Sheriff’s deputy accused of death threats, gun charges returns to work

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A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy facing criminal charges for allegedly holding a gun to a man’s head while off duty has returned to work at West Valley Detention Center.

Richard Heverly, of La Verne, was placed on paid administrative leave following his Aug. 10 arrest in Riverside County.

He returned to work at the jail’s transportation division on Nov. 4, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.

At about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, tow-truck driver Roger Gilstrap saw a big-rig truck on fire on the 10 Freeway near Eagle Mountain Road, about 50 miles east of Indio.

Gilstrap positioned his truck to block off lanes affected by the burning big rig and called the California Highway Patrol from his cell phone, according to the arrest declaration in Heverly’s court file.

Click here to view the complete one-page arrest declaration (PDF)

While Gilstrap was on the phone with the CHP, Heverly, 42, pulled up beside him in a red Dodge truck.

Heverly flashed his sheriff’s department badge and told Gilstrap, “This entitles me to do whatever the (expletive) I want,” according to the arrest declaration, which was written by a CHP officer.
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Prosecutors rest cases against two men in Cee Vee shooting deaths

Lawyers in the trial for two men suspected in the robbery and deadly shooting of a Highland store owner and his clerk rested their cases this week. Proceedings resume Monday, as jurors await closing arguments.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Detienne rested his case against Christopher Turelle White and Darwin Lamont Richardson on Monday morning in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.

The defendants face charges in the deaths of Steve Hall, 54, and 25-year-old Brian Gregorio at Cee Vee Liquor and Couch Potato Video, in Highland, in March 2005.
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Barstow trial delayed for suspect in aspiring rapper’s death

The criminal trial for a Riverside man, who was charged with the execution-style shooting death of an aspiring rapper, has been delayed by prosecutors so they continue an ongoing investigation in the case.

Officially, prosecutors dimissed charges – and then re-filed them – against Dudzai Prosper Pswatai in the death of 24-year-old Robert Raymond Mastrangelo, of San Bernardino, in Barstow Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty confirmed by telephone Wednesday.

The refiling of charges starts the case over from the beginning, Faherty explained. Pswatai is set to return to court Dec. 2. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 4, she said.
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San Bernardino family remembers slain son, awaits trial

By Michael Sorba on November 23, 2008 7:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

The scent of his cologne wafted on the air as the woman removed clothing from each drawer of the dresser and packed it into cardboard boxes. It had been almost 2 years since the dresser had been touched.

The memory of Curve cologne was bittersweet for Michelle Ramirez, but she needed no reminders of her son Anthony’s death. That is with her always.

“He would always bug me for that cologne,” she reminisced with a sad smile. “And Red Zone deodorant. He loved that.”

Things have not gone well for the Ramirez family of San Bernardino since 11-year-old Anthony Ramirez was shot in the back and killed on June 21, 2006, as he played basketball with his brothers and friends on the playground of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School. His brother Joseph, then 13, was shot in the hand. A High Desert teenager is awaiting trial in Anthony’s killing.
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Prosecutors decline to charge deputy in fatal Victorville shooting

By Melissa Pinion Whitt on November 25, 2008 11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

A sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a suspected gang member in July was cleared of criminal charges Tuesday because the suspect pointed a gun at the deputy several times, prosecutors said.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Kent E. Watson feared for his safety when Ibn Rasheed Jones climbed a fence and reached for a gun he had dropped, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said.

“The fatal shooting of Ibn Jones was a justifiable homicide by a public officer in the performance of his duties. No reasonable jury could find otherwise,” prosecutors wrote in the report.
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Barstow girl charged in connection with fatal car crash

By Stacia Glenn on November 25, 2008 12:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

A 17-year-old Barstow girl has been charged in connection with a car crash that killed a man in September.

Prosecutors charged the girl, who has not been identified, with gross vehicluar manslaughter while intoxicated for the Sept. 10 collision on Lenwood Road, just west of the 15 Freeway on-ramp in Barstow.

The girl was driving intoxicated when she crashed into a power pole. Her passenger, 20-year-old Dusty Cox, was killed in the accident.

Tribal member’s lawyer calls alleged probation violations “technicalities”

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2008 10:01:44 PM PST

The lawyer for a San Manuel tribal member who was recently sentenced in a murder conspiracy case downplayed his client’s alleged violations of her probation as “small, technical issues” on Tuesday.

Stacy Barajas-Nunez was arrested Friday by sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of trespassing on casino property. On Tuesday, she appeared in San Bernardino Superior Court for allegedly violating her probation.

San Manuel security contacted deputies after Barajas-Nunez was seen blocking a tribal road to pick up a friend, was in a parking lot and was at a guard station to fill out a complaint about an employee, authorities said.
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Stacy Nunez-Barajas back in jail after violating parole

Mike Cruz and Joe Nelson, Staff Writers
Posted: 11/22/2008 10:17:55 PM PST

A San Manuel tribal member who was sentenced to probation almost three weeks ago in a murder conspiracy case was back in jail Friday night after being arrested at the tribe’s casino and could face at least a decade in state prison.

Casino security reportedly contacted sheriff’s deputies after a disturbance developed involving Stacy Nunez-Barajas, who was sentenced earlier this month in San Bernardino Superior Court for her role in a murder conspiracy that was discovered by police and federal drug agents who were investigating the Mexican Mafia’s drug trade in San Bernardino.

Nunez-Barajas, 26, was arrested about 9 p.m. on suspicion of trespassing at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino and booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

She was being held without bail.
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Conspiracy target wants county probation report corrected

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2008 09:58:45 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The victim of a murder conspiracy involving two San Manuel tribal members has filed a complaint with the county Probation Department, claiming a probation officer erroneously noted in reports that he was a gang member.

Highland attorney Frank Peterson filed the complaint Monday on behalf of Leonard Epps, who has sued San Manuel tribal members Stacy Barajas-Nunez, 26, her brother Erik Barajas, 36, and several others involved in a conspiracy to kill him. He is seeking $50 million in damages.

Epps, the former manager of the now closed Brass Key bar in Highland, alleges in the one-page complaint that information included in Probation Officer Jeremy Smith’s reports, which indicate Epps is a gang member, is inaccurate.
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