Sacto 9-1-1
June 30, 2013
Drowning reported in American River near Howe Avenue

By Jeffrey Dastin
jdastin@sacbee.com

A man drowned Sunday evening in the American River near Howe Avenue, the fourth case in the city of Sacramento this summer, officials said.

The Sacramento Fire Department received a call at 5:40 p.m. reporting a possible drowning, according to Battalion Chief Shawn Perry. Up to a dozen firefighters searched the river, while a helicopter scanned from above, Perry said.

After an hour, the fire department ended its search without finding the victim. Perry said crews would return when a sighting of the victim is reported.

"We've exhausted the survivability of the victim," Perry said. He explained that the man could not have survived the frigid water past the time they searched.

June 29, 2013
Man arrested in connection with fatal North Natomas shooting

A 30-year-old man was arrested Saturday in connection with a fatal shooting earlier this month in the parking lot of a North Natomas apartment complex, Sacramento police report.

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Dominique Nelson was arrested near West Elkhorn Boulevard and East Commerce Way in North Natomas during a traffic stop, according to a police department news release. He was booked at 2:35 p.m. into Sacramento County jail on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail.

At 2:18 a.m. June 12, officers responded to the 500 block of Bankside Way regarding a report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found Vincent Vigil, 26, shot and on the ground in the parking lot, police said. Vigil died at the scene.

June 29, 2013
Divers recover body of man who drowned in Lake Natoma

By Richard Chang and Cathy Locke
rchang@sacbee.com

Divers early this morning retrieved the body of a man who drowned in Lake Natoma late Friday near the CSUS Aquatic Center off Hazel Avenue.

Capt. Bryan Thomson of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said a group of young men were at the lake about 8:10 p.m. when the 20-year-old victim swam out to retrieve a ball in the channel. He began having difficulties and another member of the group tried to come to his aid as he went under water, but was unable to rescue him.

The second man also began having trouble but was rescued. He was checked out by paramedics and declined medical treatment, choosing to remain at the scene as the search for his friend continued.

Divers with the Drowning and Accident Rescue Team spent several hours scouring the lake, but the murky water made rescue efforts difficult, Thomson said. The body was finally brought on shore just before 1 a.m.

Call The Bee's Richard Chang, (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter: @RichardYChang

June 28, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of abusing child?

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

QUESTION: About five or six years ago, Billy Ray Arnett was accused of child abuse. What was the outcome?
Submitted by: Sarah, Sacramento

ANSWER: Billy Ray Arnett was arrested in September 1994, accused of willful cruelty to a child, after bruises and burns were found on his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.

June 28, 2013
Man involved in 2011 chase sentenced for drug trafficking

A Fairfield man was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento to 19 years and seven months in prison for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

After a court trial, Jaymar Dwaune Jamerson was found guilty in June 2012 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine powder and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.

According to evidence presented at trial, Jamerson led police officers on a high-speed chase through Solano County on Feb. 1, 2011, during which he dumped four baseball-size amounts of crack cocaine out of his car. During the chase, Jamerson used his cell phone to call his criminal associates to stage a burglary of his apartment to remove drug evidence, officials said. Following the car chase, officers walked the pursuit route and recovered fragments of crack cocaine thrown from Jamerson's car.

June 28, 2013
Sacramento DA's office to resume police shooting reviews

The Sacramento District Attorney's Office will resume conducting legal reviews of all police shootings in the county, a top official in the prosecutor's office said Friday.

"We are not going to conduct the level of investigation with our own investigators that we did in the past, but we will be doing a legal analysis and review based on the investigation by other police agencies," Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher said.

The decision District Attorney Jan Scully's office came on the same day the county Grand Jury recommended that the Board of Supervisors appropriate the money to fund "the comprehensive, objective review and analysis of officer-involved shootings," either by the DA or the sheriff's Office of the Inspector General.

Citing budget concerns, the DA's office two years ago stopped conducting its examinations of the police shootings.

The Grand Jury made its recommendation in reponse to the investigation it conducted into a rash of sheriff shootings last year. The panel didn't find a connection between the lack of review and the increased number of shootings. It did say, however, that the DA's shutdown of its review process "has negatively affected the perception of law enforcement accountability in the county and public confidence in the review process."

June 28, 2013
Phone scammers masquerade as FBI, El Dorado County sheriff

Phone scammers intent on bilking El Dorado County residents of their money are falsely identifying themselves as the FBI or the sheriff.

Telephone scams are not new. The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department investigates hundreds of phone and e-mail scams each year.

Recently, however, the department noticed a new wrinkle in scamming: A caller said he was an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

June 28, 2013
Judge sentences lookout in fatal drug robbery to 34 years to life in prison

The lookout in an attempted Meadowview methamphetamine robbery that turned into a fatal, pre-dawn backyard brawl was sentenced today to 34 years to life in prison.

Arsenio Barajas, 24, received the term for his first-degree murder conviction in the Jan. 1, 2011, bludgeon killing of Scott Hanson, 24, in the backyard of a house in the 2100 block of Amanda Way. Barajas also was sentenced for attempted murder in the beating of a second man during the course of the robbery.

Barajas argued he didn't participate in the actual killing of Hanson, but Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle told him "you got exactly what you deserved" as an aider and abettor.

A second defendant convicted in the case, Joseph Lee Conn, 25, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Jurors did not reach a verdict on a third defendant, Jaime Charles Sandoval, 38, who is accused of acting as the driver for the robbery group. Sandoval's retrial has been scheduled for Aug. 27.

June 28, 2013
Camino man succumbs to injuries from Foothill Farms shooting

A man has died from a injuries suffered when the car in which he was a passenger was shot up earlier this week in Foothill Farms.

The Sacramento County Coroner's website states that Ralph R. Squires, 34, of Camino, El Dorado County, was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m. Thursday.

Squires had been taken to the hospital after a shooting incident the day before at around 3 a.m. on Roseville Road. Details of the shooting are sketchy.

June 27, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What caused death of woman found in car in Rio Linda last year?

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

QUESTION: Last year, a woman was found dead in her car on Q Street close to a storage rental facility in Rio Linda. Did they ever find out why she died or what happened to her?
Submitted by: Lynn, Rio Linda

ANSWER: A 46-year-old woman was found dead in her car in the 2600 block of Q Street in Rio Linda on Jan. 18, 2012.

June 27, 2013
Man arrested in fatal shooting at Mack Road gas station

Kenneth Barnett.jpgSacramento police today announced the arrest of a 27-year-old man in connection with the fatal shooting of a man June 15 at a gas station on Mack Road.

Officers responded at 11:31 a.m. to a report of a shooting in the 6600 block of Mack Road. They found the victim, Darryl Hill, 25, of Sacramento, who had been fatally injured in the gas station parking lot. Two other adults at the scene also had been shot. They were treated at an area hospital and released. The victims, along with a 1-year-old child, who was not injured, had arrived at the gas station in the same vehicle just before the shooting, according to a Police Department news release.

On Wednesday, police found the suspect, Kenneth Barnette, in a neighboring jurisdiction, where he was taken into custody at a family member's home.

June 27, 2013
Unregistered assault weapons seized from home of felon

A Sacramento County man barred from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions has been arrested after law enforcement officers seized nine firearms, including eight unregistered assault weapons, from his home.

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California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that Britton Edward McFetridge, 37, was taken into custody Tuesday following an "armed and prohibited persons" investigation conducted by agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Firearms. McFetridge was on probation due to a 2010 conviction for felony battery with serious bodily injury. In addition to the weapons, agents found eight large capacity drum magazines, 100 large capacity magazines and more than 20,000 large caliber rounds of ammunition in the basement of McFetridge's home, according to a news release from the Attorney General's office.

Agents determined that the firearms had been illegally purchased within the last three to five years from private parties and that the magazines were illegally purchased online, officials said.

June 27, 2013
Stepped-up enforcement on Lake Tahoe to target impaired boaters

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department's marine units will participate this weekend in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign highlighting the risks and dangers of operating boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Stepped-up enforcement Friday through Sunday is intended to raise awareness in advance of the Fourth of July, according to a Police Department news release. Independence Day, falling on a Thursday this year, will kick off a four-day weekend for thousands of California boaters looking to spend time on the water with family and friends.

Officials warn that alcohol can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time, and can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of immersion in cold water. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion, all common to boating, also intensify the side effect of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

June 27, 2013
Sacramento strikes back against copper wire thieves

By Ben Mullin
bmullin@sacbee.com

Copper thieves, beware: The city of Sacramento is trying to pull the plug on wire theft.

In an effort to halt the rising tide of copper theft from Sacramento street lights, the city announced Thursday that public works employees will begin installing new wires with a unique indentifier signifying them as city property.

The new wires, which will be put in throughout the city over the next few years, were installed in response to hundreds of wire thefts resulting in 20,000 street-light repairs over the last three years that cost the city an estimated $1.68 million.

June 27, 2013
UC Davis grad student dies from injuries suffered in I-5 crash

By Bill Lindelof and Jeffrey Dastin
blindelof@sacbee.com

UC Davis veterinary school graduate Loreto A. Godoy has died from injuries she suffered in a car crash Friday that killed three others, including her husband's parents, according to a UC Davis news release.

Godoy, 32, and her husband Fernando O. Mardones, 36, were driving to Southern California last week when a 29-year-old man traveling north on Interstate 5 crossed the median and collided head-on with their car. The man, as well as Mardones' parents sitting in the front of the car, died at the scene.

Family members told university officials Wednesday that Godoy, who died at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, will be an organ donor.

June 27, 2013
Drone protesters' bid for jury trial rejected

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Five people who protest the government's use of drones and who were arrested for trespassing at Beale Air Force Base had their request for a jury trial rejected by a federal judge Thursday.

The U. S. attorney's office in Sacramento did not want the protesters to have a jury trial, and the prosecutor argued at a Thursday hearing that the law precludes it. Lawyers for the defendants argued that it is a matter left up to the judge.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney sided with the government, while musing about her uncertainty the law confers such discretion on the court.

The five are scheduled for trial Aug. 12, before Delaney.

June 27, 2013
Traffic stop in South Lake Tahoe ends in arrest, sap confiscation

john liska.JPGWeapons.jpgA traffic stop in South Lake Tahoe of a convicted felon from Alaska resulted in his arrest on suspicion of burglary, possession of a sap and other charges.

An officer stopped a vehicle being driven by John Liska, 34, (pictured) in South Lake Tahoe at 6 p.m.Wednesday. Another officer recognized Liska's name as a suspect in a May vehicle burglary.

In the vehicle burglary, a check was stolen, forged and passed for cash at a South Lake Tahoe bank. Liska was arrested.

According to authorities, a search of Liska and his vehicle turned up a stolen firearm, ammunition, metal knuckles, an illegal spring-loaded knife and a sap, described by police as a flat, leather covered lead rod (pictured).

Police said it is against the law to possess a sap in California.

June 27, 2013
Caught on tape: Teen booked for stinging pepper spray incident at Sacramento mall

PANTOJA, JUAN MIGUEL-19 (1).JPGA Vacaville man has been arrested for the deployment of pepper spray at a Sacramento mall that left some people feeling the sting of the aerosol agent.

Juan Miguel Pantoja, 19, (pictured) was arrested Wednesday after Sacramento police detectives served at search warrant at his home in Vacaville. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into Sacramento County Jail.

Sacramento police reported that about 6 p.m. June 1 several people were in an argument at Arden Fair mall that culminated when one person used pepper spray. Those involved fled the scene but other innocent people in the area felt the effects of the spray.

At the time, mall security chief Steve Reed said the incident occurred in the area of the food court and that he had strong video evidence. The mall boasts an extensive network of security cameras.

The spray irritates the eyes, causing tears and pain.

Here is surveillance video of the incident.

June 26, 2013
Windshield repairman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

A man who was employed as a windshield repair technician has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of insurance fraud.

