UPDATED: Man arrested following East Valinda stabbing

EAST VALINDA >> A man is accused of stabbing his friend during an argument in East Valinda Friday, officials said.
The alleged attack took place about 3 p.m. in the area of Valley Boulevard and La Seda Road, in an unincorporated county area surrounded by West Covina, La Puente and Industry, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Contreras of the sheriff’s Industry Station said.
Deputies ultimately booked Manuel Castellanos, 22, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Capt. Tim Murakami said. He was believed to be a local resident.
The suspect and his alleged victim, also a man in his 20s, became involved in a dispute, Contreras said. The suspect pulled a knife, stabbing the victim in the torso and slicing his arm.
Contreras said the attacker fled from the scene but was soon captured by deputies.
Authorities said the victim was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
The suspect’s name was not available.
According to county booking records, Castellanos was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail his arraignment, scheduled Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Woman sought in connection with South Whittier stabbing

SOUTH WHITTIER >> Deputies sought a woman Thursday on suspicion of stabbing her former roommate during an argument at a South Whittier home, authorities said.
The stabbing took place about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 11800 block of Eagan Drive, in the unincorporated county area just south of Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
The ex-roommate, a woman in her late 20s, showed up at the home and became involved in an argument with a current resident, a man in his 50s, Smitson said.
“The female pulled a knife and stabbed the victim once in the chest,” Smitson said.
The wounded man was able to call for help himself, and paramedics took him a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, the lieutenant said. The woman had fled the scene by the time deputies arrived.
Thought he woman’s identity was known to detectives, they withheld it Thursday as they continued seeking her.
The case is being handled by detectives from the sheriff’s Norwalk Station.

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Teen sought in connection with Whittier stabbing

WHITTIER >> Police sought a teenager Sunday who they say stabbed and wounded a man in a residential neighborhood.
Police responded to a report of an assault just after 11 p.m. Saturday in the 8000 block of Washington Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
“It was determined that a stabbing had taken place, and that the primary suspect and victim know each other, and possibly live at the same location,” the lieutenant said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Ellis said.
Officers identified the “primary suspect” as a 16-year-old boy, Ellis said. He, along with several other accomplices described only as male, fled from the scene before police arrived and remained at-large Sunday.
It was unclear of the wounded man and suspect were related to one another or merely roommates, Ellis said. A motive in the stabbing was also not available.

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Two scorned lovers jailed in connection with two separate alleged attacks in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Two jilted lovers ended up behind bars Friday after attacking their exes with weapons in two separate incidents, police said.
The incidents unfolded about 10:40 a.m. at an assisted living home in the 1500 block of East Washington Boulevard, and shortly after 6 p.m. behind a homeless resource center in the 200 block of South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
In the earlier alleged attack, Paulino Hellan, 37, of Los Angeles is accusing of slashing his former girlfriend, a 38-year-old Los Angeles woman, after confronting her at the assisted living facility where they both work, the lieutenant said.
“A verbal argument ensued and the suspect brandished a folding knife,” Luna said. “A struggle ensued over the knife, and the victim suffered a laceration to her hand in the struggle.”
Two employees intervened and managed to disarm Hellan before police arrived and arrested him, Luna said. The woman was treated for an injury described as minor to moderate.
Witnesses reported that Hellan threatened to kill the victim during the incident, and he was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.
The second incident of violence involving a scorned former lover unfolded Friday afternoon when the victim, a 36-year-old homeless man, encountered his former boyfriend, a 29-year-old homeless man.
Efrain Gomez pulled a knife and threatened to stab the victim, Luna said. The victim walked away to call police, but Gomez allegedly caught up with him in a nearby alley. The suspect struck the victim in the face with an unknown blunt object.
The victim was treated for minor to moderate injuries, including bruising and cuts to his forehead and face, Luna said. Police arrested Gomez nearby and booked him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Hellan was being held in lieu of $1.03 million pending his initial court appearance. Gomez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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Glendora man pleads not guilty in fatal 2013 stabbings of two homeless men


