Killer of Redlands teen denied parole

A man who raped and killed a Redlands High student in 1977 was denied parole during a hearing at a state prison in Blythe.

A parole board determined that John Wilton Zenc was “unsuitable” for release on parole during proceedings Wednesday at Ironwood State Prison, confirmed Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Dawson.

Zenc, now 54, was convicted of raping and killing 15-year-old Paula Hernandez, as she walked home from school in March 1977.
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Parole hearing Wednesday for man convicted of killing Redlands girl

A man who raped and killed a female Redlands High student in 1977 is seeking parole at a hearing Wednesday in Blythe.

Family members of 15-year-old Paula Hernandez are doing whatever they can to keep the teen’s killer, John Wilton Zenc, behind bars. They will be attending the hearing at Ironwood State Prison, where Zenc is currently housed.

“I don’t want this to happen to another family,” said Ruth Lopez, Paula’s sister. Zenc, now 54, has hired an attorney in his bid to get paroled, Lopez said.
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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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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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Walker brothers found guilty in Westside beating death of 63-year-old man

SAN BERNARDINO — A jury found two young men guilty Wednesday in the beating death of 63-year-old Nathan Macon during a fight at a San Bernardino convenience store.

Jurors found Milton Walker, and his brother, Jerome Walker, guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Macon last year at Jimmy’s Food Store, near Base Line and Medical Center Drive.

The Walkers, in their early 20s at the time Macon was killed, are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2. A key piece of trial evidence – a security video recorded from inside the store – showed the Walkers punching a drunken Macon after he had yelled threats.

Family members of the victim cried and hugged eachother upon hearing the verdicts.
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Trial begins in deadly beating at Westside San Bernardino store

SAN BERNARDINO – Emotions ran high Monday at the trial for two brothers accused of beating to death a 63-year-old man at a Westside convenience store.

A woman in the courtroom gallery reacted with a loud “wow” as prosecutors played for San Bernardino Superior Court jurors a video from a security camera that showed Nathan Macon being punched several times.

Moments later, another woman erupted into tears and was yelling as she left the courtroom. Loud sobs and yelling could be heard in the hallway.

The reaction came while the owner of Jimmy’s Food Store – the trial’s first witness – testified about the March 2010 deadly confrontation with Macon and the defendants, San Bernardino residents Jerome Walker and Milton Walker, then 22 and 21.
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Court culls mountains, burn areas from jury pool in Old Fire case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Superior Court judge has ruled that residents from the local mountains and northern portions of San Bernardino and Highland will not be among potential jurors in the upcoming trial for suspected Old Fire arsonist Rickie Lee Fowler.

In discussions Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court over a defense motion to exclude jurors from those areas, Judge Michael A. Smith acknowledged that residents in those areas may be “particularly more sensitive” to fire issues.

Lawyers grappled with the idea during court appearance for Fowler where discussions occurred about how best to exclude residents from the pool of potential jurors who may been evacuated, impacted or even lost a home during the devastating wildfire.
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DUI driver convicted in Redlands fatal crash

SAN BERNARDINO – Sara Cisneros had gotten off early at her job at San Manuel Indian Casino in August 2009 for a family celebration, and she was headed home to Redlands.

But on Cisneros’ way home, a Ford F-150 pickup crossed into her traffic lanes on Orange Street, at the wash, and collided head-on into her Nissan Sentra. A 48-year-old Redlands resident and mother, she died at the scene.

The driver of the pickup, Ryan Christopher Wheatley, of Highland, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Two years later, a jury found Wheatley was responsible for Cisneros’ death.
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Jury finds man mentally competent in “bunker killings” case

The man charged in the killing of a High Desert couple at an abandoned military bunker in 2008 has been found to be mentally competent to stand trial.

Jurors returned the verdict Wednesday in the trial for Collin Lee McGlaughlin of West Covina after receiving the case for deliberation a day earlier, in Victorville Superior Court, according to court records.

McGlaughlin, 21, returns to court Jan.27. He’s accused of shooting to death Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, and his 16-year-old girlfriend Bodhi Sherzer-Potter, following a party at the bunker near Helendale.
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Trial begins in deadly Westside beating

SAN BERNARDINO – The trial began Tuesday for two brothers accused of fatally beating a 63-year-old man after police say he held open a door for them at Jimmy’s Food Market on the city’s Westside.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Jerome Walker, 24, and Milton Walker, 23, argued several motions in San Bernardino Superior Court to decide whether some evidence would go before the jury.

The Walkers are charged with murder in the death of Nathan Macon last year.

The defense sought to allow Macon’s police citations for being drunk in public be used at trial, as well as evidence of violent acts involving family members.
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