Driver in Temple City crash that killed passenger guilty of manslaughter

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TEMPLE CITY >> A man received a sentence of more than 15 years in prison Friday for a car crash following a police pursuit in Temple City that killed his passenger, officials said.
Richard John Villareal Jr., 28, pleaded “no contest” in Pasadena Superior Court to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of evading a police officer, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
Under a negotiated plea arrangement in Pasadena Superior Court, charges of murder, fleeing a police officer causing death, possession of methamphetamine, and driving without a valid license were dismissed, Santiago said.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dorothy Shubin immediately sentenced Villareal to 15 years and 8 months in state prison.
Killed in the June 2 crash at Lower Azusa Road and Arden Drive in Temple City was Villareal’s 38-year-old friend, Michael Sandoval Jr.
“The defendant led Arcadia police officers on a high-speed pursuit after they attempted to pull him over for driving a stolen car near Workman and Baldwin avenues,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Arcadia police called off the chase, but Villareal continued speeding away in the 2001 Honda Accord.
“Following the pursuit, Villareal sped through a red light at the intersection of Lower Azusa Road and Arden Drive and was struck by another vehicle,” according to the statement. Following the initial impact with a Toyota Avalon, the Honda subsequently struck two minivans, officials said.
Sandoval died at the scene of the crash, while Villareal suffered moderate injuries and one driver of one of the other involved vehicles suffered minor injuries, officials said.
The car the two men were fleeing from police in had been reported stolen two days earlier in Monterey Park.

PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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Charges filed against man accused of beating nephews to death in Arcadia

Arcadia High students and parents attend a vigil for slain students Anthony Lin, 15, and William Lin, 16, at the Arcadia, Calif. campus January 25, 2016. The brothers were allegedly beaten to death in their home by their uncle. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Pasadena Star-News)

Arcadia High students and parents attend a vigil for slain students Anthony Lin, 15, and William Lin, 16, at the Arcadia, Calif. campus January 25, 2016. The brothers were allegedly beaten to death in their home by their uncle. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Pasadena Star-News)

ARCADIA >> Prosecutors have filed murder charges against a San Gabriel Valley man accused of beating his two teenage nephews to death with a bolt cutter at their home in Arcadia last weekend, officials said Thursday.
Deyun Shi, also known as Jeff Shi, 44, was charged with two counts of murder, along with a count of domestic violence causing great bodily injury, as he awaits extradition proceedings in Hong Kong, where he was captured the day after the double-slaying, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said.
Deyun_ShiThe murder charges listed in an extradition arrest warrant obtained Wednesday are accompanied by “an allegation that the defendant used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a bolt cutter, in the commission of the crimes,” district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said in a written statement.
The domestic assault charge stems from an alleged attack on Shi’s estranged wife at her La Cañada home on Jan. 21, the day before the bodies of his nephews Anthony Lin, 15, and his brother William Lin, 16, were found by their mother at the family’s home in the 400 block of Fairview Avenue in Arcadia.
In the domestic attack, Shi is accused of striking his estranged wife with a maul, or wood-splitting hammer, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials.
Arraignment was to be scheduled later pending extradition proceedings, officials said.
“If convicted as charged, Shi faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison,” Santiago said.
Deputies began seeking Shi late Jan 21, after he allegedly attacked his wife with a wood-splitting tool, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The woman suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The parents of the Lin brothers had gone to check on the injured victim late on Jan. 21, Hernandez said. They returned home in the early morning hours Jan. 22 and did not notice anything wrong before they went to bed.
About 12:40 p.m., Anthony and William’s mother awoke and discovered her sons dead, officials said. One of the boys was found on the first floor of the two-story apartment situated on top of a parking garage. The other brother’s body was found upstairs.
Shi is married to the sister of the slain brothers’ father, Hernandez said.
The manhunt for Shi intensified following the discovery of his nephews’ body.
His alleged violent crime spree began after he learned his wife had filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against him, investigators said.
He was detained when his airplane landed in Hong Kong, officials said. Detectives initially said his ultimate destination may have been Beijing.
Officials said Shi had been staying with a friend in Alhambra and conducted business in San Gabriel at the time of the crimes.
Community members honored the Lin brothers Monday during a vigil at their school, Arcadia High School, where Anthony was a freshman and William was a junior, according to Arcadia Unified School District officials.

