UPDATED: La Mirada woman killed in weekend stabbing at Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A La Mirada woman died after she was stabbed in front of her adult children during a dispute over a parking space at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet late Friday, Whittier police officials announced Thursday.
A man and woman face murder charges in connection with the stabbing, which took place about 9:30 p.m Friday. at the swap meet, 13963 Alondra Boulevard, Whittier Police Department officials said in a written statement.
Elizabeth Yanez, 43, died at the hospital shortly after the stabbing, police said.
Police found and arrested Reggie Cervantes, 22, and Brenda Jasmine Rangel, 19, both of South Los Angeles, in connection with fatal stabbing early Saturday in South Los Angeles, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Prosecutors filed murder charges against both suspects Tuesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Whittier police officers, who provide police service for Santa Fe Springs, first responded to the swap meet after receiving a report of a fight in the parking lot, Whittier police officials said.
“When officers arrived, they located a female victim lying on the ground with multiple stab wounds to her neck and back,” according to the statement. Police rendered first aid to the woman, who was taken to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. She succumbed to her injuries a short time later.
“As the investigation developed, it was determined that she had been stabbed by a male and female over a dispute involving a parking space within the lot,” the police statement said. The woman’s 22- and 23-year-old children were present during the incident.
Investigators identified a possible suspect vehicle and two potential suspects, who were tracked to South Los Angeles, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said.
Cervantes and Rangel were arrested as they were exiting an apartment shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday, according to police and county booking records.
The weapon used in the stabbing remained outstanding Thursday, Miller said. It was unclear what type of stabbing implement was used.
Police did not disclose the stabbing or the arrest until Thursday, two days after charges were filed against the suspects.
Yanez’s mother, Sally Yanez, said the family was still in shock over the sudden tragedy.
“It’s beyond senseless,” she said. “It’s beyond words.”
“In just the blink of an eye, everything’s changed,” Sally Yanez said.
Elizabeth Yanez’s granddaughter was treated for minor injuries following the incident, Sally Yanez said. Her grandson was struck in the head, but did not go to a hospital.
The 43-year-old woman was a dedicated mother who spent a lot of time with her children, her mother said. “She really based everything around them.”
Elizabeth Yanez grew up in South Gate before moving to La Mirada in 1987, Sally Yanez said. She graduated Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton in 1988. She worked in accounting at an Orange County construction company.
“She had a terrific personality, a terrific sense of humor. She was just a force to be reckoned with,” her mother said.
“She loved her Dodgers. She was a die-hard Dodger fan.”
Elizabeth Yanez is survived by her parents, Sally and Larry, her children, 22-year-old Renee Crable and 23-year-old Daniel Crable, and the children’s father, Donnie Crable, who lives out-of-state.
Services were yet to be scheduled.
Prosecutors charged Cervantes and Rangel each with murder and assault with a deadly weapon Tuesday in Norwalk Superior Court, Ardalani said.
Prosecutors also allege that Cervantes personally used a knife in the commission of the crime, and that he has prior felony convictions for robbery and receiving stolen property, according to the felony complaint filed against him and Rangel.
Rangel pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday and was ordered back to court Oct. 29 for preliminary hearing, Ardalani said. Cervantes entered no plea Tuesday. His arraignment was postponed until Nov. 20.
Cervantes and Rangel were being held in lieu of $1 million bail each.

 

 

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Man pleads not guilty to fatally stabbing grandmother in East Los Angeles

EAST LOS ANGELES >> A man accused of stabbing his grandmother to death at the East Los Angeles home they shared pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Wednesday, officials said.
Armando Sepulveda, 23, fatally stabbed 59-year-old Anna Maria Sepulveda, whose body was discovered Monday inside her home in the 100 block of North Gage Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said.
She had not been seen since Friday, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Deputies discovered her body at the home shortly before noon Monday after checking on Anna Sepulveda at the request of concerned family members, Francisco said. The woman had been stabbed several times in the torso.
Deputies also found Armando Sepulveda at the home and arrested him in connection with the slaying.
An alleged motive in the fatal stabbing has not been released.
In addition to murder, prosecutors also accuse Armando Sepulveda of the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the crime, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He was ordered back to court Nov. 5 for a preliminary hearing setting, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said.
If convicted as charged, Armando Sepulveda could face life in state prison.

