oct. 18, 2010, early-morning shooting death of a cab driver in North Highlands.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene told the three Sacramento Superior Court juries that have been empaneled for each defendant that when James Walker, 54, went to the Hillsdale Village Apartments shortly after 3 a.m. to pick up a fare, it was supposed to be his last shift of the evening.

"As it turned out, that was the last shift of his life," Greene said.

Prosecutors have charged Jermaine John Campbell, 21, Antoine Lee Tayklor, 22, and Jonathan Steven Hudson, 20, with Walker's murder. All three granted media interviews after their arrests and denied that they killed the cab driver.

The trial is being heard in front of Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan.

PHOTO CAPTION: L-R: Jermaine Campbell, Jonathan Hudson and Antoine Tayklor

January 22, 2013
North Highlands dog helps humans rescue buddy down the canal

buddy.jpgA dog alerted his owner last night that his canine buddy was trapped in a North Highlands drainage canal.

The escapade began shortly before midnight at a home on Shell Street in North Highlands. The resident was startled by the sounds of barking in the backyard.

There, the resident noticed a hole in the fence and one of his dogs barking and frantically going in and out of the hole.

"He was kind of like Lassie," said Sac Metro firefighter Rashawn Fulcher.

On the other side of the fence, the dog owner discovered his other dog, an older Akita named RJ, in a predicament.

RJ had gone through the hole and down a steep-walled drainage canal. He could not get back up.

The owner called on Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District for a helping hand. Once at the dry canal, the firefighters went to ditch drainage exit and walk to the dog.

The dog was then led out to safety by the crew of Engine 42 led by Capt. Jason Wenner. Firefighters then further assisted the homeowner by repairing the fence.

PHOTO CAPTION: RJ and his owner with a Sac Metro firefighter.

January 22, 2013
El Dorado Sheriff slams gun control in letter to VP Biden

The El Dorado County Sheriff has fired off an anti-gun control letter to Vice President Joe Biden.

"It is well known and proven with facts, not emotional inference, that gun control of any kind, has no effect on the reduction of crime, anywhere," wrote Sheriff John D'Agostini.

The letter, also sent out as a press release, was written to Biden Jan. 17.

To see the El Dorado County Sheriff's letter to Biden, click here.

The Obama administration is trying to get congressional support for a package of gun-control proposals, including an assault rifle ban. Biden helped formulate the proposals.

The gun control proposals come following the December shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 20 children and six staffers dead.

January 22, 2013
Auburn police book man for allegedly threatening market employee

Devin Eugene Baker.jpgAuburn police have arrested a man for allegedly threatening a supermarket employee.

Devin Eugene Baker, 20, (pictured) was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of making "homicidal threats" to a Save Mart employee, according to a police press release.

Police were called to the Auburn Town shopping center at about 6:45 p.m. Sunday to quell a disturbance. The officer spoke with Baker, but he was not arrested.

About an hour later, officers returned to the shopping center. Officers were told that Baker had made criminal threats to employees at Save Mart.

He was arrested and remains in jail today ineligible for bail, according to online booking records.

January 22, 2013
Beale blaze heavily damages building

fire2.JPGA fire has destroyed a large building at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville.

The Civil Engineering Squadron Building was gutted by a fire that broke out about 2:30 p.m. Monday. Because it was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the building was largely empty of personnel, limiting the chance of fire injury.

On person was in the building at the time of the fire's beginning. That person safely got out.

Beale Air Force Base firefighters and crews from Linda and Wheatland responded to the blaze to extinguish the fire, which was still sending up smoke this morning. One firefighter suffered minor injury fighting the blaze.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, according to a base press release.

PHOTO CAPTION: Beale Air Force Base firefighters and crews from Linda and Wheatland extinguish the fire. Courtesy Beale Air Force Base

January 21, 2013
Resident shoots, kills man in his yard

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

A north Sacramento resident fatally shot a man Sunday who entered his yard, refused to leave and became increasingly violent, Sacramento Police reported late Monday.