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Man flees with computer following Craigslist transaction-turned-robbery in Arcadia

ARCADIA >> A man trying to sell his laptop computer online ended up getting robbed when he met the purported buyer in Arcadia Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The victim had arranged to sell his laptop on Craigslist.com and went to meet another person who had responded to the advertisement about 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a business in the 100 block of East Huntington Drive, near 1st Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. Tony Juarez said.
“As the victim approached the suspect with laptop in hand, the suspect struck the victim and took the laptop,” Juarez said in a written statement. “The suspect then entered a newer red Ford Mustang with paper plates and fled the area.”
The victim suffered a minor injury from the punch but declined to be taken to a hospital, officials said. Officers searched the area but did not find the robber, described as a Latino man of 25 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall and of heavy build. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt during the crime.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Fire leads to discovery of 700 marijuana plants inside Arcadia home


ARCADIA >> A fire at an Arcadia home led authorities to discover about 700 marijuana plants growing inside early Saturday.
Firefighters responded to a report of a fire about 12 a.m. at a house in the 1000 block of South 4th Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura said in a written statement.
“The Arcadia Fire Department personnel responded and observed numerous marijuana plants in different stages of cultivation as well as equipment used for cultivation purposes and contacted the police department,” Nakamura said.
Officers ultimately uprooted an estimated 700 pot plants from the home, police said. An estimated street value was not available.
No one was at the home at the time of the fire, and no arrests had been made, Nakamura said. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man accused of killing teenage nephews in Arcadia detained in Hong Kong

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ARCADIA >> A man sought in the beating deaths of his teenage nephews in Arcadia, as well as an attack on his wife in La Canada Flintridge, is in custody after being apprehended in Hong Kong, authorities confirmed Saturday.
Deyun Shi, 44, boarded an airplane Friday after his 15- and 16-year-old nephews were found slain inside their home in the 400 block of Fairview Avenue in Arcadia, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“Detectives learned that after suspect, Deyun Shi’s plane arrived at the Hong Kong airport, he was taken into custody by Hong Kong authorities,” according to Deputy Grace Medrano of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will work with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with law enforcement authorities in Hong Kong to initiate the extradition of Deyun Shi,” Medrano said.
The FBI was assisting in the apprehension, “by coordinating with the FBI’s Legal Attache and law enforcement authorities in Hong Kong, where the suspect has been taken into custody pending further review by officials in the United States and Hong Kong,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a written statement.
Arcadia Unified School District officials identified the victims as Anthony Lin, 15, and his brother William Lin, 16.
0124_NWS_PSN-L-SHI3Both attended Arcadia High School, where Anthony was a freshman and William was a junior, AUSD spokesman Ryan Foran said.
“We are beyond saddened to learn of the death of the Lin brothers,” AUSD officials said in a written statement. “The loss of William and Anthony will be felt by the thousands of students, staff, friends and family that loved and knew them well in our tight-knit community. We know our community will stand united as we go through this unthinkable tragedy together.”
The night before the bodies of the Lin brothers were discovered, Shi attacked his wife with a wood-splitting tool in La Canada Flintridge, inflicting serious injuries, after learning she had filed for divorce, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
At some point afterward, Shi allegedly made his was to the home of his wife’s brother, which he shared with his wife and their two teenage sons.
The parents of the slain teens had been visiting with Shi’s injured wife until the early morning hours Friday, and they noticed nothing amiss when they returned home and went to bed.
The boys were discovered fatally beaten when the parents awoke early Friday afternoon. It was unclear exactly when the killings took place.
Shi was already being sought for the attack on his wife when he was identified as the suspect in the double-homicide investigation, Hernandez said.
In the hours that followed the discovery of the teens’ bodies, detectives recovered Hsi’s SUV and learned that His, who had been staying with a friend in Alhambra, had boarded an airplane to China, officials said.
Officials initially said his ultimate destination was believed to be Beijing.
China has no extradition treaty with the U.S. for the return of wanted fugitives. Hong Kong, however, does.
The crime scene investigation at the Lin family apartment had concluded Saturday. A memorial of flowers, notes and a chemistry text book in front of Lin home continued growing as neighbors and loved ones paid their respects.
“I can’t imagine the pain of the parents,” said one emotional neighbor as she left a note at the memorial.
Prior to high school, both brothers attended Dana Middle School, Foran said.
AUSD officials offered condolences to the Lin family and asked the community respect the family’s privacy during “this extremely difficult time.”
“While this tragedy did not happen on campus, it will undoubtedly have an enormous impact throughout all our schools,” the AUSD statement continued. “We will provide additional counselors and support services this week when students return to school, and for as long as they are needed.”
A vigil was planned for 6 p.m. Monday at Arcadia High School, Foran said.