An investigation by the California Department of Insurance's Urban Auto Task Force determined that Jacob Dufur, 22, and an accomplice were employed as windshield repair technicians for a franchise that specialized in repairing small windshield cracks. Between May 7, 2011, and March 19, 2012, Dufur and an accomplice submitted 121 fraudulent work orders to the parent company, Chipio Inc., for payment of windshield repairs that neither of them had performed, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

After paying Dufur and his accomplice for the alleged cost of the windshield repairs, the parent company submitted the work orders to the customer's automobile insurance company for payment. The franchise, the parent company and the insurance companies ended up paying $7,373 on the fraudulent work orders, officials said.

June 26, 2013
Roseville man sentenced to prison for credit card fraud

A Roseville man has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for credit card fraud.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller also ordered Vasilyevi Berezenko, 25, to make restitution to his victims and to perform 150 hours of community service work as part of his three-year term of supervised release following his time in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, between Aug. 3 and Aug. 23, 2011, Berezenko and do-defendant Michael Charles Ross, 29, of Folsom obtained multiple credit cards in the names of innocent victims and used those cards to obtain more than $80,000 in cash and merchandise from retailers and casinos in Northern California. An additional $35,000 in purchases and withdrawals were attempted.

June 26, 2013
Woman booked for stabbing in Woodland

Police arrested a woman for allegedly stabbing a man at motel on Tuesday in Woodland.

Officers were called at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday to a gas station on West Main Street where Dave Lopez, 41, of Woodland, had a wound on his left arm. Also on the scene, was 44-year-old April Wilson.

Officers believe that Wilson stabbed Lopez at the nearby Dunton Motel, 449 West Street. Police said that Wilson allegedly would not let Lopez leave during an argument at the motel and that she stabbed him.

Lopez was taken to a hospital. Wilson was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

June 25, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What news on man killed in Napa home?

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

QUESTION: An employee where I worked flew into Sacramento on Saturday, June 22, after being called by police somewhere in that area regarding the killing of our employee's husband's father. I believe the last name would be Buffington. The killing was committed in the home of the person, I believe. Can you direct me to any stories regarding this?
Submitted by: John, Broken Arrow, Okla.

ANSWER: Don Warner Buffington, 62, has been identified as the man who was stabbed to death at his Napa home during an apparent burglary last week.

June 25, 2013
Celebrants reminded of El Dorado County fireworks ban

Fire officials are encouraging people who will be celebrating the Fourth of July in El Dorado County to attend a public fireworks show.

They also are issuing a reminder that all individual fireworks, including the "safe and sane" variety, are illegal in the county. Because of the risk of wildfires, an El Dorado County ordinance prohibits the use and possession of the type of fireworks commonly sold in surrounding areas such as Sacramento County.

"There is 'zero tolerance' when it comes to the use of possession of fireworks in El Dorado County by Cal Fire, local fire districts and local law enforcement agencies," Kelly Keenan, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit, said in a written statement.

June 25, 2013
Carmichael man sentenced to prison for distributing child porn

A Carmichael man was sentenced today to 11 years and three months in prison for distributing child pornography.

Ray Laurence Howes, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez and will be subject to 20 years of supervised release following his time in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex offender Registration and Notification Act.

According to court documents, in September 2012, the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip that Howes had uploaded child pornography to his cloud storage service. A search warrant was obtained, and multiple images of child pornography were found.

June 25, 2013
Folsom police campaign aims to improve pedestrian safety

The Folsom Police Department is launching a public education campaign in an effort to increase pedestrian safety.

Titled "It's Up to All of Us," the campaign will use advertising, the Internet, enforcement and community outreach to deliver messages that focus on reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

During 2011 in Folsom, there were six vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and six pedestrians were injured. During 2012, that number increased to 11 accidents with 11 injuries, according to a Police Department news release. Pedestrians suffered no fatal injuries related to vehicle accidents during that two-year period.

June 25, 2013
UPDATE: Man missing from Orangevale home found safe

MP Stilwell.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reports that an 83-year-old man who went missing from an Orangevale residence this morning has been found and is safe.

Clifford Stilwell (pictured) disappeared about 11 a.m. in the 8700 block of Central Avenue. He was considered to be at risk due to dementia and serious medical conditions, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

June 25, 2013
El Dorado County women indicted in tax refund scheme

Three El Dorado County women have been indicted in a nationwide a $60 million fraudulent tax refund scheme.

In an indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Teresa Marie Marty of Pollock Pines, Rebecca Bandera-Marty of Shingle Springs and Pamela Harris of Placerville were charged with conspiring to defraud the United States, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. In addition to the conspiracy count, Marty is charged with 33 counts and Bandera-Marty with 16 counts of false claims against the United States.

According to the indictment, in 2008 and 2009, the three women conspired to defraud the United States by filing at least 250 false individual federal income tax returns, claiming more than $60 million in false federal income tax refunds for clients in 26 states. In response to the false returns, the IRS erroneously issued more than 40 tax refunds, totaling more than $8 million, including refund for $277,832 for Marty's own tax return.

June 25, 2013
Suspects sought in second burglary at Shingle Springs laundry

laundry burglary.jpgLaundry burglary car.jpgA Shingle Springs coin laundry has been hit by thieves twice within a week.

The latest incident occurred about 1:30 a.m. Friday at the SS Coin Wash on Durock Road. Three men in a light-colored four-door sedan (pictured) with tinted rear windows were recorded on video as they committed the theft, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office news release.

The suspects worked together to break into the quarter change machine using the same method burglars used five days earlier, officials said.

June 25, 2013
UPDATE: Church official says he wasn't 'confessor' to priest in sex scandal

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A priest who also was a high-ranking official in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento testified today that he was not acting in the capacity of a "confessor" or "spiritual director" when he and a private investigator told the Rev. Uriel Ojeda two years ago that he was the subject of a sexual abuse investigation.

The priest, Timothy Nondorf, said none of the rituals even remotely suggesting the Catholic sacrament of confession were at play when he and the investigator visited Ojeda on Nov. 30, 2011, at the Ojeda's parish in Redding. The subject of the visit, Nondorf said, was to deliver a letter to Ojeda informing him that "a credible accusation" had been lodged against him and that he was going to be removed from the ministry.

June 25, 2013
Bone marrow drive for police officer in Sacramento

A bone marrow registry drive will be held Saturday for a police officer and Sacramento area resident diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer.

Gerald Vincent, 46, has lymphoma and has endured extensive and painful cancer treatments. He needs a bone marrow transplant, but a matching donor has not been found.

Vincent has had a long career serving not only as a patrol officer but also a firefighter, primarily in the Rohnert Park area.

BloodSource is holding the "Be The Match" bone marrow registry drive for Vincent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Ignite Community Church, 7901 Stevenson Ave. Match registrants must be between the ages of 18 and 44 years old.

June 25, 2013
Arden Arcade apartment blaze cause identified

An apartment resident awoke to find his kitchen on fire in Arden Arcade this morning, a blaze apparently started when the family left the stove on overnight.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District engines were called about 5 a.m. to the Emerald Place Apartments, 1530 Fulton Ave., where they quickly knocked down the fire, containing it to the oven, stove, sheetrock and ceiling.

Fire officials said that cookware that probably had some food or food residue was left atop a switched-on electric stove burner overnight.

The resident told firefighters that he awoke to the smell of smoke. He saw the fire and the family of three adults and a baby ran outside.

Sac Metro said the fire could have spread to 19 apartments that share a common attic. Firefighters said there was no working smoke alarm in the apartment.

June 25, 2013
Passenger killed in South Land Park crash identified

The woman who died Monday when the car in which she was riding hit a tree in South Land Park has been identified by coroner's deputies.

The Sacramento County Coroner's website lists her name as Emily Catherine Drury, 28, of Sacramento.

Sacramento police said the sedan in which Drury was riding was traveling southbound on Riverside Boulevard near 43rd Avenue about 2 a.m. Monday when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a large tree. A woman who was driving and a male passenger were taken by ambulance to the UC Davis Medical Center.

The 25-year-old driver suffered life-threatening injuries. Her name and that of the male passenger, 24, have not been released.

Drury was seated in the rear seat of the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from the Sacramento Fire Department.

June 24, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to Del Paso Heights store owner who killed burglar in '80s?

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

QUESTION: What happened to the store owner who shot and killed a man 30-plus years ago when the burglar broke into his store through the roof, I believe in Del Paso Heights. I believe the burglar was an O'Roy.
Submitted by: Citizen Kane, Del Paso Heights

ANSWER: Sacramento police determined that the shooting death of a man who broke into a Del Paso Heights grocery store in December 1987 was a justifiable homicide.

June 24, 2013
Trailers reported stolen from Woodland's city service center

Two trailers were stolen from the city of Woodland's Municipal Service Center over the weekend.

Police were dispatched about 7:30 this morning to the center at 655 N. Pioneer Ave. When officers arrived, they were notified that between 5 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. today, someone cut the chain-link gate to the property and stole two box trailers.

One of the trailers contained miscellaneous tools and roadway signs. That trailer and its contents were valued at $100,000, according to a Police Department news release. The other trailer was valued at $17,000.

June 24, 2013
Davis family hospitalized after fatal crash near Santa Nella

godoy_mardones.jpgBy Jeffrey Dastin and Cathy Locke
jdastin@sacbee.com

Two UC Davis graduate students are in a Fresno hospital following a collision Friday on Interstate 5 near Santa Nella that left three people dead.

Husband and wife Fernando O. Mardones, 36, and Loreto A. Godoy, 32, had celebrated their graduation earlier this month and were traveling to Southern California on Friday with their children -- two daughters who are eight months and 4 years old -- and Mardones' parents when they were involved in a head-on collision, according to a UC Davis news release.

The Fresno Bee reported that the family was headed southbound on I-5 at about 4:30 p.m. when a vehicle driven by a 29-year-old man crossed the median and collided with their car. Mardones' parents, Fernando Mardones, 62, and Maria Loreto Loyola, 61, of Nunoa, Santiago, Chile, died while sitting in the front of the car, along with the driver and sole occupant of the other vehicle.

June 24, 2013
Roseville, Modesto men plead guilty to foreclosure rescue scheme

Two men have pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud in connection with a foreclosure rescue scheme.

Jesse Wheeler, 36, of Roseville and Brent Medearis, 46, of Modesto entered guilty pleas today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

On Dec. 1, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Wheeler and Medearis along with Jewel L. Hinkles, also known as Cydney Sanchez, 63, of Los Angeles, and Cynthia Corn, 60, of Oakland, for a scheme allegedly run by Hinkles. According to court documents, Wheeler operated JW Financial Solutions in Roseville, and Medearis worked out of a Modesto office, both as affiliates of programs that Hinkles created.

June 24, 2013
Three teens linked to residential burglaries in Davis

Davis police have arrested three teenagers in connection with residential burglaries that occurred in the city last week.

About 3:50 a.m. Saturday, a resident of the 1800 block of Cowell Boulevard reported that a burglary had just occurred. Officers, who were in the area investigating another report of a residential burglary, contacted three individuals in the area. During the investigation, the three were determined to be in possession of property belonging to the victim in the 1800 block of Cowell Boulevard, according to a Police Department news release. The three were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

As the investigation continued, police said, the three were linked to other residential burglaries that had occurred the previous two nights. In all, officers were able to connect the suspects to five residential burglaries. Property from those burglaries was recovered in the 1500 block of L Street after a search warrant was executed Saturday afternoon.

June 24, 2013
Arson to blame for Roseville park fire

Investigators looking into the cause of Friday's 30-acre park fire in Roseville said Monday that arson is to blame.

The fire, starting at 2:25 p.m. Friday, did $1 million in damage. Four homes and a gazebo suffered major damage.

Driven by high winds and dry conditions, the fire spread quickly. Some 180 fire personnel from around the region were called to assist in extinguishing the blaze. No injuries were reported.

