POMONA >> A woman received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison Wednesday for the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend in a Pomona apartment just over two years ago, officials said.
Erica Artavia Campbell, 27, of Pomona received her sentenced from West Covina Superior Court Judge Peter A. Hernandez, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
A jury convicted her Feb. 11 of second-degree murder for the death 24-year-old Markeon Taylor.
Taylor lived in Tennessee, but was staying in Southern California to attend a murder trial for a group of men charged in the April 17, 2009, slaying of his brother, 18-year-old Marquis LeBlanc of Diamond Bar, during a Pomona house party.
Campbell and Taylor became involved in a fight April 2, 2012, while at the apartment of Campbell’s brother, officials said.
“Her brother tried to diffuse the situation, however Campbell charged at Taylor and stabbed him in the chest with a knife,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
“The prosecutor said Campbell stabbed Taylor with such force that the knife pierced his heart, causing him to bleed out,” the statement said. He succumbed to his injuries a short time later at a hospital.
Prosecutors charged Campbell with the killing April 5, 2012.
POMONA — Five people were injured — three of them critically — and an Ontario teen is accused of drunken driving following a solo-vehicle crash on a freeway offramp in Pomona late Friday, less than a mile from another suspected DUI crash last weekend in which six people lost their lives, authorities said.
The crash took place at the end of the Phillips Ranch Road offramp of the westbound 60 Freeway, Los Angles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
“A call came in about 11 o’clock (Friday) night of a black pickup truck on the side of the offramp,” California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Cassidy said.
The 2005 Dodge Ram had rolled over, ultimately coming to a rest back on its wheels, she said.
Witnesses reported two occupants were walking outside of the truck and bleeding, according to CHP logs.
Rescuers landed a helicopter at nearby Diamond Ranch High School to fly two of the critically injured patients to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, according to fire and CHP officials. The third badly injured person was taken to the trauma center by ambulance.
Two other patients suffered minor injuries in the crash, Sims said.
It was not initially clear if the driver, a 17-year-old Ontario boy accused of driving under the influence at the time of the crash, was among the seriously injured.
His four passengers included two 19-year-old men from Ontario, an 18-year-old Ontario man and another 17-year-old boy whose city of residence was not available, CHP Sgt. Carlo Fusco said.
Exactly how the crash occurred remained under investigation, he added.
The crash occurred just east of the spot where six people died early Sunday morning in a wrong-way, head-on collision blamed on a suspected DUI driver, who was the sole survivor of the crash.
Killed were four family members riding in a Ford Explorer, as well as two passenger in the 21-year-old suspect’s Chevrolet Camaro. One of them was the suspect’s older sister.
Prosecutors have since charged Olivia Culbreath of Fontana, who has a previous drunken driving conviction, with six counts of murder in connection with Sunday’s crash.
SAN DIMAS — A Pomona woman suffered major injuries Thursday in a solo-car crash along the 10 Freeway in an unincorporated county area just south of San Dimas, authorities said.
The woman, 42, was rushed to a trauma center by helicopter following the 2:55 p.m. crash on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just east of Via Verde Street, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
She was eastbound on the 10 Freeway in a 2000 Nissan Maxima when she exited at Via Verde Street, went through an intersection at the base of the offramp, then got onto the onramp back onto the eastbound 10 Freeway, Jimenez said.
For reasons that remained under investigation, the Nissan veered toward the left until it went off the side of the onramp, the officer said.
“The Nissan travelled out of control through the uphill embankment, became airborne and landed within the eastbound (10 Freeway) lanes,” Jimenez said.
The car overturned and skidded across traffic lanes, striking the concrete center divider wall coming to a rest on it’s wheels, blocking the two right-hand lanes of the eastbound 10 Freeway, according to Jimenez.
The woman at the wheel of the Maxima suffered major injuries to her head and face, officials said. Officials briefly shut down both directions of the 10 Freeway to allow a rescue helicopter to land.
The two right lanes of the eastbound freeway remained closed for about an hour after the crash.
Officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP are handling the investigation.