On Sunday at about 3:30 p.m., a woman reported that her husband had just shot an intruder in their yard in the 3100 block of Palmer Street , according to a news release.

Officers found the 36-year-old resident still armed and a 50-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The wounded man was taken to the hospital, where he died eight hours later.

None of the individuals has been indentified.

January 21, 2013
Thousands gather to remember slain Galt police officer

Thousands gathered today to pay tribute to a Galt police officer fatally shot while on duty last week.

Friends, family, clergy and law enforcement officers remembered 35-year-old Kevin Tonn a man who had dedicated his life to public service and who ultimately fulfilled a life-long dream to be a police officer.

Tonn, who was sworn into the small Galt Police Department three and a half years ago, was killed Tuesday while investigating a reported burglary. The man suspected of shooting him, 30-year-old Humphrey Gascon, then shot himself.

January 21, 2013
Woman suspected of hitting pedestrian booked into jail on DUI count

Sacramento police arrested a woman Sunday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and hitting a pedestrian on a midtown street.

The pedestrian was brought to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police arrested Tiffany Rogers, 23, and booked her into the county jail. The incident happened at at 20th and K streets.

January 21, 2013
Heating lamp linked to Citrus Heights house fire

A heating lamp used to keep puppies warm is suspected as the cause of home fire in Citrus Heights early this morning.

Just before 7:15 a.m., the fire department received the call for the fire in the 6800 block of Falworth Street in Citrus Heights.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District contained the fire to the bedroom where it started, according to a news release. The fire caused an estimated $15,000 in damage.

A smoke detector is credited with alerting the occupants of the fire and enabling them and their seven puppies to evacuate.

January 21, 2013
Law enforcement, public gather for funeral of slain Galt officer

officerflag.JPGBee Metro Staff

The Sacramento region's law enforcement community and members of the public are gathering to say farewell today to slain Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn, 35, who was shot and killed last week as he struggled with a man believed to be a burglary suspect.

LIVE UPDATES, PHOTOS: See the Twitter feed of Bee reporter Kim Minugh.

Funeral services for the officer will start at 11 a.m. today at Adventure Christian Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, Roseville.

Afterward, a procession will travel from the church to East Lawn Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, where Tonn will be laid to rest.

January 20, 2013
Sacramento man dies in Elk Grove motorcycle collision

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

A 63-year-old Sacramento man died Saturday after his motorcycle collided with a minivan in Elk Grove.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office listed the deceased as Kenneth W. Duffy. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at the intersection of Elk Grove Boulevard and Bradshaw Road, said Elk Grove Police Department spokesman Det. James Kang.

The accident occurred at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday when the victim's motorcycle collided with the side of the minivan, Kang said. A woman in the minivan received minor injuries and was taken to a hospital to be examined. The children riding with her in the minivan were not injured.

Kang could not say how the accident occurred. But he said there was no indication that either driver was impaired by alcohol or any other substance.

January 20, 2013
Davis researcher arrested in blast is booked Yolo County Jail

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

The UC Davis researcher injured in a suspicious explosion Thursday at his campus apartment was booked into the Yolo County Jail today on charges related to the incident.

David Snyder, 32, was booked at 2:30 p.m., said UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael, after being treated at a hospital for injuries to his hands.

Snyder is being held in lieu of $2 million bail for investigation of felony possession of an explosive, possession of materials with intent to manufacture an explosive device and possession of firearms on campus.

January 20, 2013
Derailed freight train in Colfax prompts evacuations, CalFire says

Bee staff

Nobody was injured this morning when a Union Pacific freight train derailed this morning in downton Colfax, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

CalFire said officials ordered about 100 residences and businesses evacuated when five cargo cars went off the rails at 11 a.m. and there were reports that one was leaking a liquid substance.

According to CalFire's Lynn Tolmachoff, officials do not believe that train was carrying a hazardous substance because none was listed on the manifest.

January 20, 2013
Teen dies after falling off a bluff in Redding, police say

By Carla Meyer
cmeyer@sacbee.com

A 16-year-old boy has died after falling off a bluff, Redding police reported.

