Report: Rancho Cucamonga slaying stemmed from gang rivalry

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The fatal shooting here last month near the intersection of Grove Avenue and Ninth Street stemmed from a dispute between rival street gangs in Upland and Rancho Cucamonga, according to a police report.

Jesus Calderon, 50, was shot and killed at about 1 a.m. on Jan. 11 near Calaveras Avenue and Salina Street in Rancho Cucamonga, an area considered home turf by a gang called “Dog Patch.”

The accused shooter, 19-year-old Trenton Abel Dukes, is allegedly a member of a rival Upland gang that has an ongoing dispute with “Dog Patch,” according to report contained in Duke’s court file.

According to a witness who spoke to detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the two gangs are “on sight,” meaning that gang members are expected to attack rivals upon seeing them.

The two gangs feud through Myspace and frequently tag walls in each other’s neighborhoods, people familiar with the gangs told sheriff’s detectives, according to the report.

Dukes has pleaded not guilty to murdering Calderon, and he remained jailed Friday in lieu of $1 million bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

He is next due March 8 in West Valley Superior Court.

A man who was with Calderon the morning of his killing said he and Calderon were outside talking on the corner of Calaveras Avenue and Salina Street.

A car with three men inside drove past them slowly before leaving their sight. Calderon and his friend then decided to part for the night, the man told a sheriff’s detective.

Calderon got into his car and began to drive away. Soon after, several shots were fired at his car.

Calderon’s friend said he saw a man run away from the area and later heard the sound of a car speeding away.

After the shooting, Calderon’s horn honked and his car and crashed into a parked truck. His friend told the detective that Calderon was slumped over in the driver’s seat.

Witnesses described the car that drove past Calderon and his friend as a newer model silver hatchback. One witness told detectives the car was a Volkswagen Golf.

About 12 hours after the shooting, Upland police saw the car, a 2011 Volkswagen Golf, and arrested its driver, a man who said he was friends with Dukes.

The driver told detectives that Dukes, an alleged member of a gang along Ninth Street called “Ghost Town,” bragged about committing a shooting the previous night in “Dog Patch” territory.

The driver said that after he saw a news report that Calderon died in the shooting, he helped Dukes dispose of the murder weapon, a .38-caliber revolver.

He told detectives he and Dukes sold the weapon for $150, and they used some of the proceeds to buy clothes at Wal-Mart.

According to a second police report attached to Dukes’ court file, Dukes allegedly stole the Volkswagen Golf at gunpoint on Jan. 8 after pistol-whipping the owner at Bud Bender Park in Rialto.

After the car was recovered and Dukes was identified as Calderon’s alleged killer, detectives showed the carjacking victim a photo of Dukes. He identified Dukes as the man who sole his car, according to the police report.

Police report details fatal shooting at Ontario party


Pictured (L-R): Jose Gallardo and Jorge Sierra.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Jorge Jimenez Sierra went to a party in Ontario this month to confront his girlfriend for allegedly cheating on him.

He and a friend threw beer bottles and cans at people there, leading to a fight.

The 24-year-old was enraged after being ejected from the party, which was thrown to celebrate a child’s baptism, and he retrieved a handgun from his home in Muscoy.

At about 1:30 a.m. — two hours after they left the party — Sierra and his friend returned to the 1000 block of East Nocta Street.

As they drove by the house, Sierra pointed the handgun out the passenger window and fired five rounds. Three shots hit the front door, and two others passed through an open window.

Gricerio Jimenez Anselmo, 35, was inside sitting on the living room couch with a relative. One of the bullets that passed through the window struck him in the neck, and he was soon pronounced dead at a hospital.

That’s the description of the Feb. 13 killing in a police report contained in the court file of Sierra and his friend — 23-year-old Jose Abraham Gallardo — who are both charged with murder.

Sierra remained a fugitive Friday, according to booking records, while Gallardo remained jailed in lieu of $1.25 million bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

When police arrived at the home after the shooting, Anselmo was unresponsive and had no pulse, according to the report.

And people who remained at the home did not know who was responsible for the shooting. Nor did they know the identities of two men with shaved heads who had caused the earlier disturbance.

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Feb. 12, Sierra and Gallardo positioned themselves on the property of an abandoned home adjacent to the party, and threw bottles and cans over a dividing wall.

They were trying to hit Sierra’s girlfriend, who was dancing in the back yard, Gallardo later said in his confession to detectives, according to the report.

A woman at the party called 911, and several men confronted Sierra and Gallardo. Gallardo ran away while the men caught Sierra and held him for police.

