Bodies discovered in Wilmington home *

Fox 11 is reporting as many as seven bodies have been found in a Wilmington home this morning.  LA Times has five, AP reporting two.
Here’s the AP story, sounds like a murder-suicide:

LOS ANGELES–Los Angeles police say they’ve found at least two bodies in a Wilmington home.

Ana Aguirre says officers got a call about a shooting shortly before
8:30 a.m. Tuesday. They went to the 1000 block of MacFarland Avenue and
found at least two members of the same family dead inside a two-story

Aguirre says there are at least two bodies but the home hasn’t been completely searched and there may be more.

Other details are unclear but Aguirre says police aren’t actively looking for a killer.

Looks like the total is six bodies. Murder-suicide now more likely, according to the latest AP story, which begins like this:

A father apparently distraught over job problems shot and killed his wife and five young children and then committed suicide at their home Tuesday, police said. The victims
included two sets of twins.

The bodies were found when police responded to a report of a shooting
in progress in the Wilmington area shortly before 8:30 a.m., Officer
Sam Park said. The bodies were found throughout the McFarland Avenue

The victims were not immediately identified.

Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner said the man killed his wife, an 8-year-old
girl, twin 5-year-old daughters and twin 2-year-old sons. He then
killed himself.

“He was despondent, clearly, over his job situation,” Garner said.

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Drive-by in the forest

I forgot to post a link to this story Monday, and it’s pretty interesting. Apparently there was a drive-by shooting in the Angeles National Forest Sunday. One man was hurt. The shooter escaped. Here’s the brief that ran in the Pasadena Star-News:

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – A man was shot and wounded in an apparently gang-related attack in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge Sunday, authorities said.

The shooting occurred about 4:30 a.m. on Angeles Crest Highway north of Foothill Boulevard, at mile marker 27.37, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Angela Shepherd said.
The victim, a 21-year-old Highland Park man, was standing at a turnout when a Silver sedan containing a Latino man and woman in their early 20s passed by, Shepherd said.
Several shots were fired from inside the car, striking the victim once in the lower back, she said. He was hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
No further details were available.

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Held to answer *

A suspected teen-aged killer was held to answer for the killings of 12-year-old Albert Garcia and his father Juan Garcia at a Montebello graduation party last June 21.

Angel Sosa, 15, will be tried as an adult in the case. He is scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 9 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A judge in the case denied the newspapers’ request to take photos of the suspect in court.

Ruby Gonzales will have the complete story in Tuesday’s newspaper.

* A spectator in court said:

“Four witnesses identified (Angel) in a line up. Only one little girl came through — couldn’t say (Angel’s) name aloud and was afraid to point the suspect out.”

Angel beaten up earlier in the day, according to testimony. He and a friend came to the party looking for someone named Marcus.

“There was a fight with the bouncer at the gate of the party. Angel was behind him, he showed the gun.” ..shots were fired.

The unidentified 17-year-old “was probably scared. It took a long time to answer questions. There was intimidation there. The DA protected her identity up until that time …”

“The witness is blaming herself for the shooting.” 

“The judge said he was binding over for trial I was in shock watching the DA, I thought, “Oh my God they’ve got to do better than this.”

“What was that? I asked. “I thought you had people who identified him?”

“They flaked,” the prosecutor responded. “At best I have that young girl.”

On the witness stand the teenager, “Said she felt bad that she had to point out Angel. She didn’t want to get him in trouble even though he probably killed two people.”

“It seemed like the case was falling apart.”

Police didn’t do well either. “The officer who testified was kind of useless.”

Following the slayings, “there was another shooting down the street. They found their target a kid named Marcus, They shot at him and he shot back.”

Again there was tension between family members in court.

Members of Sosa’s family when asked to move, said, “We not moving, we’re kicking it here.”

After what appeared to be some witness intimidation, extra deputies were brought in to keep the peace.  

Prosecutors didn’t seek a gang enhancement, because Sosa wasn’t from a gang, instead he claimed membership in a tagging crew, possibly CSC, which associates with the South Montebello gang.  

The family member said the prosecutor told her, “This is a tough case to try. It may come down to a deal.”


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Tuesday’s column

The audacity of my hope knows no bounds.

In this new era of responsibility, I’m hoping that somehow our state and our nation get through the crisis before us.

Seems like they are going to do it by focusing on sports.

I both fear and loathe the tactic. It’s as if our elected leaders see us as nothing more than dumb animals easily distracted by shiny objects.

Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, seem to have deployed the tactic in recent days.

If you watched Pomona’s own “Sugar” Shane Mosley dominate and ultimately destroy Antonio Margarito on Saturday evening, you probably saw our governor there. He was siting ringside with his celebrity friends, just behind Mosely’s corner.

Obviously he can’t be working to fix the state budget crisis on a Saturday night. Even so, if you ever needed any indication of how out of touch Arnold Schwarzenegger really is with the common man, there’s the touchstone.