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PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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UPDATED: Teenage brothers found beaten to death in Arcadia apartment, uncle sought


ARCADIA >> Homicide detectives are seeking a man they say beat his two teenage nephews to death inside their Arcadia apartment Friday.
The bodies of the two brothers, ages 15 and 16, were discovered by their parents at about 12:40 p.m. at the family home in the 400 block of Fairview Avenue, just west of Holly Avenue, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Deyun_ShiThe suspect in the double slaying, the victims’ 44-year-old uncle by marriage, Deyun Shi, remained at large Friday night. Investigators said the suspect was believed to have boarded an airplane to China sometime Friday. The FBI was working with Chinese authorities.
Hernandez declined to discuss what type of weapon was used in the attack, but said both victims appeared to have suffered “blunt force trauma.”
One of the bodies was found upstairs and the other downstairs, Hernandez said. The two-story apartment sits on top of a parking garage.
Hernandez said that at the time the slayings were discovered, Shi was already being sought in connection with an attack on his wife Thursday night in La Cañada Flintridge.
“He found out his wife had filed a restraining order against him and began divorce proceedings,” Hernandez said. “That may have been a motive. We’re not sure,” Hernandez said.
Shi’s wife was treated for serious injuries suffered when her husband hit her with a tool of some sort, he said. The injury was not life-threatening.
Officials said the fugitive suspect was married to the sister of the slain boys’ father.
ARCBODY1The parents of the victims, who lived at the Arcadia apartment with their sons, went to visit the victim of the domestic assault late Thursday.
They arrived home late at night and didn’t notice anything wrong before going to bed, Hernandez said. When they awoke the following day, they discovered their sons dead.
It was unclear exactly when the killings took place.
There were signs of forced entry to the home, Hernandez said. It appeared the killer may have forced his way through the apartment’s front door.
Deputies recovered Shi’s GMC Yukon SUV Friday, but the alleged killer himself remained at large.
“Detectives have recovered the suspect vehicle and have learned that the suspect has boarded a plane to Beijing, China,” according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Sheriff’s investigators were working with the FBI and law enforcement officials in China to apprehend the international fugitive, authorities said.
Shi is Chinese, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 155 pounds, with black hair and black eyes, according to a sheriff’s department wanted flier.
He is known to frequent the Santa Anita Inn, 130 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia, stays with a friend in Alhambra and conducts business in San Gabriel, officials said.
Several residents said they didn’t see or hear anything unusual prior to officers swarming the neighborhood Friday.
Hari Gampala, 45, said he was home all day and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The apartment complex appeared calm and quiet when he walked by it about 11:45 a.m., he said.
Many neighbors expressed shock to see a homicide investigation unfolding in their normally sedate suburb. And even more so once they learned the victims were two teenage boys.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting Arcadia police in the investigation, and Arcadia police officials deferred comment to their counterparts in the sheriff’s department.
Anyone with information is asked to contact homicide detectives at 323-890-5500. Tips also may be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

