Dispatch from Tania

In what is becoming a weekly feature of Crime Scene, I am pleased to present this week’s dispatch from ace reporter Tania Chatila.

Tania: I received this e-mail from a reader commenting on the man who died on the side of the 210 Freeway with a gunshot wound Tuesday night. Apparently, this reader drove by the scene and saw everything.

 

“I drove by that 48 year old guy..cant think of his name. It was really disturbing because you see something that looks like a pile of white something…then you see an ARM hanging out the side. If they pulled him outta the car then why didnt they cover his whole body up? I dont need to be driving around seeing dead bodies with partially covered bodies. I know its not your fault but I needed to vent.”

Tania: This brings up a good question about how cops in the Valley work. In most places, entire bodies are immediately covered with a white sheet. But around here, things are different. In Baldwin Park, a 19-year-old teen was shot to death Monday night in a driveway on a residential street. For 20 minutes, BP cops stood around their police cars chatting away while the dead body lay uncovered in the middle of the street in plain view. A nearby neighbor filmed the whole thing from his window. Do we really need to see that?

Police report of the week

This comes from Arcadia, where officers are hoping they can bargain their way to higher pay and more cops on the beat.

NOVEMBER 24,
A victim came to the station around 2:23 p.m. to file a theft report. She advised that for the past year she has been involved in an on-line relationship with the 21-year-old male Hispanic suspect. They finally decided to meet on November 11 and he asked if she would like to help him save money for their wedding. She agreed to help and gave him her bank debit card with the stipulation that he limit his withdrawals to $200. A few days later the victim discovered that he withdrew $1,000.

No word on whether they’ve caught this guy. Perhaps he’ll claim he used the money to buy an engagement ring.

Man-ling appears

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Below is the web update that will appear on SGVN in a few minutes. There’s not much more to report. Manling is still dressed int he Yellow and blue garb which indicates she is in protective custody and may be a danger to herself. Upon entering the courtroom she briefly acknowledged her family then turned away. Throughout William’s voice was barely audible when answering questions from Judge Robert Martinez.

She was handcuffed to a courtroom chair for the duration of the hearing and  led away as soon as it finished. Williams did not look back at her family or the family of her deceased husband upon leaving.

 

[BODY]POMONA Prosecutors shared evidence Thursday with attorneys for a woman accused of killing her husband and two children and agreed to hold a preliminary hearing in the case on Jan. 28.
The evidence exchange took place minutes before a brief hearing in the Pomona Court for Man-ling Williams, 28, of Rowland Heights.
Theres a significant amount of discovery, defense attorney Tom Althaus told Superior Court Judge Robert Martinez.
When asked by Martinez what materials might be contained in the package, Althaus was interrupted by prosecutor Paik Kouch who gave the judge a generic list of its contents.
Theres a tremendous amount of material, Kouch said. Theres a list of additional witness, field reports from investigators and C.S.I. people as well as supplemental reports.
Neither Kouch nor Althaus revealed the specific contents of the discovery materials.
Williams is accused of stabbing her husband Neal, 27, to death with a sword and of suffocating the couples two young boys, Devon, 7, and Ian, 3.
At her initial hearing in the case, Williams’ first defense attorney, Kenneth Wenzl, said Williams detailed her involvement in the killings of her husband and sons.
Sheriffs officials confirmed there was a confession.
Besides the three counts of murder, Williams faces special circumstance allegations of lying in wait prior to the slaying of the children, and three counts of multiple murder.
In addition to her apparent confession, the case against Williams appears to hinge on her shifting story to neighbors and detectives immediately after the bodies were discovered.
At first, she allegedly told neighbors she couldnt sleep and took a drive. She said she discovered the bodies upon her return home.
She provided some statements that proved incriminating, said Sgt. Bill Marsh, lead homicide detective in the case for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Both sides had hoped they could delay a preliminary hearing in the case, but Martinez would not budge and scheduled a Jan. 28 hearing date, with a Jan. 15 status conference.
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live blogging

This was pretty much an experiment to see how much information I could blog from the courtroom where a hearing was held this morning in the Manling Williams case using my Palm.
The Treo’s browser doesn’t like the blog interface, so I posted into the comments, which you can read below.
As soon as court opened, the bailiff advised that all cellphones and pagers must be turned completely off — not just silenced. So, I guess you could say the experiment didn’t work completely.
In any event, the hearing, which was a prelim to the real prelim, was fairly uneventful….

Continue reading

The victim

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UPDATED 11-29-07 10:43 a.m.

Homicide victim Jason Wei is show here. Wei was shot to death at his restaurant, Osaka Ya, in Arcadia Sunday night. Police have released video and still images of his suspected killer, but apparently have made no arrests.

Wei was a popular sushi chef at the restaurant and several customers have recalled him fondly.

Police are examining several possibilities in the killing, including the possibility he was killed by some arm of the Chinese Mafia.

As of Tuesday evening, police said they aren’t ruling out a botched robbery as the cause of Wei’s death.

4:07 p.m. UPDATE

A foundation has been set up in Jason Weis name at the Arcadia branch of the TomatoBank, at 1317 S. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia.
Make checks payable to the Jason Wei Foundation.
Wei was working behind the sushi bar around 9:20 p.m. when the gunman entered the Arcadia restaurant, located in the Vons Pavilion Shopping Center.
We just want to help the victims family. I think that is all we can do, said branch manager Helen Wu.
For more information, call the bank at (626) 802-6222.

 

Note I changed the address of the bank after receiving a reader comment about the information. Thanks for the heads up.

 

The killing continues

Irwindale police think they’ve got a drunk driver on their hands, but turns out it’s a man whose been shot and about to die.

Here’s the story as we know it so far:

AZUSA – A man died on the side of the 210 Freeway on Tuesday night after suffering a gun shot wound, according to authorities.

An off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer spotted the man weaving back and forth between lanes on the northbound 605 Freeway, according to Irwindale Police Sgt. Mario Camacho.

The car exited at Irwindale Avenue, pulled into a business park, turned around, and then reentered the freeway minutes later, according to Camacho. The off-duty officer followed him the whole time, and could not explain why the main left the freeway, he added.

The Irwindale Police Department pulled the car over on the freeway around the Azusa Avenue exit at 11:17 p.m., and found the driver in the car had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper torso. The driver is described by police as a white male in his 50s.

Officers were surprised to find the wounded man when they pulled the car over.

“Based on the way he was driving, the officers just thought he was drunk,” said Camacho.

Fire Department personnel and police officers attempted to provide medical aid to the man while awaiting an ambulance, but the man died on the scene, said Camacho.

Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are investigating the crime, and the coroner’s office is working to identify the man, said Camacho.

Baldwin Park crime scene screen grab

679-MURDERCLIP3-thumb-300x214.jpgThis is a screen grab from the video a Baldwin Park man shot Monday night while detectives and coroners investigators look over the body of murder victim Oscar Garcia.

Not sure who everyone in the picture is, but the man in the center appears to be a coroner’s investigator. The man with the flashlight is obviously a BPPD officer or tech.

There are other scenes in this video, but most are too graphic to display here.