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Woman accused of stabbing boyfriend at park in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A woman stabbed her boyfriend on a hiking trail in Hahamongna Watershed Park Saturday afternoon, officials said.
Police jailed Amber Popick, 21, following the 12:20 p.m. stabbing at the park, 101 Foothill Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. She was described as transient.
The victim, a 31-year-old homeless man, told police his girlfriend stabbed him with a pocket knife, Luna said. The man suffered injuries to his shoulder and hand.
Officers responded and arrested Popick on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, the lieutenant said.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Luna said. He was initially examined, but left the hospital before receiving treatment.
It was not clear what motivated the alleged attack.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Popick was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood pending her initial court appearance.

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UPDATED: Killer sought in fatal stabbing of man in Monterey Park

MP scene

MONTEREY PARK >> Homicide detectives sought clues Wednesday into the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old man in the parking lot of a business.
Edward Mendoza, 35, died at a hospital after he was wounded in the stabbing about 9:10 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Portrero Grande and Arroyo drives, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was believed to have been staying in Monterey Park.
1016_NWS_PSN-L-STABBING1Few details were available regarding the stabbing. No description of the killer was known.
After being stabbed, Mendoza managed to call 9-1-1 from a cell phone to seek help, Corina said.
Responding police officers and paramedics found Mendoza collapsed at what was believed to be the scene of the stabbing in the parking lot of a business park, Corina said.
Paramedics took Mendoza to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries at 10:11 p.m., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
A friend and co-worker of the victim at the city of Alhambra, who did not want to be identified, said that the victim worked with children as a physical education coach.
1016_NWS_PSN-L-STABBING2“It’s a huge loss to the family. We are very close,” he said.
Alhambra city officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A second man, who identified himself as the victim’s childhood friend, believes the victim may have been leaving from the home of his mother, who lives in the area.
According to the man, the victim not drive and took public transportation to get around. He also said the victim was found with his backpack and wallet.
The motive in the fatal stabbing remained under investigation.
“Right now, it doesn’t look like he was robbed,” Corina said.
The circumstance leading up to the killing also remained unclear Wednesday. “We don’t know what he was doing there,” Corina said.
Mendoza had been staying several blocks away, but within walking distance, from the parking lot where he was stabbed, the lieutenant said.
Other than that he needed help, Corina declined to discuss what Mendoza said during his call to 9-1-1 after being stabbed, citing the ongoing investigation.
The weapon used in the killing had not been recovered Wednesday afternoon, he said.
Detectives Wednesday continued reviewing surveillance cameras at nearby businesses for clues, Corina added.
Virginia Schellberg, an employee at Southern California Funeral Service located in the business complex, said the victim’s girlfriend and best friend were at the scene at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“They said there was no reason for him to out walking (at that hour) and they don’t understand how it happened,” Schellberg said. “They stopped by because they wanted to see where it happened. They’re devastated.”
Anyone with information is asked to call LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Friends set up an online fund to collect donations to benefit Mendoza’s family at www.gofundme.com/fvoges.

- By Venusse Navid and Brian Day

PHOTO of crime scene by Venusse Navid

PHOTOS of Edward Menoza, courtesy

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Man slashed with pizza cutter at Glendora supermarket

GLENDORA >> A man attacked another man with a pizza cutter Friday night during an argument at a Glendora grocery store, officials said.
The unusual assault took place about just after 10 p.m. at Vons, 432 E. Arrow Highway, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
“A 23-year-old male was in Vons when, for unknown reasons, he was confronted by a two females and a male,” the lieutenant said. The suspects were initially described as being in their late-teens or early-20s.
“The male picked up a pizza cutter from inside the store and repeatedly slashed the victim in the face and arms,” Lamborghini said. The suspects then fled.
The wounds appeared superficial and were not considered life-threatening, the lieutenant said.
Further details were not available as police continued seeking the suspects Saturday, he said. Detectives were reviewing surveillance footage and following other leads to identify the stabber and the two women who accompanied him.