Officers responded at 9 p.m. Saturday to a report of someone falling off the bluffs at the south end of Palisades Drive.

Police officers, with the help of a California Highway Patrol helicopter, found the victim and a family member who had gone to assist him on the side of the Sacramento River.

January 20, 2013
Woodland resident wrestles suspected burglar to ground, police say

By Carla Meyer
cmeyer@sacbee.com

Woodland authorities reported a citizen apparently stopped a burglary in progress at his home Saturday by pinning the suspect to the sidewalk until police officers arrived.

Woodland police were dispatched at 6 a.m. to Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue after a fight was reported. Once there, a man flagged them down, asking for help in detaining burglary suspect Michael Gabriel Luna, 55, who he had pinned to the sidewalk in front of his Fourth Street home.

The home owner told officers that he had seen Luna taking power tools from his property.

January 18, 2013
Two suffer minor injuries when vehicle hits theater building

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department crews have responded to the Century Theaters on Ethan Way in the Arden Arcade area after a vehicle in the parking lot struck the building.

Capt. Chris Quinn said he did not know what caused the crash, which was reported shortly after 9 p.m. He said two people suffered minor injuries. The building sustained no significant damage.

January 18, 2013
Auburn police investigate death of woman found in tent

Auburn police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a tent in an area frequented by homeless people.

Officers responded at 12:51 p.m. today to the 300 block of Auburn Ravine Road to an area commonly referred to as the West America Bank Trail, regarding a report of a deceased person in a tent. There they found the body of an unidentified woman, who appeared to be in her 40s, according to a Police Department news release.

Officials said the tent was in an area where transients are known to camp.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Auburn Police Department at (530) 823-4237.

January 18, 2013
Eight arrested as Woodland moves to curb vehicle thefts

Eight people have been arrested during a two-day stolen vehicle enforcement detail in Woodland.

The special enforcement operation was carried out Tuesday and Wednesday in response to a significant increase in vehicle thefts in the city over the past six weeks. From Dec. 1 through Jan. 15, 52 vehicles were stolen in Woodland, according to a Police Department news release, which noted that 32 of them were 1990s Honda Accords and Civics.

In 2012, 202 vehicles were reported stolen in the city of Woodland, a 54 percent increase over the 131 reported stolen in 2011, officials said.

January 18, 2013
Man sentenced to prison for 2006 murder, carjacking attempt

A man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a man during an attempted carjacking has been sentenced to 38 years to life in prison.

A Sacramento County jury in October found Taurus Aquarius Baker, 23, guilty of the February 2006 murder of Joseph Wayne Bush, with the special circumstance that the crime was committed during an attempted robbery, as well as an unrelated 2009 robbery in Elk Grove, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. Baker was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White.

Authorities said that Baker shot and killed Bush, 38, about 1 p.m. in a shopping center parking lot at 6051 Mack Road in south Sacramento. They said Bush had dropped his young son off at a nearby school shortly before he was murdered.

January 18, 2013
Wildlife officers seek charges in killing of snow geese

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking charges against several people accused of poaching snow geese in Sutter County.

Warden Mark Michilizzi said officers investigating the incident determined that 15 individuals were responsible for shooting 116 snow geese and crippling approximately 10 to 20 more that the shooters did not recover from the field.

A warden on Wednesday responded to an area about two miles east of Sutter, near Butte House and Humphrey roads, following a complaint of several people shooting into large flocks of geese.

January 18, 2013
Services for Galt officer scheduled Monday in Roseville

Services for Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Adventure Christian Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, Roseville.

Following the service, a procession will travel from the church to East Lawn Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, where he will be laid to rest.

A reception will be held at the Citrus Heights Community Center, 6300 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights.

January 18, 2013
Inmate linked to July assault near American River College

Clakr, Ian 1omvz (1).jpgThe Sacramento Sheriff's Department today announced the arrest of a 20-year-old man in connection with the sexual assault of a woman near American River College last summer.

