Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Ex-Marine accused of Calif. homeless slayings dies

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A former Marine accused of murder in the deaths of four homeless men, a woman and her son has died at a California hospital after falling ill in his jail cell.

Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock says deputies found 25-year-old Itzcoatl Ocampo (eets-KWAH'-tuhl oh-KAHM'-poh) in his single-man cell Wednesday and he was taken to a hospital. He was pronounced dead at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

No cause of death was immediately given and an autopsy will be performed in the coming days.

Orange County prosecutors were seeking the death penalty against Ocampo for the slayings of four homeless men between late 2011 and early 2012 in what they called a serial thrill-kill spree.

He also was facing murder charges in the deaths of a school friend's mother and brother in October 2011.


Glitches keep private firm from launching rocket

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A new communications satellite that has both public and government applications is still sitting on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The privately owned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has experienced several technical issues this year and two attempts to launch on Thanksgiving were aborted. SpaceX says it will try again in a few days to launch the 7,000-pound satellite into geostationary orbit.

The launch was originally scheduled for early this year but was scrubbed. More glitches kept it on the ground Monday. SpaceX was not granted permission by the FAA to launch Tuesday or Wednesday due to heavy Thanksgiving air traffic.

The SES-8 satellite will be used in conjunction with other communications systems to increase bandwidth capacity in Asia and provide expansion of services such as maritime communications and distance learning programs.


Court orders review in gay Russian's asylum case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court in San Francisco has ordered federal immigration officials to review their decision not to grant asylum to a gay Russian man.

The man said he was attacked for his sexual orientation in Russia in 2002 and 2003 and feared he would be persecuted if forced to return there.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that the man had shown that government officials in Russia were either unwilling or unable to control his attackers.

Court records did not identify the man.

The 9th Circuit ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to review the case and said federal officials had to show circumstances had changed in Russia to allay the man's fears or he could be relocated to a safe area in the country.


California man fires on police, holds 2 hostages

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A man accused of firing at a pair of Southern California police officers, hitting one, and holding two people hostage for nearly nine hours has been booked for attempted murder.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Guillermina (GEE-yer-mee-na) Saldana said Thursday that 45-year-old Christopher Warsaw was being held on $1 million bail.

It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Authorities say Warsaw holed up in an Inglewood home with his girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter and then fired at police.

One officer was shot in his bullet-proof vest but survived in good condition.

Another officer was not hit but was hurt in the chaos that followed.

The hostages were released unharmed late Wednesday.


Coast Guard helicopter rescues 3 in crash

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescued three of four people in a vehicle that went down an embankment on Highway 92 near Half Moon Bay.

The crash around 12:30 a.m. Thursday resulted in minor injuries. But California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said the vehicle became stuck about 600 feet down an embankment.

One of the occupants was able to get out and scramble up to the road. The other three were airlifted out by the Coast Guard helicopter.

Montiel says the driver appears to have veered onto the right shoulder and then overcorrected in the other direction into the lane carrying oncoming traffic. The driver then swerved back to the right and went off the road.

Montiel says neither speed nor alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash.


San Jose police shoot, kill suspect

(Information in the following story is from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News,

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose police say an officer shot and killed a man suspected of stabbing three people and then hijacking a van.

The incident began around 10:30 a.m. Thursday with the stabbing at an apartment complex. The three victims suffered serious injuries, but are expected to survive.

Police tell the San Jose Mercury News the man then hijacked a van and led officers on a chase that went the wrong way on an interstate before returning to city streets.

The man was eventually blocked in in a cul-de-sac. Police say an officer fired at least one shot when the suspect rammed a patrol vehicle.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the stabbing. The man has not been identified.


Mother, 2 sons, thankful for 3 heart transplants

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (AP) — A San Diego County mother and her two teenage sons have a lot to be thankful for this holiday.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported Thursday ( ) that all three have received life-saving heart transplants for an inherited condition that thickens the heart wall.

Deanna Kremis was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 2003 and received her new heart this summer.

Her sons -- 17-year-old Matthew and 13-year-old Trevin -- had the transplants earlier, within weeks of each other.

All three are doing well but struggle with the side effects of medication.

They will live for the foreseeable future with Kremis' parents in San Marcos to stay close to their doctors in Southern California.

The family says they are grateful to be together -- and to be alive.


Woman suspected of abandoning newborn

GALT, Calif. (AP) — A 30-year-old woman is in custody on suspicion of attempted murder after police say she abandoned her newborn girl in a flower bed in Sacramento County minutes after giving birth.

Dwanda Mahoney — described as a transient by police — was being held without bail on Thursday, a day after her arrest.

Police say they received a report of a crying baby in a flower bed at a home in Galt around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The baby had been born about 20 minutes earlier. She is expected to survive.

Galt police Lt. Brian Kalinowski says Mahoney was on the front porch of the home and initially denied giving birth to the child. She was arrested after receiving medical clearance.

Linda Razo, a neighbor, tells KCRA-TV she often saw Mahoney walking in the streets and talking to herself.


Police: OC burglary ring targeted RX conferences

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Police have broken up a burglary ring that targeted medical conferences at high-end hotels, most of them in Orange County.

City News Service reported Thursday that Newport Beach police arrested 26-year-old Eddwin Ricardo Bejaranobarrios and 27-year-old Mayra Aleandra Gutierrez-Leon, both of Los Angeles, on suspicions of stealing iPhones, iPads and laptops from unsuspecting conference attendees.

The pair has been linked to at least 11 thefts in Newport Beach, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles and unincorporated Los Angeles County.

Two Los Angeles residents were arrested on

The loss in the two Newport Beach cases was estimated at more than $23,000.


CA marine biologist to make 3-D model of oarfish

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A marine biologist is hoping to recreate a three-dimensional model of an oarfish that washed up on an Oceanside beach in October.

The Orange County Register reports ( Thursday that the work by Misty Paig-Tran will give scientists a better idea about the internal anatomy of the mysterious, serpent-like fish.

Two oarfish, which are rarely seen and can grow to more than 50 feet, washed ashore on the California coast several days apart from one another. It's not known how either died.

Paig-Tran said by scanning the oarfish, she will be able to make "biorobotic" models of it that will give scientists an idea of how the fish moves through the water.


Sardine crash may be hurting brown pelicans

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Scientists and conservation groups are worried that a crash in West Coast sardine numbers that has forced cutbacks in commercial fishing is also hurting brown pelicans on the West Coast.

The bird just came off the threatened species list four years ago. Breeding has been good in Mexico, but not in the Channel Islands off Southern California. The birds fly as far north as British Columbia to feed, and starved bodies of pelicans have been widely reported.

But scientists for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say budget cuts have left them with no money to do the research to figure out what is going on.

A formal status report on brown pelicans is due next year, but the Fish and Wildlife Service is not sure it will have the money to do it.


Jane Kean, star of "Honeymooners" revival, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jane Kean, best known as Ed Norton's beleaguered wife Trixie on a TV revival of "The Honeymooners," has died. She was 90.

Kean, of Toluca Lake, died Tuesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank where she was taken after complications from a fall.

Her niece, Deirdre Wolpert, confirmed the death Thursday.

Born in Hartford, Conn., on April 10, 1923, Kean got into show business at an early age along with her sister, Betty, with the encouragement of her mother. She made her Broadway debut in 1943.

But she is best known for playing Trixie the 1966 TV revival of Jackie Gleason's hit show.

In addition to Wolpert, she is survived by a stepson, Joseph Hecht Jr., his family and Wolpert's husband and two children.