June 24, 2013
Update: 11-month-old Antioch girl found safe

An 11-month-old girl abducted from Antioch this morning has been found safe, according to authorities.

However, the man accused of abducting Justice Alasheia Benton has not been located, according to the Amber Alert deactivation.

The suspect was identified in the alert as 23-year-old Joshua Elijah Benton, described as a 5-foot-8-inch, light-skinned black man weighing 144 pounds. He has brown eyes and "twisty" hair, according to the alert. He was last seen wearing white shorts, a blue t-shirt, flip flops and a brown hat.

Benton was described as being possibly armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Antioch police at (925) 778-2441.

June 24, 2013
Sac police report: A light rail getaway, a sleeping suspect and lost letters found

John Hernandez, 32.JPGIt's all in a day's work for Sacramento police.

A suspected burglar who never made it out of a burgled house, bags of mail found on a bike trail and a crash victim who jumped on light rail and out of an ambulance. Those are three of the recent calls for Sacramento police officers detailed in a police activity log:

• At about 8:15 p.m. Sunday a resident came home to find a stranger asleep on his couch. He was still asleep, with the resident's gun next to him, when officers arrived.

June 24, 2013
Dog down drain rescued by Sac Metro firefighters

photo (26).JPGA little dog found deep in a storm drain with a cable lock strapped around him was rescued by Sac Metro firefighters on Sunday.

The small dog was apparently forced down the storm drain, a witness told first-responders. Sacramento police gathered information regarding the incident.

Firefighters responded to a field at Power Inn and Calvine roads about 5:45 p.m. Sunday where the dog was trapped 25 feet into the drain.

June 24, 2013
South Land Park vehicle crash claims a life

A female passenger died when a car in which she was riding left the roadway and slammed into a tree in South Land Park this morning.

The sedan was traveling southbound on Riverside Boulevard near 43rd Avenue about 2 a.m. when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a large tree. A woman who was driving and a male passenger were taken by ambulance to the UC Davis Medical Center.

The driver suffered life-threatening injuries.

The woman who died was seated in the rear seat of the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from the Sacramento Fire Department.

Names and ages of the three people were not immediately available.

June 24, 2013
Name of Sacramento homicide victim released

A young man shot to death at a house party on Sunday in South Sacramento has been identified by coroner's deputies.

He is listed on the coroner's department website as Alvin Saivon Valentine, 19, of Sacramento.

Valentine and three other people were shot after an argument broke out between two groups at a house party early Sunday, Sacramento police reported.

June 23, 2013
Orangevale garage explosion forces nearby home evacuations

By Jeffrey Dastin
jdastin@sacbee.com

Officials evacuated approximately 10 homes in Orangevale Sunday following an explosion in a man's garage.

At 6:45 p.m., a resident reported that a family member had injured his hands while playing with explosives in their garage on 6433 Trajan Drive, according to Sgt. Jason Ramos of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The man was taken to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment.

Ramos said nearby homes were evacuated to "err on the side of caution." Deputies also told residents on adjacent streets to stay indoors, he said.

"We don't know what this guy's intent was," Ramos said.

June 23, 2013
UPDATE: One dead after gang-related shooting outside Sacramento house party

Four people were shot, one fatally, after an argument broke out between two groups at a house party early Sunday, city police reported.

"We're pretty confident it's a gang related issue," said Michele Gigante, spokeswoman for Sacramento Police.

A 19-year-old man, who has yet to be identified, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

June 23, 2013
Male body found in Citrus Heights Park Creek

Authorities said a bicyclist discovered a body in a creek at Rusch Park early Sunday, adding that they found no signs of foul play.

The Citrus Heights Police Department said the cyclist was riding along Antelope Road when he noticed the body in the creek at 6:30 a.m.

Police determined that the body was that of a deceased male. It wasn't known how the man died. The Sacramento County Coroner's Office will be determining the cause of death and the identity of the individual.

The creek runs east-west in the park, and the body was found near the south end of Rusch Park, which is well traveled.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Citrus Heights Police Department.

June 22, 2013
Butte County authorities tentatively ID homicide victims from Sacramento

Butte County authorities have circumstantially identified the three victims found shot to death inside a burning car earlier this month.

The victims are believed to be Colleen Joanne Lowe, 46; her son, Roland Allen Kadier Lowe, 15; and Richard Lynn Jones, 17, who was not related to the other victims. They are all from Sacramento.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office tentatively identified the victims based on information gathered by detectives, but officials said they are still awaiting confirmation through DNA.

The victims' bodies were discovered by firefighters battling a vehicle blaze in the Magalia area of Butte County in the early morning of June 13. The car was discovered to have been recently reported stolen in the city of Sacramento. Two bodies were found in the trunk and the third in the backseat, the Sheriff's Office said.

On Thursday, detectives arrested 72-year-old Donald Clark on suspicion of arson and three counts of murder, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was booked into the Butte County Jail.

June 22, 2013
Sacramento police arrest man who allegedly shot self, girlfriend by accident

A 27-year-old man is in custody after allegedly shooting himself and his girlfriend by accident this morning, according to Sacramento police.

SMITH, DEANDRE-27.jpgThe man, identified by police as Deandre Smith, was treated and then booked into jail on suspicion of multiple charges. His girlfriend also was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to a Sacramento police report.

Smith allegedly fired the gun by accident about 1:30 a.m. today while he and his girlfriend were in an alley near Freeport Boulevard and Fruitridge Road, the police report states. Smith shot himself in the hand and his girlfriend in the lower body, police allege.

The two arrived at a local hospital for treatment, at which point staff members called police.

After Smith was released, he was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of several weapons-related charges, including discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner; carrying a loaded firearm; and inflicting great bodily injury during the commission or attempted commission of a felony, according to jail booking records. All seven charges he faces are felonies. He also is accused of violating the terms of his probation, jail booking records show.

June 21, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused in stabbing death of stepgrandfather?

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

QUESTION: Whatever happened to the guy who stabbed to death his stepgrandfather one night on Coyle Drive? I know he was taken into custody, but haven't heard anything since.
Submitted by: Karen, Carmichael

ANSWER: Kenneth Azlin, 26, was arrested on suspicion of murder in the fatal stabbing of 65-year-old Roy Shier.

June 21, 2013
Man guilty of murder in shooting outside Sacramento bar

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Oscar Gaspar Jr. of first -degree murder in the Sept. 4, 2011, shooting death of Jesus Garcia outside a bar on Fruitridge Road.

Authorities said the shooting took place when the 22-year-old defendant encountered the 26-year-old victim at 1:30 a.m. outside the Idle Hour bar.

Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle scheduled Gaspar's sentencing for July 22.

June 21, 2013
Man sentenced to eight years on hit-and-run death

Steven Robert Hernandez Jr. was sentenced to eight years in custody today for a March 22, 2012, hit-and-run that killed one man and seriously injured another.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Delbert W. Oros imposed the sentence as a result of a plea bargain worked out between Sacramento prosecutors and the attorney for the 39-year-old defendant.

Hernandez admitted that he ran over Paul Pellandini, 57, in the 5400 block of Winding Way, in an accident he said was caused when he reached to pick up a cell phone he had dropped. He said he fled in a panic.

Hernandez admitted to two counts of felony hit and run and a single count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

June 21, 2013
Man arrested in raid on marijuana garden near Georgetown

Omar Ruiz Talauera 13J06271.JPGEDC marijuana grow photo (14).JPGA 21-year-old man was arrested this morning at the site of a marijuana growing operation on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Georgetown area.

The West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team, this morning entered the marijuana growing site on public lands north of Stumpy Meadows Lake, east of Georgetown. When investigators entered the garden area, a man dressed in camouflage ran from the garden and attempted to evade officers, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office news release.

Deputies suffered minor injuries in their attempt to catch the man, who was apprehended. Although a handgun was found in a nearby makeshift camp, no shots were fired, officials said.

June 21, 2013
UPDATE: Four Roseville homes damaged in Maidu Park fire

Four homes and a gazebo were damaged by a wind-driven fire that burned about 30 acres in Roseville's Maidu Regional Park this afternoon.

Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Carman said the Fire Department received a report about 2:25 p.m. of a fire in a nature area behind Maidu Elementary School on Johnson Ranch Drive. Children were reported to have been seen leaving the area, he said, leading to suspicions that the fire may have been set.

The fire spread due to heavy fuels and wind, growing rapidly to about 30 acres. Although damage within the park was limited to the nature area, five homes were damaged.

June 21, 2013
Gosal convicted of murder in Sikh festival shooting death

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Gurpreet Singh Gosal of second-degree murder in the Aug. 31, 2008, shooting death of Parmjit Pamma Singh at a Sikh sports festival.

Gosal, 28, is facing a sentence of 35 years to life in prison. Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled his sentencing for Aug. 9.

According to testimony at his trial, Gosal fired a handgun right after a friend of his had fatally shot Singh at the festival held at the Bradshaw Temple near Bradshaw and Gerber roads in unincorporated southeast Sacramento. The district attorney's office prosecuted Gosal under an aiding and abetting theory.

The man who witnesses said actually shot Singh, identified as Amandeep Singh Dhami, was able to escape with the assistance of other people at the festival, according to authorities. Dhami is believed to have fled to India.


June 21, 2013
Suspects sought in theft from Shingle Springs coin laundry

SS Coin Wash NO. 1  06-16-13.PNGThe El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is the asking public's help in identifying two men suspected for stealing approximately $2,000 from a Shingle spring coin-operated laundry.

About 4:30 a.m. Sunday, two men entered the SS Coin Wash on Durock Road and started wandering around the business, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. Both went in and out of the business several times over the course of five hours. Officials said the men appeared to have laundered items while they were there.

The men arrived at the business in what appeared to be a 14-foot U-Haul moving truck with decals that read "U can do it" and a green price tag with "$19.95" on the side.

June 21, 2013
Folsom man gets 16-year sentence for running huge Ponzi scheme

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A Folsom man, who robbed investors of peace of mind and more than $44.8 million through a classic Ponzi scheme, was sentenced Friday to 16 years in federal prison.

Anthony Vassallo, 34, who ranks among the Sacramento region's all-time premier fraudsters, raked in more than $80 million from more than 300 investors in less than three years. True to the age-old Ponzi tradition of robbing Peter to pay Paul, more than $55 million of that money was returned to investors to infuse them with a false sense of security and keep the scheme afloat.

U. S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. set a hearing for Aug. 23 to determine the amount of restitution Vassallo will be ordered to pay.

At Friday's sentencing, Burrell castigated Vassallo as "a liar" who visited "heart-rendering consequences" that his victims will live with for the rest of their lives.

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

June 21, 2013
Ripon police officers rescue dogs from drowning

RiponDog.JPGTwo dogs treading water and obviously in distress in a fast-moving canal were pulled to safety by police officers this morning in Ripon, San Joaquin County.

A Ripon Public works employee, James Morad, had called police about 8 a.m. to report that the dogs were trapped in the canal. The dogs were pinned against a metal grate by the swift-moving water.

Officers Mindy Morris and Mario Ysit immediately responded to the canal north of Vermeulen Park where the St. Bernard and German Shepherd were near drowning.

Morris and Ysit were shortly joined by two colleagues who arrived with rescue poles. Morris and Ysit quickly rescued the tired dogs, who were reunited with their happy, grateful owner at the scene, according to a police press release.

June 21, 2013
Rocklin door-to-door flier deliverers arrested on suspicion of burglary

Two men who were placing advertising fliers on the doorknobs of Rocklin homes were arrested Thursday on suspicion of burglary.

At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, a resident on Wildflower Lane heard a noise coming from inside the open garage of the family home. He went out his front door and saw one man exiting the garage and a second on the sidewalk.

The two men left in a van, followed by the resident in his own vehicle. Meanwhile, his wife contacted Rocklin police.