But Sierra had suffered a gash to his face, and people at the party feared officers would blame them for his injury. They opted to let Sierra go before police arrived, according to the report.

By the time Sierra allegedly returned and opened fire, most of the party guests had left, and the residents and their relatives were cleaning up.

Detectives received their first tip leading to Sierra from a man who remained at the home after the shooting. He said an earlier guest lived with two roommates who were related to the gunman.

After unsuccessful attempts to reach the men, officers spoke to them two days after the shooting at a Fontana warehouse where they worked. They provided officers with Sierra’s name.

Detectives searched for Sierra in a database of criminal records, and found that he had been arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2009 by the California Highway Patrol. Included in the record was his home address in Muscoy.

Detectives traveled to the home in Muscoy, where they spoke to Sierra’s girlfriend and Gallardo. Sierra wasn’t there.

Gallardo told officers he was with Sierra at the party during fight, and threw bottles and cans. But he denied any involvement in the shooting that followed. When he began to backtrack on his story, a detective arrested him, according to the report.

Detectives again spoke to Gallardo in an interview room at the Ontario police station, and he continued to say he wasn’t present during the shooting.

A detective then confronted Gallardo with his cell phone, which indicated he and Sierra spoke only 20 minutes before the shooting.

Gallardo then confessed. He said that after the fight at the party, he returned to his home in Muscoy and Sierra soon arrived.

Sierra had been beaten and he was bleeding, and he insisted on going back to the party to shoot people, Gallardo told police, according to the report.

Gallardo said he first told Sierra he didn’t want to go back, but Sierra became angrier and Gallardo eventually relented.

Gallardo told police he drove Sierra’s SUV back to the party, and Sierra sat in the passenger seat and directed him to the home, according to the report.

“He stated that as they drove by the residence, Jorge fired an unknown type of handgun through the open passenger door window and into the house,” the report says.

Upland school employee faces charges for alleged contacts with student

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A proctor at Hillside High School in Upland has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly sending sexually suggestive text messages to an underage girl who attends the school.

Ruben Olivas, a 59-year-old retired police officer, allegedly told the girl he loved her and wanted to kiss her, and tried to arrange a meeting with the girl over Thanksgiving break, according to a police report contained in his court file.

Olivas, an Upland resident, pleaded not guilty last week to the charge — annoying or molesting a child under 18.

He is next due in West Valley Superior Court March 10 for a pretrial hearing.

It remained unclear this week whether Olivas still works at the school or remains employed by the Upland Unified School District.

His attorney, Greg Lester, declined to comment. An administrative assistant to the district’s Superintendent of Human Services said, “We can’t discuss anything with you. It’s a personnel matter.”

According to the police report, the girl told an officer that she and another student obtained Olivas’ cell phone number and began sending him text messages.

The girl said Olivas began sending her messages in November that she felt were inappropriate, according to the police report.

Among Olivas’ messages to the girl were one in which he said he wanted to kiss her, one attempting to arrange a meeting, and another that said, “Night sweetie pie,” according to the report.

The girl said Olivas often said he loved her, and once offered to buy her alcohol and tobacco.

The girl reported the alleged messages to police on Dec. 15. She saved some of the messages and provided them to authorities, according to the report.

When Olivas was contacted by police, he denied the girl’s allegations and said she may have taken his text messages out of context. However, he admitted saying he loved her, according to the police report.

“He said that he did tell her that he loved her, but he also tells everybody that he loves them,” the report says. “He said that most of these students come from a broken home and do not hear these words, so he tends to tell everybody that he loves them.”

Olivas told police he never asked the girl for a kiss or offered her alcohol and tobacco.

“He advised that he is a retired police officer and would never do such a thing,” the report says.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Olivas on Dec. 29.

Chino city attorney pleads not guilty to DUI


WEST COVINA — Chino City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez pleaded not guilty this week to two misdemeanor drunken driving charges.

Gutierrez’s attorney entered the pleas on Gutierrez’s behalf Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court. Gutierrez was not required to appear because the charges are misdemeanors.

Gutierrez, Chino’s city attorney since 1975, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol in October after an officer observed him swerving on the 60 Freeway in Industry.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office later charged him with driving under the influence, and with driving with blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08.

Gutierrez’s case is next due in court March 29 for a pretrial hearing. If a plea agreement isn’t reached that day, Gutierrez will be required to appear at the courthouse in person, according to minutes of his arraignment.

Gutierrez’s attorney, Felipe I. Plascencia, did not return a call seeking comment today.

Gutierrez graduated from Pomona College in Claremont and attended law school at UCLA.

