UPDATED: Whitter man accused of knife, hammer attacks pleads not guilty

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NORWALK >> An alleged gang member accused of stabbing and seriously injuring his uncle in Pico Rivera, then stabbing and beating a former friend with a hammer in South Whittier two days later pleaded not guilty Thursday to a series of charges in connection with the December attacks, authorities said.
“Alfred Tapia was arraigned on two counts of attempted murder and one count each of mayhem and child abuse,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. He is additionally accused of the sentence-enhancing allegation that the crimes were gang-related.
Tapia, 34, fled to Mexico where he was apprehended and returned to the United States last month to face prosecution. If convicted as charged, he could face life in prison as a third strike offender, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The near-fatal stabbings and beating took place Dec. 3 at the home of Tapia’s uncle in the 8700 block of Olympic Boulevard in Pico Rivera, and Dec. 5 at the home of a former gang member and friend in the 10500 block of Nashville Avenue in South Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said.
In the first incident, Tapia went to his uncle’s home, where the two men had a “disagreement over a personal matter,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Tapia stabbed his uncle several times in the back, inflicting serious injuries including a collapsed lung and a punctured liver, sheriff’s officials said. Further details regarding what the men argued about were not available.
Two days later, Tapia arrived at the home of his former friend, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
“The man was home alone caring for his infant child,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Tapia chased the man outside and reportedly attacked him with a knife and hammer.”
Tapia’s second alleged victim suffered major injuries, including both stab wounds and blunt force trauma, Nishida said.
The charge of mayhem was filed due to injuries suffered by the second victim, Ardalani said. However prosecutors declined to describe the nature of the injuries.
Under California law, mayhem occurred when a person, “unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip.”
Tapia was also being investigated in connection with the Dec. 6 stabbing of another relative in Chino, however he has not been charged in connection with the incident.
Tapia was scheduled to return to Norwalk Superior Court June 2 for a preliminary hearing setting, officials said.

PHOTO of Alfred Tapia courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Woman sentenced for fatal stabbing of boyfriend in Pomona

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.

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UPDATE: Nurses wounded in two separate hospital stabbings in Sylmar, Torrance

Two nurses suffered stab wounds in two separate attacks at UCLA hospitals in Sylmar and Torrance early Sunday, authorities said.
The Sylmar incident took place about 2 a.m. at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and about 9:20 a.m. at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
There was “no indication” the attacks were related, Lt. Rich Burgoyne of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s County Services Bureau said, however the motives in each remained under investigation.
Romero Carnailla, 26, of Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of the stabbing at the Sylmar hospital, 14445 Olive View Drive, Burgoyne said.
“(Carnailla) entered the hospital, bypassed the weapons screening area, and fled into the building, away from security and law enforcement officers,” Lt. Denise Stephenson said in a written statement.
“As deputies and officers searched the hospital, they heard a woman scream and went to the source of the outcry,” Stephenson said. “They located the victim, a female adult, and found she was stabbed an unknown number of times in the upper and lower torso.”
The wounded nurse, whose age was not available, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.
Carnailla was taken into custody just after the stabbing, however further details of his arrested were not available Sunday afternoon, Burgoyne said.
Officials recovered a knife at the scene, Stephenson added.
A motive in the alleged attack was not known, and it remained under investigation whether the suspect and victim knew one another, Burgoyne said.
Carnailla was being held in lieu of $55,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said. He was receiving medical treatment prior to booking, though officials did not say why.
A second nurse was wounded in a stabbing just over seven hours later at the Torrance hospital campus, authorities said.
0421_NWS_LDN-L-HOSPITALSTAB2Thomas Robert Fredette, 38, of Santee was jailed in connection with the alleged attack at the hospital campus at 1000 West Carson Street, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Fredette went through a weapons screening area, officials said.
“Once inside the hospital, the suspect encountered a group of nurses, grabbed one of them from behind, and stabbed the female victim in the ear with a sharp object,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“The victim was able to free herself from the suspect’s grasp and ran away,” the statement continued. The nurse, who suffered injuries not believed to be life threatening, directed deputies to her attacker.
Fredette was taken into custody, and a pencil believed to have been used as the weapon in the stabbing was recovered as evidence.
“The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information at this time, the sheriff’s statement said.
Officials said Fredette was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Torrance Superior Court.