Officers arrived and stopped the mini van. They arrested Jesse Nieto, 24, of Sacramento and Kenneth Modica, 46, of Rancho Cordova on suspicion of burglary.

Police determined that both men had been placing fliers from a solar company on the front doors of homes in the area.

June 21, 2013
Fast-working Woodland police nab a burglary suspect

About ten minutes after a Woodland woman reported her husband's two bikes were taken, police had a man in custody for the garage break-in at her home.

Woodland dispatch received a call from Carol Barnett at 2:45 p.m. Thursday stating that two men had taken two bikes and other items belonging to her husband, Stephen Barnett, from her garage in the 900 block of College Street.

The theft was broadcast via radio and in-car computers to Woodland officers. At 2:56 p.m. one of the responding Woodland police officers saw a man matching the description of one of the suspects walking near Fourth Street and Gum Avenue.

The man was carrying a black duffel bag, which he dropped upon seeing the officer. The officer ended up arresting the man, identified as Ronald Bell, 49, of Woodland on suspicion of burglary.

The other suspect is still being sought, according to a police press release. No word on the whereabouts of the bikes.

June 21, 2013
Driver killed by wrong-way I-5 driver is identified

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the man killed when his car was hit by a wrong-way driver Thursday morning on Interstate 5.

He was identified as Sanching Saetern, 23, of Sacramento.

The driver of the wrong-way vehicle, whose name has not been released, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 near Del Paso Road about 1:30 a.m. when his car struck two vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Saetern, the driver of a Toyota Corolla, died at the scene. A family in a Sport Utility Vehicle suffered minor injuries.

The wrong-way driver suffered moderate injuries.

June 20, 2013
Jury can't decide if son murdered mother; judge declares mistrial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today failed to reach a verdict in the murder trial of a man accused of stabbing his mother to death, and Judge Emily E. Vasquez declared a mistrial.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Chisholm said prosecutors will retry the case against Angelo Dunya Wright, 22, for the killing of Lisa Marie Barber, 42, whose body was found Nov. 12, 2011, in her Foothill Farms apartment in the 5400 block of College Oak Drive.

The jury's vote was 11-1 for conviction.

Judge Vasquez scheduled Wright's next court date for July 11.

An autopsy showed that Barber had suffered 70 "sharp force" injuries, six of which were fatal, according to Chisholm's trial brief. The prosecutor's brief said the stabbing took place after Barber had told a friend she intended to question her son about jewelry that had been stolen out of her apartment.

Assistant Public Defender Torr Zielenski conceded that Wright killed his mother, but he argued it was a voluntary manslaughter because the stabbing took place in a heat of passion.


June 20, 2013
Two injured, outbuildings destroyed in Elk Grove grass fire

Two people suffered minor injuries in a grass fire in the Elk Grove area that burned a barn and several outbuildings.

Chief Tracey Hansen of the Cosumes Fire Department said the fire was reported at 1:42 p.m. on Pleasant Grove School Road, east of Bradshaw Road, between Sheldon and Bond roads. A tractor that was mowing on the property caught fire, apparently due to a mechanical problem, and the fire spread to dry grass.

The fire burned about three acres. Hansen said the firefighting was complicated because the fire ran between three or four parcels with outbuildings, tractors and cars. Several sheds were destroyed and a large barn was damaged.

June 20, 2013
Four arrested, $2 million in marijuana seized in Elk Grove raid

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Anthony Uasuarez mugshot.jpgJorge Vargas-Garcia mugshot.jpgJose Estrada mugshot.jpgRuben Garcia mugshot.jpgFour men have been arrested and $2 million in marijuana seized in a raid on a pot grow at the Stone Lakes preserve near Elk Grove.

In the raid on Tuesday, agents arrested Anthony Uasiarez (pictured top left), 34, and Ruben Guzman (bottom right), 18, both of Mexico, and Jorge Vargas Garcia (top right), 22, and Jose Estrada (bottom left), 23, both of Tulare County.

Agents seized more than 7,000 marijuana plants, 100 pounds of marijuana, two 12-guage shotguns and a handgun.

June 20, 2013
Butte County man arrested in deaths of 3 Sacramento-area residents

A 72-year-old man has been arrested in the deaths of three Sacramento-area residents whose burned and gunshot-riddled bodies were found last week in the charred remains of a vehicle in Butte County.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported last week that a car stolen from Sacramento was found north of the community of Magalia with three burned bodies inside.

Deputies today said that they had arrested Donald Clark of the Centerville area in Butte County on suspicion of arson and three counts of homicide in the killings.

June 20, 2013
Sacramento deputies arrest two in roof top burglary

A man and a woman are suspected popping into a Greenback Lane Jack In The Box restaurant to steal.

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies said that Eugene Andreyev, 30, and Oksana Gutsu, 23, were arrested for burglarizing an outlet of fast food restaurant chain near Fair Oaks Boulevard and Greenback Lane.

A watch summary said that the pair is suspected of cutting an opening large enough to enter through the roof of the business early Monday morning. Money was removed from the restaurant safe.

An arriving officer saw Andreyev and Gutsu leaving the business. They were taken into custody after a short chase on foot.

June 20, 2013
Update: Lanes re-opened after fatal wrong-way driver wreck on I-5

All lanes have re-opened on northbound Interstate 5 where earlier this morning a wrong-way driver killed another motorist in a head-on crash.

Traffic was backed up into the downtown area this morning as the California Highway Patrol cleared the fatal traffic collision on Interstate 5. The freeway opened at 6:50 a.m.

The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 near Del Paso Road about 1:30 a.m. when his car struck two vehicles.

June 19, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to state bureaucrat involved in fatal DUI crash?

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

QUESTION: I can't remember the name of the man, but I think he was a lobbyist that was convicted of DUI in the death of several people one afternoon. What ended up happening to him?
Submitted by: Chelsea, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Roberto P. Vellanoweth, a former state bureaucrat, of gross vehicular manslaughter in a collision that killed four people, including a 19-month-old boy, in March 2007.

June 19, 2013
Traffic stop in Butte County turns up destructive device

A motorist stopped in Butte County for a traffic violation ended up in jail after a sheriff's deputy reported finding a loaded rifle and a destructive device in the vehicle.

Wayne Alan Smith was pulled over by a deputy about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday on Cohasset Road just outside the town of Cohasset for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the deputy found a loaded rifle in the vehicle, and a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up the destructive device, according to a Butte County Sheriff's Department news release.

The Butte County Bomb Squad was called to the scene, and the destructive device was removed and transported to a location where it was rendered safe, officials said.

Smith was booked into the Butte county jail on suspicion of possession of destructive device, transportation of a destructive device, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle and possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Bail was set at $543,000.

June 19, 2013
Men sought in marijuana-related robbery in Amador County

The Amador County Sheriff's Office is trying to find three men in connection with an armed robbery involving a marijuana deal at a Pine Grove residence earlier this week.

Deputies were dispatched about 5 p.m. Monday after a 911 call was received from a Pine Grove resident reporting the robbery, but they were unable to find the fleeing suspects.

The victims were identified as a 34-year-old woman, a 29-year-old man and a 14-year old girl.

Detectives who responded to the scene learned that the two adults had recommendations for the use of medicinal marijuana, and both marijuana plants and processed marijuana were found on the property, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

June 19, 2013
Driver accused of vandalism after vehicle crashes into Woodland home

An 18-year-old Davis man was arrested today after he was accused of intentionally crashing his vehicle into a Woodland house.

Woodland police were dispatched about 11:15 a.m. to the 1800 block of East Gum Avenue regarding a report that a vehicle had crashed into a house. The resident reported that the driver had fled in the vehicle westbound on East Gum Avenue.

An investigation indicated that the crash was intentional, according to a Police Department news release. Woodland officers found the vehicle and its driver stopped southbound on Highway 113 about three miles south of the city.

June 19, 2013
Five men arrested in attack outside Woodland store

Five men with alleged gang ties were arrested early this morning in Woodland following a report of a fight outside a convenience store.

Police were dispatched at 12:52 a.m. to a 7-Eleven store at 301 Cottonwood St., where a man reportedly had been attacked.

Officers arrived within minutes and found two suspects, later identified as Christian Roa, 21, and Jose Jimenez-Munoz, 20, both of Woodland, on Cottonwood Street near Lincoln Avenue. The two were taken into custody without incident. Additional officers responded and found two other suspects, 19-year-old Justin Gonzalez and 21-year-old Anthony Ozuna, both of Woodland. They were found on Community Lane between West Lincoln Avenue and West Main Street, and also were taken into custody without incident.

June 19, 2013
Davis teen pleads not guilty to murder charges

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

Davis teen Daniel William Marsh pleaded not guilty today in Yolo Superior Court to charges he tortured and killed a Davis couple in April.

Marsh, 16, entered his plea in a hushed voice and largely obscured from a crowded Woodland courtroom.

He faces two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances including torture and lying in wait in the stabbing deaths of Oliver Northup, 87, and wife Claudia Maupin, 76. Police found the couple April 14 in their Cowell Boulevard home in south Davis after family called for a welfare check.

As a 12-year-old, Marsh was hailed as a hero in 2009 after he navigated his family's station wagon to safety when his father had a heart attack while driving.

Marsh is being tried as an adult and faces life in prison if convicted.

Relatives of Marsh, Northup and Maupin attended the brief hearing, but declined to talk to reporters.

June 19, 2013
Jury's award stands in damages over 2009 murder

A woman whose boyfriend was convicted of killing his son in her home has lost her motion for a new trial after a civil jury in March awarded the mother of the slain man $400,000.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge David De Alba's June 7 denial of the new trial motion lets the award stand for Mary Lou Villa, whose son, Alexander Villa, 26, was stabbed to death four years ago by his father, Gerardo Valencia "Jerry" Villa, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010.

The stabbing took place in the house owned by the mother of Janet Sartain, the latter of whom was Jerry Villa's girlfriend. It was Janet Sartain who was ordered by a civil jury to pay the damage award to Mary Lou Villa in the premises liability case and who filed the motion for the new trial.

June 19, 2013
Fresno man identified by coroner in I-5 roll-over accident

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of a man killed in a roll-over accident on Interstate 5 south of Elk Grove.

Andrew James Peterson, 24, of Fresno died from injuries suffered in the traffic accident.

The California Highway Patrol said that Peterson was driving his 2005 Toyota Tundra northbound on I-5 north of Hood-Franklin Road when for unknown reasons he lost control of the vehicle about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Peterson's pickup truck swerved into the center median and then back to the right across all lanes of traffic and onto the freeway shoulder area. The vehicle then overturned "multiple times," before coming to rest on its wheels on the freeway.

The accident investigation is on-going, said CHP spokesman Officer Michael Bradley.

June 19, 2013
Man goes to jail for allegedly spearing car in Sacramento

Jeffrey Allen Jones.jpgA man has been arrested in Sacramento on suspicion of spearing a vehicle.

Sacramento police said they arrested Jeffrey Allen Jones, 56, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday around Auburn Boulevard and Annadale Lane. Officers were called to the area by a citizen who said a man standing in the road had thrown a spear at a passing vehicle.

The spear struck the front fender, becoming lodged in the vehicle, according to a police activity log.

June 19, 2013
Sacramento police say baby left in running car at Taco Bell while mom apparently sleeps it off nearby

A baby was left in a parked vehicle at a Sacramento fast food restaurant not far from where officers said they found the child's passed out, apparently intoxicated mother.

Customers having lunch at the Taco Bell near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fruitridge Road on Monday saw the vehicle parked with the windows down, engine running and radio on. However, they did not initially notice a baby in the vehicle.

About an hour later, a customer who parked next to the car did notice the child, estimated by police to be about six months old. Caring employees and customers removed the child from the car and police were called.

When officers arrived, they found the child's unconscious mother nearby. She appeared to be intoxicated, according to a police activity log.

The baby, who was unharmed, was transported to the hospital before being taken into custody by Child Protective Services. The mother was also taken to the hospital.

