VALINDA >> A man raped and robbed a woman at knifepoint behind a Valinda shopping center Wednesday, authorities said.
Deputies apprehended a suspect several hours after the 6:45 p.m. attack at a small shopping center in the 1400 block of Valinda Avenue, just north of Maplegrove Street in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Cortinas said.
The suspect approached the woman and ordered her behind a building at knifepoint, the sergeant said. He sexually assaulted the woman and robbed her of her cell phone before fleeing.
The victim, a woman in her 20s, was taken to a hospital for treatment, Cortinas said. She suffered no life-threatening injuries.
Deputies searching the area and following up on leads found and arrested the suspect — a man in his mid-20s — without a struggle in the area shortly before midnight, Cortinas said.
His identity was not available pending the booking process.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a 16-year-old boy in connection with the alleged rape of a fellow teenager in Pasadena over the weekend.
The crime occurred Friday night at a home in the area of Penn Street and Summit Marengo Avenue , but was not reported until Saturday afternoon, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The suspect and victim had been friends prior to the attack, Mercado said.
Police described the suspect, who remained at large Sunday, as black, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 175 pounds, with black braided hair and brown eyes. His identity was not available.
The victim delayed reporting the crime to police out of fear, Mercado said.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Detectives Wednesday arrested a convicted sex offender from Ontario on suspicion of the rape of a Highland senior citizen during a home invasion earlier this month, authorities said.
Antawon Riley Stubblefield, 27, is accused of rape, oral copulation by force, false imprisonment and home-invasion robbery in connection with the attack and robbery, which took place on the afternoon of Dec. 8 at the victim’s home in the 7800 block of Lankershim Avenue, Highland police officials said in a written statement.
“Investigation revealed that an unknown suspect forced entry into the 67-year-old victim’s residence and attacked her as she watched television,” according to the statement. “The suspect then held the victim against her will inside of her home; during which he sexually assaulted her several times over a four-hour period.”
The attacker stole cash and other items from the victim before fleeing her home. The woman was hospitalized for treatment, and her attacker was not found.
Detectives were notified by crime lab officials Tuesday that DNA collected at the crime scene has been matched to Stubblefield, officials said. Stubblefield was already on felony probation and a registered sex offender for a previous assault conviction.
Officials obtained a warrant for Stubblefield’s arrest, and took him into custody Wednesday when he reported to his probation officer, police said.
Authorities added that detectives are seeking any additional people who may have been victimized by Stubblefield.
According to San Bernardino Superior Court records, Stubblefield was awaiting sentencing in his previous case at the time of the Highland attack. He was released from custody Nov. 16 after being granted a waiver allowing him to be free from custody pending formal sentencing.
The Highland home-invasion took place less than a month later.
Stubblefield had pleaded “no contest” to a count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and engaging in prostitution stemming from a Sept. 1 arrest, records show. An additional count of attempted forcible rape was dismissed by the court.
He was sentenced under AB 109 guidelines, which state officials say is intended for “non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual” offenders.
He received a sentence of 150 days in jail, with credit for time already served and good behavior. He was also sentenced to three years of Post-Release Community Supervision and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He was formally placed on felony probation at a hearing Tuesday, the same day his DNA was linked to the Highland crime scene.
Stubblefield was being held without bail Wednesday at the West Valley Detention Center pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
PHOTO of suspect Antawon Riley Stubblefield courtesy of the Highland Police Department.
WEST WHITTIER >> Deputies detained a teenage boy as they investigated a report of the rape of a teenage girl on the grounds of Pioneer High School late Thursday, officials said.
The attack was first reported about 8:30 p.m. at the campus, 10800 Ben Avon Street in unincorporated West Whittier, according to Lt. Tenney of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, who declined to give his first name. The incident took place well after school hours, and the lieutenant said he was aware of no officials functions taking place at the school.
Deputies responding to a report of a sexual assault found and detained a teenage boy in the area, Tenney said. The boy had not been formally arrested as the investigation continued Thursday night.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau were summoned to take charge of the investigation. No further details were available.
EL MONTE >> Police arrested an alleged rapist also sought in connection with the murder of a Fresno County woman Friday after a neighborhood search that lasted about four hours, officials said.
Kaleo Kealoha Schreiner, 21, of Tracy, was ultimately arrested for rape, possession of a loaded gun in public and resisting police, El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement.
Police first received a report a woman had been raped about 5:10 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 4100 block of Tyler Avenue, the sergeant said. The attacker was reported to still be at the scene of the crime and armed with a handgun.
Police spotted a man matching the suspect description running in the 3800 block of Tyler Avenue and set up a search perimeter, Luna said. West Covina and Arcadia police joined in the search, along with a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter.
A police K-9 found Schreiner hiding behind a garage in the 3800 block of Esmeralda Ave., officials said.
“The canine bit Schreiner, who resisted the canine and ignored officer’s commands to comply with the arrest,” Luna said. “A bean bag was deployed on Schreiner, who then complied, and was taken into custody.”
Police found a loaded handgun in the area where Schreiner had been hiding, Luna added.
Schreiner has been sought by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office for more than two weeks as a suspect in the slaying of Megan Troen, 20, of Tracy, whose body was discovered July 30 in the California Aqueduct, near W. Nees Avenue and the 5 Freeway in the Firebaugh area, Fresno County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Troen had left her home with Schreiner, an acquaintance of several years, July 20 and was never seen again. Investigators said Troen had a diminished mental capacity.
