Police seek missing schizophrenic woman in West Covina

50385-SHAVERMUG-thumb-300x336-50384.jpg
WEST COVINA — Police sought the public’s help Friday in finding a missing schizophrenic women who wandered away from a hospital.
Vivian Shaver, 57, was last seen Wednesday at Citrus Valley Medical Center — Queen of the Valley Campus, where she was receiving medical treatment, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
Shaver, a transient who has been staying at a locked-down skilled nursing facility in Rosemead, wandered off without her schizophrenia medication after going outside for some fresh air, Lopez said.
She has no known family, police said, however she does have a conservator who makes important decisions for her who could not be reached as of Friday.
Shaver is described as white, 5 feet 3 inches tall, 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call the West Covina Police Department at 626-939-8500.
PHOTO: 1993 driver’s license photo (the most recent photo available) of Vivian Shaver courtesy of the West Covina Police Department.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Shots fired in Pasadena

PASADENA — Shots were fired in Northwest Pasadena Thursday, but police found no signs of a victim or shooter, authorities said.
An officer was on patrol about 7 p.m. when he heard gunshots in the area of Summit Avenue and Grandview Street, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado said.
Officers searched the area but found no one injured by gunfire and no suspects, he said.
Police continues checking the area for bullet casings, bullet holes or other signs of a shooting late Thursday.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Two suspected in West Covina takeover robbery

WEST COVINA — Two men are due in court Friday to face charges including armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of marijuana for sales after a takeover robbery at a crowded West Covina cell phone store, authorities said.
Police arrested Jose Cruz Gutierrez, 23, and Julio Marcos Aguilar, 20, both of Desert Hot Springs, minutes after Wednesday’s 5:12 p.m. robbery at the AT&T store, 100 S. California Ave., West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
A witness called police to report a “robbery in progress” at the store, which was filled with employees and customers, the corporal said.
“The caller relayed information that a gunman entered the store brandishing a handgun, demanding that everyone lay down on the floor,” he said.
The gunman stole cash from the registers and ordered and employee to open a safe in which new iPhones were kept, Lt. Richard Bell said.
The gunman, later identified as Gutierrez, appeared to know that the phones would be stored in the safe, Lopez added.
The gunman also stole a phone from a store customer before fleeing into a car with a waiting driver, later identified as Aguilar, he said.
The witness was able to provide police with a description of the getaway car, he said, and officers spotted it nearby on Vincent Avenue.
“A short chase followed after which the suspect vehicle pulled over to the curb in the 1000 block of West Covina Parkway,” Lopez said. A handgun was then tossed out of the passenger side of the car.
“At one point, the front passenger (Gutierrez) opened the door and began to bend down toward the handgun,” Lopez said.
Officers shot him once with a bean bag projectile and he retreated back into the car, officials said. Both men were than arrested without further incident.
The stolen cash and phones were recovered, Lopez said, and the handgun was found to be loaded and reported stolen out of Moreno Valley.
Additionally, officers discovered some marijuana, packaged for sales, inside the car, police said.
Gutierrez and Aguilar were booked on suspicion of armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of stolen property, possession of a loaded firearm, evading police and possession of a controlled substance for sales.
They were being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the West Covina Police Department jail, Lopez said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Gutierrez and Aguilar were due to be arraigned Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Men suspected of tagging along freeway in Norwalk

NORWALK — California Highway Patrol officers chased down and arrested two young men early Wednesday after they were spotted scrawling graffiti along the 605 Freeway, authorities said.
Manuel Martinez, 20, of Norwalk and Christian Vazquez, 18, of Artesia were booked on suspicion of vandalism, CHP officials said in a written statement.
Two CHP officers were patrolling about 1:30 a.m. on the 605 Freeway near Firestone Boulevard — an area frequently plagued by graffiti — when they spotted Martinez and Vazquez, officials said.
They men fled when they noticed the officers approaching, but were quickly captured on Firestone Boulevard, officials said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Martinez was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, while Vazquez was released Wednesday after posting $10,000 bail.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Court refuses to review case of Turnbull Canyon killers

From City News Service:
LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against three men convicted of the October 2002 murder of a 17-year- old Baldwin Park girl whose body was dumped on a Hacienda Heights street.
The state’s highest court denied the defense’s petitions seeking review of the case against Abraham Ruben Acuna, Matthew Andrew Garcia and Victor Manuel Monge.
The three were charged in January 2008 and convicted in June 2009 of first-degree murder for the slaying of Gloria Gaxiola, who was strangled and shot to death on Oct. 12, 2002.
The teenager — who had been killed in the Turnbull Canyon area — was pushed out of a car, but her foot got stuck on a seatbelt and her body was dragged from the vehicle for about 4 1/2 miles, to the location where it was found on Hacienda Boulevard, near Colima Road.
Last November, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected claims by the three that there were errors in their trial, including the admission of two photographs showing Gaxiola’s injuries.
Acuna was sentenced in July 2009 to 55 years to life in state prison, while Garcia was ordered to serve 80 years to life and Monge was sentenced to 85 years to life.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Former Walnut man sentenced for molestation of adopted son

