Chino police: Woman shot to death by husband

CHINO — A woman was shot and killed Sunday by her husband, who later shot himself when confronted by sheriff’s deputies, according to a news release.

Bobby Joe Winters, 74, allegedly shot his wife twice at about 9:30 p.m. at the couple’s daughter’s home in the 12500 block of Arlington Lane in Chino. He then kidnapped his wife from the location, according to a news release.

Winters allegedly shot his wife a third time and left her body in the 300 block of West Elm Street in Ontario, according to a Chino news release.

Angela Winters, 70, was found by Ontario police at 9:36 p.m. and transported to Chino Valley Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, according the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department.

Officials have not offered a motive for the slaying.

At about 10:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies found Bobby Joe Winters near his home in Rancho Cucamonga, the news release said.

A neighbor said Winters drove past the home he shared with his wife in the 6900 block of Galatina Place, a small cul-de-sac near Milliken Avenue and Victoria Park Lane.

Deputies were outside Winters’ home, and they appeared to recognize Winters’ silver Mercedes-Benz sedan as it passed, the neighbor said.

Winters stopped his car about midway down Galatina, and five or six armed deputies approached Winters’ car, the neighbor said.

As the deputies approached Winters, he shot himself in the chest with a handgun, the neighbor said.

The neighbor said he saw a gunshot wound on Winters’ chest. Despite the wound, Winters was responsive to commands from deputies, the neighbor said.

Winters was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition, according to the news release.

The neighbor, who asked to remain unnamed, said Winters and his wife have lived on Galatina for about 20 years.

“They’re very nice people,” he said. “I would have never suspected this would happen. (They’re the) friendliest people on the street.”

Winters is being held on suspicion of homicide, domestic violence and kidnapping, according to the news release.

A granddaughter of the couple who lives at the Chino home declined to comment to a reporter on Monday.

“Right now we don’t want to speak about anything,” Joanna Morris said.

People who live in the Chino neighborhood said Winters’ daughter lives in the home in the 12500 block of Arlington Lane with her husband and three daughters.

Two men at the couple’s home in Rancho Cucamonga declined to comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Chino Police Department at 909-628-1234.

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Chino woman sentenced in embezzlement

SANTA ANA — A 54-year-old Chino woman was sentenced to four years in state prison today for embezzling more than $82,000 from her Santa Ana employer, according to court records.

Rebecca Labelle pleaded guilty May 19 in Santa Ana Superior Court to four felony counts of computer access and fraud. She was arrested at her home May 11 after she was charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Labelle allegedly took money over 15 months from her employer, a sign and graphics company, to pay personal bills and mortgage payments, according to a Santa Ana police news release.

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Man charged with animal cruelty for allegedly killing 20 rabbits

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ONTARIO — Prosecutors have charged a Victorville man with five counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing an estimated 20 rabbits.

Shea Johnson, 22, allegedly killed the rabbits by hitting them and slamming them against a fence or wall outside a car-rental business where he worked near LA/Ontario International Airport, police and prosecutors said.

“He throws them up against the wall, he punches them, just killing them in various ways,” said Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus.

Johnson was charged July 11. He is currently out of custody, and is scheduled to be arraigned July 28 in West Valley Superior Court, Ploghaus said.

Johnson, whose full name is Shea William David Johnson, was arrested May 25 after one of his co-workers showed police video footage he shot of Johnson abusing and killing rabbits, said Ploghaus and Ontario police Sgt. David McBride.

McBride said the footage shows Johnson striking each rabbit with his fist, then placing each animal in a bag and slamming it against a fence or wall outside the business, Fox Rent A Car at 1776 E. Holt Blvd.

The co-worker secretly filmed Johnson by hiding a camera inside a parked car, Ploghaus said.

The co-worker estimated Johnson killed about 20 rabbits in the month preceding his arrest, Ploghaus and McBride said.

When officers searched Fox Rent A Car they found about a dozen rabbit carcasses behind a back fence, Ploghaus said.

Johnson was interviewed by police after his arrest, McBride said.

“He initially denied any of the acts, and eventually partially admitted to some of it,” McBride said.

Ploghaus said Johnson has no prior criminal history.

