Man sentenced for double-stabbing at San Gabriel boarding house

SAN GABRIEL >> A man has begun serving a 9-year prison sentence for stabbing the managers of a San Gabriel boarding house where he was staying in 2016, officials said.
Qianyi Wang, 35, pleaded “no contest” on Monday to charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
He was immediately sentenced to nine years in state prison for the Aug. 11, 2016, attack, which took place at an unpermitted boarding house in the 1900 block of South Twin Avenue, Santiago said.
Wang slashed the neck of a 56-year-old woman, seriously injuring her and resulting in the attempted murder charge, San Gabriel police Lt. Brian Kott said shortly after Wang’s arrest. Wang and also slashed the woman’s 53-year-old boyfriend when he came to her defense, tackling Wang and wrestling the large kitchen knife from his grasp with help from some of the other nine residents of the boarding home.
Wang had just moved in to the home a day or two before the crime, Kott said.
The unprovoked attack followed complaints from roommates that Wang was making excessive noise, but was non preceded by any type of heated argument or fight, the lieutenant said.
The two victims were serving as managers of the boarding home, Kott said.
Wang was ordered back to court May 2 for a restitution hearing, Santiago said.

BOOKING PHOTO of Quanyi Wang courtesy of the San Gabriel Police Department

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Man on bicycle sought in Pasadena stabbing


PASADENA >> Police are seeking an attacker who repeatedly stabbed a homeless man under a freeway overpass in Pasadena before fleeing on a bicycle late Wednesday, officials said.
The stabbing took place about 9:25 p.m. along Rosemead Blvd. at the 210 Freeway, according to Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman.
The victim, a 51-year-old homeless man, and his girlfriend were sleeping under the overpass prior to the incident, he said.
“The victim saw his girlfriend engaged in an argument with the suspect and began to intervene,” Goodman said. “The suspect responded by stabbing the victim with an unknown object.”
Goodman said the victim suffered three non-life-threatening stab wounds to his upper body. He has since undergone treatment and been released from the hospital.
His assailant fled the scene on a bicycle and was not found.
Police described the attacker as a
Latino man between 30 and 35 years old, about 6 feet tall and 170 to 180 pounds. He had very short dark hair and wore a gray pullover shirt, along with short of an unknown color.
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.

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Clues sought in fatal shooting of man in Azusa aqueduct


AZUSA >> Detectives continued seeking clues Wednesday into the slaying of a man found shot to death alongside an aqueduct in Azusa on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The body was first discovered about 3:30 p.m. among rocks and shrubbery along the bed of the channel that runs along the west side of Sierra Madre Avenue, just north of Todd Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. The identity of the victim, described as a man in his 40s who was believed to be staying in a nearby homeless encampment, was not released pending notification of his family.
The man’s cause of death was not immediately clear once his body was found, however, it was ultimately determined he had been shot in the upper torso, Sgt. Troy Ewing of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The fatal shooting was believed to have taken place well before the body was found, he said.
“We believe he was there for a few days,” the sergeant said.
Investigators collected “ballistic evidence” at the scene, but Ewing declined to discuss the evidence in greater detail.
No information regarding a suspect description or motive was available.
Anyone with information is urged 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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Two suspects charged with murder in fatal stabbing of El Monte man


EL MONTE >> Two suspects have been charged with murder for the fatal stabbing of an El Monte man last month, officials announced Wednesday.
Following “a detailed and lengthy investigation,” into the Feb. 19 stabbing death of 22-year-old Alejandro Rojas, detectives identified two suspects and a SWAT team arrested them on March 2 during a raid at a home in the 11400 block of Kerrwood Street in El Monte, according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Prosecutors filed murder charges on Monday against Daniel Anthony Lopez, 22, and Adrian Alejandro Castillo, 25, both of El Monte, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. Castillo is also accused of the special allegation that he personally wielded a knife in the killing..
Rojas was walking down the street in the 4200 block of Peck Road with his cousin when the suspects approached in a Nissan Sentra and pulled over alongside them, sheriff’s officials said.
“Suspect Castillo, a passenger, exited the vehicle and stabbed Victim Rojas,” Jansen said in a written statement. “Rojas with the assistance of his (cousin) ran from the location to a nearby residence and collapsed.”
Paramedics took Rojas to a hospital, where he soon succumbed to his injuries.
“Suspects Lopez and Castillo drove away from the scene and out of sight,” Jansen said. “The motive for the murder is unknown and there is no further information at this time.”
Lopez and Castillo appeared in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday but entered no plea, Ardalani said. An arraignment hearing for both defendants was postponed to April 5.
According to county booking records, Castillo was being held without bail pending his court proceedings. He has prior convictions in Los Angeles County for crimes including vandalism and resisting police in January, as well as possession of a gun by a felon in 2014, driving with a blood-alochol level above .08 percent in 2013, and driving without a valid license in 2011, according to court records.
Lopez was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, records show. He has a single prior criminal conviction listed in Los Angeles County for trespassing in a structure in 2014.

