PASADENA – A judge sentenced a San Gabriel man to prison Tuesday after he admitted fatally stabbing an 18-year-old Pomona man during a fight outside an Arcadia strip mall in 2011, authorities said.
At what was scheduled to be a pre-trial hearing Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court, Juan Lorenzo, 33, of San Gabriel pleaded “no contest” to a count of voluntary manslaughter, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said. He also admitted the special, sentence-enhancing allegation that he personally used a knife in the crime.
The plea was entered as part of a negotiated plea agreement, Robison said. He was initially charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
Immediately following the plea, “He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison,” Robison said. He received the sentence from Pasadena Superior Court Judge Dorothy Shubin.
Lorenzo was working at the Money Pot Shabu Shabu restaurant in the 1300 block of South Golden West Avenue when he became involved in an argument with Anthony Berry, who was sitting in a parked car waiting for an acquaintance who worked at another nearby resident, according to Arcadia police officials.
During the dispute, Lorenzo pulled a knife and stabbed Berry, who ran toward the businesses and collapsed, Arcadia police Lt. Tom LeVeque said at the time. Berry was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
Lorenzo was held without bail pending trial due to a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A second restaurant employee initially arrested in connection with the fatal fight was released without charges due to insufficient evidence, district attorney’s officials said.
AZUSA — A young man who chased after three other men who were throwing rocks at his car ended up hospitalized with serious stab wounds early Saturday, police said.
A 19-year-old Azusa man was sitting in his parked car in the 200 block of E. Newburgh Street about 12:15 a.m. when three men approached and began throwing rocks at his vehicle, Azusa police Cpl. Andy Rodriguez said. The motive behind the rock-hurling was unclear.
The driver got out of his car and chased after the three men, Rodriguez said. He began fighting with one of the men, who pulled a knife and stabbed him several times in the upper body.
“The wounds are serious but he is expected to survive,” Rodriguez said.
The knife-wielding attacker was described as a Latino man in his 40s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and wearing dark clothing, police said. His companions were described only as Latino men.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
ALHAMBRA — Trial is scheduled to begin Monday in the case of a Los Angeles man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife and seriously wounding her sister two years ago at the women’s home near San Gabriel.
Sherman Dorsey, 42, is charged with murder for the fatal stabbing of Gina Reano, 45, and the wounding of her sister, Aug. 3, 2011, in the 5500 block of Walnut Grove Avenue, in an unincorporated county area just east of San Gabriel.
Following hearings on motions this week, court officials said jury selection in the case was expected to begin Monday in Alhambra Superior Court.
Deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call from the surviving sister when they encountered the two women and Dorsey, who was also bleeding from self-inflicted stab wounds, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Dorsey and his wife were estranged, but had been working toward patching up their relationship, when the incident occurred, officials added.
According to county booking records, Dorsey remained jailed in lieu of $2.07 million bail.
PASADENA – Authorities sought a suspect Sunday in connection with the stabbing of a man at McDonald Park, police said.
A 39-year-old Pasadena man arrived at a hospital with stab wounds to his torso about 8:30 p.m. Saturday , Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. The man’s injuries were described as not life-threatening, and he refused to cooperate with police.
Other witnesses at the hospital told investigators the man had been stabbed at McDonald Park, 1000 Mountain Avenue, Clawson said.
While following up at the park, police found evidence and additional witnesses, which enabled them to determine the identity of the alleged attacker, the lieutenant said. His name was withheld as police continued seeking him Saturday.
A motive in the stabbing was not clear, he added.
Police responding to reports of a large fight in the street in front of a house party discovered a Banning man fatally stabbed, police and coroners officials said.
The name of the dead man was not released pending positive identification and confirmation that his family had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said.
The fight, which involved an unknown number of people, was reported about 3 a.m. on Vernon Avenue, between Gladstone Street and Paramount Street, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said.
All of the combatants had fled the area when officers arrived except for one man found badly at the scene.
“As officers arrived, they found a 36-year-old male resident of Banning laying on the sidewalk with multiple stab wounds to his upper body,” Sutcliffe said. He was rushed to an area trauma center where he died from his injuries a short time later.
A second man who also had multiple stab wounds to his upper body was brought the a hospital by a friend, Sutcliffe said. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The age and city of the surviving victim were withheld by detectives due to the ongoing investigation, he added.
The circumstances and motive of the stabbing remained under investigation, the sergeant said.
“That’s exactly what (detectives) are trying to piece together,” Sutcliffe said.
No suspect description was available.
A nearby resident who asked that his name be withheld said he rode down the street about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
There was a party with loud music near the stabbing scene late Saturday, as well as a group of men congregated out front, the resident said. But there were no signs of trouble.
