14-year-old girl goes missing in La Habra

LA HABRA >> Police and worried family members are seeking a 14-year-old La Habra girl who went missing Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Morgan “Mo-Mo” Starr Hambrick was last seen about 2 p.m. in the 900 block of Las Lomas Drive, La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
“She had been given permission by her grandfather to retrieve the mail and never returned. Her mother initiated an immediate search of the surrounding area, as well as some nearby communities, but could not locate her,” the statement said. “She alerted family members in Compton, as Morgan had previously run away and been located there, and contacted the La Habra Police Department to file a missing person report.”
Though she has run away from home in the past, Hambrick has never been gone for more than four hours, police said. She requires medication for a medical condition. It was unclear whether she had any money with her, and she does not own a cell phone.
Hambrick was described as black, 5 feet 1 inch tall and 79 pounds. She has gold and brown hair, worn in braids, and brown eyes. She wa last seen wearing a pink beanie, tan shorts and black high-top sneakers.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Sgt. Jose Quirarte at 562-383-4300.

PHOTO courtesy of the La Habra Police Department.

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Mistrial declared in case of Christmas Day slaying of bystander in Pasadena

Candles in front of a photograph of Victor J. McClinton, is posted during a Candlelight Memorial in Remembrance of Victor J. McClinton, on the steps of Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, Thursday, December 27, 2012. On Christmas Day, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee and youth sport volunteer, Victor J. McClinton was shot and killed, when he was caught in the cross fire between two gang members. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone/SVCITY)

Candles in front of a photograph of Victor J. McClinton, is posted during a Candlelight Memorial in Remembrance of Victor J. McClinton, on the steps of Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, Thursday, December 27, 2012. On Christmas Day, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee and youth sport volunteer, Victor J. McClinton was shot and killed, when he was caught in the cross fire between two gang members. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone/SVCITY)

LOS ANGELES >> A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after a jury became deadlocked in the case of two alleged gang members charged with capital murder for the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander investigators say became caught in gang crossfire in Pasadena on Christmas Day in 2012.
Reputed Bloods gang members Larry Darnell Bishop, 23, of Chino, and Jerron Donald Harris 27, of Pasadena, have been charged with murder and other crimes in connection with the Dec. 25, 2012, shooting that left 49-year-old Victor McClinton of Pasadena dead in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue in Pasadena.
After a trial that lasted more than a month, the Los Angeles County Superior Court jury hung with respect to both defendants, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said.
The jury hung 9-3 in favor of convicting Bishop of all charges, and 7-5 in favor of acquitting Harris, Risling said.
Judge Curtis Rappe declared a mistrial. It was unclear Thursday whether prosecutors would pursue a second trial.
“Our office hasn’t made a decision on whether to retry the case,” Risling said.
McClinton was walking with a friend to deposit a Christmas gift in the friend’s car when Bishop and Harris both opened fire on a rival gang member, police and prosecutors allege. McClinton became caught in the crossfire.
But the man allegedly targeted in the shooting, who was wounded in the hand, testified at a preliminary hearing that Bishop and Harris were not his assailants.
The two defendants were each charges with murder with special circumstances of discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle and murder to benefit a criminal street gang, attempted murder, two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.
McClinton was a father of two, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department law enforcement technician of 18 years and a youth coach who founded the nonprofit Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League in Pasadena.
Bishop had benefitted from the state’s prison realignment of 2011, also known as AB 109, officials said. Under the sentencing guidelines, he was able to serve less than one year of a two-year sentence for a previous assault with a deadly weapon as a “nonviolent, non-serious” offender in county jail, rather than state prison. Also as a result of AB 109, Bishop was released from custody without parole supervision about six months before McClinton’s slaying. He had two prior felony convictions as well.