GLENDORA >> A man accused of brutally stabbing two homeless men to death as they slept at a Glendora Car wash last year pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder charges in Pomona Superior Court, prosecutors said.
Drew Alan Friis, 29, of Glendora potentially faces the death penalty if convicted as charged of the Aug. 15, 2013, slayings of John “Little John” Welch and Warren Blagrave, both 52, at a car wash in the 200 block of Route 66, where they has been spending the night in the weeks leading up to their deaths.
Prosecutors are yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty in the case, or a life sentence without the possibility of parole, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. In addition to two counts of murder, officials allege the special circumstance of multiple murders, as well as the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the killings.
Investigators arrested Friis the same day the killings occurred. Friis said he was upset with one of the victims, but did not tell officials why, Lt. Ray Lugo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said earlier this year.
Blagrave suffered more than 25 stab wounds, officials said. Welch was stabbed more than 20 times.
Friis is scheduled to return to court Feb. 20 for a preliminary hearing, officials said. In the meantime, he is being held without bail.

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Four stabbed during brawl outside Covina bar

COVINA >> Police arrested one man and sought at least one more after four people were stabbed during a brawl outside a Covina bar early Saturday, officials said.
None of the wounds were considered to be life-threatening, however one of the four stabbing victims was taken to a trauma center with significant injuries, Covina police Sgt. Ray Marquez said. The victims were men in their 20s and 30s.
The incident began about 1:20 a.m. with an argument between two groups of men inside Rude Dog Bar & Grill, 114 N. Citrus Avenue, the sergeant said.
Police said the argument escalated into a fight and spilled out into the street.
“It started inside the bar and worked its way outside,” Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
It was unclear how many people in all were involved in the melee.
One of the combatants pulled a pocket knife and stabbed four of the men he was fighting with, police said.
Officers responding to reports of a fight encountered a wounded man at the scene, Peterson said. Paramedics took the man to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Police received word a short time later that two more stabbing victims had shown up at a West Covina emergency room, police said.
A fourth stabbing victim with minor injuries was later found near the scene of the stabbing, Peterson said. He declined to be taken to a hospital.
Police also found Justin Powers, 25, of Alhambra at the scene of the melee, Peterson said. He was believed to have been fighting with the victims and was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. His exact role in the stabbing remained under investigation.
Investigators continued seeking at least one additional suspect, Marquez said. Police described the suspect as a Latino man between 25 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, of thin build, with a bald head. He wore a blue flannel shirt and blue jeans.
A pocket knife was recovered at the scene, police added.
According to county booking records, Powers was released from jail Saturday afternoon pending his initial court appearance after posting $30,000 bail.

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UPDATED: Three-time convicted felon accused of stabbing man in Alhambra


ALHAMBRA >> A three-time convicted felon from Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from the stabbing of an Alhambra man during an argument over a woman earlier this month, officials said.
Isaias Casillas, 41, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon in for the alleged Dec. 4 attack at the victim’s home in the 2900 block of Montezuma Avenue, according to Alhambra police and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
Casillas went to the victim’s home about 3 p.m. and the two men became involved in a fight, officials said.
“At this time motive appears to be disrespect of a girlfriend,” Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“While victim is in his front yard washing his car, suspect Casillas approaches victim with a gun in his hand pointing it at victim,” according to the police statement.
Casillas then began punching the victim in the head and face.
Casillas did not fire the gun, but pulled out a pocket knife and started stabbing the victim, police said.
The knife wounds , described as lacerations to the head area, were not considered to be life-threatening, Sgt. Jim Hammond said. The victim declined to be taken to a hospital by paramedics.
Police arrested Casillas in connection with the incident the following day.
Casillas and his alleged victim were acquainted with one another, Hammond said.
“ At this time motive appears to be disrespect of a girlfriend,” according to the police statement.
District attorney’s officials said Casillas was previously convicted of grand theft in 1996, possession of methamphetamine in 2000 and vehicular manslaughter in 2004.
Police also described Casillas as a gang member.
The vehicular manslaughter conviction stems from a crash in which Casillas struck a car in La Puente containing four teenagers heading home from Knott’s Berry Farm on Oct. 4, 2003. Nathaly Baustista, a 14-year-old West Covina High School freshman, died in the crash. A teenage boy suffered brain damage.
Casillas fled the scene and was arrested a short time later, prosecutors said.
Casillas pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, as well as felony hit-and-run, in January of 2004. He received a 7-year prison sentence.
If convicted as charged in the stabbing case, Casillas faces up to 16 years in state prison, district attorney’s officials said. He is scheduled to appear in Alhambra Superior Jan. 5 for a preliminary hearing setting. He was released from jail early Saturday after posting $110,000 bail, records show.
BOOKING photo of Isaias Casillas, 41, of Los Angeles courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.