SCENE PHOTO by Walt Mancini

SUSPECT PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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90-year-old Arcadia man awakened by burglar in his home; suspect jailed


ARCADIA >> A 90-year-old Arcadia man awoke to find a burglar inside his home early Saturday morning, authorities said.
Gabino Arellano Jr. 19, of Los Angeles is accused of burglary in connection with the break-in, which took place about 1:05 a.m. at a home along Longden Avenue near Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Vaugn Whalen said in a written statement.
“The victim advised that he was awakened by a male suspect inside of his house,” the lieutenant said. “The suspect fled the location when the victim woke up.”
Police found Arellano walking in the area and discovered he was carrying jewelry and other small items taken from the victim’s home, Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
Investigators determined the intruder had pried open a side door of the house to break in, Crowther added.
Arellano was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.

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Police break up alleged brothel operating out of Arcadia home


ARCADIA >> Police raided an Arcadia home suspected of operating as a brothel this week, arresting one woman and two men, officials said.
A tip from the public first brought investigators’ attention to the home in the 400 block of West Duarte Road, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Brett Bourgeous.
“Detectives began surveillance of the location and confirmed criminal activity was taking place,” he said.
Police, armed with a search warrant, arrived at the home, described as an apartment or condominium, about 8 p.m. Thursday.
Arrested were resident Pemg Hopemg, 41, on suspicion of soliciting or engaging in prostitution; Xian Murong, 45, of Arcadia, on suspicion of soliciting or engaging in prostitution; and Xiaolin Lyu, 25, of West Covina, on suspicion of loitering for the purpose of soliciting prostitution, Sgt. John Bonomo said.
All three were released with misdemeanor citations and court dates in mid-February, Los Angeles County booking records show.
The investigation had been ongoing for several months prior to the service of the search warrant, Bonomo said.
Thursday’s bust was made as a result of the police department’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign, and officials encouraged the public to continue reporting suspicious activity to Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Arcadia package theft suspect nabbed with help of GPS ‘bait package’

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ARCADIA >> Police used a GPS-tracked “bait package” to nab a package theft suspect in Arcadia early Sunday, as part of an ongoing initiative launched by police in the weeks leading up to the holiday season, officials said.
Johnny Tang, 24, of El Monte was arrested on suspicion of grand theft following the 8:40 a.m. sting, according to Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores.
Police received notification that one of their GPS-equipped decoy packages had been snatched in the southwest portion of the city, Flores said.
Officers quickly tracked the package to a neighborhood several miles away where they recovered the parcel and arrested Tang, the lieutenant said.
Tang, who also being sought due to a pre-existing warrant, was being held in lieu of $70,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.
Police have arrested numerous alleged package thieves through the use of the GPS bait packages in recent months.
Under the program, police partner with residents and business owners to place the packages, laden with GPS tracking equipment, throughout the city as bait for opportunistic criminals.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity is encouraged to report it to Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Arcadia bank branch robbed


ARCADIA >> A man fled with an unknown amount of cash after robbing a bank branch inside of an Arcadia grocery store Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The crime took place about 3:30 p.m. at a U.S. Bank branch inside of a Ralphs grocery store, 1101 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
“A man walked up to the window and presented a demand note to the teller as he verbally demanded money,” according to Lt. Roy Nakamura.
“With the U.S. currency in his hands, the male suspect walked out of the location and away from the area without being seen,” Sgt. Jason Davis said.
The robber was last seen walking south along Sunset Boulevard toward Huntington Drive, Nakamura said.
No weapon was seen during the crime, he added.
Initial radio reports from the scene indicated the suspect claimed to have a bomb, but police Wednesday night would not confirm whether that was the case. It was unclear whether the supermarket was evacuated or closed as a result of the incident.
Police described the robber as a Latino man, approximately 26 to 27 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was unshaven and had a mustache and a short goatee, and possible a mole on his right cheek.
The robber wore a black-and-white striped Fedora hat with a black and white band, a dark zippered hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
The FBI is also assisting Arcadia police in the investigation.

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