Ian Clark (pictured) was arrested Thursday at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, where he has been in custody since his arrest July 27 on unrelated charges of auto theft and felony evasion of a peace officer, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Shortly before 7 p.m. July 16, a woman was walking along the Arcade Creek nature trail near American River College when she was grabbed from behind and choked by a man who held a knife to her. He reportedly indicated that he intended to rape and kill her.

January 18, 2013
Criminal investigation under way in UC Davis explosion

By Richard Chang and Bill Lindelof

UC Davis police are conducting a criminal investigation into the Thursday explosion at a campus apartment that left a university researcher injured.

The explosion took place at a Russell Park housing complex unit in the early morning hours. The UC Davis researcher was treated for hand injuries at a hospital.

Police spent Thursday searching the apartment and carefully removing potentially hazardous chemicals. Nearby residents were evacuated, but many were allowed to return in the afternoon.

January 18, 2013
Search ended near Burbank High for car thieves

The closure of Luther Burbank High School has ended and a search discontinued for auto thieves in the South Sacramento neighborhood around the campus.

This morning, students were "sheltered in place," at the campus, a less-restrictive measure than a lockdown, while police searched the neighborhood around the high school.

The incident began when law enforcement got into a pursuit with a suspect driving a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was eventually abandoned near Florin Road and Munson Way.

January 18, 2013
Killer shoots motorist in Rosemont

A Sacramento man was shot to death while in an SUV last night in Rosemont.

Alexander Brian Chavez, 21, was found unresponsive in the driver's seat of a Chevrolet Suburban by Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies who responded to reports of shots fired about 6:30 p.m.

His sport utility vehicle was stopped in the roadway, facing northbound on Westporter Drive at Lilibet Avenue. A female passenger inside the SUV at the time of the shooting was uninjured.

January 17, 2013
Update: UC Davis researcher hurt after explosion rocks campus apartment

A UC Davis researcher suffered an injury after an explosion rocked a campus apartment early this morning, the university said.

The researcher, whose name school officials declined to release, checked into a local hospital for treatment of hand injuries around 1:30 a.m, according to UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell. The hospital then notified police.

When police arrived at the apartment, located in the 400 block of Russell Park, Fell said they found chemicals and cordoned off the area.

Fell declined to speculate on what the researcher was doing, but said the only safe place for research to be conducted is in university laboratories.

January 17, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was former El Dorado Hills man convicted in investment fraud case?

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

QUESTION: Did Daniel Chartraw get convicted?
Submitted by: Butch, El Dorado Hills

ANSWER: A trial date has not been set for former El Dorado Hills resident Daniel Chartraw.

January 17, 2013
Three decades of robberies earns man 'three strikes' sentence

A man with a history of robbery convictions over more than three decades has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison under California's three strikes law.

Michael Neal Johnson, 53, was convicted of robbing the downtown River City Bank in Sacramento on Jan. 25, 2012, and was found to have committed three prior bank robberies. He was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary Mullen.

Johnson's criminal record dates back to a 1980 robbery conviction when he was a juvenile in Santa Clara, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

In 1983, he was convicted of possession of stolen property. In 1985, he was convicted of robbing a savings and loans bank and was federally prosecuted in the Eastern District of California.

January 17, 2013
Sacramento police investigating fatal shooting in Oak Park

Oak Park.jpgSacramento police are investigating the fatal shooting of a person in Oak Park this afternoon.

The shooting was reported about 12:45 p.m. in the 3100 block of 39th Street, just south of Broadway. The victim was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center and then pronounced dead.

Officer Doug Morse said the victim is in his late teens or early 20s. He was shot multiple times. Police are unsure whether multiple gunmen were involved in the shooting.

According to police radio traffic, police were looking for a white Chevy minivan believed to have been involved in the shooting. The minivan was reported to have fled southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and then westbound on 9th Avenue.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kim Minugh, Sacramento Bee.

January 17, 2013
Parolee convicted of attempting to murder, rob homeowners

A Sacramento County jury has convicted a 22-year-old parolee of multiple charges, including attempted murder, attempted robbery and use of a gun.