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Two men wounded in Azusa stabbing

1003_NWS_SGT-L-AZSTABBING1

AZUSA >> Two men suffered stab wounds in what was believed to be dispute between two family members at an Azusa home Thursday afternoon, police said.
The incident unfolded about 1:40 p.m. at Dalton Avenue and 11th Street, according to Azusa police and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
“We got a call of an assault with some sort of weapon,” Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said.
On arrival, police found two men in their 20s bleeding from apparent stab wounds, Lt. Mike Bertelsen said.
Both men were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Bertelsen said. One was flown to the hospital by helicopter, while the other was transported by ambulance.
1003_NWS_SGT-L-AZSTABBING2An update on the conditions of the wounded men was not available.
The circumstances of the incident remained under investigation, however Bertelsen said the incident was believed to have been between the two men, and no suspect was being sought.
The two men were believed to be relatives, though their exact relationship was not clear.
Several other people at the home, including a small child, were not injured, police said.

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UPDATED: Two stabbed, suspect arrested, following fight over cookies in Altadena

ALTADENA >> A man suffered serious stab wounds Thursday while breaking up a fight between two women believed to have started over cookies, authorities said.
The unusual alleged crime took place about 8:15 p.m. at Raymond Avenue and Woodbury Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.
A 22-year-old Altadena man suffered a serious stab wound to his abdomen when he tried to break up a fight between two women that started over cookies, sheriff’s Sgt. Wayne Waterman said. The man was in stable condition at a hospital Friday.
A 19-year-old woman suffered moderate injuries including slashes to her face during the incident, and was also taken to a hospital for treatment.
Shandra Easterling, 43, of Pasadena, was also treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle prior to being booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Waterman said.
Easterling and the younger woman became involved in an argument after one of them asked for cookies that the other had, but was refused. It was unclear Friday which woman had the desserts.
The argument escalated into a fight, officials said.
“The females were fighting,” Waterman said. “The male tried to intervene and stop the fight. He broke the two apart.”
Easterling pulled, “some type of edged weapon,” and stabbed the man in the abdomen, Waterman said. The 19-year-old woman also suffered injuries including cuts to her face.
The weapon had not been recovered Friday.
Deputies responding to reports of a stabbing detained Easterling at the scene and arrested her once she was identified as the alleged attacker, officials said. She was initially medically examined booked at the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station, but later taken to a hospital for further treatment of injuries possibly suffered during the fight.
The suspect and two witnesses were believed to be acquaintances, Waterman said.
According to county booking records, Easterling was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.

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UPDATED: Pico Rivera teen and man accused of murder in stabbing death of teen’s father

PICO RIVERA >> A teenage boy previously sought as a “person of interest” in his father’s fatal stabbing in Pico Rivera was arrested on suspicion of murder Sunday, along with a second suspect, authorities said.
Detectives sought Sergio Anthony Gutierrez, 17, of Pico Rivera since his 50-year-old father was found fatally stabbed about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at the family home in the 3700 block of Oaklawn Lane, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Coroner’s officials have not yet released the name of the slain father, however neighbors said he was also named Sergio Gutierrez.
The teenage Gutierrez was detained Sunday morning, along with Jesus Rafael Adame, 18, by Montebello police, according to sheriff’s officials and Los Angeles County booking records. Adame’s city of residence was not available.
After questioning the teen and Adame, detectives arrested them both on suspicion of murder about noon, Sgt. Sean Geske of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station said.
The investigation was ongoing, and detectives continued seeking possible additional suspects, Geske said.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday, and no further details regarding the arrests were available.
Deputies went to the house inside a gated community after a woman described as the suspect’s mother and victim’s wife called 9-1-1 to report a robbery, sheriff’s officials said. Deputies arrived to find the elder Gutierrez mortally wounded in the family room of the home. He had been stabbed several times in the torso.
There were no signs of forced entry at the home, Francisco said. It was not clear if anything had been stolen.
The teenage Gutierrez was believed to have been home, along with his mother and another woman who rented a room in the home, when the stabbing took place, Francisco said. But by the time deputies arrived at the scene, both the teen and the family car were missing.
Investigators described the teen as a “person of interest” as they sought him Saturday, stopping short of labeling him a suspect in his father’s slaying.
It was unclear Sunday whether prosecutors would seek to charge the 17-year-old murder suspect as an adult.
According to county booking records, Adame was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
Anyone with information is 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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San Dimas man accused of stabbing house guest in face