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Stabbing victim found dead in Angeles National Forest above La Canada Flintridge identified as Palmdale man


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have identified a 35-year-old stabbing victim whose body was found along the side of a road deep in the forest north of La Canada Flintridge last week.
A hiker discovered the remains of Anthony James Willis shortly before 1 p.m. on March 2 along mile marker 18.97 of Angeles Forest Highway, in the area of Big Tujunga Road, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
An autopsy found he died from “sharp force injuries,” he said. The death was ruled a homicide.
The body was found at the end of a 30-foot-long drainage ditch that channels storm water off of Angeles Forest Highway and into the forest, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said. It appeared the killer or killers dumped the body after fatally stabbing the victim at another unknown crime scene.
“It doesn’t appear that the murder occurred there. We think someone just placed the body there,” Mendoza said.
The lieutenant said he was not aware of any gang ties on the part of the victim.
Mendoza said the body did not yet show signs of decomposition and was likely placed in the forest within a day or days of its discovery.
He asked anyone who saw anything suspicious or unusual in the area in the days leading up to the discovery of the body to contact homicide detectives.
No further information was available Wednesday.
Anyone with information can reach 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 sentenced for orchestrating wife’s 1991 murder in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS >> A judge sentenced a man to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday for hiring a man to kill his wife at the San Dimas home they shared more than 25 years ago after learning she planned to leave him, authorities said.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Pomona convicted Shanker Chhaganbahi Patel, 57, on Jan. 24 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 19, 1991, death of 29-year-old law student Usha Patel, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury also found true the special circumstance of lying in wait at the conclusion of a trial that stretched on for two-and-a-half months.
Shanker Patel arranged for another man, 66-year-old Miguel Angel Garcia, to attack Usha Patel as she was on her way to pick up the couple’s 7-year-old daughter from school, Ardalani said.
“The assailant fatally stabbed the victim in the chest and neck, duct taped her mouth and nose and bound her feet,” she said. “(Garcia) then placed the victim’s body in the trunk of her car and drove the vehicle to a nearby middle school, where he abandoned the car.”
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy discovered the car, and subsequently the body, later that day.
The investigation went cold until 2010, when detectives reopened the then-19-year-old murder case and reexamined evidence, “including gloves discovered in the front passenger seat of the victim’s car,” according to Ardalani.
Detectives were able to match DNA from the gloves to Garcia, who was charged with Usha Patel’s murder in 2012 and ultimately pleaded “no contest” to a count of first-degree murder, officials said. He is serving a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
But the investigation continued, and detectives soon learned that Shanker Patel had paid a “middle man” $7,500 to orchestrate his wife’s murder, Ardalani said.
“The defendant told the co-conspirator when and where to be in the family’s home to kill Usha Patel,” she said. The middle man sub-contracted the murder-for-hire to Garcia. Prosecutors charged him with murder in 2013.
“According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant was having an affair on his wife prior to the killing,” Ardalani said. “Additionally, Usha Patel, a law school student, was planning to leave her husband after she passed the California Bar Exam.”
After identifying Shanker Patel as a suspect in the murder, detectives found and arrested him in Atlanta, officials said.
Though the special circumstance of lying in wait made Shanker Patel eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors did not seek capital punishment in the case, Ardalani said.

