Elderly Montebello man found sane during wife’s slaying

LOS ANGELES >> A Los Angeles jury ruled Wednesday that an elderly Montebello man was sane when he strangled his wife at the couple’s Montebello apartment in 2012, officials said.
The jury convicted Baghdo Hayrapetyan, 75, of second-degree murder Oct. 30 for the March 5, 2012, death of 63-year-old Anahit Hayrapetyan at an apartment in the 2000 block of West Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. But the Baghdo Hayrapetyan maintained that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
The same jury found Wednesday that the convict was sane when he killed his wife during an argument, officials said.
Baghdo Hayrapetyan is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court Feb. 10 to be sentenced by Judge Sam Ohta, district attorney’s officials said. He faces 15 years to life in state prison.
The convicted killer was being held without bail in the meantime at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
Family members found the body of Anahit Hayrapetyan, along with and unconscious and bleeding Baghdo Hayrapetyan at their apartment, Lt. Ed Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. Detectives determined the man’s severe stab wounds were self-inflicted.

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Man accused of kidnapping, raping Monterey Park woman; victim escaped by jumping from moving car on freeway in El Monte


MONTEREY PARK >> A task force arrested a man Tuesday in East Los Angeles whom Monterey Park police had been seeking for kidnapping, raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend last week, authorities said.
The terrified victim may have saved her own life by jumping from a moving car on the 60 Freeway in El Monte on Oct. 28, the day after she was kidnapped at gunpoint by ex-boyfriend Benny Torres, 29, Monterey Park police Lt. Bill Cuevas said. Torres’ last listed address was in Montebello, though he was believed to have most recently been transient.
The woman, a Monterey Park resident in her 20s, was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries she suffered at the hands of her captor, as well as in her escape, Cuevas said.
“She bravely, by her actions, basically saved her own life.”
Prosecutors Wednesday filed 11 felony charges against Torres, according to a felony complaint filed in Alhambra Superior Court.
The charges include kidnapping, two counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of making criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapons, assault with a firearm, burglary and false imprisonment.
The victim had recently broken up with Torres amid allegations that he had assaulted her in an incident of domestic violence in Montebello, Cuevas said.
Torres arranged to meet his ex-girlfriend on the afternoon of Oct. 27 in Los Angeles, Cuevas said.
But when she arrived, Torres pulled a handgun, got into her car and ordered her to start driving, officials said.
The attacker eventually took the wheel of the woman’s car himself and drove her to a motel in El Monte, where he held her captive overnight, the lieutenant said.
“The victim was both sexually and physically abused,” Cuevas said.
Torres ordered the woman back into her car the following morning and began driving her somewhere, police said. The woman did not know where Torres was taking her.
“The victim was in fear for her life,” Cuevas said.
As the car travelled down the 60 Freeway, near the 605 Freeway in El Monte, the woman saw an opportunity to escape.
“At one point, while they were driving, she was able to jump out of the vehicle,” Cuevas said.
It was unclear how fast the car was driving when she leapt.
A good Samaritan found the woman wandering in the area and took her to a hospital, officials said. The hospital notified authorities once they determined the woman had been the victim of an attack.
The woman suffered injuries both at the hands of Torres, as well as when she jumped from the moving car, Cuevas said. She had since been treated and released from an area hospital.
Detectives began hunting for Torres with help from the West San Gabriel Anti Crime Task Force, which is made up of officers from the Monterey Park, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, El Monte police departments, as well as officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, task force coordinator and Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said.
Task force members found and arrested Torres about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at a relative’s home in the 4000 block of E. 2nd Street in East Los Angeles, according to officials and booking records. Officers arrested him without a struggle.
Torres entered no plea at an appearance Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court, court officials said. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Nov. 24.
If convicted as charged, Torres could face life in state prison, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Torres remained behind bars Wednesday at the Monterey Park Police Department’s jail in lieu of $2.35 million bail, officials said.

PHOTO of Benny Torres, 29, courtesy of the Monterey Park Police Department.

