Former Cal High teacher pleads no contest to child molestation

SOUTH WHITTIER — A former California High School history teacher and junior varsity basketball coach faces sentencing next month after pleading no contest to having sex with a then-17-year-old student, officials said.
“John Gilbert Orellano pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse on July 26,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said. The plea was entered at what was scheduled to be a hearing to determine a date for the 36-year-old Anaheim resident.
Orellano was initially charged with two counts of unlawful intercourse, as well as two counts of oral copulation with a minor.
He admitted the single count under a negotiated plea arrangement, Davila-Morales said.
He was ordered back to Norwalk Superior Court for sentencing Aug. 30, when he was expected to receive 90 days jail time, as well as five years felony probation, she said. He will not be required to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors alleged Orellano had sex with the student in February, district attorney’s officials said.
The investigation into Orellano began with allegations that he had sent sexually explicit messages to the girl beginning in January, according to Sgt. Nancy Drake of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.
But as the investigation went on, detectives determined that the case involved more than just electronic communication.
He was placed on administrative leave once Whittier Union High School District officials learned of the allegations on March 13, district officials said. Orellano, who had worked for the WUHSD for two years, resigned two days later.
“We worked very closely with the Sheriff’s Department to get resolution to this issue,” WUHSD Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson said. “It was our coordination with the department that initiated an investigation and (Orellano) was immediately removed from the classroom.”
WUHSD officials added that the incident was handled swiftly and appropriately by both district staff and law enforcement.
“In addition to the student’s trust he violated, I truly feel that this was a crime against the entire community,” Thorstenson said. “Now that the courtroom portion of this ordeal is over, it is my hope that he is punished accordingly.”
Orellano has remained free through the trial process after posting $240,000 bail three days after his May 15 arrest, according to county booking records. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Human remains discovered in Montebello

MONTEBELLO — Homicide detectives are investigating after human remains were discovered along Lincoln Avenue Wednesday, officials said.
The discovery was reported along the Rio Hondo riverbed adjacent to the 900 block of East Lincoln Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and Montebello police officials said. The find was reported by a bicyclist early Wednesday afternoon.
Montebello police Lt. Michael Bergman said the remains, initially described as skeletal and “minimal.”
The remains had been there “some time,” Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. A more specific time frame was not available.
The bones had been scattered, apparently by animals, Dolston added.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were helping Montebello police with the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500.

Woman interrupts Pasadena burglary

PASADENA — A burglar jumped out a woman’s kitchen window as she arrived home Tuesday, police said.
The crime took place about 12:20 p.m. in the 500 block of South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado said.
The victim entered her home and heard noises coming from the kitchen, he said.
“The suspect exited via a kitchen window, breaking it,” the lieutenant said.
The woman then saw the burglar, described only as male and wearing a ski mask, driving away in a dark sedan, police said. Electronic devices were taken from the home.

Man and teen accused of Pasadena burglary

PASADENA — Police arrested a man and a teenage girl Tuesday after a woman arrived home to interrupt a burglary, officials said.
John Bowman, 22, of Altadena and a teenage Pasadena girl were suspected of burglary following the alleged break-in, which was reported about 5 p.m. in the 1500 block of Las Lunas Street, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado said.
A woman arrived home and heard unusual noises coming from her house, the lieutenant said. She then spotted the two suspects fleeing from her home with bags containing stolen items.
The fleeing burglars abandoned the stolen goods on the rear driveway of a nearby home and continued fleeing on foot, Delgado said. Police found and arrested them in the area a short time later.

Coroner’s officials seek help identifying woman found dead in riverbed near Whittier Narrows Dam

Facial reconstruction

Coroner’s officials asked the public’s help Wednesday in identifying a woman whose partially skeletonized remained were discovered in the San Gabriel riverbed in April.
The remains of the woman, listed at the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner as Jane Doe No. 27, were discovered by county workers about 8:40 a.m. April 2 in the riverbed about 150 yards north of the Whittier Narrows Dam, and 100 yards west of Pico Rivera Bicentennial Park in an unincorporated county area near South El Monte, coroner’s officials said in a written statement.
Due to the condition of the body, which sheriff’s investigators said may have been there for several months, an autopsy was unable to determine how the woman died, coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said. The officials cause of death was listed at the coroner’s office as “undetermined.”
In an effort to learn the identity of the woman, and possibly shed light on what happened to her, investigators Wednesday publicly released a sketch of what the woman was believed to have looked like. A sketch of a tattoo of a rising sun with two mushrooms in front of it on the woman’s right calf was also released.
TATTO sketchNo wallet or identifying papers were found with the body, officials said.
The dead woman was described as 21 to 40 years old. Her eye color could not be determined. She was wearing blue jeans, size 16 petite, and gray size 10 tennis shoes.
“A gray messenger bag containing two body sprays, along with a gray “Amtrak” hooded jacket were found near the decedent,” according to the coroner’s statement.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Investigator Daniel Machian of the Coroner’s Identifications Unit at 323-343-0754, or the Coroner’s Investigations Division at 3230343-0714.

Sketch of victim, tattoo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

West Covina couple unhurt following Pasadena car-to-car shooting

PASADENA — A couple from West Covina escaped injury Tuesday when their car was struck by bullets in a car-to-car shooting along Mentone Avenue in Pasadena, police said.
Police responded about 7:30 p.m. to numerous reports of gunshots being heard along the 1500 block of Mentone Avenue, just north of Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgago said.
Spent bullet casings were found in the street, but no victims were located at the scene, the lieutenant said.
“Later in the evening we were contacted by two individuals who were in Altadena saying they were shot at in that incident,” Delgado said. A woman had been driving a pickup truck with her boyfriend as a passenger when someone inside a car described only as a smaller sedan opened fire.
The pickup truck was struck several times by bullets, however the man and woman — both West Covina residents of about 30 years old — were not injured, Delgado said.
The motive in the shooting remained under investigation, he said, and a further description of the attackers was not available.