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Pico Rivera teen accused of fatally stabbing ex-girlfriend now being tried as juvenile

PICO RIVERA >> A 17-year-old Pico Rivera boy previously charged as an adult in connection with the fatal stabbing of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend is now being tried as a juvenile as a result of the passage of Proposition 57, passed by California owners in November.
Rory Murga is accused of murder for the death of 16-year-old Elena Lillian Moore, who was stabbed to death during the early-morning hours of Aug. 12, 2016, inside her home in the 9800 block of Shade Lane, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. Murga and Moore had dated for about a year and broken up about two weeks prior to the stabbing.
Detectives first labeled Murga a “person of interest” in the slaying. After he was found and taken into custody four days later, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office elected to charge Murga as an adult.
In the month that followed the slaying, California voters approved Proposition 57, which made more convicts deemed “nonviolent” eligible for parole and early release, and also requires that a hearing be held before a juvenile court judge when determining whether a minor will be charged as an adult when accused of a serious crime.
Such a hearing was held Feb. 10, and the case was returned to juvenile court for further proceedings, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
A motions hearing was scheduled in the case in juvenile court on April 27, she said.
But prosecutors plan to again seek that Murga be charged as an adult, according to Ardalani.
Moore’s mother was asleep upstairs when she heard her daughter scream Murga’s during the attack name before making her way upstairs and collapsing in the hallway, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The girl had been stabbed several times.
It appeared Murga entered and exited the home through the back door, though it was unclear whether he forced his way in or was let in.
Investigators found a steak knife believed to be the weapon used in the slaying at the scene, officials said.
Deputies found and arrested Murga on Aug. 16, 2016, after finding him sitting beneath a railroad underpass along Rosemead Boulevard, near Slauson Avenue, Hernandez said.
A motive in the slaying has not been released.

PHOTO of Rory Murga courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. PHOTO of crime scene by Keith Durflinger.

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Teen stabbed during robbery attempt at South Whittier park


SOUTH WHITTIER >> Two men beat and stabbed a teenager after he refused to turn over his property during a robbery attempt at a South Whittier park late Saturday, officials said.
The victim, a 15-year-old boy, was walking through Amelia Mayberry Park, 13201 Meyer Road, about 10 p.m. when two would-be robbers approached, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Hank Ortega said.
“The suspects accosted him and demanded he give them whatever he had,” the sergeant said. The teen refused.
One of the attacker punched the teen in the face, while the other pulled a knife and stabbed him in the upper arm, Ortega said.
The teen was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Ortega said both attackers were last seen running east from the park.
One was described as a white man, between 20 and 25 years old, 150 to 170 pounds, with blond hair.
The second suspect, who wielded the knife, was described as Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 150 pounds, with a beard and mustache.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man slashed in head during dispute at Pico Rivera gym; suspect jailed


PICO RIVERA >> A man slashed another man in the back of the head during a dispute at a Pico Rivera gym on Friday night, authorities said.
The incident unfolded about 9:10 p.m. at L.A. Fitness, 8909 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Noe Garcia said.
Rdylan Jordan Chavez, 26, of East Los Angeles was using the gym when he became involved an argument with another gym patron, described as a man estimated to be in his 20s, the lieutenant said.
At some point during the dispute, Chavez slashed the victim in the back of the head with a knife, he said.
The victim left the gym and went to the nearby sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station to report the stabbing, Garcia said.
Deputies found Chavez still at the gym and took him into custody without a struggle. He directed deputies to a pocket knife which he hidden in the gym.
The victim suffered a significant gash, but his injuries were not life-threatening, Garcia said.
The suspect and victim were acquainted with one another through the gym, he added.
Chavez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, county booking records show.

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El Monte man killed in stabbing identified


EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 22-year-old man who was fatally stabbed as he walked along Peck Road with his cousin on Sunday.
Alejandro Rojas died at a hospital about an hour after the stabbing, which took place about 11:40 a.m. Sunday outside a liquor store in the 4200 block of Peck Road, Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said. He died four days after his 22nd birthday.
He was walking down the street, accompanied by his cousin, when a car heading north along Peck Road pulled up alongside them, according deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
An attacker exited the passenger side of the car and confronted the cousins before pulling a knife and stabbing Rojas in the chest, the deputy said.
The killer returned to the vehicle, which sped away, officials said. A detailed description of the attacker and their car was not available. The motive was unclear.
Rojas was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
His cousin was unhurt in the attack, Navarro-Suarez said.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting El Monte police with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact homicide detectives ar 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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