Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment


Coroner: Priest beaten to death with stake, pipe

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — An autopsy shows that a beloved priest murdered New Year's Day in the Northern California city of Eureka was beaten to death with a wooden stake and a metal gutter pipe.

Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris said Monday that investigators do not want to release more details of how the Rev. Eric Freed was beaten, pending further investigation.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills adds that the attacker broke in a side window of the rectory at St. Bernard Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, Gary Lee Bullock, a 43-year-old Humboldt County man, was arraigned Monday on charges of murder, burglary and arson.

Authorities have said Bullock was released from jail on a disorderly conduct charge several hours before the break-in and slaying. The jail is just a few blocks from the church.


Suspect in consulate arson claimed he heard voices

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An FBI affidavit says a Chinese national arrested in the Chinese Consulate arson in San Francisco claims he was motivated by voices he was hearing.

The affidavit filed in support of federal charges against 39-year-old Yan Feng of Daly City says he told investigators he targeted the consulate because voices he had been hearing were in Chinese, so he figured the consulate had to be involved.

FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson said Monday that Feng was arrested Friday after he called police in Daly City, a San Francisco suburb.

The suspect, who has permanent resident status, made his first court appearance Monday and was held on charges of causing damage to property of a foreign government and arson.

Johnson said the investigation is ongoing but the FBI believes it is criminal matter and that terrorism, politics or civil rights were not involved.


Girl declared brain dead moved from hospital

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The 13-year-old Northern California girl who was declared brain dead after a surgery has been taken to another facility where her family says they can take care of her.

On Sunday night, a critical care team took Jahi McMath from Children's Hospital Oakland, after a weeks-long battle with the hospital over her care. She was attached to a ventilator but without a feeding tube.

Her family wouldn't disclose where she had been taken. Her uncle, Omari Seeley, said Monday that she traveled by ground and that there were no complications in the transfer, suggesting Jahi may be in California.

Three doctors have declared Jahi brain dead.

The family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said Jahi's condition suffered because of poor nutrition during her hospital stay.


2 found dead in apartments in LA's Venice area

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say two people have been found dead in a Venice apartment building but there's no word yet on what killed them.

Officer Sally Madera says the bodies were found in separate apartments in a Horizon Avenue complex shortly before 11 a.m. Monday.

Detectives are at the scene but they haven't said whether they suspect homicide.


LA-area man arrested in Chihuahua's run-over death

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Breeze,

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his Chihuahua by deliberately hitting it with his car in attack caught on surveillance video.

The Torrance Daily Breeze reports police investigated and found the Dec. 28 video that shows a man removing something from his trunk — possibly the dog — and then backing up over the Chihuahua in an alley before driving off. The dog is left convulsing and bloody.

On Thursday a resident found and bagged the body.

Lt. Scott Swain says investigators traced the car and on Friday arrested Michael Parker of Hawthorne on suspicion of willful animal cruelty.

He was later released and couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

Police haven't released a motive for the killing.


Calif. lawmakers pledge fiscal prudence for budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Legislative leaders are promising to use the state's projected budget surplus wisely as lawmakers begin their annual session.

Members of the state Assembly and Senate were jovial during their opening sessions Monday, but many are looking ahead to Friday, when Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.

The Legislative Analyst's Office is projecting a $3.2 billion surplus, the first one in years.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Democrat, says his top priority is ensuring California's fiscal stability by building a rainy day fund.

Yet after years of cuts, many groups will be asking lawmakers to restore funding to programs.

Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, a Tulare Republican, says she hopes the governor maintains his fiscal moderation to rein in Democratic efforts to spend the money.


"Rudolph" voice actor Larry D. Mann dies at 91

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Larry D. Mann, who voiced Yukon Cornelius in the animated Christmas favorite "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," has died. He was 91.

His son, Richard Mann, says the actor died of age-related causes on Monday in Los Angeles.

Beginning in the 1950s, the Canadian-born Mann had small roles in movies, including "The Sting" and "In the Heat of the Night."

On TV, his appearances included "Gunsmoke," ''Bewitched" and Hill Street Blues."

He also did voice work for animated shows, including 1964's "Rudolph."

His son says Mann's last role before retirement was playing a talent agent in the 1991 TV show "Homefront."