A warrant could be requested for suspicion of child endangerment for the mother, who was not immediately identified.

June 18, 2013
Sacramento kayaker rescued from remote Madera County site

A kayaker from Sacramento has been rescued after he was injured on the San Joaquin River in a remote area of Madera County this afternoon.

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson announced that Michael Tate, 33, was hoisted out of the high country at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet.

Tate was kayaking down the San Joaquin River late this afternoon when he reportedly went over a 10- foot waterfall and hit bottom, injuring himself, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

June 18, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man arrested in 2011 Rancho Cordova home invasion?

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

QUESTION: Whatever happened to the suspects involved in the alleged home invasion on Palm Grove Drive in Rancho Cordova on June 16, 2011?
Submitted by: Rick, Folsom

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury in January convicted 22-year-old parolee Lawrence Lamar Jackio of multiple charges, including attempted murder, attempted robbery and use of a gun in the June 16, 2011, home invasion robbery that turned into a gun battle.

June 18, 2013
Gang member convicted in fatal West Sacramento stabbing

A member of the Broderick Boys/Northern Ryders gangs has been convicted in the 2011 stabbing death of 29-year-old Bobby Jamar Brittenum of Sacramento.

A Yolo County jury on Friday convicted Billy Thomas Wolfington Jr, 29, of second-degree murder, criminal street gang activity and personal use of a deadly weapon, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. The jury acquitted Shannon Lashaun Silva, 32, of Sacramento of related charges.

The fatal stabbing occurred at a party in a West Sacramento hotel room where Wolfington and Silva confronted Brittenum. Wolfington and Silva reportedly entered the room and told partygoers to leave. When those attending the party protested, an argument ensued.

June 18, 2013
Three men plead no contest to jewelry store robbery

Three men have pleaded to felony armed robbery charges in the 2012 robbery of a Franklin Boulevard jewelry store.

Pleading no contest to armed robbery are Juan Basped, 20, Mark Oats, 23 and Leonard Ramirez, 19, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Two other people, Damian Moye, 23, and Vanessa Ramirez, whose age was not available, entered no contest pleas to felony accessory to robbery.

On Aug. 8, 2012, Basped entered the jewelry store on Franklin Boulevard and held store employees at gunpoint while Oats and Ramirez broke the jewelry display cases and stole jewelry, officials said. All three hid their faces with masks or hoodies. After taking the jewelry, they left the store and fled in a vehicle.

June 18, 2013
Man convicted of Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova robberies

A 62-year-old man has been convicted of three bank robberies committed in Sacramento County in 2011.

A jury on Thursday also found true that Ralph Stewart had previous bank robbery convictions for robberies in the Bay Area between 1993 and 2003, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

The Sacramento County robberies occurred at U.S. Bank locations in Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova during June and July of 2011. In each instance, Stewart entered the bank, waited in line, demanded money from the tellers, then left on foot, officials said. He was recognized and apprehended by law enforcement officers during an unrelated contact weeks later.

Stewart is to be sentenced July 5.

June 18, 2013
Folsom police net adults accused of buying alcohol for minors

A police decoy operation targeting adults purchasing alcohol for minors resulted in three arrests in Folsom.

Detectives from the Folsom Police Department's Special Investigation Unit conducted the "decoy shoulder tap" operation Saturday. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer, stands outside a liquor or convenience store and asks patrons to buy alcohol for the minor. The minor indicates in some way that he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol, according to a Police Department news release. If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, the officer then arrests and cites them.

The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

June 18, 2013
Teen once lauded as hero is charged in Davis double-homicide case

By Darrell Smith and Benjamin Mullin
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A Davis teenager once lauded as a hero for saving his dad's life now faces double homicide charges in the April stabbings of an elderly couple in their south Davis home.

2009 story: Davis boy stops car, starts dad's heart

Yolo County prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against 16-year-old Daniel William Marsh, according to a charging document.

ACW DANIEL MARSH.JPG

Marsh was widely praised as a 12-year-old in 2009 when he took the steering wheel of his family's station wagon and navigated to safety as his father suffered an almost fatal heart attack. Marsh then thumped his father's chest with his fist to restart his father's heart.

The American Red Cross of Yolo County honored Marsh that year at its annual Heroes Luncheon.

In a 180-degree turn, Marsh was arrested Monday, and authorities are holding him without bail at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility. He faces arraignment Wednesday in Yolo Superior Court.

Marsh, who was 15 at the time of the April homicides, is the only suspect in the case.

June 18, 2013
Placer district attorney bypasses judge, indicts fire suspect

The Placer County District Attorney's office announced Tuesday that the man who reportedly started the 2,630-acre Robbers Fire has been rearrested and will stand trial on charges of arson causing great bodily injury and arson of an inhabited dwelling stemming from the July 11, 2012, incident.

Bryon Craig Mason, who admitted to throwing an illegal firework into a remote swimming hole, was released in March after Placer Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold him to stand trial on the two counts of arson, as well as the enhancements. The Judge ordered the defendant released from custody.

The DA office said Tuesday that it used the grand jury process to secure an indictment last week.

The court allows prosecutors to prove there is enough evidence to warrant a trial through a judge or the grand jury process. Mason is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Thursday in Dept. 13.

June 18, 2013
Firebombing suspect booked into jail for Rio Linda arson

Billie Cooper.JPGA man was arrested on suspicion of homicide and various other charges for allegedly tossing a firebomb into a Rio Linda home last night.

Billie Lee Cooper, 50, (pictured) was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, arson, endangering the life of a child, possessing a destructive device and making criminal threats.

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched about 9 p.m. Monday to the 1000 block of Hayer Circle. Information suggested that Cooper was on his way to the address and that he intended to burn down the residence.

June 18, 2013
Robber sought in Galt convenience mart stickup

galt.JPGGalt police need help in identifying a trigger-happy robber who held up a convenience store this morning.

The man entered the 7-Eleven at 301 Pine St. about 2:20 a.m. today and robbed the store clerk at gunpoint, police said. During the robbery, the man demanded money and fired two shots while in the store.

The robber then fled the business and got into a silver or gray sedan. He was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall with a medium build.

Nobody was injured during the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (209) 336-7000.

June 18, 2013
New Sacramento police app for iPhone annnounced

There's a new app for that if you want to contact the Sacramento Police Department.

The department today announced the launching of the SacPD Mobile iPhone app. The app provides access to:

• Contact Us (emergency 9-1-1 link or detailed phone directory)

• Report an Issue (non-emergency and anonymously if desired)

• View Missing Persons Pictures

• View Area's Most Wanted

• Cold Case Files

• School Resource Officer Contact List

• Social Media Sites: Facebook, Twitter, nextdoor.com, You Tube, Nixle

• SacPD Press Releases

• Web Link Window to links including Flickr, Traffic Court Portal, SacPD involved community events, victim resources, reverse 911 registration and safety information.

To download the SacPD app, go the Apple Store and search for "SacPD Mobile." The department promises similar Android and Blackberry versions soon.

June 18, 2013
It's only a drill today at Woodcreek, Roseville and Silverado schools

Roseville police will be training today at three city campuses with student actors and scenarios that mimic an actual school shooting.

Police officials want the public to know that the emergency preparedness training actions at Woodcreek and Roseville high schools and Silverado Middle School today are not real shooting incidents.

Roseville police and fire personnel regularly train with school officials so that officers and firefighter-paramedics can be ready to quickly respond to emergencies. The police department plans to conduct another similar school training exercise June 28.

June 17, 2013
Police arrest 16-year-old in slaying of popular Davis couple

By Benjamin Mullin
bmullin@sacbee.com

The Davis Police Department has arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the April slaying of a well-known Davis couple.

Police are not disclosing the name of the suspect and said he was taken into custody without incident at the police station. He is the only suspect in this case.

After executing multiple search warrants, police arrested the youth on suspicion of killing Oliver Northup, 87, and his wife, Claudia Maupin, 76, said Darren Pytel, assistant police chief of the Davis Police Department.

The suspect will be taken to the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he will be held without bail, Pytel said.

Northup, a longtime lawyer, and Maupin were discovered in their own south Davis home with multiple stab wounds when police conducted a welfare check April 15. There were signs of forced entry, but police said that it did not appear to be a burglary.

Police discovered the bodies April 14 after Northup failed to show for a Sunday afternoon performance with his band, the Putah Creek Crawdads.

Northup had a 63-year career as a lawyer, and he gave seminars at the Public Defender's Office. He was still working out of his home when he died.

June 17, 2013
Baby was left alone in car in south Sacramento, police say

By Jack Newsham
jnewsham@sacbee.com

A baby was rescued after being left for more than an hour in an idling vehicle in a Taco Bell parking lot in Oak Park, Sacramento police said.

Shortly before noon Monday, police were called to the parking lot of a Taco Bell at 5550 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. where they learned that a 4- to 5-month-old baby had been left alone in a car, said Officer Michele Gigante, Sacramento police spokeswoman.

Police said that the child was safe and unhurt, but that the baby's apparently intoxicated mother was found about 20 feet away.

The infant was brought to UC Davis Medical Center and placed in the custody of Child Protective Services. The mother was being treated at the medical center.

Gigante said police are seeking a warrant for the mother's arrest, pending her release from the hospital.

June 17, 2013
Three-striker convicted of attempted murder, domestic violence

A three-strike offender has been convicted in a case involving domestic violence.

A Sacramento County jury on Friday convicted Richard Helton, 61, of attempted murder, domestic violence with great bodily injury, and criminal threats. Helton is a three-striker with prior convictions for burglary, sodomy and rape with a weapon, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Authorities said Helton threatened to kill the victim before attacking her and choking her until she lost consciousness.

The next morning, the victim was able to call police and was treated at a hospital. Her injuries included a cut at the top of her head, burst blood vessels in the whites of her eyes, bruising around her eyes and lips, swelling and bruising on the side of her face, and burst blood vessels around her neck, authorities said.

Helton is to be sentenced July 15.

June 17, 2013
Gang prevention meeting for Rancho Cordova parents

Parents can learn if their children are in gangs by attending a Rancho Cordova Police Department seminar on Thursday.

The meeting takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Cordova High School gym, 2239 Chase Drive. The event is free.

Parents can learn to spot gang symbols and clothing, and also find out which gangs are exerting influence on Rancho Cordova youth.

Officers will also provide information on activities that provide a wholesome outlet for teens, such as the Police Athletic League and other after-school programs.

June 17, 2013
Elderly Sacramento man dies two months after being hit by vehicle

A pedestrian has died from injuries suffered when struck by a vehicle in midtown two months ago.

Chao Huang, 82, of Sacramento died at 12:55 p.m. Sunday, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's office. Huang was struck by a vehicle about 9:45 a.m. April 18 in the vicinity of K and 17th streets.

A Sacramento police activity log posted at the time of the incident noted that Huang suffered serious injuries and that he was treated at a hospital. Traffic investigators were called out to assist with the investigation.

No additional details were immediately available this morning.

June 17, 2013
Coroner identifies young man killed at Sacramento gas station

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the man killed when shots rang out Saturday at a South Sacramento gas station.

Darryl Hill, 25, of Sacramento was killed about 11:30 a.m. Saturday when gunfire hit him and injured two other people at a crowded Arco gas station in the 6600 block of Mack Road.

A Sacramento Police spokesman said the shooting took place near one of the inner islands of gas pumps at the Arco ampm station and convenience store.

June 16, 2013
Firefighters contain fire burning near American River

By Carla Meyer

A grass fire that burned on the edge of the American River near Carlson Drive in Sacramento's River Park neighborhood was near containment this evening, 90 minutes after the blaze first was reported.

"We are continuing to get all the interior parts of the fire," Sacramento Fire Department Assistant Chief Niko King said.

The fire, near Paradise Beach, was reported by a 911 caller at around 6 p.m. It has not threatened any structures, according to officials.