On June 16, 2011, Lawrence Jackio and an accomplice broke into an occupied residence and attempted to rob two homeowners at gunpoint, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. One victim was pistol whipped, and Jackio shot the other in the stomach, causing serious injuries.

At the time, Jackio was on parole for a residential burglary conviction.

He is to be sentenced March 1 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Savage.

January 17, 2013
West Sacramento store evacuated during search for armed suspect

A Raley's supermarket in West Sacramento was evacuated for about 30 minutes this afternoon while police searched for a woman believed to be inside with a gun.

Police spokesman Lt. Tod Sockman said the incident occurred around noon after a truck driver reported that a woman with whom he had had contact at Jefferson Boulevard and West Capitol Avenue had stolen his gun and run away. He reported the theft to the California Highway Patrol, which then contacted the Police Department.

An officer spotted the woman in front of the Raley's store on West Capitol Avenue. and saw her go inside. Believing that she was armed, police evacuated the store while they searched for her.

January 17, 2013
Rocklin youth sports organization president accused of embezzlement

Stephanie Ann Abercombie.jpgThe president of Rocklin Junior Thunder Football and Cheer Association was arrested this morning, accused of embezzling from the organization.

Stephanie Ann Abercrombie, 41, (pictured) was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of burglary, embezzlement of more than $400 and forgery.

On Dec. 5, Rocklin police received a report alleging that Ambercrombie had embezzled funds that had been entrusted to her for the daily operations of the nonprofit youth sports organization. After several weeks of investigation it was determined that Abercrombie had embezzled more than $20,000 from the Rocklin Junior Thunder, according to a Police Department news release.

January 17, 2013
Citrus Heights boy hit by suspected impaired driver dies 3 months later

Henry Perez-Rocha.JPGThree months after he was hit by a driver allegedly under the influence of drugs, little Henry Perez-Rocha (pictured) has died.

The Sacramento County Coroner's website notes that the six-year-old died at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday.

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

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

January 17, 2013
Placer teacher suspected of sex with former student

woods jennifer lynn.JPGA Placer County teacher has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a former student.

Jennifer Lynn Woods, 35, (pictured) was booked a week ago into jail on suspicion of having sex with a minor. The 17-year-old boy she allegedly had sex with was her former student.

An employee with the Placer County Office of Education contacted the sheriff's office when education officials received information that Woods was suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

Woods, a Granite Bay resident, is listed on the Placer County Office of Education website as being an employee in the Emotionally Disturbed Program.

The sheriff's department said in a press release that Woods met the boy when he was her student two years ago. He has since transferred to another school.

The relationship lasted for one year, according to deputies, while the boy was 16 or 17 years old.

January 17, 2013
Teen booked on murder charge in El Dorado County

Wesley Ronald Hampshire.jpgAn 18-year-old is in jail on suspicion of homicide after the stabbing death of another young man last night in El Dorado County.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies said they responded to the area of Brown's Road and Cold Springs Road, just north of Placerville, about 4 p.m. Wednesday where they were told a person had been stabbed.

They were also told that the person who stabbed 20-year-old Matthew Steele of Auburn had fled on foot. Paramedics arrived and transferred Steele to Marshall Hospital where he died about two hours later.

Deputies took Wesley Hampshire, 18, of Placerville into custody at his home on Brown's Road. He was later booked into county jail on suspicion of homicide.

Details on what lead up to the stabbing were not available.

PHOTO CAPTION: Wesley Ronald Hampshire

January 17, 2013
Small explosion hurts UC Davis researcher

A UC Davis researcher has been treated at the hospital after an explosion at an apartment on campus.

UC Davis police evacuated a building early this morning in a housing complex at 418 Russell Park after discovering chemicals in an apartment. Police said the area is considered safe, although a portion of the site has been cordoned off.

A university news release stated that a researcher was treated at a local hospital for hand injuries from a small explosion.

January 16, 2013
Couple to be sentenced in Davis embezzlement case

A Brentwood couple indicted by a Yolo County grand jury in 2010 awaits sentencing after pleading to charges in the embezzlement from a Davis business.

