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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Phelan fugitive dies in Spain before extradition

By Stacia Glenn on November 4, 2008 6:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

A former Phelan man whom authorities have long tried to extradite back to the United States to stand trial for raping a young girl a decade ago has died, authorities said.

Celestino Payan, who has been a fugitive since 1998 and was once featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” died Monday of cancer in a jail cell in Madrid, Spain.

He was expected to be extradited here sometime before January for three counts of lewd acts upon a child and one count of forcible rape.
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Pair to face hearing in San Bernardino rape, robbery case

Two male cousins accused in the rape and robbery of a 24-year-old San Bernardino woman last November are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Defendants Jonathan Ruben Duarte, 24, and Victor Castro, 23, appeared for proceedings today in San Bernardino Superior Court. At a preliminary hearing, a judge will hear witness testimony and determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold over the defendants for trial.

San Bernardino Police say the pair snatched the woman shortly after she left work on Nov. 28, 2007 and then took her to Duarte’s family home in Moreno Valley, where the attack occurred. Duarte is the victim’s former boyfriend.
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Man gets prison for robbery, rape of San Bernardino store clerk

A man charged with the rape and robbery of a San Bernardino store clerk in 2001 was sentenced today to 13 years in state prison under the terms of a plea bargain.

Harry Vasquez Vega had tried to withdraw from a plea bargain he entered in September, but a defense lawyer assigned by the judge to review the agreement found no legal grounds for such a move.

“I believe there are no grounds available for a withdrawal of plea,” lawyer Andrew Haynal told the court. Vega was then immediately sentenced.
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