Pair arrested, arraigned in woman’s death at Deep Creek

After a six-month investigation, sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man and woman from Apple Valley in the shooting death of 19-year-old Raquel Rayas at Deep Creek.

Sheriff’s detectives say the two suspects, Joseph Villa and Angela Lucia Sanchez, knew the victim. But detectives did not release any motive that the pair may have had in Rayas’ death, said Cindy Bachman, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Villa, 23, and Sanchez, 38, pleaded not guilty to murder charges at their arraignments Wednesday in Victorville Superior Court, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
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Settlement to give disabled persons better access to San Bernardino County courts

A proposed settlement has been reached in a 2006 federal class-action lawsuit filed against San Bernardino County and its courts over accessibility for disabled persons at more than a dozen courthouses.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside, claimed that parking, paths of travel, courtrooms, bathrooms and other areas were inaccessible to people with mobility or manual dexterity disabilities.

Lawyers for the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, which represented plaintiffs in the case, said Tuesday that both sides worked hard to reach what they described as a model settlement that could be a blueprint for any court system in any county.
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County to settle $831K courthouse suit

By Melissa Pinion-Whitt, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/14/2011 12:44:44 PM PST

San Bernardino Superior Court has agreed to settle an $831,000 class-action lawsuit claiming the county’s courthouses are inaccessible to the disabled, court officials said today.

Four plaintiffs named in the federal lawsuit will split $80,000 in damages. San Bernardino County is expected to pay $690,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and another $61,000 to monitor the county’s progress in making courthouses accessible.

The settlement terms include plans to improve disabled access in entrances, emergency exits, witness stands, jury boxes and other areas of the courthouses.

San Bernardino County and the Superior Court officials “denied and continue to deny the allegations and claims in the actions,” according to the settlement.

Charges ordered dismissed against Vagos member

SAN BERNARDINO – A judge dismissed criminal charges this morning against Andrew Eloy Lozano, a local member of the Vagos motorcycle club who was arrested last month in a law enforcement sweep across Southern California.

At a scheduled preliminary hearing for Lozano in San Bernardino Superior Court, Judge James Dorr ruled that prosecutors presented insufficient evidence to hold Lozano for trial on charges of possessing body armor and participating in a criminal street gang.

“The court finds there is insufficient evidence as to both counts and the allegation,” Dorr said during the proceedings.
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Trial starts for two men in robbery, deadly beating of elderly woman

SAN BERNARDINO — Prosecutors delivered their opening remarks Monday in the trial for two young men who repeatedly struck an elderly San Bernardino woman with hammers while ransacking her home for money and other valuables.

“Storma Del’Andrae, who is 87 years old, was murdered for a handful of cash, a suitcase and some costume jewelry,” said Deputy District Attorney Tristan Svare. “That’s what this case is all about.”

The prosecution’s opening remarks came just prior to witness testimony in San Bernardino Superior Court. Defense lawyers reserved their statements for later in the trial. Each defendant has his own jury.
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Claremont residents among those charged in “purple drank” scheme

A Claremont mother and son are among four people named in a federal indictment alleging they operated a money laundering scheme related to the distribution of a powerful cough syrup nicknamed “purple drank.”

A trial is set to begin November 29 for Lucita Uy, 70, and her 42-year-old son, Lemuel Libunao, both of Claremont, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Two defendants from Texas appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Houston.
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Pair sentenced in death of Yucaipa group home counselor

Two young men who beat to death a counselor at a Yucaipa group home in 2009 with a closet dowel were sentenced today to state prison.

A jury recently found Carlos Dubose and Davion Whitmore guilty of murder charges in the 2009 death of counselor George Onyango at Aiming High Treatment Center on Fifth Place in Yucaipa. They were charged as adults.

Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court, Judge Duke Rouse sentenced Dubose, who was 17 at the time of the attack, to life in state prison with the possibility of parole plus another life sentence, said Deputy District Attorney Beth Houser.
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Former Rialto teacher back in jail

SAN BERNARDINO – A former Rialto schoolteacher, who pleaded guilty in July to giving drugs to a teenager, is back in county jail after he allegedly violated the terms of his probation.

Michael Jacob Edmondson of Rancho Cucamonga is scheduled for a probation violation hearing Nov. 17 before Judge Kyle Brodie in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa Rodriguez, who prosecuted Edmondson’s case, confirmed Wednesday that he is scheduled for the hearing. However, Rodriguez had not yet received a report from law enforcement, so she did not have details about Edmondson’s arrest, she said.
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Decades-old murder conviction raises bail for Vagos member

SAN BERNARDINO – Prosecutors amended the charges against a local member of the Vagos motorcycle club, who was arrested during a sweep in October, to include a 1980 conviction in Idaho in the strangulation of a 19-year-old woman.

Thomas Henry Gibson of San Bernardino appeared Tuesday before Judge Michael Dest in San Bernardino Superior Court, where prosecutors announced the newly amended charges, according to court records. Gibson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

With the addition of the prior conviction, the 60-year-old Gibson is now being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, in lieu of $350,000 bail – an increase of $100,000.

Gibson is one of several San Bernardino County members of the Vagos arrested last month in a sweep conducted by state and local authorities. Drugs, weapons and body armor were seized during the raid, agents from the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement said.
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Seized files to be returned to Burum

In a rare move, federal prosecutors have agreed to return materials to a Rancho Cucamonga developer that were seized in September as part of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the $102 million lawsuit settlement between Colonies Partners LP and San Bernardino County.

The materials were seized by FBI agents serving search warrants at the offices and home of developer Jeff Burum, Colonies co-managing partner, and looking into alleged bribery and conspiracy related to the landmark 2006 settlement.

Stephen Larson, Burum’s attorney and a former federal judge, argued in the days after the Sept. 15 search that agents erred by taking documents and other materials not covered under the warrant.
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