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UPDATED: Whittier motorcyclist killed in Montebello hit-and-run

MONTEBELLO >> A 28-year-old Whittier man died Friday after his motorcycle was rear-ended by a hit-and-run car on Washington Boulevard and crashed into a pole, officials said.
The crash took place about 4:45 p.m. on Washington Boulevard and Bluff Road, Montebello police officials said.
Both the motorcycle and the tan, four-door car were headed east on Washington Boulevard “at a high rate of speed” just prior to the collision, police said in a written statement.
“The tan vehicle collided into the rear of the motorcyclist, causing the motorcyclist to collide into a pole,” the police statement said.
“The motorcyclist succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” according to the statement. “The tan vehicle fled the scene eastbound into Pico Rivera out if sight.”
No further details were released.
Police shut down Both directions of Washington Boulevard between Paramount and Montebello boulevards as they investigated the scene.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1313.
The hit-and-run was the second fatal crash within less than 24 hours in Montebello.
A man died late Thursday after the car he was riding as a passenger in crashed into a tree about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the 300 block of North Montebello Boulevard, Montebello police Lt. Kelly Gordon said.
The driver of the car, described only as a woman, was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash.

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Mother fatally struck by pickup truck while crossing street with children in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> A woman died Wednesday after she was struck by a pickup truck while crossing Garfield Avenue in Montebello with her children late Wednesday, officials said.
The two children, ages 5 and 9, were hospitalized with injuries not initially believed to be life threatening, Montebello police Lt. Michael Bergman said.
The collision took place just after 8:20 p.m. in the 400 block of North Garfield Avenue, just north of Madison Avenue, the lieutenant said.
The woman and children were crossing the street mid-block when they were struck, Bergman said. They were not within a crosswalk.
Officials took the woman and two children to a hospital, where the woman succumbed to her injuries a short time later, Bergman said. An update on the children’s conditions was not available.
The driver of the pickup truck remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators, Bergman said. There were no obvious signs of a crime at the scene, however the investigation remained in its early stages.
Anyone with information can reach Montebello police at 323-887-1313.

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Man seriously injured in Montebello crash

MONTEBELLO >> A solo-car crash sent a driver to the hospital with serious injuries and blocked eastbound traffic on Via Campo Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The crash was reported at 2:07 p.m. in the westbound lanes of Via Campos, between Garfield and Wilcox avenues, Montebello police Lt. Mike Flores said.
A man in his 30s was at the wheel of a Honda Civic when it veered off the right side of the road for an unknown reason and struck a power pole, the lieutenant said. “He has severe head injuries,” Flores said.
Rescuers took the injured man to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, he said.
The eastbound lanes of Via Campo were shut down for an unknown amount of time as Southern California Edison crews worked to repair the damage to the utility pole.
The crash was under investigation by the Montebello Police Department.

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Suspect jailed in connection with fatal Montebello shooting

A suspect is behind bars in connection with the fatal shooting of a Montebello man earlier this month, authorities said.
Montebello police investigators arrested Michael Joseph Fimbres, 44, of Montebello Wednesday in Pomona, according to Montebello police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail on a lesser felony charge Friday at the Montebello Police Department’s jail pending an expected murder charge, officials said. The date of his next court date was not available late Friday.
He’s accused of the July 1 fatal shooting of 35-year-old Frank Burnell Taylor of Montebello, who was found mortally wounded in the 500 block of Maple Street about 7:15 p.m., police and Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s officials said. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives began seeking Fimbres after identifying early in the investigation as a suspect in Taylor’s slaying, Montebello police Sgt. Julio Calleros said. They had been keeping Fimbres under surveillance when they stopped a car he was in and arrested without incident about noon Wednesday on Fairplex Drive near the 10 Freeway in Pomona.
The suspect and victim were not strangers to one another, though the nature of their relationship was not certain, Calleros said.
“They were acquainted. They knew each other,” he said.
Calleros said the fatal shooting was believed to have been motivated by a “personal dispute.” He declined to discuss the dispute between the men in further detail.
Taylor was walking along Maple Street when an attacker, later identified as Fimbres, approached in small pickup truck, Lt. Andy Vuncanon said.
Fimbres exited the truck, approached Taylor, pulled a handgun and shot the victim once in the chest, the lieutenant said.