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Former detective charged in rape pleads insanity

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A former police detective has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges that he kidnapped a woman at gunpoint last year at Ontario Mills and sexually assaulted her for more than an hour.

Anthony Nicholas Orban, 32, entered the pleas Friday in West Valley Superior Court. He’d previously pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the April 3, 2010 incident.

The new pleas mean that a trial in Orban’s case will consist of two phases, attorneys said today.

A jury will first be asked determine whether Orban is guilty of rape and other crimes. If he’s convicted in the first phase, the jury will then hear evidence about Orban’s mental state and deliberate over whether he was sane at the time of the incident.

If Orban is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be held indefinitely for treatment in a state mental hospital rather than be sentenced to prison, said his attorney, James Blatt.

Prosecutors say Orban, a former Westminster detective, was off-duty and armed with his service weapon at about 5 p.m. when he confronted a Dave and Buster’s waitress who was walking to her car after her shift.

According to the woman’s testimony at a preliminary hearing, Orban ordered her into her car and directed her driving until telling her to park at a Fontana shopping center.

He then sexually assaulted her in the car for more than an hour. He also choked her, punched her, and took photos of the assault with his cell phone, the woman testified.

Blatt said the defense doesn’t dispute the woman’s account of Orban’s abuse. But he said Orban’s behavior was the result of a “psychotic break from reality” brought on by prescription drugs.

Orban, a former Marine, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home from Iraq War combat.

He was prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft, as well as an anti-seizure medication called Neurontin, Blatt said.

“At the time of this incident we believe he was overly prescribed for the drugs,” Blatt said. “… Mr. Orban did not know right from wrong.”

Blatt said two doctors have examined Orban and they will testify during a trial about the effects the drugs had on Orban’s mental state. A judge on Friday appointed two additional doctors to examine Orban.

“The issue that the jury will be facing is, ‘Why would this outstanding man who gave his entire adult life to his country and community all of a sudden be involved in these heinous crimes?’” Blatt said.

“We are confident that when the jury hears of the effects one may have with regard to Zoloft and Neurontin that it will seriously consider our defense that he was legally insane at the time of the incident,” Blatt said.

Orban’s prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus, said she believes Orban was sane during the incident despite his drug use.

“It doesn’t change our case at all,” she said. “We still feel, obviously, that he’s guilty.”

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Alleged pimp freed after prosecutors drop torture, rape charges

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA — An alleged pimp accused of raping and torturing two women was released from jail Saturday after prosecutors dropped criminal charges against him.

The prosecution of Tremaine Ulysses Smiler was dropped Friday — with his release from West Valley Detention Center coming shortly after midnight Saturday — because his victims couldn’t be found to testify against him, a prosecutor said.

With the victims unavailable, prosecutors had no choice but to dismiss Smiler’s 18 felony counts alleging torture, forcible rape, forcible sodomy and other crimes.

Smiler, of Ontario, refused to waive his constitutional right to a speedy trial, Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss said.

“If you have no witnesses, you have no case,” Schmauss said.

She said prosecutors will refile charges against Smiler, 39, if one or both of his alleged victims are found.

“I would file in a heartbeat if I had my witnesses right now,” Schmauss said.

In July 2009, Smiler allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl and burned her pubic area with an electric hair straightener.

The same month he allegedly burned a 30-year-old woman’s lips with a clothing iron, leaving her face disfigured.

Authorities believe Smiler was grooming the women, who he met in Ontario, to work for him as prostitutes.

Schmauss called Smiler a danger to the community. He was sentenced to prison 1998 for torturing and sodomizing a girlfriend, and he was again sentenced to prison in 2004 for raping a woman at knifepoint in Upland.

Smiler is not currently on parole or probation, Schmauss said.

Both the alleged victims in the case have active warrants for their arrest, Schmauss said, and if they are arrested they can be asked to testify against Smiler.

The 17-year-old victim is wanted for failing to appear in West Valley Superior Court to testify against Smiler, while the other victim has failed to appear in Pomona Superior Court on prostitution charges, Schmauss said.

“All is not lost, but these kind of victims are very difficult victims in this kind of life,” Schmauss said. “Finding them and keeping them is very hard.”

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