Kara Leigh Brown, 43, on Friday pleaded to a charge of accessory to a felony for assisting in the theft and embezzlement by her husband, Benjamin Joseph Chaney, 32. On the same date, Chaney admitted that he embezzled between $100,000 and $500,000. Chaney previously had pleaded to the majority of charges in the case involving multiple theft-related felonies and felony tax evasion, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Brown agreed to pay $340,000 in restitution to the victims.

From 2003 to 2007, Chaney was employed as chief financial officer for Harper Model Home Maintenance, a Davis company owned by the Harper family and specializing in model home cleaning. Family members did most of the work themselves, but as the business grew, they hired Chaney, their son-in-law at the time, in various management positions, authorities said. He eventually became the chief financial officer.

January 16, 2013
Juries selected for three charged in 2010 N. Highlands cabbie killing

Jury selection concluded today in the murder trial of three men accused in the fatal Oct. 18, 2010, robbery shooting of a cab driver in North Highlands.

Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan.

Separate juries have been empaneled for each of the three defendants: Jermaine John Campbell, 21, Jonathan Steven Hudson, 20, and Antoine Lee Taylor, 21. They are charged in the killing of cab driver James Walker, 54.

The shooting took place shortly after 3 a.m. in an apartment complex in the 5100 block of Hillsdale Boulevard.

January 16, 2013
Man sentenced to prison for 2012 carjacking, robbery

A man convicted of carjacking and robbery has been sentenced to 35 years and eight months in prison.

Dante Perkins, 21, was convicted by a jury in November of two counts of carjacking, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The jury also found true that Perkins possessed and used a firearm in committing the crimes, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Goodman.

On Feb. 20, 2012, a young mother and her 1-year-old child were sitting in front of a store. The father had gone inside to purchase an item and left the keys in the ignition while the two waited for him.

January 16, 2013
Paint, etching aims to stem Roseville catalytic converter thefts

The next time a thief slides under a Toyota truck in Roseville to cut off a catalytic converter, police hope he or she gets one look at the brightly painted emission control device and slides back out.

Last year, in Roseville alone, about 180 catalytic converters were stolen. Thieves especially love to steal the emission control devices from Toyota Sequoias and Tundras, but also are drawn to other high-off-the-ground trucks and SUVs from other carmakers.

"It's the pits," said Dominic Campanelli, parts and service director for Sullivan Auto Group, the owner of Roseville Toyota. "It's a huge inconvenience for customers. It's raising everyone's insurance rates."

January 16, 2013
New women's prison for Folsom

prison.JPG
The Folsom Women's Facility, located near Folsom State Prison and California State Prison-Sacramento, is expected to receive its first inmates next week. The prison, which will house low-risk inmates, is not expected to be full until spring.

Since October, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been moving women out of the 1,980-bed Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. Male inmates will now occupy that prison.

January 16, 2013
Update: Coroner IDs man suspected of killing Galt police officer, then self

The man accused of fatally shooting a Galt police officer before turning the gun on himself Tuesday has been identified as 30-year-old Humphrey Kenneth Gascon.

Kevin Tonn.JPGThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department confirmed earlier today that Gascon was not the burglary suspect the officer, Kevin Tonn, pictured at left, had been seeking.

Authorities said Tonn was in the area of F and Third streets after a burglary was reported in the area about 11:30 a.m. He attempted to make contact with a man walking in the area, who then struggled with the officer before shooting him. The coroner's office this afternoon identified that man as Gascon.

After further investigation, authorities said today, detectives learned the burglary was allegedly committed by a family member of the victim, and that the suspected gunman was not related to that incident.

January 16, 2013
SMUD business customers continuing to be scam targets

SMUD is warning a phone scam continues to be perpetrated on its business customers.

Around the holiday season, some customers reported getting phone calls by someone pretending to represent the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The caller threatened to shut off a home's or business's electric power unless the customer pays a past-due bill immediately at a payment facility.

The scam attempts were reported by several business customers, the utility said. SMUD said this week that those fraudulent calls continue to be made.

