Suspect pleads not guilty in 2005 Chino stabbing death

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CHINO — When Leopoldo Servin was killed here nearly five years ago, he was stabbed 28 times and badly mutilated before being left to die in an alley.

Roger Perchez, who lived in the same Chino apartment building as Servin, had been a suspect in the January 2005 killing since it occurred — he was even once arrested but released because investigators lacked physical evidence.

Perchez, 30, hadn’t appeared in court to face charges until this week, when he pleaded not guilty to murder in Chino Superior Court.

It remains unclear how investigators tied Perchez to the killing of Servin, 24, or what may have motivated the killing.

In a news release, a city spokeswoman said a witness came forward in June 2008 and led Chino investigators to the murder weapon, which was found in a drainage pipe.

A Chino police spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment today, and a prosecutor declined to discuss the facts of the case.

According to police reports attached to Perchez’s court file, at the time of Servin’s killing Servin and Perchez lived in the same apartment complex in the 13100 block of Ninth Street.

And a 10-page rap sheet attached to Perchez’s court file shows numerous arrests and convictions — for crimes such as burglary, battery, gang participation, possession of drugs for sale, rioting and a weapons violation.

In an interview today, the woman who contacted police after finding Servin in her alley recalled the night of Servin’s death in detail.

Less than two minutes before she discovered Servin, Mary Cantu, 65, said she heard a car in the alley beside her home in the 13450 block of Third Street.

After the car left, she said her dogs were unusually agitated and fixated on something outside.
Cantu said she looked outside her bedroom window and saw Servin leaning on a fence that separates the alley from her property.

Her initial thought was, “Oh it’s some borracho, a drunk,” she said. But Servin moved his body slightly and he was illuminated by a street light, and Cantu saw that he was covered in blood.

Cantu went outside to help Servin, and Servin was unable to speak to her.

He was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

Servin had suffered 18 stab wounds to the front of his body, 10 stab wounds to the back of his body, and numerous defensive wounds on his hands. His left eye had been gouged out, according to police reports.

He was never able to make a statement to police or paramedics prior to his death.

“It was sad the way they cut him all up and poked him,” Cantu said. “I’ve never seen that.”

Shortly after Servin’s killing, someone attached a bouquet of plastic flowers to the section of Cantu’s fence where she found Servin. The bouquet is still attached to the fence, and Servin said she sometimes cleans it.

Prior to the night of Servin’s death, Cantu’s longtime partner had quit smoking for 17 years. But the night he saw Servin, he asked a houseguest for a cigarette, Cantu said.

“That same night he started smoking, and he hasn’t stopped,” she said. “That put a lot of stress on him.”

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Strip-club manager reaches plea bargain in sex solicitation case

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A local strip-club manager accused of pursuing sex with a 9-year-old girl has reached a plea bargain with authorities in Colorado that will spare him additional jail time.

Ward Ryan Welty, 36, surrendered to authorities last week in rural Fremont County, Colorado, where an extensive online police sting that resulted in his arrest originated. His local extradition case was dropped Friday.

Welty, of Rancho Cucamonga, agreed to travel to Colorado after his attorney, Roger Diamond, negotiated a plea bargain that includes only probation, Diamond said.

If convicted by a jury in Colorado of the five felonies charges against him, Welty could have faced a prison sentence of 10 years to life, Diamond said.

Welty’s father is the owner of Manta Management, which operates Tropical Lei in Upland, the Flesh Club in San Bernardino, and Hawaii Theatre in the City of Industry.

Before his arrest, Welty told news reporters he was the manager or owner of the clubs, but Diamond has said recently that Welty has no current role in the family business.

Welty was arrested in June 2008 after traveling to Colorado to allegedly meet a woman he believed was willing to involve her 9-year-old daughter in sex.

The woman who Welty allegedly traveled to meet was an undercover police detective, and Welty was taken into custody when he arrived at a predetermined meeting place.

After his arrest in Colorado, local authorities searched Welty’s apartment and found steroids they allege he was selling, and child-pornography images on his computers, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.

Welty eventually pleaded guilty to three charges at West Valley Superior Court — relating to sex solicitation, the steroids, and the pornography images — and was sentenced to 270 days in jail. He has completed his jail time, Diamond said.

But while Welty was serving his jail time locally, he missed court appearances in his active Colorado case and was considered a fugitive.

He initially fought extradition efforts from authorities in Colorado — citing his local conviction and Colorado’s double-jeopardy laws — but agreed to appear in Colorado after negotiating the plea bargain that spares him additional jail time, Diamond said.

Welty surrendered Oct. 21 in Caon City, Colorado — located about 100 miles south of Denver — and was jailed pending his sentencing hearing on Dec. 16, Diamond said.