The fire's cause is unknown. An investigator was not called out, King said, because the fire wasn't considered suspicious and there was "no real dollar loss."

Thirty-five firefighters from Sacramento City and Sacramento Metropolitan fire districts battled the blaze. A Sacramento Metro helicopter also helped contain the fire.

June 16, 2013
Teen hikers rescued by helicopter from Sierra Buttes

By Carla Meyer

California Highway Patrol air rescuers battled windy conditions to pluck two stranded teenagers from a 8,600-foot-high cliff in the Sierra Buttes Saturday.

CHP Valley Division Air Operations responded at 5:45 p.m. Saturday to a call from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection about two boys stranded in the area of the Sierra Buttes lookout station. The boys, ages 16 and 17, had been climbing along a steep ridge line before becoming stranded.

CHP personnel, after consulting with the Sierra County Sheriff's Department, dispatched a plane and a helicopter. As the plane's cameras zoomed in on the teens, officers in the plane communicated with the boys via loudspeaker.


June 16, 2013
Two injured in single-car accident in Galt

By Carla Meyer

Three adults and five children were injured when a truck rolled over in a single-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon in Galt.

The accident occurred at 4:25 p.m. on the 9700 block of Twin Cities Road, Cosumnes Fire Department chief Tracey Hansen said.

The injured were taken to local hospitals. Two adults were in serious condition. The other passengers sustained moderate injuries.

California Highway Patrol officers are investigating the accident's cause, Hansen said.

June 16, 2013
Boy, 11, dies in crash at Northgate Boulevard and I-80

A 32-year-old woman suspected of driving under the influence is expected to face felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter counts when she is booked into the Sacramento County jail later today, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said.

Killed in the crash was one of three children riding in the woman's 2003 Suburban -- an 11-year-old boy who was ejected when the vehicle overturned on the ramp from Northgate Boulevard onto Interstate 80 west at 4:10 a.m., said CHP Officer Lizz Dutton.

Dutton said the motorist, Tyesha Garrett, is suspected of driving under the influence when she lost control of her 2003 Suburban while traveling south on Northgate Boulevard and entered the ramp. The boy died at UC Davis Medical Center.

June 15, 2013
Update: 1 killed, two sent to hospital after shooting on Mack Road

By Edward Ortiz
eortiz@sacbee.com

One person was killed and two people, including a child, were transported to the hospital after a shooting today at 11:31 a.m. at a crowded Arco gas station in the 6600 block of Mack Road.

Sacramento Police spokesman Doug Morse said two vehicles were involved in the incident, one a white Volkswagen Jetta. The incident took place near one of the inner islands of gas pumps at the Arco ampm station and convenience store.

"It appears that the occupants of both vehicles exchanged words just prior to the shooting," said Morse. He said multiple shots were fired at the Jetta soon after the altercation.

June 15, 2013
Update: Body found in Meadowview Park

A body was found Saturday morning at Meadowview Park, officials said.

Sacramento Police said they received reports of a deceased person at the park, located in the 7700 block of 24th Street, shortly before 8 a.m. The victim is described as an adult African-American female. Her identify has not been confirmed by police.

"The victim appeared to have suffered multiple gunshots wounds to the upper body," police spokesman Doug Morse said.

Neighbors told police they heard gunshots during the early morning hours, Morse said. Homicide detectives are conducting their investigation and have not offered any motive.

June 14, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to longtime Sacramento businessman accused of investment scam?

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

QUESTION: What happened to Jonathon Appleton, who operated real estate and insurance businesses and was accused of investment scams about 10 years ago?
Submitted by: Curious, Sacramento

ANSWER: Alden Jonathon Apple of Fair Oaks was sentenced in in 2003 to seven years in state prison for bilking members of his church out of more than $680,000 in an investment scam.

June 14, 2013
Wrong-way driver allegedly fleeing hit-and-run crash

Sacramento police are investigating a hit-and-run collision that caused a vehicle to overturn near 15th and J streets Thursday evening.

While stopped at a red light at 16th and K streets about 7:10 p.m., a patrol officer saw a vehicle, with three occupants, traveling the wrong direction on 16th Street with its airbags deployed, according to the Police Department's daily activity log.

The officer activated the police car's lights and siren and pulled in behind the suspect vehicle.

June 14, 2013
Man accused of vandalism, damaging police car

RATHBUN,+LEE-36.jpgA man accused of vandalizing vehicles and park facilities allegedly proceeded to damage the Sacramento police car that transported him to jail.

Lee Rathbun (pictured), 36, was taken into custody about 1:30 p.m. Thursday after officers received a report that a man had vandalized multiple vehicles in the 7400 block of Shasta Avenue, south of Cosumnes River Boulevard, between Bruceville Road and Highway 99.

According to the Police Department's daily activity log, Rathbun was seen jumping around in the street before approaching and kicking the side of a vehicle that had just entered a turn lane. He then reportedly was seen chasing cars before he entered an area park, where he allegedly tipped over garbage cans and walked around yelling at people.

June 14, 2013
Fire official cites hidden perils in Elk Grove house fire

A firefighter suffered minor injuries Thursday night in a residential fire in Elk Grove that proved perilous for fire crews who discovered that roof supports had been compromised.

The Cosumnes Fire Department responded about 9:50 p.m. to a house at 8949 Adobe Valley Court. The house had been recently renovated and was vacant, awaiting the move-in of new residents, according to a Fire District news release.

Neighbors noticed a smell of smoke and, upon investigating, saw smoking coming from attic vents of the house.

June 14, 2013
UPDATE: Grass fire contained, traffic slow on Highway 99

The Cosumnes Fire Department reports that a brush and grass fire along southbound Highway 99, south of Eschinger Road, between Elk Grove and Galt has been contained. Traffic on the freeway, however, remains slow.

Return to www.sacbee.com for more details.

June 14, 2013
Woman who claimed PTSD gets 26-to-life for husband's murder

A woman who arranged for the murder of her husband but then tried to cover it up as a fatal carjacking was sentenced today to 26 years to life in prison.

Shajia Ayobi apologized to her children before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena R. Gweon imposed the term for the Dec. 18, 2011, shooting death of her husband, Ghulam Ayobi.

The defendant had claimed she was a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of abuse she had suffered in her marriage.

June 14, 2013
Four booked for pimping women in Sacramento, San Mateo

Ken Wong.JPGXiu Bai.JPGYoon Chin.JPG
Four people have been arrested on suspicion of pimping young women at homes in Sacramento and San Mateo counties, the Department of Justice announced today.

Department of Justice agents arrested three people in Sacramento and one in San Mateo, accusing them of operating brothels and pimping women. Those arrested were Xiu Juan Bai, 43, Ken Wong, 58, and Yoon Chin, 55, all of Sacramento County and Zhi Liu of San Mateo County.

The arrests came after a five-month investigation of a suspected prostitution ring that brought women from Boston and New York to Northern California. Once in the California, the women were rotated between brothels on an organized schedule, according to a press release from the state Attorney General's office.

The arrests were made Thursday night by DOJ agents with the assistance of the Sacramento Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top left: Ken Wong, Xiu Bai and Yoo Chin.

June 14, 2013
FedEx jet to absolutely, positively retire in Rancho Cordova as training aircraft

A retired Boeing 727 is making its last flight for FedEx today to Mather Field as it transitions into a new career as a stationary training aircraft for first-responders.

The cargo jet lands on a flight from Texas to Mather about 10:15 a.m. today where it will be greeted on the tarmac by arcs of water from fire engines as it finishes its last flight for FedEx. The delivery company selected Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District to receive the plane.

The donated aircraft will be used at the California Fire and Rescue Training Authority's Regional Training Center under development on Zinfandel Drive. Fire and police agencies from the Sacramento region and beyond will be able to train using the aircraft.

"It can be used by a variety of different agencies," said Michelle Eidam, firefighter and spokeswoman for Sac Metro Fire. "It can be used for fire rescue operations or for mass casualty incident training. Law enforcement can use it for SWAT training or canine training."

The aircraft will be moved around October to the training site. Eidam said the move will require modifications, but she did not know if wings would have to be removed or what the rolling route would be from Mather Field to Zinfandel Drive.

June 13, 2013
Two people accused of thefts from Auburn vehicles

Hu.JPGRusso.JPGAuburn police arrested a man and woman early today after they were found to be in possession of stolen property, including a handgun.

Police received a report about 3:30 a.m. of two people behaving in a suspicious manner in the area of Burlin and Perkins ways. Officers responded to the area and contacted Mickey Hu (left photo), 22, and Morgan Russo (right photo), 18. During the investigation, Hu and Russo were found to be in possession of items that were determined to have been stolen from vehicles in the area and involving three different victims, according to a Police Department news release.

Two of the victims were contacted and advised of the theft and a third was contacted later in the day, police said.

June 13, 2013
Crews battle grass fire in south Sacramento County

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews are on the scene of a grass fire in the area of Elk Grove Florin and Caselman roads in south Sacramento County.

Capt. Chris Quinn said it started as a 1-acre grass fire burning in an area with ditches and railroad tracks, which slow firefighters' access to the area. He said water tenders and a bulldozer on the scene.

No structures are currently threatened.

June 13, 2013
Sacramento police plan Friday night sobriety checkpoint

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Friday night on Del Paso Road near Five Star Way in North Natomas.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, uniformed officers will contact motorists traveling though the checkpoint looking for drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

Police warn that motorists caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance cost increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

June 13, 2013
Woman found dead after pickup crashes in El Dorado County

A woman was found dead this afternoon in a pickup truck that crashed on a winding rural road in southern El Dorado County.

A passerby reported the crash after coming upon the vehicle on Sand Ridge Road, about 4 miles east of Highway 49, shortly before 3:30 p.m. Officer Quinn Cuthbertson of the California Highway Patrol said there were no witnesses, and it is not known whether the victim, an elderly woman, died of injuries suffered in the crash or natural causes.

The woman was the only person in the maroon Dodge Ram pickup. Cuthbertson said the road is very windy and the driver was on a curve when the pickup struck an embankment. The truck sustained significant front-end damage.

June 13, 2013
Police: Incident in Woodland parking lot appears to be suicide

A report of a person in a vehicle with a gun that drew police and an armored SWAT vehicle to a Woodland Costco parking lot this afternoon is believed to have been a suicide, officials said.

Officers responded to the Costco parking lot at 2299 Bronze Star Drive about 1:41 p.m. after receiving a report of an individual in a car with a gun. Upon arrival, officers cordoned off the area and directed surrounding businesses to secure their doors. Because the individual was believed to be in possession of a weapon and was moving around in the car, officers used the SWAT armored vehicle to approach the suspect vehicle.

They discovered that the individual, the sole occupant of the vehicle, had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. The wound is believed to have been self-inflicted, according to a Police Department news release.

June 13, 2013
West Sacramento man denied parole in fatal gang shooting

A West Sacramento man serving time for his role in a 1999 gang murder will remain in prison for at least three more years.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that the Board of Parole Hearing Commissioners on Tuesday denied parole to 32-year-old Ramiro Acevedo Jr. The hearing was held at the California State Prison in Soledad, where Acevedo is serving a sentence of 15 years to life.

On Aug. 26, 1999, Acevedo and fellow Broderick Boy Manuel Trujillo went to the home of 18-year-old Julio Robledo to retaliate for a shooting in which Trujillo was allegedly targeted. Acevedo sat in the car while Trujillo went up to the house with a shotgun and fatally shot Robledo in the chest, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. Others were seriously injured in the shooting.

June 13, 2013
Placer County grass fire contained after scorching 237 acres

By Benjamin Mullin
bmullin@sacbee.com

Firefighters contained a 237-acre grass fire Thursday that was fed by dry conditions and wind gusts west of Roseville.