Police kept Vernon Avenue shut down between Gladstone Street and Paramount Street well into the afternoon as they continued their investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
ALHAMBRA — Police are looking for a man who allegedly punched and stabbed another man on Friday.The 8:47 a.m. stabbing happened in the parking lot of the Home Depot at 500 South Marengo Ave.The suspect, 36-year-old Juan Manuel Bello Morales, is known to frequent the area looking for work, according to Alhambra Police Sgt. Jerry Johnson in a statement.On Friday, Johnson said a man parked in the lot, got out of his car and made contact with the suspect.“A few moments later, and for reasons that are still unclear, the suspect attacked the victim repeatedly punching and stabbing him. The victim collapsed in the parking lot and the suspect fled,” Johnson said.The wounded man was taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center where he was listed in serious but stable condition, police said.Morales’ last known residence was in Los Angeles. He was described as Latino with black hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 190 pounds.Anyone who sees Morales or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call the Alhambra Police Department at 626-570-5151.
- Ruby Gonzales
EL MONTE — A dead man found in the Rio Hondo wash Saturday afternoon showed signs of having been bludgeoned and possibly stabbed, authorities said Sunday.
The name of the man was not released pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. He described as being in his 50s.
Passers-by first notified officials about 3:55 p.m. after making the grisly discovery along the Rio Hondo near Pioneer Park in the 3500 block of Santa Anita Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The dead man had suffered, “blunt force trauma and possible stab wounds,” according to the statement. Sheriff’s officials initially described the incident as a stabbing death.
Coroner’s documents indicated it was found lying against an angled cement embankment leading down into the wash, McKibben said.
It was unclear Sunday exactly how long he had been there, officials said, though the body did not show significant signs of decomposition.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were helping El Monte police with the investigation. Police deferred all comments to the sheriff’s investigators.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
POMONA — A Pomona Superior Court Judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a Whittier man accused of fatally stabbing a West Covina man outside a 2011 Halloween party after the jury deadlocked, authorities said.
Andrew Edward Meza, 37, was charged with murder and assault likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with the fatal stabbing of Nicholas Bernard Botiller, 26, outside a party in the 1000 block of South Meeker Avenue in West Covina in the early-morning hours of Nov. 1, 2011, according to West Covina police and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
The jury began deliberating Tuesday morning before announcing they could not reach a unanimous decision Wednesday afternoon, D.A.’s spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
“Judge Robert Martinez declared a mistrial,” she said. ”
It was not clear Wednesday if Meza would face a second trial.
“The D.A.’s office will be back in court July 1, at which time we will announce how we intend to proceed,”
The exact number of jurors in favor of guilt and acquittal was not available, however court officials said the deadlocked favored acquittal.
Botiller had just left the party and was congregated with a group outside when witnesses reported a commotion, then seeing Botiller stabbed, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said at the time. He died a short time later at a hospital.
Meza was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing in May of 2012, and has been held in lieu of $1 million bail ever since.
AZUSA – A woman arrested accused of stabbing her boyfriend at an Azusa mote last week has been released from custody without charges, officials said.
Julie Helm, 46, of Azusa was initially booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after her 43-year-old boyfriend was stabbed multiple times in the upper body at the Arrow Inn Motel, 469 E. Arrow Highway, according to Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe.
But Helm was released from the Azusa Police Department’s jail the morning of June 20, prior to her scheduled arraignment, after prosecutors declined to file charges due to insufficient evidence, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robinson said.
The man who was stabbed during the incident, Mike Cavanugh, said he was upset that Helm had been released from jail and had returned to the same motel where he is staying, though he admitted the fight was not merely one-way. He said he kicked and choked Helm during the incident, in which he also suffered a broken rib.
“This isn’t justice,” he said. “Do I have to be a corpse for them to do something?”
POMONA — Trial was underway Wednesday for a Whittier man accused of the fatal stabbing of a West Covina man outside a Halloween party in 2011, officials said.
Andrew Edward Meza, 38, is charged with murder and assault likely to produce great bodily injury for the Nov. 1, 2011, slaying of 26-year-old Nicholas Botiller in the 1000 block of South Meeker Avenue, according to West Covina police and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
After hearing opening arguments Tuesday, the trial continued Wednesday with the prosecution’s case, Pomona Superior Court officials said.
Botiller died at a hospital shortly after the 2 a.m. stabbing, officials said. He had left the party and was congregating outside with a group of people when allegedly attacked.
The case went unsolved for nearly six months, until West Covina police detectives arrested Meza on suspicion of the killing in May of 2012.
Botiller managed a West Covina oil change business and was studying to become an emergency medical technician, said his mother, Joan Hernandez.
A graduate of St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs who enjoyed auto mechanics and off-roading, Botiller was unmarried and had no children.