“He should be released and put on probation, and then he’ll have his probation transferred to California,” Diamond said.

Diamond said that Welty’s probation in California does not prohibit him for working at the family’s strip clubs. He said he didn’t know what Welty’s future plans are.

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Brothers allegedly shoot at undercover detectives following Ontario drug robbery

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ARRESTED (L-R): Jose Luis Rodriguez and Francisco Rodriguez

Two brothers have been charged with attempted murder and other felonies for allegedly taking $100,000 worth of marijuana during an undercover police sting in Ontario last week, then shooting at detectives as they tried to flee.

Jose Luis Rodriguez, 28, and Francisco Rodriguez, 30, both of Los Angeles, allegedly intervened to steal the drugs during a drug transaction monitored by undercover West Covina police detectives on Oct. 20.

When the brothers fled the scene of the botched drug deal, one of them shot a handgun at two undercover detectives who chased them onto the 10 Freeway, according to police reports attached to the men’s court file.

The bullets missed their intended targets and the detectives were unharmed.

The Rodriguez brothers pleaded not guilty Monday in West Valley Superior Court to two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, carjacking, and second-degree robbery.

Both men remained jailed Thursday in lieu of $1 million bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

At about noon the day of the incident, three undercover West Covina drug detectives in three separate undercover cars arrived near the predetermined site of the drug transaction — a Denny’s parking lot on Milliken Avenue just north of the 10 Freeway.

The detectives had supplied two informants with 200 pounds of marijuana that was to be sold at $500 a pound, according to police reports.

Four other cars arrived in the parking lot — a car containing the informants, two cars associated with the potential drug buyers, and a fourth car that belonged to the Rodriguez brothers, according to police reports.

The brothers may have been tipped off about the transaction by one of the potential buyers, according to police reports.

The drugs were transferred by an informant into one of the vehicles belonging to the buyers, and the informant was instructed to drop off the buyers’ vehicle at a nearby gas station, according to police reports.

But before the informant could drop off the car, the Rodriguez brothers cut him off and forced him out of the vehicle at gunpoint, according to police reports.

During the alleged robbery, one of the West Covina detectives drove to the area, pointed a rifle at the two alleged robbers, and ordered them to the ground, according to police reports.

Rather than drop to the ground, the Rodriguez brothers fled the area — with one man in the car containing the drugs, and the other in the brothers’ initial vehicle. They entered the westbound 10 Freeway, traveling at up to 100 mph, according to police reports.

Two West Covina detectives chased them onto the freeway, and they were allegedly shot at several times by Jose Rodriguez, according to police reports.

Jose Rodriguez pulled to the side of the freeway near Central Avenue and surrendered to police.

His brother, Francisco Rodriguez, was located by police and arrested at a Costco store on Central Avenue in Montclair.


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Trial ordered in robberies, clergyman shooting

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Five defendants (L-R): Pomona residents Timothy Jacquemain, 18, Jacob Bushow, 19, and Andrew Swindle, 23, Chino resident Anthony Coleman, 21, Perris resident Willis Bagley, 38.

RIVERSIDE — Five local men accused of committing a series of armed robberies and shooting a Riverside County clergyman must stand trial for attempted murder and other charges, a judge ruled this week.

The defendants include Pomona residents Timothy Jacquemain, 18, Jacob Bushow, 19, and Andrew Swindle, 23, as well as Anthony Coleman, 21, of Chino, and Willis Bagley, 38, of Perris.

According to prosecutors, the men held up five diners on Sept. 15 — in Industry, Rowland Heights, Pomona, Norco and Corona — and attempted to commit a robbery a church in Home Gardens.

Antonio Garduno, pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac, was shot during the robbery but survived his injuries.

Following two days of testimony, Riverside Superior Court Judge Roger A. Luebs ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence for a trial in the case.

The five defendants, who remained jailed today, are scheduled to next appear in court Nov. 12.


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Judge orders trial for Ontario robbery, killing

Two men accused of participating in a robbery and fatal shooting last year must stand trial on murder and other charges, a judge ruled today at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing.

Matthew James McClane, 27, and Larry Darnell Shyne, 30, are accused of participating in the December robbery and killing of 41-year-old Kimberly Michelle Sum at an Ontario hotel.

A third man implicated in the incident, 22-year-old Donald Ray Walker, has accepted a plea bargain from prosecutors for a reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony against McClane and Shyne.

Following three days of testimony in West Valley Superior court — from Walker, police officers and others — Judge Stephan G. Saleson ruled that McClane and Shyne must stand trial.

The two men are due back in court Nov. 4.

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