The fire burned along PFE Road between Watt Avenue and Walerga Road in Placer County earlier this afternoon. At 2:20 p.m., the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced that firefighters had completely contained the fire.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said firefighters had to call in additional help after the blaze threatened two homes. About 100 firefighters from several fire departments responded to the blaze, he said.

June 13, 2013
UPDATE: Butte firefighters find 2 burned bodies in trunk, one in back seat of stolen car

The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported today that a car stolen from Sacramento was found north of the community of Magalia with three burned bodies inside.

Sheriff's deputies and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection crews responded about 12:15 a.m. today to Skyway Road near Hupp-Coutelenc Road after receiving a call from an area resident who heard an explosion. They found a green 2000 Acura TL engulfed in flames.

As they extinguished the fire, CalFire personnel found human remains inside the vehicle. Butte County sheriff's detectives and CalFire arson investigators then responded.

June 13, 2013
Gang member convicted of murder near Executive airport curses jury

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Elijah Dupree Goethe of first-degree murder in the Oct. 12, 2008, shooting death of Joseph Washington on a street near Sacramento Executive Airport.

Goethe, 23, stood up and cursed the jury when the verdict was read, court officials said, and had to be restrained by sheriff's deputies.

Prosecutors said Goethe and an accomplice shot and killed Washington while he sat in a car with a friend in the 2200 block of Mangrum Avenue at 4:44 a.m. on the day of the killing.

Authorities identified the shooting as a retaliation after members of Goethe's street gang, the Oak Park Bloods, had been targeted in an earlier gun assault. There was no evidence Washington, 20, had anything to do with the earlier shooting, officials said.

Judge Patrick Marlette scheduled Goethe's sentencing for July 12. Goethe is facing a 25-to-life term, plus additional enhancements on allegations the jury found true concerning his use of a gun and membership in a street gang.

June 13, 2013
Sacramento police say avoid 'Apple picking' by being a smart cell phone user

DeAngelo Trujillo, 18.JPGCell phones taken in Sacramento and Roseville have been recovered this week because tracking features enabled the owners to zero in on the stolen items.

However, not all cell phone thefts result in a return of the devices to their owners. Authorities say avoiding being a victim can be as easy as keeping cell phones in pockets or purses on the street.

Also, when speaking on a phone in a public place, don't be so distracted by telephone conversation or web searches that you don't see potential thieves.

June 12, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Has court date been set in suit against attorney who targets businesses for ADA violations?

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

QUESTION: I am wondering when Scott Johnson, the attorney who sues small businesses for people with disabilities, will be going to court?
Submitted by: Marilyn, El Dorado Hills

ANSWER: Scott Johnson, a Carmichael attorney who is quadriplegic and sues small businesses for disability access violations, is the defendant in a civil suit brought by former employees who allege wrongful termination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

June 12, 2013
Police report no sign of foul play in death of man found along South Lake Tahoe street

South Lake Tahoe police say a preliminary investigation indicates that a man found lying face down along a roadway late Tuesday likely died of natural causes.

Officers were dispatched to Lindberg Avenue, near Lodi Avenue, about 11 p.m. regarding a report of a man lying face down just off the south side of the roadway on Lindberg Avenue.

A 17-year-old youth who called police reported that he and several friends were visiting from outside the area and staying at a nearby residence. They had left the residence to go to the store about 11 p.m. after returning to the home from the beach only a couple of hours earlier. When their vehicle made a U-turn toward Lodi Avenue, the headlights illuminated the man lying face down on the edge of the roadway. The youth told police the man did not appear to be moving.

June 12, 2013
Reno man dies in pickup crash on Sierra County road

Speed and a rough road were blamed for a Tuesday evening crash in Sierra County that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old Reno man.

Andrew Metlenko was a passenger in a 1995 Chevrolet pickup driven by Cory Adam Neill, 18, of Truckee. The pickup was eastbound on Henness Pass Road headed toward Stampede Meadows Road, northeast of Stampede Reservoir, about 6:20 p.m. The pickup was traveling at an unsafe speed on a dirt and gravel road when it entered a curve on a descending grade where it encountered numerous rocks protruding through the surface of the roadway, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

Neill lost control of the vehicle as he attempted to negotiate the curve, and the vehicle's rear tires started to slide to the right, causing the vehicle to rotate to the left. The front of the vehicle struck an embankment that bordered a drainage ditch. Officials said the impact caused the pickup to roll to the right, partially ejecting Metlenko, who was not wearing a seat belt, through the passenger side window. The rolling vehicle then landed on top of him.

June 12, 2013
Pair accused of selling marijuana to South Lake Tahoe students

South Lake Tahoe police have arrested two residents who are accused of furnishing marijuana to students at South Tahoe High School and South Tahoe Middle School.

William Anderson (left photo), 30, and his fiance, Makayla Hoe (right photo), 25, were taken into custody Monday after a school resource officer discovered information regarding adults selling marijuana to local students. He passed the information on to patrol officers.

Officers followed up with an investigation and learned that students were buying marijuana from someone named "Will," according to a Police Department news release. Further investigation led them to William Anderson on Marjorie Street. Officers served a search warrant at Anderson's residence, where they found marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, officials said.

William Anderson+photo.jpgMakayla Hoehn+photo.jpg

June 12, 2013
Help sought in identifying convenience store robbery suspect

Vintage Park suspect.jpgSacramento County sheriff's deputies are asking the public's help in identifying a man suspected of a robbery in south Sacramento County last month.

Just after midnight May 18, the suspect entered a convenience store in the 8800 block of Vintage Park Drive armed with a hammer, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The man allegedly left with an undisclosed amount of cash from the business as well as personal property belonging to the victim.

The suspect, shown in a surveillance photo, is described as between 18 and 23 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing 160 to 170 pounds. He was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, white gloves and dark pants.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect is asked to call the sheriff's robbery bureau at (916) 874-5051. Tip information also may be left anonymously at www.sacsheriff.com, by texting 274637 and entering the keywoord SSD, or by calling (916) 874-8477.

June 12, 2013
Lawsuit against Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District settled after two days of trial

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Just before the third day of trial was to commence Wednesday, opposing attorneys announced to a federal judge that they have settled a fire captain's civil rights lawsuit against the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

After the eight jurors listened on Monday and Tuesday to a total of approximately six hours of testimony by Capt. Mark Thomsen, and then, just before they went home Tuesday, heard a recording of a graphic interview of a woman at the center of a sex scandal in the district, the attorneys told U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller they have worked out a resolution.

Mueller ordered the attorneys to finalize the agreement within seven days and file final papers within 15 days.

June 12, 2013
UPDATE: 26-year-old man killed in North Natomas shooting

Sacramento police are investigating the shooting death of a 26-year-old man early this morning in the parking lot of a North Natomas apartment complex.

Police responded to numerous calls of shots fired about 2:15 a.m. today at the complex in the 500 block of Bankside Way. Police said that a man visiting the area from out of town was walking alone through the complex when he was confronted by someone. After a brief exchange of words, shots were fired. The victim was struck multiple times in the upper body, according to a Police Department news release.

Crime scene investigators and the Sacramento County Coroner's Office arrived to assist in the investigation.

June 12, 2013
Smoke on the San Francisco Bay part of emergency drill

Smoke on the San Francisco Bay today is part of a drill by ferry and law enforcement officials.

The emergency response drill will take place in an area generally south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The exercise may be visible from the bridge and Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

The public could see emergency response vessels and white smoke rising from the scene.

The exercise from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. today is designed to test the response of many agencies to a security-related event, according to a press release from Bay area transportation officials.

The event will utilize two ferry vessels: the 715-passenger Golden Gate Ferry Spaulding and the 500-passenger Alcatraz Cruises vessel. The scenario to be tested is described as a "mass casualty" drill.

June 11, 2013
Citrus Heights police investigate suspicious device at bus stop

A section of Auburn Boulevard was closed to traffic this evening after Citrus Heights police responded to a report of a suspicious device next to a bus stop.

The device was reported about 6:58 p.m. in the 6000 block of Auburn Boulevard. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's explosive ordinance disposal unit was called to the location and rendered the device safe, according to a Police Department news release.

Police said no specific threats were made regarding the device and detectives are investigating the incident.

June 11, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to driver in fiery 2001 crash that killed teen?

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

QUESTION: In 2001, Venus Foster was killed in a high-speed chase involving a man who carjacked a car. It happened at the Sheldon Road exit. Whatever happened to the driver of the car?
Submitted by: Kamili, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Brandon Charles Williams of Stockton of second-degree murder and evading a police officer in the fiery crash that resulted in the death of 18-year-old Venus Mignon Foster.

June 11, 2013
Pilot escapes injury in crash landing at Truckee Airport

A 62-year-old pilot walked away uninjured when his plane crashed this afternoon at the Truckee Airport.

The single prop plane left John Wayne Airport in Orange County about 11:45 a.m. with filed instrument plans to land at the Truckee Airport, according to a Nevada County Sheriff's Office news release. About 1:25 p.m., the pilot crashed approximately 40 feet off the Truckee Airport runway into the brush.

Although the plane, described as a Cirrus SR22, was heavily damaged, the pilot walked away from the aircraft without injuries, officials said. The pilot was the only person on board.

June 11, 2013
UPDATE: Suspect accused of stabbing mother, stepfather arrested in Woodland

Salvador Fierro Jr. No. 1.jpgSalvador Fierro Jr. No. 2.jpgWoodland police have arrested a man suspected in a Monday night knife assault on his mother and stepfather.

Police announced that Salvador Fierro Jr. (pictured), 30, was taken into custody without incident about 4:30 this afternoon when he was found in the 1400 block of Edwards Circle.

Police were called about 9:15 p.m. Monday to a home at 1443 Edwards Circle where Fierro, 30, allegedly fought with his mother and stepfather. He was armed with a knife, police said.

June 11, 2013
Man booked for dragging dog on Del Paso Boulevard

Officers patrolling on Del Paso Boulevard stopped a man for allegedly dragging a dog.

Police ended up arresting Anthony Edward Lopez, 26, about 1:30 a.m. today on violation of parole and suspicion of felony maliciously maiming an animal.

After a few minutes, the dog, estimated to be about a year old, began to move around and was alert. The animal's paws were injured from being dragged.

City of Sacramento Animal Care Services arrived to take custody of the female brindle pit bull.

Gina Knepp, manager of Animal Care Services, said the dog is being treated at the veterinary hospital that handles city cases. The dog was stable and resting comfortably.

June 11, 2013
Vandals strike Natomas Rose Garden

natomas.jpgJust two weeks from its formal dedication, the new centerpiece of the Natomas Rose Garden was heavily damaged by vandals.

A six-foot-tall fountain was toppled overnight, said volunteer Marni Leger. Damage to the fountain, pump, stone masonry and electrical work is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

Volunteers discovered the damage when they arrived at the garden to care for the roses Tuesday morning.

June 11, 2013
Two men booked for felony vandalism in midtown

Sacramento police have arrested two men suspected of vandalizing midtown with graffiti.

Mitchell Cody Rustin, 20, was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism, violation of probation and misdemeanor resisting a peace officer. Valentin Torres, Jr., 22, was booked into jail on felony vandalism and a misdemeanor charge of resisting officers.

The two are suspected of defacing property in the area of 17th Street from H to S streets. Rustin and Torrres allegedly ran from police but were eventually caught at about 1:15 a.m. today in midtown.

Officers recovered markers, stencils and spray paints.

June 11, 2013
Reward offered in Knights Landing dog decapitations

A Sacramento-based animal protection group is offering a reward for information leading to the person who decapitated two dogs found in the Yolo County community of Knights Landing.

Yolo County Sheriff's deputies responded on Thursday to a home in Knights Landing where a decapitated and disemboweled Chihuahua was found inside a car parked in a driveway.

Two weeks ago the head of a terrier was found inside a boat parked at the home. Authorities were able to find the Chihuahua's owners, but the owner of the terrier has not been located.

