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

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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.”
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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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Man pleads not guilty in fatal Monterey Park stabbing

ALHAMBRA >> A Rosemead man pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday following the fatal stabbing of a Monterey Park man last month, officials said.
Angel Octavion Garcia, 18, is accused of fatally stabbing Alhambra Parks and Recreation Department employee Edward Mendoza, 35, Oct. 14 in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Potrero Grande, near Arroyo Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
He entered his plea in Alhambra Superior Court, where he was ordered to return Jan. 9 for a preliminary hearing setting, Los Angeles County district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“There are no indications the two men knew each other,” according to the statement. A motive for the slaying has not been released.
Mendoza called 9-1-1 to report he had been stabbed, Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. Investigators have declined to release further details of the 9-1-1.
Paramedics rushed Mendoza to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.
“Soon after the incident, a person came forward to police and identified Garcia as the assailant,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Mendoza had worked a part-time recreation leader for the Alhambra Parks and Recreation Department since 2001, city officials said. Most recently, he served as a children’s football referee at Almansor Park in Alhambra.
Recently, Ray said Mendoza was refereeing football for the children at Almansor Park, 800 S. Almansor St. in Alhambra.
Sheriff’s investigators arrested Garcia Oct. 18, according to Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $1.025 million bail.
Loved ones have created a memorial video in tribute to Menoza at www.eddiemendoza.org.

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Man denies charges in fatal Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet stabbing

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> The second of two defendants denied murder and assault charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of a La Mirada woman during a fight over a parking space at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet last month, officials said.
Reggie Cervantes, 22, of South Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon for the Oct. 17 stabbing in the parking lot of the swap meet at 13963 Alondra Boulevard, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Cervantes is additionally accused of the special allegation that he personally wielded a knife in the crime, officials said.
Cervantes’ co-defendant Brenda Jasmine Rangel, 19, of South Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges Oct. 21 in Norwalk Superior Court.
The two suspects are accused of fatally stabbing 43-year-old Elizabeth Yanez of La Mirada during a dispute over a parking space about 9;30 p.m., Whittier police officials said.
Yanez was in a vehicle with her two adult children when she got into an argument with Cervantes and Rangel, who were in another car, police and district attorney’s officials said.
“At some point, Cervantes exited his car and attempted to stab Yanez’s son, but was unsuccessful,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Cervantes then allegedly walked over to Yanez and stabbed her,”
Yanez succumbed to her injuries at an area hospital.
Investigators found and arrested Cervantes and Rangel in connection with the fatal stabbing the following morning at a South Los Angeles apartment, according to Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said.
Prosecutors said Cervantes was previously convicted of robbery in 2009 and receiving stolen property in 2010.
Both face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, officials said.
Cervantes and Rangel were being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending trial, according to booking records. They were scheduled to return to court Dec. 15 for a preliminary hearing.

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Downey man pleads ‘no contest’ in fatal stabbing of Long Beach man in Norwalk

NORWALK >> A Downey man pleaded no contest Wednesday to fatally stabbing a Long Beach man during a dispute at a Norwalk home earlier this year, authorities said.
William Edward Johnson, 38, entered a “no contest” plea in Norwalk Superior Court to a count of voluntary manslaughter for the March 4 stabbing death of 53-year-old Darin Sivley, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. Johnson also admitted the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the crime.
Under the negotiated plea arrangement, Johnson is expected to receive a 12-year prison term when he returned to court for sentencing Monday, Ardalani said. He had originally been charged with murder prior to the plea deal.
Sivley was found fatally wounded on along the road near Studebaker Road and Ferina Street shortly before 3 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
But the stabbing took a place while both Johnson and Sivley were at the home of a mutual acquaintance nearby, according to sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials.
“While there, Sivley began to irritate the homeowner, who wanted him to leave,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “As a result, Johnson pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper arm. The puncture severed a major artery and Sivley began to bleed profusely.”
Someone at the home place a tourniquet on Sivley’s wound before Sivley got on a bicycle to go to a hospital, officials said. But soon collapsed and bled to death.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau arrested Sivley in connection with the fatal stabbing two days later.

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UPDATED: Man badly injured in Norwalk hotel stabbing

NORWALK >> Paramedics rushed a wounded man to a trauma center after he was stabbed late Friday at a Norwalk hotel, officials said.
The stabbing was first reported about 8:20 p.m. at the Guesthouse Hotel, 12500 Firestone Blvd., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials.
Someone brought the wounded man to Norwalk Hospital by private vehicle, sheriff’s Lt. Daniel Gillespie said. Medical staff there determined the victim needed to be transferred to a trauma center.
The victim suffered major injuries including a punctured lung but was expected to survive, Gillespie said.
Deputies sought two male suspects possibly seen running from the area, the lieutenant said. One was believed to be armed with a pocket knife, and the other with a large hunting knife. No further description was available.
The investigation remained in its early stages, however it initially appeared the man was inside a room at the hotel when some sort of fight erupted, he said.
No further details were available.

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Covina woman accused of stabbing boyfriend

COVINA >> A Covina woman stabbed her boyfriend three times early Sunday in a seemingly unprovoked attack, officials said.
Police arrested Toni Entriken, 56, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following the 5:20 a.m. stabbing at a condominium in the 700 block of East San Bernardino Road, Covina police Sgt. Rob Bobkiewicz said.
The victim, a man in his 50s, had just woken up when he was confronted by Entriken, who was armed with a 6-inch-long butcher knife, the sergeant said.
A struggle ensued, and Entriken stabbed her boyfriend twice in the back and once in the arm, he said. The man fled from the condominium and called police.
Officer arrived to find the wounded man outside of the condominium complex, Bobkiewicz said. Paramedics took him to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Police arrested Entriken at her condominium without a struggle, Bobkiewicz added. She was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Tony Zavala at 626-384-5622, or the Covina Police Department’s on-duty watch commander at 626-384-5665.

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Man wounded in stabbing at Norwalk bar

NORWALK >> A man suffered serious injuries but was expected to survive after he was stabbed during a fight at a Norwalk bar early Saturday, authorities said.
The stabbing took place about 1:15 a.m. at the Agave Junction Cantina, 11957 Firestone Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. George Suarez said.
Responding deputies found a man suffering from stab wounds to his abdomen and thigh, Suarez said.
The stabbing was the result of a fight, he said. No suspect description was available.

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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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