Man suspected of fatally shooting woman, wounding self in South San Gabriel

SSGSHOOTING1

SOUTH SAN GABRIEL — A man is accused of fatally shooting the mother of their 2-year-old son early Sunday before shooting and wounding himself, authorities said.
The man and woman were in their early- 20s, according to friends and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. Authorities did not release their names.
The woman died at the scene of the 7:35 a.m. shooting at a house on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard, sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Marchena said. Her body lay just outside the rear door of the home, covered by a tarp.
Deputies first responded to the home after another man inside, described by friends as the wounded man’s grandfather, called 9-1-1 to report a shooting, Marchena said. The man was not injured.
“Homicide detectives have since learned that both victims were involved in a relationship and had a child together,” Sgt. Michael Thomas of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. “The incident is currently being investigated as a murder-attempted suicide.”
SSGSHOTING2No children were believed to be at the house at the time of the shooting, Marchena said.
As sheriff’s and coroner’s officials investigated the scene, a woman who identified herself as a family member of one of the involved people arrived, desperate for information.
“That’s my brother. Please tell me,” she asked of the deputies.
After a brief discussion with a deputy, the woman erupted into tears.
“Oh God, no, she screamed, as two deputies tried to comfort her.
The man and woman shot in the suspected murder-suicide attempt were separated, but had a boy together, said Zully San Inocencio, 20, of Baldwin Park, who said she had been a friend of the wounded man for about three years. She said she did not know the woman well.
The night before the shooting, both attended a birthday party in Montebello for their son, she said.
While San Inocencio said she the couple would sometimes have spats like any other couple, she never saw anything that made her concerned.
“It never got physical, just like little arguments,” she said.
Inocencio and a neighbor who declined to give his name said they were shocked to learn detectives believed the young father was responsible for the shooting.
Inocencio said she had never known the man, who worked at a Hollywood medical marijuana dispensary, to have a temper.
“He’s very calm and collected,” the friend said.
“It just hurts,” Inocencio said upon learning officials suspected the man as the shooter. “It’s just said.” She said she was concerned for the well being of the couples toddler.
The neighbor said everything appeared normal when he last saw the man about 1 p.m. Saturday, when he mentioned he was going to his son’s birthday party.
“I never thought he would do that,” he said.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were handling the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact them at 323-890–5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO (above) –  Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials investigate the scene where a woman was fatally shot and a man was wounded in an alleged murder-suicide attempt early Sunday, July 28, 2013, on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard.

PHOTO (below) – Sheriff’s deputies comfort a grieving family member at the scene where a woman was fatally shot and a man was wounded in an alleged murder-suicide attempt early Sunday, July 28, 2013, on Celito Drive at San Gabriel Boulevard.

Suspect arrested in connection with Arcadia marijuana grow

ARCADIA — A man was arrested Friday — the day after discovery of 300 pot plants growing in his Arcadia home — when he arrived at the Pasadena Humane Society to try and pick up his dogs, which were seized during the bust, authorities said.
Kenny Lee, 31, was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and theft of electricity in connection with the indoor marijuana grow, which was discovered shortly after 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 200 block of East Longden Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
Police found the marijuana plants after animal control officials responded to Lee’s home after his dogs escaped from his yard, Lt. Roy Nakamura said. The animal control officers discovered the front door of the home was open and no one was home, prompting them to call police to check it out.
Officers entered the home to make sure everything was alright and stumbled upon an indoor marijuana grow comprised of 300 plants in various stages of growth, Castro said. The home’s electrical system had also been wired to bypass the electrical meter, allowing Lee to allegedly steal electricity to power the powerful lights required for the grow operation from the Southern California Edison grid.
Lee was not found until Friday afternoon, when he arrived at the Pasadena Humane Society seeking his dogs. Animal control officials notified police, who went to the facility and arrested Lee.
He was released from jail pending his initial court appearance early Saturday after posting $30,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County booking records.

Shots fired in Pasadena, no victims found

PASADENA — Officials checking out a report of gunshots early Sunday found evidence of a shooting, but no people or property struck by bullets, police said.
The shots were reported about 3:17 a.m. in the 1800 block of Navarro Ave., according to Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson.
Officers found bullet casings in the street, but no victims, and “no strikes on residences or vehicles.” Police suspected the shooter may have been firing into the air.
No eyewitnesses were located, Clawson said, and no description of the shooter was available.

Suspect sought in Pasadena stabbing

PASADENA – Authorities sought a suspect Sunday in connection with the stabbing of a man at McDonald Park, police said.
A 39-year-old Pasadena man arrived at a hospital with stab wounds to his torso about 8:30 p.m. Saturday , Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. The man’s injuries were described as not life-threatening, and he refused to cooperate with police.
Other witnesses at the hospital told investigators the man had been stabbed at McDonald Park, 1000 Mountain Avenue, Clawson said.
While following up at the park, police found evidence and additional witnesses, which enabled them to determine the identity of the alleged attacker, the lieutenant said. His name was withheld as police continued seeking him Saturday.
A motive in the stabbing was not clear, he added.