Besides working for Chino, Gutierrez is the city attorney for Rialto, El Monte and Coachella, according to a biography on his law firm’s website.

Federal authorities target Fontana attorney for alleged tax shelter scheme


An attorney from Fontana is among three people who have been sued by the Department of Justice for allegedly using an illegal tax shelter to minimize taxes paid by their corporate clients, causing the federal government to lose more than $40 million in revenue.

Charles Klink and his two alleged co-conspirators devised an intricate scheme which allowed their customers — owners of corporations — to sell large assets without paying taxes, according to a news release issued today by the Department of Justice.

The two other people named in the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Camden, N.J., are Caleb Grodsky, a Los Angeles attorney, and Steven Block, a Louisville, Ky. financial professional.

To help their clients avoid paying taxes, the men allegedly used a series of trusts and corporations to act as intermediaries between their clients and buyers of the clients’ corporate assets.

Corporate assets sold through the scheme included $205 million office building in Washington, D.C., a $3.5 million vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., and a $22.2 million office campus in Laguna Hills, according to the news release.

“Stopping the marketing and use of abusive tax shelters remains one of our top priorities for 2011,” John A. DiCicco, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, said in the news release.

“White-collar professionals who promote these schemes face the prospect of significant legal sanctions,” he continued. “The IRS and Justice Department are working diligently to ensure that people who buy into these sophisticated tax dodges ultimately have to pay the taxes they owe, along with interest and appropriate penalties.”

Klink is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, and he attended law school at UCLA. He was admitted to the state bar in 1997, according to state bar’s website.

Former CIM officer sentenced for theft

VICTORVILLE — A former corrections officer who worked at the California Institution for Men in Chino was sentenced to 120 days in jail today for grand theft.

Tonya Denice Henderson, 41, was placed on probation for three years and ordered to begin serving her jail sentence by April 1, according to a minute order of her sentencing.

Victorville Superior Court Judge Lynn Poncin also recommended that the Department of Motor Vehicles revoke Henderson’s driver’s license.

Henderson, of Adelanto, pleaded no contest on Jan. 18 to a felony count of grand theft.

She was arrested Dec. 29, 2009 on suspicion of stealing $3,000 worth of merchandise from a Victorville Target store. The stolen items included a big-screen TV, an Xbox 360 video-game console and a steam cleaner.

Henderson was in uniform and with her 6-year-old son during the incident, authorities said.

Henderson was hired by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on July 1, 2002. She resigned from her position in May.

Pomona men convicted of murder for prostitute’s slaying


RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A jury found two Pomona men guilty of murder and other charges today for the killing of a prostitute in Ontario.

Matthew James McClane, 29, and Larry Darnell Shyne, 31, both face prison sentences of at least 50 years to life for their convictions in the Dec. 19, 2008 slaying of Kimberly Michelle Sum, 41.

In more than 10 days of testimony in West Valley Superior Court, prosecutors presented evidence that Shyne, Sum’s former pimp, planned to rob Sum to frighten her into returning to him for protection.

Shyne enlisted McClane and his cousin — both alleged gang members — to carry out the robbery at the Hotel Indigo. In the course of the robbery, McClane shot Sum once with a pistol, killing her, prosecutors said during the trial.

A jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for portions of three days before reaching their verdicts shortly before noon.

McClane and Shyne were found guilty of murder, second-degree attempted robbery, and first-degree burglary. They were also convicted of numerous gang and firearm allegations that will lengthen their prison sentences.

Shyne hung his head as the verdicts were read, while McClane did not visibly react. As Shyne was led out of the courtroom, he blew a kiss to his relatives in the audience.

A sentencing hearing is expected to be scheduled on March 3 when the men return to court.

McClane’s attorney, Gary Ablard, said he will file an appeal of the verdicts. He also said McClane may seek a new trial.

After Sum’s killing, Ontario police slowly built their case against the three men eventually charged in the case.

Key pieces of evidence were Sum’s cell phone records, which led detectives to numerous witnesses who described the relationship between Sum and Shyne, as well as security camera footage from the hotel.

The footage showed McClane and the other robber, Donald Ray Walker, walk toward Sum’s room wearing gloves, then run away from the room about a minute later.

As McClane ran, cameras showed him holding a shiny object that prosecutors said was the handgun used to shoot Sum.

Nearly three months after Sum’s killing, police made their first arrest. Walker, 23, gave a detailed confession that further implicated McClane and Shyne.

Walker later agreed to testify against the men as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that carried a 19-year prison sentence.

