Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Protesters rally to protest killing by California deputy of 13-year-old boy with pellet gun
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A funeral is being held for a 13-year-old California boy on the same day hundreds of people protested the teen's fatal shooting by a sheriff's deputy.
Deputies in helmets stood guard Tuesday at barricades that kept the protesters away from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in Santa Rosa.
Speakers called for justice for Andy Lopez and denounced police brutality. The rally remained peaceful and there were no arrests.
Lopez was shot by a Sonoma County deputy on Oct. 22. Authorities say the deputy mistook a pellet gun Lopez was carrying for an assault rifle.
The shooting is being investigated by the FBI, police and prosecutors.
Shootout kills gunman, wounds 2 LA deputies
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a shootout in Inglewood has killed a gunman and wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies — but one deputy avoided serious harm when her phone charger stopped the bullet.
The shooting occurred just after midnight Tuesday when deputies stopped a car in an Inglewood motel parking lot.
KABC-TV says a passenger got out and a deputy who frisked him felt a gun in his waistband.
Lt. Mike Rosson says her partner then pinned the man's arms but the suspect managed to fire the gun.
The woman deputy was shot in the thigh but sheriff's officials say a cellphone charger in her pocket stopped the round. Her partner was shot in the hand before the deputies killed the gunman.
They were treated at a hospital and released.
Arraignment delayed in fatal Calif. DUI crash case
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Arraignment has been postponed for a woman charged with driving drunk and killing a San Francisco Bay Area couple out walking their dog.
San Mateo County prosecutors say 54-year-old Marjorie Reitzell complained of chest pains, and was not cleared to appear in court Tuesday.
Reitzell faces two counts each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony DUI in connection with last week's crash, which killed 45-year-old Kamal Singh and 50-year-old Balbir Singh.
Authorities say the couple was walking their dog in the bike lane of a Menlo Park street when they were struck from behind by Reitzell.
Reitzell has a previous misdemeanor drunken driving conviction. Her brother, Ronald, told reporters she had a mental breakdown while trying to stay sober. He said she does not remember the crash.
Double-murder charges against Compton man dropped
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A judge has thrown out the double-murder case against a Compton man after security videos indicated he wasn't at the scene of the killings.
City News Service says a judge in Inglewood dismissed charges against 19-year-old Justin Scott on Tuesday after prosecutors — citing new evidence — said they couldn't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Scott was charged with shooting his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend, her 22-year-old boyfriend and the man's 64-year-old grandmother on Oct. 8 in Inglewood. The boyfriend survived.
Scott could have faced the death penalty if convicted.
However, a defense attorney earlier this month said security camera video showed Scott was in some stores at the time of the deaths.
Inglewood police are still investigating the killings.
MURDER CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED
Convictions for killing wife, LA deputy overturned
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appeals court has upheld a decision to throw out the conviction of a Southern California man who confessed to killing his estranged wife and a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy.
City News Service says the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Reuben Lujan wasn't properly advised of his legal rights before he confessed to the 1998 killings.
The panel upheld a lower court ruling that overturned Lujan's first-degree murder convictions. However, there's still a chance that Lujan could be retried or convicted of a lesser crime.
Prosecutors say the Norwalk man used a concrete block to smash in the heads of 26-year-old Monica Lujan and her friend, off-duty Deputy Gilbert Madrigal.
Lujan is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.
Audit: Calif. courts fail to comply with gun law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A state audit says many California courts fail to report the mentally ill to state justice officials, undermining efforts to take guns away from potentially dangerous owners.
State law requires courts to tell the Department of Justice when it makes certain mental health determinations. The department uses that information as part of a program unique to California that seizes guns from people who are prohibited from having them.
The audit released Tuesday found that many courts were not aware of the reporting requirements. The courts collectively failed to report at least 2,300 mental health determinations over a three-year period.
Other courts reported only some of the required information. Some took up to seven days to report.
Auditors say state law should be changed to require reporting within 24 hours.