PHOTO of Thomas Fredette courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Police: Woman stabs boyfriend with knife, fork in Covina

COVINA — A Covina woman stabbed her boyfriend numerous times with both a kitchen knife and fork during an argument at a Covina mobile home park late Friday, authorities said.
Mist Napolitano, 52, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the alleged attack, which took place about 8:50 p.m. at a mobile home park in the 1300 block of North Citrus Avenue, Covina police Sgt. Jim McDonough said.
Napolitano and her longtime boyfriend, 45, became involved in an argument when she stabbed him numerous times with a kitchen knife, the sergeant said. The man was stabbed in both his arms, his chin and his upper torso.
The man was also stabbed several times in the back with a fork, McDonough said. The wounded man managed to call for help and was hospitalized in stable condition.
Napolitano fled the scene but was captured a short time later, with blood still on her clothing, outside the Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, police said.
Napolitano, who is on parole, was being held without bail, officials added.
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Trial begins for woman accused of stabbing estranged husband to death in Walnut

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POMONA >> Trial is underway in Pomona for a woman accused of stabbing her estranged husband to death inside his Walnut home in 2011.
George Mora, 47, had already obtained a restraining order against now-46-year-old Socorro Mora when she allegedly stabbed him to death on the morning of Oct. 19, 2011, in the home where he lived with the couple’s four children in the 21600 block of Brookside Court in Walnut.
Opening statements in the case were heard Thursday in Pomona Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said. The trial continued Friday with prosecution testimony.
The slaying came at the end of more than a month of escalating violence perpetrated by Socorro Mora against her husband, prosectors and investigators allege.
In addition to the killing, she’s accused of showing up at George Mora’s house and fatally stabbing the family dog three weeks prior to the killing on Sept. 24, 2011, according to Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba . A previous domestic violence incident on Sept. 13, 2011, had prompted Mora to get a restraining order against his wife.
Socorro Mora has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, animal cruelty and domestic violence.
Deputies responded to the home after she called 9-1-1 and reported domestic violence, investigators said. She was found in the front yard suffering from stab wounds, though it was not clear if they were self-inflicted or suffered while struggling with her estranged husband.
Family members said the couple had been married for 18 years and had separated about two months prior to the slaying.
They had two sons and two daughters, who were between 8 and 16 years old at the time of the killing. They were not home when the stabbing occurred.

PHOTO of George Mora: Courtesy

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Police: Covina stabbing suspect jailed after returning to scene of crime

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COVINA — Police arrested a stabbing suspect Sunday after he returned to the scene of the crime in search of the knife used in the attack, police said.
Manual Alexander Valdez, 24, of Azusa was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the 3:30 a.m. stabbing in the 1100 block of East Wingate Avenue, Covina police Sgt. Jim McDonough said.
Valdez was acquainted with the victim, a 25-year-old man, and they arrived together to visit a home in the neighborhood, the sergeant said.
“(Valdez) thinks the victim is hitting on his girlfriend and an argument ensues,” the sergeant said.
The men continued arguing as they walked down the street, where Valdez allegedly stabbed the victim in the arm, police said. The wounded man suffered a severed artery and was hospitalized in serious condition.
The attacker had fled the area when officers arrived, but a witness reported seeing a man looking through some nearby bushes with a flashlight just prior to their arrival, McDonough said. The man fled as police approached, and investigators suspected it was the suspect trying to recover the weapon used in the stabbing.
Unbeknownst to Valdez, McDonough said, police found a set of brass knuckled with a blade attached that was believed to have been used in the attack at the scene.
As the investigation continued, police identified Valdez as the suspect and began keeping watch over his Azusa home, McDonough said.
But police received a call from the same neighborhood where the stabbing occurred about 11 a.m. reporting that a man was again searching through the bushes, the sergeant said.
Police rushed to the area and pulled Valdez over as he was driving out of the neighborhood, McDonough said. He was arrested in connection with the stabbing, and also had a small amount of what police believed to be heroin with him.
Valdez had blood splattered on his pants and shoes when arrested, the sergeant added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Valdez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Victim of fatal Norwalk stabbing identified as Long Beach man; arrest of suspect announced