POMONA — Two off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies confronted, disarmed and detained a belligerent man who showed up at Pomona Superior Court with a butcher knife in his hand earlier this week, authorities said Friday.
The incident took place Monday morning outside courthouse, 400 Civic Center Plaza, sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
Off-duty deputies J. Tien and V. Velazquez had just finished testifying in unrelated cases and exited the courthouse, “When they saw a male Hispanic adult walking toward the front entrance holding an 8-inch butcher’s knife in his hand,” the sergeant said.
The man, later identified as 29-year-old parolee and transient Jeralme Cuevas, became agitated when approached by the off-duty deputies and refused to respond to initial attempts to speak to him, officials said.
“After a couple of attempts to contact the man, the man yelled, ‘Are you guys going to take me back to prison? I need to go back to prison or I’ll kill somebody.”
The deputies held Cuevas at gunpoint as they persuaded him to drop the blade and lie down on the ground, Boese said. They detained him until Pomona police arrived, and he was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner, authorities said.
Boese said Cuevas later told deputies he had gone to the court house, “Just to kill a cop.”
According to county booking records, Cuevas was being held without bail pending a scheduled court appearance at the scene of the alleged crime, Pomona Superior Court.
POMONA — Rescuers rushed a teenage girl to the hospital following a shooting Saturday morning, authorities said.
The shooting was reported just before 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of Laurel Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Bernard Peters said.
The wounded girl was initially described as 14 years old, he said. Her condition was unknown.
Officials could not confirm initial reports from the scene that she had been wounded in the chest by a shotgun blast.
Paramedics flew the wounded victim to a trauma center via helicopter for treatment.
Romen Hines, 19, a U.S. Marine in town while on holiday leave, said he and others rushed to aid the wounded girl.
She was lying in the middle of the street, he said.
“She had all kinds of little pellets in her,” Hines said.
No suspects were in custody, and description of the shooter or shooters was available, Pomona police Lt. Eddie Vazquez said. The circumstances of the shooting also remained under investigation.
Detectives continued canvassing the neighborhood and checking nearby surveillance cameras for clues Saturday afternoon.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the Pomona Police Department Detective Bureau at 909-620-2095.
POMONA >> Pomona police arrested a man Tuesday for allegedly touching a child in a sexual manner in a bathroom at a local park.
Kenneth Royce, 20, of Pomona was taken into custody after a bystander chased him down and held him for police about a block away from the park at 865 E. Grand Avenue, police said in a written statement.
Police say the 6-year-old boy was using the bathroom at Washington Park around 5:30 p.m. when Royce is suspected to have touched him…
A 36-year-old man died early Sunday after being struck by a vehicle, which then fled the scene, near Cal Poly Pomona, officials said.
Christopher Guerrero of Diamond Bar died at the scene of the early-morning collision, California Patrol Officer Michael Maehr said in a written statement.
The fatal collision took place about 5:30 a.m. on Temple Avenue near South Campus Drive in an unincorporated county area between Pomona and Walnut, California Highway Patrol Officer Monica Posada said.
A description of the vehicle that struck and killed Guerrero was not available, though it was believed to be a Chevrolet truck or SUV, Maehr said.
“There were several pieces of vehicle debries left at the scene that were taken into evidence,” he said. “These parts and pieces will be used to helpn identify the type of vehicle involved in this traffic collision.”
Guerrero was believed to have been walking in traffic lanes when he was struck by the westbound vehicle, officials said. The vehicle continued driving and was not found during a search of the area.
Temple Avenue remained shut down for more than four hours following the collision.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.
Police arrested a Pomona man early Saturday after he allegedly tried to steal a shopping cart full of ammunition in Covina, vandalized a bank in Pasadena with anarchist symbols and was captured trying to vandalize a sign in front of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach, authorities said.
Matthew Ryan Willert, 29, was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail Saturday at the Long Beach Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records. The motive in his alleged bizarre crime spree was unclear.