January 15, 2013
Coroner identifies driver killed in stolen vehicle chase

A 21-year-old man who died Monday afternoon in a collision after leading police on a short chase has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as Sage A. Lopez of Sacramento.

Lopez, who Sacramento police said was driving a stolen Honda, died when he reportedly ran a stop sign on Clay Street at El Camino Avenue in North Sacramento and was struck by a vehicle traveling west on El Camino.

Police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said officers were on patrol in the area of Acacia Avenue and Belden Street at 12:37 p.m. Monday when they spotted a white Honda traveling in the opposite direction. Officers ran the license plate number and learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

January 15, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What's happening in Rancho Cordova triple homicide case?

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

QUESTION: Is there any update on the triple homicide that happened in Rancho Cordova a couple of months back? Last I heard, Denis Bukhantsov's brother was in custody. What has happened since he was arrested?
Submitted by: Sunshine, Sacramento

ANSWER: Grigoriy Bukhantsov, 20, remains in Sacramento County Jail awaiting trial for the October slaying of his sister-in-law and two of her children.

January 15, 2013
Auburn man arrested after allegedly threatening neighbor

An Auburn man is in jail accused of threatening his neighbor, then fighting police officers.

Auburn police responded to the 100 block of Pine Street about 12:20 p.m. Monday regarding a report of a disturbance at an apartment complex. They were told that the suspect, John Hurd, 47, had threatened a woman who is his neighbor.

As officers were about to contact Hurd at his apartment, they heard the sound of a pump-action shotgun from his apartment.

January 15, 2013
Placer County residents can track neighborhood crime online

Placer County residents can sign up to receive online notification of crimes that have occurred in their neighborhood.

By going to the Sheriff's Office's website at www.placer.ca.gov\sheriff, and following the link to Crimemapping.com, residents can sign up to receive alerts, allowing them to keep track of crimes that occur within a 2-mile radius of their homes.

Through Crimemapping.com, the Sheriff's Office provides public access to crime information for unincorporated Placer County, the city of Colfax and the town of Loomis. It is regularly updated with information about certain types of crime reports. People also can search for an address and select the types of crimes and date range they wish to see, or view all crimes in the jurisdiction.

January 15, 2013
UPDATE: Galt police identify officer killed responding to burglary

Authorities have identified the Galt police officer killed this morning while responding to a burglary as 35-year-old Kevin Tonn, who has been with the department 3 1/2 years.

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"He was a very well respected, very proactive member of our department," said Galt police Lt. Jim Uptegrove. "His loss is extremely tragic to us and to our community."

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The suspected shooter, a man in his 30s or 40s, also died from what were apparently self-inflicted injuries, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

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Ramos said the officer confronted the subject about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday following a burglary call in the 200 block of F Street. Later, the officer called for emergency back up.

A second officer, responding to the scene, radioed in that shots had been fired and an officer was down. The first officer, Tonn, was transported to Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

It is the first line-of-duty death for the Galt Police Department, which has about 30 to 40 officers.

After learning of Tonn's death, city officials canceled the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night.

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Photo captions: Top, Wearing black bands over their badges in sympathy for fellow Officer Kevin Tonn, 35, who died in the line of duty Tuesday, Galt police Lt. Jim Uptegrove, center, leaves the podium with fellow officers. Bottom, The scene where a Galt police officer was killed on Tuesday. Photo by Renee C. Byer / rbyer@sacbee.com

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January 15, 2013
Teen suspect flees CHP, crashes into Antelope house

A 16-year-old male is in custody after leading CHP on a short chase through Antelope and into the garage of a single-story house.

Officers originally responded to a report of a stolen car near Elgin Hills Way around 7:30 this morning. An hour later, the 19-year-old stolen car suspect identified the juvenile driving a black truck as an accomplice, Officer Lizz Dutton said.

The truck attempted to flee CHP officers but crashed into a house near Cook Riolo Road and Great Valley Drive. The juvenile suspect ran a few blocks after the crash before officers arrested him, Dutton said.