NORWALK — Officials have identified a Long Beach man found fatally stabbed in Norwalk last week and announced the arrest of a suspect.
Darin Sivley, 53, died at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood about 3:45 p.m., just over an hour after the stabbing took place in the area of Stubebaker Road and Ferina Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
Detectives Wednesday announced a suspect — 38-year-old William Johnson — has been arrested in connection with the slaying, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. His city of residence was not clear.
Sivley was believed to have been stabbed at a home before riding from the scene on a bicycle and collapsing nearby, authorities said.
“During the investigation, homicide detectives interviewed (Johnson),” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “Suspect Johnson was arrested on the evening of March 6, 2014, booked for murder at Norwalk Station and is being held in lieu of $1,030,000 bail.”
According to county booking records, Johnson was scheduled to appear Monday in Norwalk Superior Court.
An autopsy carried out Wednesday determined Sivley died from stab wounds to his arm, and the death was ruled a homicide.
Further details regarding the alleged slaying, including a motive, were not released.

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Teen stabbed by apparent gang members in Monrovia

MONROVIA — Two apparent gang members stabbed and wounded a young man after he exited a bus Thursday afternoon, police said.
The victim, a 19-year-old black man, got off a bus at Foothill Boulevard and Magnolia Street about 6:25 p.m., Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman said.
He was approached my two men who seemingly mistook the victim for a gang member, the sergeant said.
One of the assailants shouted “(expletive) Duroc” as he stabbed the victim in the chest, Coleman said. The stab wound was not considered to be life-threatening.
“Duroc” refers to the Duroc Crips street gang, which populates the Duarte and Monrovia area.
But the wounded man did not appear to be associated with the gang, Coleman said.
The attackers were described only as Latino men of about the same age as the victim. They were last seen running from the scene of the stabbing.

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Attacker makes slurs before slashing man in face in Pasadena

PASADENA — Police are seeking a man who antagonized a man with racial and gang slurs before slashing him in the face late Saturday, officials said.
The attack took place about 11:53 a.m. along Montana Street near Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
A 28-year-old North Hollywood man was accompanied by his girlfriend and retrieving items from a parked car when he was approached by another man described only as a black, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds, the lieutenant said.
The attacker tried to antagonize the victim, shouting “gang slurs” and “racial slurs,” at the victim, who was white, Clawson said.
“He pulled out some type of weapon and swung, and cut the victim above his eye,” he said.
The injured man declined to be taken to a hospital by paramedics. It was not immediately clear if the case was to be investigated as a hate crime.

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San Gabriel man sentenced for fatal stabbing of Burbank man

PASADENA — A judge sentenced a San Gabriel man to 26 years to life in prison Wednesday for fatally stabbing a man more than 30 times near his Burbank home, officials said.
Jorge Ernesto Villalobos, 47, received his sentence from Pasadena Superior Court Judge Suzette Clover, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
A jury convicted him Dec. 19 of the first-degree murder of 47-year-old Glenn Giles, which took place Feb. 26, 2008, near Giles’ home in the 3000 block of Joaqin Drive in Burbank, officials said.
“Testimony during the trial revealed Villalobos had been keeping track of Giles before finally killing him because he was dating his former girlfriend,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Giles was stabbed 32 times, officials said.
“Giles was stabbed at his house, but managed to make it to his neighbor’s house before collapsing and dying,” the district attorney’s office statement said.
Villalobos was additionally ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution.

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