Willert, or at least his license plate number, first came to the attention of law enforcement about 11:30 p.m. Thursday after he tried to steal bullets from the Covina Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Avenue, Covina police Sgt. Tom Tardif said.
“He went to the gun display. He had a (baseball) bat in his hand,” Tardif said. It was not clear if he brought the bat with him or picked it up inside the store.
“He loaded up a shopping cart full ammunition,” Tardif said. He also placed several utility knives and other tools into the cart.
But Willert was confronted by a store security guard and fled the store, leaving the shopping cart containing a “large quantity” of bullets and blades behind, Tardif said.
The number and caliber of bullets Willert tried to steal was not available, but the total value of the items in the cart was estimated at $2,500, police said.
Authorities again encountered the suspect’s alleged handiwork about 11 p.m. at OneWest Bank, 888 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“A suspect drove up to the business in a truck, jumped out of his truck, and spray-painted graffiti along the glass windows,” Clawson said. The graffiti was largely comprised of anarchy symbols.
“He then retrieved a brick and threw it through the front window,” Clawson said. “The suspect fled the scene, but a witness saw the license plate.”
As officers continued investigating early Saturday, Clawson said, they learned a man driving the same truck had been arrested by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs police in Long Beach as he was attempting a similar vandalism outside the VA Long Beach Healthcare System hospital. Spraypaint and more bricks were recovered from Willert’s car at the time of his arrest in Long Beach.
Willert was arrested about 12:30 a.m. Saturday as he was attempting to vandalize a sign in front of the hospital, according to VA police and Los Angeles County booking records. He did not manage to significantly damage the sign before his arrest.
POMONA — A jockey was flown to the hospital with serious injuries after he fell from his horse and was kicked in the head during a race at the Los Angeles County Fair, officials said.
The mishap took place during the last race of the day at the Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinely Ave., Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Shawn Youngman said.
“On the last turn, before the final straightaway, two jockeys went down,” the captain said.
One of them suffered minor injuries, he said. But the other Jockey was kicked in the helmet and face by a horse.
The 26-year-old man was conscious and breathing, however firefighters and an on-duty doctor determined it was best to fly the injured jockey to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center’s trauma center as a precaution.
POMONA — A small terrier rescued from a hot car on the opening day of the L.A. County Fair last week during triple-digit temperatures serves as a reminder to never leave pets or children unattended in vehicles, Pomona police officials said Wednesday.
Bicycle officers Dan Gomez and Thomas DeLaVega were on patrol in the parking lot of the Fairplex in Pomona, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., when they spotted a small dog locked inside a hot car, Pomona police Capt. Michael Olivieri said in a written statement.
“Detective Jerry Uribe assisted and was able to make forced entry into the vehicle and rescue the dog, who showed clear signs of stress,” the captain said. “The officers placed the dog in a police unit with air conditioning and provided it with what seemed like an endless supply of cold water.”
Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA officials responded, he said.
It was unclear how long the dog had been inside the car.
When animal control officers arrived and took the temperature inside the car, after police had already forced it open and freed the dog, the interior of the vehicle was still at about 95 degrees, IVHS Supervisor of Animal Services Beth Les said.
The terrier, named Sandy and estimated to be 6 years old, was seized and taken to a veterinarian for an examination, Les said. It was determined Sandy had suffered no serious injuries.
The owners of the dog were ultimately identified and ticketed, Olivieri said. They retrieved their pet the following day after paying for the medical expenses.
And stories like Sandy’s are all-too-common, Les said, as IVHS officers handle several calls of animals locked in hot cars daily.
“We’re averaging about five a day,” Les said.
The IVHS provides animal control services to Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Glendora, La Verne, Montlair, Mt. Baldy, Ontario, Pomona, San Antonio Heights, San Bernardino and San Dimas.
With triple-digit temperatures expected to continue in Southern California in the days ahead, Olivieri reminded residents that leaving a pet or child unattended inside a hot car, even for a brief period, is both dangerous and illegal.
Anyone who sees a child or animal locked in a hot car was asked to report it by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
PHOTO courtesy of the Pomona Police Department