USC STUDENT DIES
USC student from Singapore found dead in apartment
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities will try to determine what killed a University of Southern California business student who was found dead in an off-campus apartment.
The Los Angeles Times says 22-year-old Thu Yain "Roy" Kyaw of Singapore was found in his bed Sunday night. He was declared dead at the scene.
Police say there's no evidence of foul play.
Kyaw had been seen two days earlier at a party but police say it's too early to determine whether alcohol may have played a role in his death.
Legislative hearing planned on BART worker deaths
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A state legislative committee is planning to hold a hearing in response to the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit track inspectors who were struck by a train.
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez said Tuesday that he was convening the Nov. 7 hearing to "get to the bottom" of the fatal accident, which occurred when BART's regular train operators and maintenance workers were on strike.
Hernandez, a Democrat from West Covina, chairs the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment.
San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting requested the hearing.
BART officials announced last week that trains are now required to slow down or stop when they approach work zones.
Before the change, workers performing simpler tasks or walking on tracks were responsible for their own safety.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Oct. 19 accident.
PRISON HEALTH CARE-CALIFORNIA
Health reforms could help Calif. prison spending
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California could gain tens of millions of dollars annually in federal reimbursements for sick prison inmates under the nation's new health care law.
State and federal officials said Tuesday that the money would come from higher Medicaid reimbursements for inmates who are treated in outside hospitals. It would not help pay for health care within prisons.
A nationwide study of prison health care spending released Tuesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts cites an estimate from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office that California could save nearly $70 million annually.
The federal court-appointed official who controls California's prison medical system uses a more conservative projection of $40 million.
The savings would be a fraction of the $2 billion the state spends annually for inmate medical, mental health and dental care.
LAPD BODY CAMERAS
LAPD officers will field-test 60 body cameras
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police officers will get a new piece of equipment next month: body cameras.
LAPD Chief Information Officer Maggie Goodrich told the civilian Police Commission Tuesday that 60 officers will begin wearing cameras under a pilot program designed to increase accountability and reduce complaints against officers.
Goodrich says the department will receive different styles of cameras on loan from two companies — Arizona-based Taser International and Coban Technologies of Houston.
After 90 days, the department will recommend one type of the cameras and draft policies to govern their use.
The police union backs the program.
Police Commission President Steve Soboroff also has pushed the $1 million effort, privately raising nearly $900,000 in donations from Hollywood heavyweights, the Los Angeles Dodgers and others, including Occidental Petroleum.
LA SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT
LA school board extends superintendent's contract
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles school board has extended Superintendent John Deasy's (DAY'-zees) contract for a year — meaning he'll head the nation's second-largest school district through mid-2016.
The board's decision came Tuesday night after a nearly five-hour annual review that concluded Deasy's performance was satisfactory. It followed days of rumors that Deasy had considered resigning.
Deasy became superintendent in April 2011. During his leadership, the district has weathered huge budget cuts and teacher child molestation scandals.
Deasy has clashed with the teachers' union over his efforts to change the teacher evaluation process and seniority system. He also championed a $1 billion plan to provide iPads to all students and teachers that ran into serious criticism over its cost and abuses by students in a pilot program.
PET PIG BAN
CA woman won't give up pet pig despite city ban
(Information in the following story is from: KCBS-TV, http://www.cbs2.com/)
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman who keeps a pot-bellied pig in her apartment says she won't get rid of it despite new city rules banning pigs.
Donna Grimsley tells KCAL-TV her pig, named Bubba, is a harmless exotic pet.
Earlier this week the Seal Beach city council agreed to revise a city ordinance that bans livestock in city limits to include pigs of all kinds. The ordinance previously banned hogs — which by definition weight more than 120 pounds. Anything smaller is a pig, which wasn't banned.
Neighbors complained about Bubba to the city, saying he smells and makes noise. One man said confining the pig to a small space is inhumane.
Grimsley insists her pink pal doesn't smell or make much noise because he mostly sleeps all day.