Rancho Cucamonga councilman ordered to stand trial

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/29/2010 08:56:21 PM PST

A Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former county employee stole from taxpayers when he attended city events on county time, billing the city for mileage and collecting pay from the county, according to court testimony on Friday.

At the conclusion of Councilman Rex Gutierrez’s preliminary hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court, Judge Duke D. Rouse ordered Gutierrez, 50, to stand trial on charges of felony grand theft and misappropriation of public funds.

“All we have are many examples of where (Gutierrez) was lying, cheating and stealing from the county of San Bernardino,” prosecutor John Goritz said.

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San Bernardino murder case of scorned lover goes to jury

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/28/2010 06:43:18 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – After listening to almost three weeks of testimony, a San Bernardino jury must now decide if a local man is responsible for the grisly slaying of an estranged girlfriend and her 18-month-old daughter more than a decade ago.

The case was presented to the jury Thursday afternoon in San Bernardino Superior Court after lawyers on each side presented their closing arguments.

Prosecutors described the now 34-year-old Gregory Whiteside Jr. as a scorned lover who hungered for control of Shawana Andrews, a hot-tempered woman who manipulated and disrespected the defendant while seeing other men.

But the defense says Whiteside worked hard for the unemployed Andrews and doted over her daughter, Brittany, despite the woman’s illicit activities, such as “boosting,” and her mistreatment of the little girl.

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Witness: Officer shot unarmed teenager in SB

Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/28/2010 06:33:08 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – A teenaged boy lay on the ground – unarmed – with his arms out to his sides when a police officer kicked him twice in the face, took a step back and opened fire, a witness testified Thursday.

Atusabai Taimalia told the jury he was sitting at a table on his back porch drinking coffee and smoking with his mother when he saw Terrell Markham run into a courtyard at the corner of N. Medical Center Drive and Temple Street and hide behind a bush.

About 40 feet behind Markham, who was then 16, came Officer Adam Affrunti, who was holding his service firearm in his right hand as he yelled for the teen to stop.

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Three sentenced in Foothill Villas shooting in SB

By Mike Cruz
Posted: 01/31/2010 10:11:50 PM PST

Three men who were involved in a deadly gang shooting in San Bernardino, which was possibly sparked by the rebuff of a marijuana request, were each sentenced Friday to seven years in state prison.

Donte Lazon Mack, his brother Dorian Lavonn Mack, and Chrystopher Lamarr Young were sentenced in San Bernardino Superior Court under the terms of plea bargains they reached with prosecutors Dec. 23.

In those agreements, each of the men pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a firearm and a street gang enhancement in the slaying of Devin Tervelle McDavis, according to court records.

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Two held in fatal beating of Redlands homeless man

By Mike Cruz
Posted: 01/31/2010 08:57:57 PM PST

Two transients were ordered held Friday to face murder charges in the deadly beating of a homeless man in Redlands last March.

After listening to witness testimony, Judge Douglas Gericke ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold over Kenneth Eugene Harris and Thomas Ruthvin Murray to face charges in the death of Vincent Richardson.

The ruling came during a preliminary hearing for Harris and Murray in San Bernardino Superior Court. The two defendants return to court Friday to enter a formal plea on the charges.

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Man faces charges for graffiti at San Antonio Dam

By Mike Cruz
Posted: 01/31/2010 05:10:17 PM PST

Prosecutors charged a man Thursday who is suspected of causing nearly $8,000 in graffiti damage to the San Antonio Dam.

Michael Kettle, 24, was charged with one count of felony vandalism in Fontana Superior Court after he was witnessed spray painting graffiti in the waterway area of the dam on Tuesday in San Antonio Heights, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies found Kettle in possession of numerous cans of spray paint and a gallon of red household paint, sheriff’s officials reported. Kettle had painted approximately a 204-square-foot area.

The estimated cost of removing the graffiti is $7,700.

AV teacher changes plea in lewd acts with teen

By Mike Cruz
Posted: 01/31/2010 04:50:28 PM PST

An Apple Valley middle school teacher pleaded no contest Friday to committing a lewd and lascivious act with a former student.

Brenton James Unferth, who taught physical education at Sitting Bull Middle School, changed his plea under the terms of a plea bargain reached with prosecutors at an appearance in Victorville Superior Court, according to court records.

Unferth returns to court Mar. 12 for sentencing. The defendant’s possible sentence was not immediately available.

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Redondo Beach man ordered held in bartender’s death

By Mike Cruz
Posted: 01/28/2010 04:12:47 PM PST

A Redondo Beach man accused of killing and dumping the body of a popular Manhattan Beach bartender off Highway 330 was ordered held on murder charges Thursday.

Judge Annemarie Pace listened to witness testimony during a hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court and ruled that sufficient evidence existed to hold Tony Lopez Perez to face charges in the death of Cori Desmond.

Perez returns to court Feb. 4 to enter a formal plea on those charges, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

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Report released about harassment allegations against DA

By Joe Nelson
Posted: 01/27/2010 03:21:06 PM PST

The county today released a redacted 183-page report from its human resources investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and workplace retaliation against District Attorney Michael A. Ramos by one of his employees.

The report, which includes 166 pages of backup documentation and exhibits, is the culmination of a 6-month investigation by a Santa Monica law firm commissioned by the county for $140,000. In essence, it vindicates Ramos.

Cheryl Ristow, 50, of Redlands, an investigative technician for the district attorney’s bureau of investigation, filed the complaint in August, alleging she was disciplined harshly and rebuffed by Ramos following an article in a local paper that detailed their alleged affair, which Ristow said occurred between September 2003 to February 2005.

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Redlands landlady arraigned again in 1994 disappearance

By Jesse Gill
Posted: 01/25/2010 05:37:39 PM PST

SAN DIEGO – A landlady accused with the 1994 killing of her tenant was arraigned in a San Diego Superior Court today.

Seferina Marquez Ponce, 52, pleaded not guilty to killing 18-year-old Sarah Reyes. San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney John Thomas said Ponce will appear in court again Feb. 1 for a status conference.

Redlands Police arrested Ponce Friday in connection with the Reyes’ killing.

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