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Man fatally shot in Montebello

The Los Angeles County Coroner has identified a man fatally shot Tuesday in Montebello, coroner officials said.
Frank Burnell Taylor, 35, was shot once in the chest in the 500 block of Maple Street, Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said. He died at the scene.
Winter did not have a residence for Taylor.
Montebello Police officers found Taylor laying in the street around 7:15 p.m., officials said.
“Upon investigation it appeared that the victim was a pedestrian walking in the area,” Lt. Andy Vuncanon said.
Vuncanon said a suspect pulled up near the man and exited his vehicle.
“(He) approached the victim and produced a handgun and fired a shot at the victim which struck him in the chest,” Vuncanon said. “The suspect walked back to his car, got in, fled, and is outstanding.”
Police have not determined if both the victim and suspect were alone during the shooting, Vuncanon said. A motive has not been determined.
The suspect is described as a Latino male in his late 20s, 6-feet, 180 pounds, clean shaven with short black hair, and wearing a white T-shirt.
He was seen driving a silver small-sized pickup truck. The model is unknown.
Witnesses are asked to call Montebello Police investigators at 323-887-1248.

- Venusse Navid

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UPDATED: Montebello man killed, two others hurt in solo-vehicle crash

MONTEBELLO — A Montebello man died and two other were hurt when a pickup truck slammed into a parked vehicle along Garfield Avenue in Montebello early Sunday, authorities said.
David Geovanni Ibarra, 20, died at the scene of the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
The solo-vehicle crash involving a Chevy Silverado occurred about 1:25 a.m. on southbound Garfield Avenue at Madison Avenue, Montebello police Lt. Rick Rojas said.
The truck veered to the side of the road and struck another pickup truck, which was parked and unoccupied, the lieutenant said. The impact pushed the parked vehicle into a light pole.
“The collision was substantial and an adult male driver succumbed to his injuries,” Rojas said.
Two other men in the truck were hospitalized with injuries described as moderate, he said. They were estimated to be in their 20s.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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Man fatally shot while driving in Montebello identified

Coroner’s officials have released the name of a Perris man who was shot to death while driving through Montebello last week.
Justin Scott Verano, 38, died at the scene of Wednesday’s 4:40 p.m. shooting on Sycamore Street, near Montebello Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
He was driving west on Sycamore Street when he was shot by an unknown assailant near Cedar Street, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
His car continued for about three blocks before crashing into a stop sign and a utility pole at Spruce Street, where it came to rest, the Hernandez said.
An autopsy determined Verano died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the death was ruled a homicide, Corral said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however detectives were looking into whether it was related to the shooting. A description of the vehicle was not available.
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.

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Man fatally shot while driving car in Montebello


MONTEBELLO >> A man died Wednesday afternoon after he was shot while driving a car in Montebello, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place just after 4:40 p.m. on Sycamore Street at Spruce Street, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
The victim was initially described as a man in his mid 20s, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting victim was believed to have been wounded near Sycamore Street and Cedar Street before crashing his car into a utility pole several blocks to the west at Sycamore Street and Spruce Street.
“Neighbors heard two or three gunshots in the area of Sycamore and Cedar,” Hernandez said. “After hearing the gunshots they saw the victim’s vehicle, a red sedan, driving west on Sycamore Street somewhat eratically.”
The four-door sedan struck a stop sign at Spruce Street before coming to rest against a utility pole, Hernandez said. The victim appeared to have suffered both gunshot wounds and injuries from the crash.
The driver was the only person inside the car when police arrived, Hernandez said.
The motive in the slaying remained under investigation, officials said.
A second vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, however a description was not available and detectives were still looking into whether it was involved, Hernandez said.
Anyone with information was asked to call 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.

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