The 16-year-old was taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center and was arrested on suspicion of crimes including felony hit and run and driving without a license, Dutton said.

January 15, 2013
Cops chase suspects from Rancho Cordova to Dixon

Sacramento County Sheriff officers arrested two people in Dixon after a high-speed chase that began in Rancho Cordova this morning.

Officers responded to a victim who reported being struck with a gun near Folsom Boulevard and Bradshaw Road around 5:00 a.m. when suspects fled in a vehicle driving westbound on Highway 50, Sgt. Jason Ramos said.

Sheriff's deputies pursued, and the chase reached speeds as high as 100 mph as it followed Interstate 80 through three Sacramento, Yolo and Solano counties. CHP provided air support and as many as 10 sheriff's officers joined the chase, Ramos said.

January 15, 2013
Placer DA: No new details on teens who allegedly drugged parents

The Placer District Attorney's Office declined to offer any new details today related to the two Rocklin teen-age girls who were arrested on suspicion of drugging one of the girl's parents with a sleeping aid to gain access to the Internet.

"Because this is a juvenile matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time," Jeff Wilson, assistant district attorney, said via email.

The teens were booked into Placer County Juvenile Hall on New Year's Eve after the parents, reeling from unexplained hangover symptoms, first took a drug test, then called police, said Lt. Lon Milka, a spokesman for the Rocklin Police Department.

January 15, 2013
CHP officer crashes off I-5 near Del Paso Road

CHPaccident2.jpgA Woodland CHP officercrashed in Natomas while driving southbound on I-5 last night.

For unknown reasons the officer lost control of his vehicle, hit a drainage ditch north of Del Paso Road and rolled multiple times around 8:30 p.m., Officer Lizz Dutton said.

The car came to rest on its roof and caught on fire, Dutton said.

January 14, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to defendants in slaying at Arden-area pool hall?

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

QUESTION: Several years ago there was a homicide at the pool hall then located at Arden and Ethan. Three young Vietnamese men were charged with murder relating to gang activity. In a trial, two were found guilty. There was a hung jury on the third defendant. What happened to the three of them?
Submitted by: ET, Sacramento

ANSWER: Three people, including a 17-year-old, were arrested in the shooting death of 18-year-old Southalay Vongsedone outside the Hot Shots Billiard Parlor on Arden Way on April 10, 1998.

January 14, 2013
Detectives seek possible witnesses to weekend shooting

Sacramento County sheriff's homicide detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying the occupants of a vehicle that was near the scene of a fatal shooting early Saturday.

The vehicle is described as a light-colored, full-size, standard cab pickup. It is not considered a "suspect vehicle" in the case, but detectives believe the occupants may have information that could be helpful in solving the case, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a vehicle accident at 65th and S streets in the city of Sacramento. They discovered that one of the vehicle's occupants, a 20-year-old woman, had suffered a fatal gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

January 14, 2013
Hand digging at well site delayed in search for murder victims

Hand digging at a Linden well site thought to contain the remains of murder victims has been delayed for at least a week to allow for continued site preparation work.

A team searching for victims of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog continued its work for a seventh day at the site of a filled-in well on private agricultural land off Flood Road.

The team of FBI personnel and technical experts encountered its first challenge last week while boring the well site to clarify the depth of the well. The initial estimated depth was derived from a variety of comparative data and sources, but the team has not been able to pinpoint the historic bottom of the well with certainty, according to an FBI news release.

January 14, 2013
Wrong-way driver pleads no contest in fatal head-on crash

A Redwood City man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter for his role in a Highway 50 crash last February that left three people dead and two others injured.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, Christopher Thomas Rigsby drove to South Lake Tahoe to watch the game with friends at Harvey's Casino. After several drinks, he drove back to Sacramento County early the following morning. He was first observed speeding westbound on Highway 50 near the Sunrise Boulevard exit. Minutes later, he was seen speeding eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 50.

Rigsby's vehicle collided head-on with a Pontiac Aztec at estimated speeds of 70 to 90 mph, according to a Sacramento Co