Man pleads guilty in string of robberies

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A 19-year-old man charged with participating in a string of robberies has entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors that carries a six-year prison sentence.

Felipe Curiel pleaded guilty on Tuesday to robbery and assault with a firearm for his alleged role in a four-city string of robberies in which one man was shot and three others were pistol-whipped.

Curiel’s sentence is less than half of what his four co-conspirators received last year. He is set to be sentenced March 15 in West Valley Superior Court.

Authorities said that Curiel and four other men set out at about 11 p.m. on April 17, 2008 in Curiel’s Ford Explorer and robbed people seemingly at random.

The men — who prosecutors said were gang members — masked their faces with bandanas that were decorated with images of black skulls.

Over a span two hours, the men robbed people in Upland, Ontario, Montclair and Rancho Cucamonga. The victims included a jogger and people sitting in parked cars.

A man who resisted their robbery attempt in Rancho Cucamonga was shot in the stomach, according to prosecutors.

Ontario police arrested the men after an officer saw Curiel’s car — which matched the vehicle description provided by victims — at Mountain Avenue and Mission Boulevard.

Last year, Curiel’s co-conspirators were sentenced to prison terms of between 13 and 15 years. They include:

– Daniel Bernal, 21, was sentenced to 15 years and received three strikes.

– Andrew Michael Fraijo, 20, was sentenced to 13 years and received one strike.

– Kevin Quiroz, 19, was sentenced to 13 years and received two strikes.

– Jose Narisco Estrella, 21, was sentenced to 15 years and received two strikes.

Man charged in Ontario killing pleads not guilty


Pictured (L-R): Jose Gallardo and Jorge Sierra.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A man pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday for his alleged role in a man’s slaying at a party in Ontario.

Jose Abraham Gallardo, 23, was allegedly involved in the Feb. 13 shooting death of Gricerio Jimenez-Anselmo, who was shot at about 1:30 a.m. at a party in the 1000 block of Nocta Street.

The alleged shooter, 24-year-old Jorge Jimenez Sierra, has also been charged with murder, but he remains a fugitive. Both men charged in the case are from Muscoy.

At Gallardo’s arraignment in West Valley Superior Court, Judge Raymond P. Van Stockum appointed the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office to represent Gallardo.

The judge also set Gallardo’s bail at $1.25 million. He remains jailed at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Jury begins deliberations in trial for prostitute’s slaying


RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A jury began deliberating today in the murder trial of two Pomona man accused in a prostitute’s killing in Ontario.

Kimberly Michelle Sum was shot and killed at the Hotel Indigo on Dec. 19, 2008 in what prosecutors allege was a botched robbery orchestrated by Sum’s former pimp, Larry Shyne.

Shyne and Matthew James McClane, the alleged shooter, could both face prison sentences of more than 75 years to life if convicted of all charges.

A jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about three hours without reaching verdicts today after attorneys finished giving closing arguments in West Valley Superior Court.

McClane’s attorney, Gary Ablard, assailed the credibility of the prosecution’s key witness. Donald Ray Walker confessed to his part in the incident and later agreed to testify against his alleged co-conspirators in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Ablard told jurors that Walker’s testimony about Sum’s death was a fiction crafted to minimize his own involvement.

The attorney said he believed Walker was the actual shooter, not McClane, as Walker testified. He also said he believed the men did not plan to rob Sum when they went to her room.

“But for Walker, who shot her? But for Walker, do you even know if Mr. McClane was in the room?” Ablard said.

Prosecutors believe that Shyne, 31, enlisted Walker and McClane to rob Sum in order to gain access to her laptop — which would contain information valuable to a pimp about Sum’s work as a prostitute — and to frighten Sum back to him for protection.

Walker testified that Shyne instructed he and McClane to set up a “date” with Sum, and later acted as the getaway driver the night of the robbery.

According to Walker, he and McClane were unable to find any jewelry or cash in Sum’s hotel room.

Walker said that while he searched Sum’s room for valuables, McClane confronted the 41-year-old woman and told her to disclose where she kept her money and jewelry.

According to Walker, Sum denied she had any valuables in the room, and her voice became louder during the confrontation. McClane removed a handgun from his waistband and shot Sum, killing her, Walker testified.

In her rebuttal to closing arguments by the defense, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Youngberg told jurors that Walker’s testimony is corroborated by other evidence, such as cell phone records and statements from other witnesses.

“This is about cold, hard facts, and this is about inferences you can make with cold, hard facts,” Youngberg said.

She said that for the defense’s alternate theories of the case to be true, “All the planets would have had to aligned.”

The jury is scheduled to resume deliberating Friday morning at 9.