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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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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Two co-defendants in ‘Devil’s Professor’ drug trafficking case entered not guilty pleas

Two co-defendants in the “Devil’s Professor” methamphetamine trafficking case entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday to conspiracy charges.

Chelsea Marie Johnson, 34, and Eric Cortez, 31, both of Redlands, entered the pleas and denied all allegations at a formal arraignment before Judge Harold T. Wilson in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Both defendants face charges in connection with a methamphetamine trafficking ring allegedly run by Cal State San Bernardino professor Steve Kinzey.

Johnson and Cortez were ordered held on the charges after a preliminary hearing on Sept. 27. Judge Douglas Gericke ruled then that sufficient evidence was presented to hold over the defendants for trial.

Also on Tuesday, lawyer Sean O’Connor, who represents Johnson, sought a hearing to argue for a reduction in his client’s bail. She is currently being held on $150,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
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Two ordered held, third pleads guilty in Kinzey meth case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Redlands man and woman were ordered held on conspiracy charges at a hearing earlier this week in connection with a methemphetamine trafficking ring that was allegedly run by Cal State professor Steve Kinzey.

Co-defendants in the case, Chelsea Marie Johnson and Eric Cortez, appeared for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Judge Douglas N. Gericke in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.

After listening to testimony from three witnesses, Gericke ruled that sufficient evidence existed to hold over the pair for trial, court records state.
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