Man gets 20 years for robbing USC students

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles man pleaded no contest Tuesday to robbing four USC students at gunpoint in April before he was shot in the leg by campus police while fleeing.Jeremy Hendricks, 24, pleaded to two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and admitted the gun use allegation, said Deputy District Attorney Mario Haidar. He was sentenced by Judge Melissa Widdifield to 20 years in state prison. Haidar said Hendricks approached two male and two female USC students walking along 28th Street on April 18, pulled a gun and demanded all their possessions. Three of the students threw items in his backpack while a fourth student hid behind a car. When the suspect walked away, the students screamed for help and flagged down a USC campus security officer. Hendricks was shot once in the leg during the chase before he was arrested. At the time of his arrest in April, Hendricks was on probation for possession of a deadly weapon. In exchange for his plea, the remaining charges, including attempted robbery, assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon and carrying a loaded firearm with prior convictions were dismissed.

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Dozens arrested at checkpoint

COMPTON - A DUI checkpoint in Compton last week resulted in dozens of arrests and vehicle impounds, Sheriff's officials announced.The nighttime checkpoint on Central Avenue, just north of Rosecrans, targeted impaired and unlicensed drivers. Sheriff's deputies arrested three people for DUI (including one driver allegedly high on marijuana) and two drivers for possessing illegal drugs. Seven people were arrested for knowingly allowing an unlicensed person to drive, and 22 people with suspended or revoked licenses were arrested and sent to court. Forty-four unlicensed drivers were also arrested and issued court dates. Sheriff's officials impounded 26 vehicles for 30 days and 16 vehicle for one day. Twenty-three vehicles were released to the registered owner.

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Bus trip to Harrah's Casino planned

DOWNEY - The OLPH Women's Guild is sponsoring a day trip to Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort on Oct. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Cost of the trip is $10 and includes a $10 casino voucher. To reserve a seat, call Anna at (562) 923-2988.

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Man guilty of killing son of Japanese filmmaker

BEVERLY HILLS - A Beverly Hills jury deliberated three hours Tuesday before convicting a 25-year-old man of murdering the son of Japanese filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida in July 2010.Deputy District Attorney Linda Loftfield, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter, said Scott Joseph Barker was convicted of one count of first-degree murder. The jury found true the special circumstance of lying in wait. The jury also found that Barker personally used a knife to commit the crime. The District Attorney's Office opted prior to trial not to seek the death penalty and Barker will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, who presided over the trial, scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9. Barker and Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, 22, were charged in the case. Coggins Johnson pleaded no contest last year to assault with a deadly weapon and testified against Barker at trial. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation. Katsutoshi Tony Takazato, the filmmaker's son, was fatally stabbed on July 20, 2010. His body was found outside his father's Trousdale Estates home in the 1800 block of Carla Ridge. Coggins Johnson had dated Takazato, but began dating Barker. Both were arrested by Beverly Hills police and charged. Barker has remained in custody since his arrest.

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Former cop convicted of assaulting wife

PICO RIVERA - A former Long Beach police officer was convicted Tuesday of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of assaulting his wife at their Pico Rivera home last year and early this year.The eight-woman, four-man Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated a day before convicting 30-year-old Brandon Preciado of 13 felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, corporal injury to a spouse, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats. The jury also found that Preciado personally used a belt, baton and flashlight in some of the attacks. Preciado was acquitted of one count of misdemeanor resisting arrest and five felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and corporal injury to a spouse. On those five counts, however, the jury convicted the defendant of alternate misdemeanor assault and battery charges. Deputy District Attorney Amy Pentz said Preciado faces about 20 years in state prison. Trial Judge Craig Richman scheduled sentencing for Oct. 29. The assaults at the couple's home occurred between Sept. 18, 2011, and Jan. 12. Preciado, at the time a Long Beach police officer, was arrested by Sheriff's deputies after a lengthy standoff.