Can he be expected to feel our pain when taxes go up?

He can’t.

Especially when he can afford upwards of $20,000 for the privilege of watching the fight first hand.

Can he be expected to know how difficult it is to make a house payment? A car payment? A utility bill?


Not when he’s hanging out with Sylvester Stallone, Christina Aguilera, and Marky Mark at the Staples Center.

Then there’s Congressman Miller. He’s chosen to take on the Bowl Championship Series, college football’s flawed attempt to crown a national champion.

On Jan. 16, Miller introduced a bill that would cut off federal funds to universities who refuse to eliminate the BCS and participate in a playoff.

Since when do we send folks to Washington to worry about college football?

I know President Obama has spoken of his dislike of the BCS. I doubt that with the thousands of layoffs occurring daily, the standoff in Gaza, the presence of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan he’s proposing to tackle the problem in the first 100 days of his administration.

Miller’s flak Jessica Baker said Monday that her boss put out the bill to address the unfairness of the system.

I asked, “Since when does a Republican proponent of free markets support the use of federal power to address a problem in the public sector?”

Her answer: “Congress has a role to make sure there’s fairness and equality.”

I’ve got another plan I’m guessing would work just as well.

Rep. Miller, if you want fairness and equality in sports, just propose legislation that mandates all college football games will end in ties.

It’s simple really. I do it with my boys when we play football in the backyard. If Thomas, who is 11, racks up too many touchdowns, I, as all-time quarterback, change the rules midgame so Matthew, 7, has a chance.

That’s fair, equitable and removes the shiny object distraction so that you guys can get back to work fixing this country’s real problems.

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Spector trial nears final act

This from Linda Deutch at the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly six years after an actress was shot to death in the foyer of his storied castle, music legend Phil Spector’s long, strange voyage through the justice system is nearing what could be its final act — his lawyer’s presentation of what happened on that fateful night.

Prosecutors rested their case last week in what is the second murder trial for Spector. The first ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction.

Both sides are hoping for a verdict this time. If convicted, the 68-year-old record producer could be sentenced to 18 years in prison, realistically the rest of his life.

A verdict would also render a decision on just what happened to Lana Clarkson, a statuesque, blonde beauty who became a 1980s cult figure following her starring role in the Roger Corman film “Barbarian Queen.”

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The bishop goes missing


Sheriff’s deputies are seeking 86-year-old Basil Tellou after the elderly man disappeared from his home in Duarte on Jan. 20.

Tellou, also known as “The Bishop” is well known in Pasadena’s Playhouse District and apparently frequents Vroman’s.

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, Tellou worked as a bit player in Hollywood and appeared in a movie titled “Harbor of the Missing Men.”

Here’s a link to his IMDB page.


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Txt messages from downtown

Got this text from reporter Ruby Gonzales who is downtown covering a preliminary hearing for a 15-year-old accused of gunning down Albert Garcia and his father while the two attended a graduation party in a Montebello backyard in June.

Here’s Ruby’s text:

Witness sez she saw shooter and chose 2 write his name than say it. Da dropped gang allegation dunno y. Just heard it in court.

I’ll have more when I get it. Ruby said the prelim started at 11 and will likely go all day.

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Preliminary hearing scheduled in slaying of father and son

MONTEBELLO — A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday for a then-15-year-old alleged gang member accused of shooting a 12-year-old boy and his father to death at a blind girl’s graduation party.

Angel Sosa has been charged as an adult with the murders of Albert Garcia of Hemet and his father, Juan Garcia of Perris, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said. Prosecutors further allege that the killings were gang-related, and that Sosa personally fired the gun that killed the Garcias.

The shooting occurred June 21, 2008, at a party in the 100 block of East Madison Avenue.
At Monday’s hearing, which is to be held at Los Angeles Superior Court, Dept. 30, attorney’s will present arguments and a judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to order Sosa to stand trial.

Because of his age, Sosa will not face the death penalty if convicted. He could, however, face life imprisonment.




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Serial killer bargains for his life

A man convicted of slaying two coeds in Rowland Heights back in the 1980s bought his way off Death Row by confessing to the killing of a seven-year-old Northern California girl in the early part of that decade.

Wayne Harvey Smith, 61, will spend the rest of his life in prison. Here’s a link to Brian Day’s story (and the top portion):

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – A serial killer convicted of two Rowland Heights murders in the 1980s avoided the death penalty after he confessed to slaying a seven-year-old Northern California girl, officials and family members said Friday.

In order to avoid execution for the 1983 shooting death of 18-year-old Stacy Belcher of Rowland Heights, Wayne Harvey Smith, 61, cooperated with investigators and admitted to killing a 7-year-old girl in Weaverville in 1980, Trinity County sheriff’s Detective Bryan Ward said. He will not be prosecuted in that case.

“I’d rather have seen the death penalty,” Stacy Belcher’s father, Charles Belcher, said, “but the fact that this other family has closure, that makes it worthwhile.”


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