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Man arrested in Guatemala in connection with brutal 2012 slaying of Norwalk woman


NORWALK >> Authorities arrested a man in Guatemala early Thursday in connection with the brutal stabbing death of a 50-year-old woman at her Norwalk home in 2012, officials and the victim’s sister said.
Luis Diofron, 22, is accused of sexually assaulting and fatally stabbing Denise Battey in the early-morning hours of Aug. 10, 2012, at her home in the 11900 block of Allard Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and Battey’s twin sister, Annese Battey.
Investigators recently received a tip that Diofron, whom they had been seeking for more than two years, had been spotted near Guatemala City, Detective Ray Lugo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. Guatemalan police, along with FBI agents, arrested the alleged killer without a struggle Thursday morning.
Annese Battey said she was notified of the arrest Thursday morning.

1206_NWS_WDN-L-DIOFRON2“My family is just ecstatic,” she said. But the sense of justice that came with the arrest was accompanied by many painful memories.
“It’s bitter-sweet,” she said. “Everyone is breaking down. This is a day you just hope and wish for.”
.. Continue reading

PHOTOS of Denise Battey, above, and Luis Diofron, below. (Courtesy)

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Two men wounded in Baldwin Park stabbing

BALDWIN PARK >> Two men were wounded — one of them critically — in stabbing at a Baldwin Park gas station late Saturday, police said.
The incident was first reported about 11:20 p.m. as a fight at a 76 Station at the corner of Puente and Francisquito avenues, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Mike Hemenway said.
Responding officers found two men suffering from stab wounds, he said.
A 21-year-old Baldwin Park man suffered stab wounds to his stomach, hand and arm and was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, Hemenway said. An update on the man’s condition was not available Sunday afternoon.
A 20-year-old Baldwin Park man suffered a stab wound to the side of his head, the sergeant said. Paramedics took him to a hospital in stable condition.
The suspects were described only as two attackers, and the motive in the stabbing remained under investigation, Hemenway said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Baldwin Park police at 626-960-1955. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man convicted of Pasadena barbershop owner’s slaying

PASADENA >> A 26-year-old man faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing next month after Pasadena jury convicted him of the fatal stabbing of a Pasadena barbershop owner in 2011, authorities said.
At his second trial following a hung jury and mistrial in September, a Pasadena Superior Court jury found Davon Westley Moore of Los Angeles guilty of first-degree murder for the Sept. 21, 2011, slaying of 43-year-old King E. King, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said.
King was found about 12:30 a.m., lying in a pool of blood behind his barbershop, King King’s Barber and Beauty Salon, in the 900 block of East Washington Boulevard in Pasadena.
The stabbing, which police characterized as brutal, stemmed from robbery and burglary at the shop, according to district attorney’s officials and Pasadena police investigators.
King didn’t go without a struggle, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
“He was fighting to survive this attack,” she said.
In addition to first-degree murder, the Jury also found true the special circumstances of murder during a robbery and murder during a burglary, prosecutors said.
Moore is expected to receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when he returns to court for sentencing Dec. 9, district attorney’s officials said.
Moore’s co-defendant, 22-year-old Sabrina Octavia King of Compton, who was not related to the victim, pleaded “no contest” to charges of voluntary manslaughter and robbery in March, officials said. She faces up to 21 years in state prison when she returns to court for sentencing,
A previous trial for Moore in September ended in a mistrial, with jurors hung 11-1 in favor of convicting Moore.

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