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Cause of death still uncertain for Duarte man found dead in front of Baldwin Park grocery store

BALDWIN PARK >> The cause of death of a 54-year-old Duarte man found unconscious in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store remains under investigation, though the man suffered from several maladies and foul play was not initially suspected.
Paramedics pronounced Raul Ygnacio Acuna dead shortly after he was found lying unconscious in front of Food 4 Less, 3000 N. Baldwin Park Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An autopsy had been performed, but a cause of death was yet to be determined pending the results of additional tests, Winter said Thursday.
Though listed in coroner’s documents as transient, niece Rachel Chavez said her uncle was a lifelong Duarte resident.
Family members were awaiting word from the coroner regarding exactly what happened to Acuna, she said. They knew only that he had gone for a walk after leaving the nearby Kaiser Permanente hospital.
“He was diabetic,” the niece said. He had a lot of ailments.”
Acuna is survived by son Nicholas Acuna; mother Linda Olsen-Acuna; siblings Angela Acuna Hernandez, Eddie Acuna Jr., Cynthia Marin, Alex Acuna, David Olsen; and many nieces and nephews, Chavez said.
A former steel worker who had not been working lately due to his illness, Chavez described her uncle as a “funny, funny guy.”
“He was one of those guys who wanted to make everyone laugh,” she said. “He was so much fun to be around. His energy was so amazing.”
“His family loved him very much,” Chavez said. “We will greatly miss him.”

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Coroner: Elderly man found dead in La Crescenta home was beaten to death; case ruled a homicide

LA CRESCENTA >> Coroner’s investigators have determined that a an elderly La Crescenta man found dead at his home last week was beaten to death, and the case was ruled a homicide.
Arthur Palmer, 73, was found dead about 1:30 p.m. on July 24 inside the attached garage of his home in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
An autopsy determined he died from “multiple blunt force traumatic injuries,” Lt. Kelly Yagerliner said. The death was ruled a homicide.
Deputies discovered Palmer dead after a neighbor asked them to check on him after not seeing him in several days, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. She described Palmer as “a known recluse.”
No further details were released.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man wounded in West Whittier deputy-involved shooting

WEST WHITTIER >> Deputies shot and wounded a man late Wednesday in a residential neighborhood just west of Whittier, officials said.
The shooting took place about 11:40 p.m. in the 12000 block of Rosehedge Drive, in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“The suspect’s condition is unknown,” Moody said. “No deputies were injured.”
No further details were available early Thursday.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are spearheading the investigation.

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Suspect sketch released following attempted kidnapping in Santa Fe Springs

0730_NWS_NWS-L-WHITSKETCH1SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police have released a composite sketch of a man who exposed himself to a woman and tried to kidnap her as she walked along Pioneer Boulevard earlier this month.
The victim, a 57-year-old Downey woman, escaped with only minor abrasions following the failed abduction, which took place about 7:45 a.m. July 5 in an alley along Pioneer Boulevard, just north of Houghton Avenue, according to Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller.
The woman was walking when the suspect called out to the woman from a black SUV, Miller said.
“He asked her to come over to his truck, when he suddenly grabbed her by the wrist and tried pulling her toward his driver’s side door,” police said in a written statement. “The male suspect made several lewd comments and exposed himself.”
The woman managed to pull free and run away. The attacker was last seen driving north on Pioneer Boulevard.
Police described the man as Latino, 30 to 35 years old,of medium build, clean-shaven, with short black hair combed backward.
ANyone with information is asked to contact Whittier police Detective Kremling at 562-409-1850.

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Man arrested after ‘borrowing’ money from San Dimas bank branch

SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a man Tuesday after a bizarre incident in which he entered a bank branch on roller blades and asked to “borrow” money before being subdued by deputies and diners at a nearby restaurant, officials said.
Scott Baertich, 24, was booked on suspicion of robbery, though the ultimate decision as to what charge or charges he may face will be made by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edward said.
The unusual incident began shortly before 11 a.m. at the U.S. Bank, 165 E. Bonita Ave., the lieutenant said.
Baertich rolled into the branch on skates and “asked for theme to let him borrow $20,” Edwards said.
A clerk handed the man a $20 out of fear and he left the bank, she said. Deputies responding to reports of a bank robbery suspect on roller blades spotted a pair of skates sitting in front of nearby Roady’s Restaurant, 160 W. Bonita Ave., Edwards said.
Deputies — aided by customers of the restaurant, which included an off-duty deputy and a retired deputy, wrestled Baertich into custody, she said. Deputies used a Taser to subdue the man. No significant injuries were reported.
It was uncertain with prosectors would file a robbery charge against Baertich, as he made no direct threat or demand while inside the bank, Edwards said. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled appearance Thursday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.

