From the DA’s office:
LOS ANGELES – Jurors today convicted a 30-year-old gang member of five murders and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
William Vasquez, an 18th street gang member, was convicted of the first-degree murders of five victims between 2002 and 2005. Jurors found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and that the defendant was an active participant in a criminal street gang.
Vasquez was additionally convicted of one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Gang and gun allegations were found true.
An allegation that the defendant personally used a firearm as to one of the murders was found not true.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler said the penalty phase of the trial will begin Dec. 14. Vasquez faces death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This from AP, reporting on Rolling Stone’s plans to release a 30-year-old John Lennon interview:
NEW YORK (AP) – Three days before he was gunned down, John Lennon complained about his critics – saying they were just interested in “dead heroes” – and talked optimistically about his family and future, musing that he had “plenty of time” to accomplish some of his life goals.
Lennon’s final interview was released to The Associated Press by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of the musician’s death. The issue using the full interview will be on magazine stands on Friday. While brief excerpts of Jonathan Cott’s interview with Lennon were released for a 1980 Rolling Stone cover story days after Lennon’s death, this is the first time the entire interview has been published.
“His words are totally joyous and vibrant and hopeful and subversive and fearless,” said Cott in an interview on Tuesday. “He didn’t mince words.”
POMONA – A jury debating the death penalty for a Rowland Heights woman convicted of killing her family deadlocked on Monday.
Following deliberations in the penalty phase of Manling Williams’ trial, the jury was hung, court officials said Monday. Eight jurors favored recommending death for Williams, while four preferred life without parole, Los Angles County District Attorney’s office officials said.
A hearing was scheduled for Jan. 11 to determine the next course of action.
“At that time, the district attorney’s office will announce whether we intend to retry the penalty phase,” said spokeswoman Shiara Davila. “In the event we do, we will do so with a brand new jury.”
Williams faced the death penalty after she was convicted on Nov. 4 of slashing to death her husband, Neal, and smothering her two sons, Devon, 7, and Ian, 3, with a pillow in their Rowland Heights home on Aug. 7, 2007.
The jury deliberated for more than two days before determining it could not reach a decision.
If the DA opts not to retry the penalty phase, Williams will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Davila said.
Funeral service for Officer Ryan P. Bonaminio
A funeral service will be held for Officer Ryan P. Bonaminio at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Grove Community Church in Riverside.
ABC 7 will stream the service at http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/livenow?id=7790591
I’ll try to find a link for those who want to watch here. Check back.
Authorities on Thursday continued excavating human remains in Santa Clarita Valley believed to be those of a 20-year-old Fullerton college student allegedly killed by a friend in a Whittier apartment nearly a decade ago.
Christopher McAmis, 31, has confessed to killing Lynsie Ekelund of Placentia on Feb. 17, 2001 at an apartment he then rented on Santa Gertrudes Avenue in Whittier, according to Placentia police Detective Lt. Dale Carlson.
Carlson said detectives have been keeping Ekelund’s mother, Nancy Ekelund, and other family members up to date on the progress in the investigation.
“She’s had to endure this for 10 years. There’s going to be a range of emotions,” Carlson said. “Our goal is to bring her daughter home, if that’s in fact who it is that they’re working on out there, and to bring her killer to justice. Outside of that. I don’t know what comfort we can give her.”
In the local Chinese press they refer to Manling Tsang Williams as “the Butcher.” For good reason. She slaughtered her husband Neal with a Kitana marial arts sword and smothered her innocent children in August 2007.
On Thursday, more than three yers after she committed the brutal and senseless murders, a jury found her guilty on all counts. Manling now faces the death penalty.
Here’s Dan Tedford’s story.
Manling Williams’ former boyfriend testified Monday that he initially denied having an affair with the woman who sliced her husband to death with a ninja sword and suffocated her two children.
This comes via a Facebook status update from Jan Williams, whose son Neal and two grandsons were brutally killed in 2007 by Neal’s wife Manling. Trial is underway in the case. Prosecutors allege that Manling wanted to make it look as if Neal committed suicide. As Jan points out there were a few problems with that plan:
I’m shell shocked. I don’t know how much I can write about this right now. It’s going to take a lot of assimilating. My notes are disjointed and staccato, and it will be a few days before my feelings and stomach settle down and I can really write about it. It’s too new, too immediate and too awful.
The defense attorneys admitted to the jury that Manling committed the murders. They are not contesting the crime scene information. What they will argue is the legal definition of first degree murder. I don’t really understand that, but I’m not understanding much of anything today. My system is on complete overload.