In the days and weeks that followed, Fresno sheriff’s homicide detectives identified Schreiner as a suspect in the slaying and issued a warrant for his arrent.
Officials took Schreiner suspect to a hospital for treatment prior to booking him into jail, he said.
PHOTO of Kaleo Schreiner courtesy of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office
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
NORWALK >> A man accused of sexually assaulting and fatally stabbing his disabled neighbor in Norwalk before fleeing to Guatemala returned to the U.S. Friday to face charges, authorities said.
Luis Fernando Diofron, also known as Luis Fernando Diofron Lemus, 22, was extradited back to Los Angeles County via LAX following his Dec. 4 arrest in San Miguel, Escuinta, Guatemala, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Diofron is suspected in the brutal stabbing death of 50-year-old Denise Battey Aug. 10, 2012, at her home in the 11900 block of Allard Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials
He’s charged with murder, with the special circumstances of rape and burglary, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
After Diofron allegedly fled the country, federal authorities also charged the suspect with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. But the federal case is expected to be dismissed as the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the murder case.
Diofron, who was living near Battey while in the U.S. on a work visa, attacked and sexually assaulted Battery as she watered her garden, according to sheriff’s officials and her twin sister, Annese Battey.
He then dragged her inside her home and stabbed her to death, authorities allege.
Denise Battey worked as a system support analyst for the U.S. Social Security Administration and tutored students in college preparation part time, according to her twin sister, Annese Battey. She was an avid gardener and a classic movie buff.
And the victim was defenseless against her attacker, authorities and family members said. She had just undergone back surgery and suffered from severe sciatica in her left leg.
Diofron was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
PHOTOS: TOP: Murder suspect Luis Fernando Diofron (courtesy). BELOW: Homicide victim Denise Battey (courtesy)
PASADENA >> Police jailed an Alhambra man Saturday on suspicion of raping an intoxicated coworker in Pasadena last month, police said.
Rene I. Flores, 29, was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail Sunday at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
Police arrested him Saturday morning at the workplace the suspect and alleged victim share in Rosemead, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The alleged rape took place the night of Feb. 20 after Flores and the victim, a woman in her early-20s, had gone out for drinks with coworkers, he said.
“She started feeling sick while she was out drinking,” Mercado said.
Flores took the woman home, then sexually assaulted her while she was “highly intoxicated” and “not coherent,” the lieutenant said.
The woman promptly reported the crime to police, who have been investigating ever since, he said.
WHITTIER >> A man arrested more than 30 years after the 1981 rape and killing of a woman inside her Whittier home pleaded “no contest” to four felony charges Tuesday, on what would have been his victim’s 55th birthday, authorities said.
Joseph Allen Thornton, 53, immediately received a sentence of 24 years to life in state prison after entering his pleas in Norwalk Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Initially charged with murder, Thornton pleaded “no contest” to voluntary manslaughter, rape, sodomy by force and digital penetration by force, district attorney’s officials said.
For more than 30 years, Thornton had gotten away with the June 27, 1981, slaying of 21-year-old Blanca Negrete in her home in the 7900 block of Washington Avenue.
“At the time of the slaying, detectives had exhausted all leads and the case eventually went cold,” Ardalani said in a written statement.
But Whittier Police Department investigators reopened the cold case in 2010, and identified Thornton as a suspect in the crime in January of 2011 via previously unusable DNA evidence, police officials said at the time.
DNA evidence had been collected by investigators after the slaying occurred, however the technology of the time did not allow investigators to match it to a suspect, police said in a written statement. Thornton’s DNA had been entered into a law enforcement database as the result of a domestic violence conviction, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said at the time.
Once identified as a suspect, police turned their attention to locating and capturing Thornton, Miller said.
The trail led them as far away as Topeka, Kansas, where Thornton had stayed for many years after the killing, he said. Detectives ultimately tracked him down and arrested him in April, 2012, at his home in Auburn.
Negrete worked at what eventually became PIH Health Hospital at the time of her slaying, police said. What, if any, relationship that existed between her and her killer was unclear.
The conviction occurred on what would have been Negrete’s 55th birthday, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
In addition to his prison sentence, Norwalk Superior Court Judge Yvonne T. Sanchez ordered Thornton to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Ardalani said.
PHOTOS of convicted killer and rapist Joseph Thornton (above) and his victim, Blanca Negrete (below) courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.
BASSETT >> Deputies are seeking three men who kidnapped a teenage girl from the roadside and sexually assaulted her Saturday, officials said.
The 15-year-old girl was walking about 6:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Van Wig Avenue in the unincorporated county area of Bassett when her abductors stopped their car in front of her, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Beamon said.
“Two suspects exited the car. One of the suspects blindfolded the young lady,” the sergeant said.
The men took the girl to an unknown location where they raped her, Beamon said. They threatened the girl not to report the crime, then released the girl in the same general neighborhood from where she was kidnapped.
Deputies described the attackers as two Latino men in their late-20s, between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall. A description of the third suspect, who drove the car and never got out, was not available.
They drove an older-model, black Honda Civic with the first three license plate digits of “2WE.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.