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
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.
WHITTIER >> A Whittier man fleeing from police in a stolen van crashed violently into a tree before being arrested Sunday morning, police said.
Ruben Torres, 23, is accused of auto theft and resisting police, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
An officer spotted Torres driving a van that had been reported stolen Saturday in Whittier in an alley to the rear of Penn Street, near Milton Avenue, the lieutenant said.
The van sped away before the officer could turn on his lights and sirens to pull it over, Dean said. As the van sped around the corner, the driver lost control and the van careened into a tree in front of an apartment building, uprooting the tree and causing major damage to the van.
Police quickly apprehended the driver, who was taken to a hospital for examination before being booked into jail.
The same neighborhood was the scene of a shooting late Friday, though Dean said there was no indication the incidents were related.
BALDWIN PARK >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the identity of a 54-year-old man found dead in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store Thursday night.
Raul Ygnacio Acuna, was found dead about 10 p.m. Thursday in front of Food 4 Less, along Baldwin Park Boulevard, just south of Francisquito Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
An autopsy was yet to be completed Sunday, however investigators found no initial signs of foul play, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Johnny Patino said.
GLENDORA >> A man was allegedly drunk when he intentionally and repeatedly rammed another car in a Wendy’s restaurant drive through late Friday, ultimately crashing into the business and a second car as well, officials said.
Officers arrested Richard Martin Cosby, 46, of Los Angeles on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the bizarre 11:25 a.m. rampage at the fast-food restaurant at 1325 S. Lone Hill Ave., according to Glendora police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Cosby was in line at the drive through when, for unknown reasons, he rammed the car in front of him in line several times, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said
The victim drove through the line to get away, Egan said.
Cosby backed up his car, crashing into the building and knocking down the intercom used for customers to place orders, Egan said. He then continued driving through the restaurant’s parking lot, where he struck another occupied car before slamming into a tree.
All three vehicles were damaged to the point they were no longer driveable, Egan said. The Wendy’s was yellow-tagged due to possible structural damage.
Police booked Cosby for five counts of attempted murder — one count for each of five occupants inside the two victim cars, Egan said. No significant injuries were repoorted. A motive for the bizarre and violent behavior was not clear.
Cosby was being held in lieu of $5 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court, records show.
NORWALK >> Deputies are seeking an exceptionally tall man who robbed a Norwalk Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 12:30 p.m. at the eatery, 10905 Imperial Highway, just west of Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jack Jordan said.
A robber entered the restaurant and gestured as if he had a handgun, though none was seen, the sergeant said.
After obtaining an unknown amount of cash from the restaurant’s cash register, the robber was last seen running west along Imperial Highway, then sough along Hoxie Avenue toward the nearby Metro station.
Deputies described the suspect as a black man in his mid-30s, about 6 feet 5 inches tall, wearing a black baseball cap, black pants and a black T-shirt.
LA CRESCENTA >> The death of an elderly man found dead with serious head injuries in his La Crescenta home Friday is being investigated as a homicide, sheriff’s officials said.
A Friday afternoon call from a concerned resident who hadn’t seen his neighbor for several days prompted deputies to check on man in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Deputies found a man in his 70s dead inside the home, and summoned homicide detectives to investigate what sheriff’s officials initially described as a “suspicious death.”
“The victim is a male White in his 70’s who died of apparent blunt force trauma,” Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“The identity of the victim, and the cause of death will be determined by the coroner,” she said. “There is no suspect information.”
No further details were released. It was unclear whether an intruder had forced entry into the home, or whether anything had been stolen.
Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials withheld the victim’s name Saturday pending notification of his family, coroner Investigator Mario Sainz said.
It was not clear how long the man had been dead before his body was discovered.
Anyone with information can reach 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.
WHITTIER >> A man was shot five times, but is expected to survive, following a drive-by shooting in a Whittier alley late Friday, police said.
The victim, a 40-year-old Whittier man, was walking about 8:20 p.m. in an alley along the 12800 block of Penn Street, just east of Milton Avenue, when an assailant in a passing car fired seven shots, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
Five of the bullets struck the man, wounding him in the torso, arm and leg, the lieutenant said. He was taken to an area hospital where he was expected to survive his injuries.
The victim has ties to a Los Angeles Street gang and the shooting is believed to be gang-related, Dean said.
A suspect description was not available, he added. The victim did not cooperate with investigators, and other witnesses provided conflicting descriptions of the involved car.
Authorities have released the identity of a Brentwood man suspected of shooting a 24-year-old Pasadena man outside his home early Friday before fatally shooting himself later in the day near his own home in Brentwood.
Brandon Rafiepour, 24, was found dead inside his car from what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 4 p.m. in the West Los Angeles area, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
The suspected suicide took place in the 300 block of North Kenter Avenue, where public records indicate Rafiepour lived.
He was being sought in connection with the shooting death of Joseph McMahon, which took place shortly after 2 a.m. Friday outside McMahon’s home in the 3600 block of Yorkshire Road, in an unincorporated county area east of Pasadena, she said.
McMahon, was pronounced dead at the scene after sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of gunfire, officials said.
He was described as a former associate producer on the television reality series “The Deadliest Catch,”
A woman who identified herself as McMahon’s sister said she heard seven or eight gunshots just after McMahon left the house, but did not know what had taken place.
No details regarding the circumstances or motive in McMahon’s fatal shooting have been released.
Rafiepour has no history of violent crime listed in Los Angeles County Superior Court records. He was convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit last year, and of driving while in possession of marijuana in 2009.
Anyone with information was 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.
LA CRESCENTA >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of an elderly man Friday in a La Crescenta home.
Few details were initially available regarding the investigation, which began about 1:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue.
Detectives responded the scene, “to investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspicious death of a man,” Deputy Sara Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Deputies first responded to the home after a local resident asked them to “check the welfare” of a neighbor, who had not been seen for several days, Lt. Mohrhoff of the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station said.
After discovering the body of a man inside the home, deputies summoned their counterparts in the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau to take over the investigation, Mohrhoff said.
The man, who was in his 70s, appeared to have suffered “blunt force trauma,” according to deputy Trina Schrader.
“The identity of the victim and the cause of death will be determined by the coroner,” Schrader said.
No further information was released. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.