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Ormonde-Burrola wedding

DOWNEY - Mr. and Mrs. Luis Ormonde, of Artesia, and Mr. and Mrs. David Burrola, of Downey, are pleased to announce the marriage of their children, Lisa Ormonde and David Burrola Jr.The nuptial Mass and wedding ceremony took place Aug. 4 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Artesia. The bride's sister, Danika Ormonde, served as Maid of Honor and the groom's best friend, Josh Reyes, stood as Best Man. Lisa, a 2002 graduate of Gahr High School, received a bachelor's degree in human development with a minor in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach in 2007. She is a restaurant supervisor and trainer at Disney's Club 33, where the couple met. David is a 2002 graduate of St. John Bosco and attended Cerritos and Cypress colleges. He is a certified sommelier and a restaurant manager at Moreton Fig, a fine dining restaurant on the USC campus. Following a two-week honeymoon in Italy, the couple now resides in La Mirada.

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Broker charged with smashing windows

BEVERLY HILLS - A 58-year-old investment broker has been charged with smashing more than 75 windows in businesses and homes in Beverly Hills and along Ventura Boulevard over a six-month period, the District Attorney's Office announced last week.Michael Steven Poret was arraigned on Sept. 28 in Beverly Hills Superior Court. Poret, who works for an investment bank in Beverly Hills, was first arrested July 3 by Beverly Hills police officers. He is suspected of using a sling shot to fire metal projectiles through dozens of windows in Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley.

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Car show at Paramount restaurant

PARAMOUNT - Los Nuestros Car Club will showcase their best classic cars at a show Oct. 6 at Cocina de Catalina Mexican restaurant in Paramount from 4-8 p.m.A variety of automobiles will be displayed spanning decades, from as far back as a 1929 Chevy Model A to a 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood. Cocina de Catalina is donating trophies for the winners of several categories, including best of show, best original, best lowrider, best bike and pedals, best truck and more. The Los Nuestros Club Council will select the winners. The car show is free, open to the public and family-friendly. Cameras and photo shoots are allowed. Cocina de Catalina is at 8335 Rosecrans Ave. (west of Downey Avenue).

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Stacy Ann and Stephen Hunter will wed

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Miesen, of Downey, Mr. Robert Irwin, of Long Beach, and Mr. and Mrs. Ken Sullivan, of Long Beach, have announced the engagement of their children, Stacy Ann and Stephen Hunter. Stacy will graduate from Cal State L.A. in 2014 and Stephen is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach. A September 2013 wedding is planned. ********** Published: October 4, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 25

Pair accused of trying to extort Stevie Wonder

LOS ANGELES - A woman who falsely claimed to be Stevie Wonder's nephew and the man's girlfriend pleaded no contest Monday to attempting to extort the legendary singer.Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Eileen Diaz, both 38, were arrested May 2 after an LAPD investigation. Deputy district attorney Frances Young said Walker made false claims regarding Stevie Wonder and his family members. He threatened to sell that erroneous information unless Stevie Wonder paid him $5 million. Walker and Diaz were sentenced to 292 days in county jail. Walker was ordered to attend mental health treatments at least two times a week while he is on probation. Diaz must complete 78 Narcotics Anonymous classes and attend at least three times a week. She was also placed on three years formal probation.

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Crime Report

Saturday, Sept. 29At 1:50 a.m., Officers responded to the 12600 block of Woodruff Avenue regarding a possible shooting investigation. When Officers arrived they discovered a victim suffering from multiple gun shot wounds. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Detectives are investigating anyone with information is asked to call the Downey Police Department.

Sunday, Sept. 30 In the evening hours Downey Police Officers stopped 2 subjects in the area of Elm Vista Drive and Bellflower Blvd. After speaking with the subjects officers located a stolen lap top computer. The subject admitted to stealing the computer from Warren High School earlier in the evening. The subject was booked for Burglary. Detectives are investigating.

Infromation provided by the Downey Police Department

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Church hosting parking lot sale

DOWNEY - The Moravian Church of Downey will host a parking lot sale this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.Vendors and local residents will be selling household wares, clothing, jewelry and more. Vendor spots are available for $10. The church is also accepting donations of gently-used clothing, household items, furniture and appliances. For more information, call the church office at (562) 927-0718.