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FBI: ‘AK-47 Bandit’ strikes again, this time in Iowa


IOWA >> A heavily-armed serial bank robber known as the “AK-47 Bandit,” who shot and wounded a Chino police officer during a bank robbery three years ago at the outset of a nationwide crime spree, struck again Tuesday in Iowa, according to the FBI.
The bandit showed up at the Heartland Community Credit Union in Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday morning, armed with his usual AK-47-style rifle fitted with a large-capacity drum magazine, FBI officials said in a written statement.
EP-140909961“ Based on witness descriptions, surveillance photos and other indicators, agents and detectives jointly investigating this case in multiple jurisdictions (and) states believe the Mason City suspect is the same individual linked to the violent series of bank robberies attributed to the ‘AK-47 Bandit,’ which brings the total number of linked robberies to seven,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
The spree of bank heists began on Feb. 29, 2012, when the bandit robbed the California Bank and Trust, 5455 Riverside Drive, and shot a Chino police officer while making his getaway.
Robberies and attempted robberies throughout California and the nation have since been linked to the bank robbery.
He’s believed to be responsible for crimes in Chino, Vacaville, Sacramento, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, and now Iowa, according to the FBI.
$100,000 in reward money has been offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of the AK-47 bandit. The FBI has offered $75,000 in reward money, Eimileer said, while other parties have added an additional $25,000.
Officials have described the robber as a white in his 20s to 40s, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, of medium build, woith possibly blue eyes. He generally wears a black ski mask and gloves and carries the assault rifle which gave him his moniker.
Anyone with information can reach the FBI in Los Angeles at 310-477-6565.

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Three additional suspects charged with 2002 kidnapping, slaying of Montebello teen


MONTEBELLO >> Prosecutors have charged three additional suspects in connection with the alleged rape and murder of a 15-year-old Montebello girl on her way to school more than 12 years ago.
The three men join a woman who is already awaiting trial on charges related to the Oct., 2002, slaying of Brenda Sierra, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Eddie Chavira, 20, Daniel Cervantes, 35 and George Barraza, 35, were added to a felony complaint alleging murder and other charges already filed against Rosemary Chavira, 28, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Rosemary Chavira, Cervantes and Barraza are each charged with murder, conspiracy to dissuade a witness and forcible rape, along with the special circumstance of murder during the commission of a kidnapping to benefit a street gang, court documents show.
Eddie Chavira faces charges of murder and conspiracy to intimidate a witness.
Sierra was on her way to Schurr High School in Montbello when she was kidnapped on Oct. 18, 2002.
“She was raped and killed,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Her body was found the following day in the Crestline area of the San Bernardino Mountains. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.
Sierra had no gang ties, investigators said. But she may have been killed so send a message to the community to keep quiet about gang violence.
In the days before Sierra’s kidnapping and slaying, “Eddie Chavira was in custody for a shooting witnessed by victim Brenda Sierra’s relative,” the district attorney’s office statement said. “Chavira told a fellow Lott gang member that he was going to have other Lott gang members take care of a witness. About the same time, he contacted his (then-)15-year-old sister, Rosemary Chavira, to assist in getting other gang members to take care of witnesses.”
Eddie Chavira and Daniel Cervantes are each serving prison time for previous convictions, authorities said. Investigators arrested Rosemary Chavira in February. Barraza remains a fugitive.
Rosemary Chavira has pleaded not guilty to her charges and is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
Arraignment dates were yet to be scheduled for Eddie Chavira and Cervantes.
Because Rosemary Chavira was herself a teen at the time of the killing, she faces a maximum penally of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charges, prosecutors said. Eddie Chavira faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Cervantes and Barraza’s alleged crimes make them eligible for the death penalty under California law, however authorities have not yet determined whether to seek capital punishment in the case.

PHOTO of Brenda Sierra – courtesy

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Officials: Death of man at Pasadena bus stop appears natural

PASADENA >> The death of a man in his 30s found unconscious at a Pasadena bus stop Saturday is believed to be from natural causes, officials said.
Authorities responded to a bus stop at the parking structure of the Metro Sierra Madre Villa Station in the 100 block of North Halstead Street about 3:45 p.m. after receiving reports of a “man down,” Lt. Rich Maradiaga of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau said.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics pronounced a man, estimated to be in his 30s, dead at the scene, the lieutenant said.
There no signs of foul play and the death appeared to be natural, he said.
An autopsy will be carried out by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

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