June 11, 2013
Bicyclist in fatal Elk Grove collision is identified

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the bicyclist who died of injuries suffered in a weekend collision with a pickup truck towing a trailer in Elk Grove.

He was identified as Michael Andrew Ball, 26, of Elk Grove.

The Chevrolet pickup with trailer collided with Ball riding outside the bike lane on Franklin High Road just south of Vilamoura Way about 11 p.m. Sunday, police said. The bicyclist was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead at 1:30 a.m. Monday.

The driver of the pickup spoke with officers at the scene. The collision is under investigation by the Elk Grove Police Department Traffic Bureau.

June 10, 2013
UPDATE: Woman missing from Citrus Heights care center found

Citrus Heights police report that an at-risk adult who walked away from a care center Monday morning has been found.

Linda Beller was reported missing from a Willow Way care center at 9:30 a.m. Police this afternoon canceled a request for the public's help in locating Beller, announcing that she has been found.

June 10, 2013
Lassen County officials search for missing Caltrans worker

By Jane Braxton Little
Bee Correspondent

SUSANVILLE - Lassen County officials are looking for a Caltrans equipment operator based in Susanville who has been missing for a week.

Patrick McCarthy, 45, of Doyle, called in sick June 3 and has not been seen since, said Trisha Coder, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

A neighbor saw McCarthy's truck in Doyle that afternoon, she said.

McCarthy is described as a Caucasian male, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 215 pounds with short brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen driving a maroon 2004 extended cab Ford Ranger with California license plates #82362B1.

The search is focusing on an area from the Oregon border south to Beckworth and Taylorsville.

Caltrans employees are donating personal leave time to participate in the search, which is being coordinated by the Lassen County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone with information should contact the Lassen County Sheriff's Department at 530-257-6121.

June 10, 2013
Man coming to wife's aid dies from baseball bat attack in Orangevale

Brandono Biagioni mugshot.JPGA man has been arrested on suspicion of homicide in the baseball bat clubbing of a husband who came to his wife's aid, according to sheriff's deputies.

Brandon J. Biagioni, 32, (pictured at left) has been arrested on suspicion of homicide, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He is suspected of killing James Marlow, 62, who was able to tell deputies that Biagioni struck him in the head before he died, according to a sheriff's department press release.

Deputies responded to the 9200 block of Pershing Avenue in Orangevale just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday regarding a person trespassing. A woman told dispatchers that she was house-sitting at the address and that a former tenant of the home was refusing to leave.

June 10, 2013
Bicyclist dies from injuries in Elk Grove collision

A 25-year-old bicyclist died this morning of injuries suffered in a collision with a pickup truck towing a trailer in Elk Grove.

The Chevrolet pickup with trailer collided with the bicyclist riding outside the bike lane on Franklin High Road just south of Vilamoura Way about 11 p.m. Sunday. The bicyclist was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead at 1:30 a.m. today.

The driver of the pickup spoke with officers at the scene. The collision is under investigation by the Elk Grove Police Department Traffic Bureau.

The identity of the bicyclist has not been released.

June 10, 2013
Sacramento man arrested for allegedly stabbing wife, sister

Khounlat Sihabout, 34.JPGPolice said a jealous spouse stabbed his wife and sister on Sunday at a home in Valley Hi.

Officers arrived at the home on Grits Court at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday and found and armed man and two women suffering from stab wounds.

Police said that Khounlat Sihabout, 34, was immediately taken into custody on suspicion of attempted homicide and domestic violence. Both of the women were taken to the hospital with stab wounds to their upper bodies.

June 10, 2013
Sacramento police say man endangered teen son in pursuit

MOSQUEDA, ANTHONY-34.JPGA man was taken into custody on suspicion of child endangerment after he allegedly fled police with his teenage son in the vehicle.

Police said that an officer saw a group of men in front of a home at Atherton Street and Belleau Wood Lane about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the Freeport Manor neighborhood opposite Executive Airport.

When the group spotted the squad car they loaded into a vehicle and drove away at a high rate of speed. The driver, identified as Anthony Jose Mosqueda, 34, stopped the vehicle on a dead end road when he got a flat.

June 10, 2013
Sand Cove Park drowning victim is Sacramento teen

A teenager who drowned more than a week ago in the Sacramento River along Sand Cove Park has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

Coroner's deputies identified the teen as Johnny Reed, 17, of Sacramento. He had earlier been identified by officials as 16 years old.

His death occurred shortly after noon June 1 near the 2000 block of Garden Highway. Fire officials said numerous eyewitnesses saw the boy swimming with a 13-year-old friend in comparatively deeper water yards from the shoreline.

June 9, 2013
Coroner identifies cyclist slain in fight with driver

Joseph Leonard mugshot.JPGBy Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the bicyclist killed in an altercation last week as Toussaint Harrison, 34.

Harrison was fatally injured Thursday morning when a driver hit him, then got out and kicked him, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Joseph Paul Leonard, 60, (pictured at left) has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He was originally arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, until Harrison died Saturday.

Witnesses say Leonard and Harrison got into a fight in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Harrison was attempting to flee when Leonard hit him with his pickup at Howe Avenue and Arden Way.

June 7, 2013
Three men accused of fishing for trout with gill net

Three Sacramento men were arrested this afternoon, accused of fishing with a gill net on a tributary to the north fork of the Cosumnes River.

photo.JPG

Lt. Stacey LaFave or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said he was traveling in the area of Meiss Cabin Road and Forest Service Road 10N46 in the Eldorado National Forest about 1:50 p.m. when he spotted a vehicle parked on the side of the road where it didn't seem to belong.

"I decided to take a little hike," LaFave said.

June 7, 2013
Tips from public credited for arrest in bike shop burglary

Brandon Lee Rose prpublichelp.pngEl Dorado County sheriff's officials say tips from the public led to an arrest and the recovery of property stolen last month from an El Dorado Hills bicycle shop.

Brandon Lee Rose (pictured), 40, was booked into El Dorado County Jail on Thursday, three days after the Sheriff's Office released photos captured by surveillance cameras of a suspect in the May 20 burglary of the Town Center Tri Center Bike and Tri shop. A bicycle and accessories with a total value of approximately $7,000 were taken in the burglary, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Based on information provided by the public following release of the surveillance photos, Detective Troy Morton was able to identify the suspect and obtain a search warrant for a location in Sacramento and another in West Sacramento, sheriff's officials said.

June 7, 2013
El Dorado Sheriff's Office lawsuit resolved

The lawsuit brought by three community service officers against El Dorado County has been resolved.

The suits were filed by the three community service officers with the Sheriff's Office -- Nicole Sahaj-Myers, Stacie Walls and Jona Scher -- in June 2010.

The women complained that other members of the department had harassed and discriminated against them.

June 7, 2013
Judge orders murder trial for two in Aquitania killing

Donald Ortez-Lucero and Christopher Nicholas Strong were both ordered Friday to stand trial for murder in the shooting deaths of a man and his baby during a drug robbery six years ago.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White made the holding order on the two after a preliminary hearing in which a detective testified that Ortez-Lucerois suspected of being the gunman who on Sept. 14, 2007, shot and killed both Sean Aquitania Sr., 21, and his 7-month-old son, Sean Aquitania Jr.

Sheriff's homicide Det. Brian Meux testified that a man who previously had been charged as the gunman in the case, but who later had charges dismissed against him, is the witness who provided the information that identified Ortez-Lucero, who is now 28, as the shooter.

June 7, 2013
Witnesses report brutal attack on bicyclist near Howe and Arden

Joseph Leonard mugshot.JPGA driver was arrested for attempted murder after he allegedly ran into a bicyclist, got out of his pickup and proceeded to kick the motionless bike rider in the head, according to Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies.

Joseph Paul Leonard, 60, (pictured at left) was booked into Sacramento County Main Jail Thursday for the attack that left the 34-year-old bicyclist in critical condition.

Deputes said the brutal incident began around 7 a.m. Thursday at a fast food restaurant in the area near Howe Avenue and Arden Way. Callers told dispatchers that a fight had occurred between a man later identified as Leonard and two other men in a parking lot.

June 6, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone prosecuted for killing of West Sacramento bartender?

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

QUESTION: Many years ago, a cocktail waitress or bartender was killed at the Sail Inn in West Sacramento. Was her killer ever found and/or prosecuted?
Submitted by: Sacsun, Antelope

ANSWER: Virginia Mochel, a bartender at the Sail Inn Tavern, is one of 10 people whose deaths have been attributed to notorious serial murderer Gerald Gallego.

June 6, 2013
Sheriff reports dogs found decapitated in Knights Landing

The Yolo County Sheriff's Office is investigating two incidents in which dogs have been decapitated and their body parts left at a Knights Landing residence.

This morning, the body of a Chihuahua was found in the passenger compartment of a vehicle parked in the 42000 block of Fourth Street in Knights Landing. The dog's head was missing and the body had been eviscerated, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

While deputies were investigating today's incident, the resident told them that about two weeks ago, someone left the decapitated head of a terrier inside a boat at the same residence. The residents did not report that incident to the Sheriff's Office until today.

June 6, 2013
Sacramento police seek suspect in indecent exposure cases

SPD Exposure suspect bike.pngSacramento police seek the public's help in identifying a suspect in an indecent exposure incident reported Tuesday in the Greenhaven area.

Police said the individual may have been involved in several other such incidents dating back to October 2011.

The most recent case was reported about 8:17 a.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Northlite Circle. A woman called police saying that a man approached her and tried to engage her in conversation while she stood in her front yard. She said man, who was not wearing any pants, exposed himself and then inappropriately touched himself.

June 6, 2013
Man convicted for 2011 Good Friday robbery at church

A man accused of two robberies in April 2011, including one on Good Friday at a downtown Sacramento church, has been convicted by a Sacramento County jury.

William Martin Castro, 30, was convicted of two counts of robbery and multiple firearm charges, and found to be sane, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

In the first incident, on April 21, 2011, Castro asked the victim if he could use his cell phone, then punched the victim in the face and left with the phone.

June 6, 2013
Five indicted for alleged roles in drug trafficking ring

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has returned an indictment charging four Sacramento residents and an Oakland resident in a drug trafficking operation.

Charged with trafficking heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA and Oxycodone are Israel "Puck" Washington, 39, Tyrone Westhersby, 44, Anthony Sanchez, 28, and Myron Meadows, 42, all of Sacramento, and Deyonte Spears, 25, of Oakland. The grand jury returned a second indictment against Washington charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, beginning in approximately 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration learned that Washington was a large distributor of cocaine base, cocaine and heroin in the Sacramento area. Washington allegedly used various businesses as a front to conceal and disguise his drug trafficking and operated a large "crew" of gang members as his drug distribution operation. During the DEA investigation in 2010 and 2011, one of Washington's businesses, Wet Ways Auto Body and Paint Shop, was identified as the place where Washington and his associates allegedly conducted drug deals.

June 6, 2013
Suspect arrested in Nevada County assault, robbery

The Nevada County Sheriff's Department announced the arrest of a man in connection with an assault and robbery Monday.

Deputies responded about 11:45 a.m. Monday to medical call from a home in the 14000 block of Idaho Maryland Road. They arrived to find a victim who, according to a witness, had been assaulted with a weapon and tied up by a suspect who had attempted to obtain money from the victim. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Local law enforcement agencies launched a search for the suspect who was identified as 32-year-old John Grimes.

June 6, 2013
Man sentenced for Alkali Flat home invasion sexual assault

suggs.jpgA 29-year-old man has been sentenced to 145 years to life in prison for a home invasion sexual assault committed in January 2012 in Sacramento's Akali Flat neighborhood.

A jury on May 9 convicted Aaron Suggs (pictured) of multiple one-strike sex crimes, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge David W. Abbott.

The victim in the 2012 assault told police at the time that she had gotten out of the shower and found that the back door of her home was open. When she went to close the door, a man grabbed her, then sexually assaulted her and ransacked