SAN DIMAS >> A San Dimas man is accused of stabbing his house guest and lifelong friend in the face when the two men got into an argument Saturday, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Matthew David Anderson, 26, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following the 11:20 a.m. stabbing at a house in the 400 block of Conestoga Road, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
The victim, a 28-year-old man, was hospitalized in stable condition with stab wounds through both of his cheeks, sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said. The victim and his wife live out of state and had been staying with Anderson as house guests.
It was not clear exactly what the two men argued about before Anderson attacked the victim with a what investigators described as a “large kitchen knife,” Vega said.
The wounded man’s wife called 9-1-1 to report the stabbing, and deputies encountered the victim in front of the home. The injured man and his wife told deputies the name of the suspect, and that they believed he was still inside the house, the lieutenant said.
Deputies surrounded the home as a sergeant made “intermittent” contact with Anderson via telephone, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Three children exited the home unharmed, Vega said. They were believed to be family members of Anderson.
“(Anderson) initially said he was inside the location, but later said he fled on foot,” according to the statement.
After about two hours, the sergeant persuaded Anderson to surrender at Fifth Street and Eucla Avenue, in the presence of his mother, officials said.
“Investigators learned the victim and suspect have known each other since childhood,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
In addition to being arrested in connection with the stabbing, Anderson was also being held on outstanding warrants, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $115,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

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UPDATED: Man stabbed to death in his Pico Rivera home; son sought as ‘person of interest’


PICO RIVERA >> A man died after being stabbed inside his home early Saturday, and his teenage son and the family car were missing, authorities said.
The fatal stabbing took place about 1:30 a.m. at a home within a gated community in the 3700 block of Oaklawn Lane, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The circumstances of the slaying remained a mystery as investigators poured over the scene Saturday afternoon.
“At this time, we don’t know what happened inside this residence,” Francisco said.
Coroner’s officials did not release the name of the 50-year-old stabbing victim, however neighbors identified him as Sergio Gutierrez.
0921_NWS_WDN-L-STAB1His son, 17-year-old Sergio Anthony Gutierrez, was believed to be home at the time of the stabbing, but has not been seen since, Francisco said. Also missing is the family car, a silver, 200 Infiniti with a California license plate of 4MAB667.
The teenage son was not considered a suspect, but was being sought for questioning as a “person of interest,” Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
The victim lived at the home with his wife, their son and a woman who rented a room in their home, Francisco said.
Deputies first responded to the home after victim’s wife called 9-1-1 and reported a robbery, Francisco said. Further details regarding the initial 9-1-1 call were not available.
Deputies arrived to discover the homeowner lying in the front family room of the home, suffering from several stab wounds to his torso, Francisco said. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:17 a.m.
There were no signs the home had been broken into or that an intruder had been present, Francisco said. It had not been determined whether anything other than the family car was missing from the home.
Deputies have visited the home more than once in the past for domestic violence calls, however further details of deputies’ previous visits to the home were not available, the lieutenant said.
Neighborhood resident Ariel Acosta, 22, said he grew up with the teenage Sergio Gutierrez.
“It’s sad. I just want to know what happened,” he said.
Acosta described the younger Gutierrez as a “calm” and “quiet” boy who loved soccer, and had previously played for El Rancho High School.
“He’s a normal kid, just like the rest of us,” Acosta said.
0921_NWS_WDN-L-STAB2The neighbor said although he did not know the parents as well, “To me, it was a normal family.”
The father was often seen taking his son to school, or playing soccer with him in the family’s front yard, Acosta said.
Acosta said the husband and wife often walked their pet Chihuahuas in the neighborhood.
Despite Saturday’s tragedy, Acosta said he believed the neighborhood was a safe one.
“I’ve always felt safe in here. I’ve lived here 18 years,” he said.

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