LONG BEACH — A former executive director of California state mental hospital and Walnut resident will die in prison for molesting his adopted son over the course of nine years, officials said Wednesday.
Claude Edward Foulk Jr., 63, received a sentence of 248 years in state prison — the maximum sentence allowed by law — from Long Beach Superior Court Judge James Pierce, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. Foulk was also ordered to pay $6,200 in restitution.
He was convicted Feb. 3 of more than 30 counts of child molestation for abusing his adopted son from age nine to 18, prosecutors said.
The abuse took place while the father and son lived in Long Beach, then continued when they moved to Walnut, officials added.
Though the case against Foulk involved only his adopted son, four other men testified during his trial that they were molested by Foulk as far back as 1966, district attorney’s officials said in the statement.
“Additionally, seven other male victims alleged that Foulk sexually assaulted them when they were between the ages of nine and 12 between the years of 1967 and 1984,” according to the statement, though the statute of limitations on any possible criminal prosecution has passed.
Foulk served as the executive director of the Napa State Hospital until he was charged, and subsequently fired, on Feb. 24, 2010.
Foulk also lost his nursing license, officials said. He has worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital in the 1970s, where he came in contact with one of his alleged victims.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for South Pasadena baseball bat attack

SOUTH PASADENA — A 20-year-old man received a 12-year prison sentence Wednesday for striking a teenage boy in the head with a baseball bat, leaving him with severe brain injuries, authorities said.
Elijah Stinson of La Puente received the sentence from Pasadena Superior Court Judge Candace Beason as part of a plea agreement, Sgt. Jim Valencia of the South Pasadena Police Department Detective Bureau said in a written statement.
He pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder without premeditation as well as assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury, Valencia said.
Stinson, then 17 years old, walked up behind then-18-year-old South Pasadena High School student Jeffrey Cortinez on Feb. 1, 2008, and struck him in the head with a baseball bat, investigators said.
Despite his age, Stinson was tried as an adult.
Stinson was believed to have held a grudge against Cortinez for several weeks, ever since Cortinez had become part of a fight involving one of Stinson’s friends.
Stinson’s girlfriend at the time, then-20-year-old Jeniell Galvan-Franco of Glendora, was convicted of acting as a getaway driver after the attack.
She pleaded guilty to a count of assault with a deadly weapon in late 2009 and was sentenced to three years behind bars, officials said. Most of the time had already been served at the time of the sentencing, and Galvan-Franco has since been released on parole.
“The attack left Cortinez with severe brain injuries from which he is still trying to recuperate with the help of rehabilitation and around-the-clock nursing care,” Valencia said.
“During an emotional sentencing,” he added, “(Cortinez’s mother) and Jeffrey Cortinez’s younger brother spoke to the court and to Stinson directly about the physical, emotional and financial toll the unprovoked attack has taken on Jeffrey Cortinez and his family.”
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Jury convicts Pico Rivera man in Montebello murder

MONTEBELLO — A Los Angeles jury convicted a Pico Rivera man Tuesday of shooting another man to death along Whittier Boulevard in Montebello in 2007.
Ernie Sandoval, 29, was convicted of murdering 25-year-old Melvin Estrada of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
The jury also found true the special allegation of the personal use of a firearm, court officials said.
He faces 18 years to life in prison when he returns to Los Angeles Superior Court for sentencing on April 28.
During Sandoval’s sentencing hearing, officials added, the court will also determine whether Sandoval is to be sentenced at a third strike offender, which could add additional prison time to his sentence.
Sandoval waived his right to a jury trial on the three strikes determination, court officials said.
Sandoval shot and killed Estrada July 14, 2007, in the 1900 block of West Whittier Boulevard, investigators said.
Officials said Estrada had been involved in a fist fight with one of Sandoval’s acquaintances before the shooting before Sandoval walked up to Estrada, shot him in the chest and walked away.
The slaying remained a mystery until mid-2010.
Homicide detectives released a composite sketch of the killer in April of 2010. The next month, Sandoval was jailed.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

West Covina police jail transient on suspicion of indecent exposure, possession of meth

WEST COVINA — Police took a 28-year-old transient to jail Sunday after he was caught masturbating in some bushes, then admitted to possessing some methamphetamine, police said.
Juan Martin Martinez, a transient known to frequent the San Dimas area, was booked on suspicion of drug possession and indecent exposure, West Covina police Lt. Marty Sevilla said.
An officer was patrolling in the 1500 block of E. Amar Road about 1:20 p.m. when he came across Martinez, who was masturbating in some bushes, the lieutenant said.
While being detained and questioned by the officer, Martinez admitted to having a small amount of methamphetamine and a smoking pipe on him, he added.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Martinez was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail and was due for arraignment Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.
Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email