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Hitman gets life in prison for killings

LOS ANGELES - The hitman hired in 2009 to kill an alleged rival drug dealer was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without possibility of parole, the District Attorney's Office announced.Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon said Richard Luna, 31, received two life terms plus 50 years to life by Superior Court Judge Lance Ito. Luna was convicted July 3 of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of financial gain and murders found true. Luna was paid $700 to kill Tommie Hayes, 33. But he also fatally shot Kevin Cohen, 49, an innocent bystander. Hayes and Cohen were gunned down in a Skid Row residence hotel on April 12, 2009 - Easter Sunday. The man who hired Luna, 43-year-old Lamont Ward, was convicted July 6 by a separate jury of two counts of first-degree murder. The jury also found true the special circumstance of murder for financial gain for each victim and the special circumstance of multiple murders. He has already been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. A third defendant, Shanana Flores, who was enlisted to be the go-between to hire Luna, pleaded no contest to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and testified against Ward and Luna. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 17. If it is determined that she testified truthfully, she faces a 12-year state prison term. Akemon and District Attorney Scott Marcus prosecuted the case.

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Golf tournament for Living Help Center

DOWNEY - The Living Help Center will host its 24th annual Harold G. Frentz Memorial Golf Tournament on Oct. 19 at the Rio Hondo Golf Club.Cost is $125 per player and includes green fees, golf cart and a buffet dinner. Golfers can also purchase mulligans and raffle tickets. Registration starts at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. Sponsorship opportunities are available and range in price from $60-$1,000. For more information, call Jim Miller at (562) 928-3539 or Dennis Pagenkopp at (562) 928-1429.

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Man convicted of killing pizza deliveryman

LOS ANGELES - A jury deliberated less than two hours last week before convicting a 19-year-old Los Angeles man of murder, attempted murder and other felony charges in the August 2011 fatal shooting of a pizza deliveryman who was driving home after work.Jose Beltran, 19, faces numerous life terms in state prison for the killing and other crimes. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 1 by Superior Court Judge Clifford L. Klein, who presided over the trial. Juan David Vazquez Loma, 25, was driving himself and two co-workers home on Aug. 7, 2011, when he was shot in the head while in the 1400 block of Silver Lake Boulevard. Beltran allegedly pulled up alongside Loma's vehicle and fired, then fled. Beltran was arrested on an unrelated gun charge by Los Angeles police on Aug. 19 and linked to the murder. The jury convicted Beltran of one count of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count each of carrying a loaded firearm not registered to him and shooting at an occupied vehicle. The jury, however, found not true allegations that the crimes were connected to street gang activity and that the attempted murders were willful, deliberate and premeditated.

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Concert soloist to tackle Rachmaninoff Third

DOWNEY - Want to know what's scary? "Scary" has categories, of course, depending on your age and experience. There's Halloween scary for kids, all those gross spiders and moaning ghouls in front yards. Teens have trouble with aliens and acne.I still remember a spooky castle in a black and white movie where hairy gorilla arms pawed at me from a sliding panel in the library. For adults there is the unknown, and that covers a lot of ground. For others, "scary" is the Rachmaninoff Third. Most of us will never have to face down the Rachmaninoff Third. It is a piece by Sergei Rachmaninoff for piano and orchestra, reserved for the most intrepid of concert soloists. It is ferociously difficult. One highly-regarded concert pianist lamented that he had not learned this concerto as a student, when he was "still too young to know fear." But guess what? On Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Downey Theatre, just in time for Scary Season, the Downey Symphony presents the Rachmaninoff Third, played by a fearless man named Keenan Reesor. He'll do the hard stuff. We just listen. Included in this 8 p.m. program, conducted by Music Director Sharon Lavery, are a premiere work by the orchestra's assistant conductor, and Bizet's ever-delightful "L'Arlesienne Suite." For tickets and further information, call the friendly people in the theatre box office (562) 861-8211, or visit our website, downeysymphony.org. Now how scary is that?

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Symphony to perform for students

DOWNEY - More than 1,600 Downey fifth graders will be treated to a free concert by the Downey Symphony thanks to a grant from the Downey Kiwanis Foundation.All Downey Unified fifth graders will be bussed to the Downey Theatre for the concert. Music director Sharon Lavery and orchestra members will explain musical terms and concepts before playing the pieces of music. Each piece will include a unique story. "This will be a thrilling experience for all of Downey Unified's fifth grade students," DUSD officials said in a statement. "We know there may be future symphony musicians in the audience who will be very inspired by such an enriching opportunity."

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Students to perform 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

NORWALK - "To Kill a Mockingbird," the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of American classic literature, will be presented on stage at the Cerritos College Burnight Center Theatre, playing Oct. 12-21.Performances are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with a matinee Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. Pre-sale general admission tickets are $12; $10 for Cerritos College students and faculty, seniors, and junior high and high school students; $8 for children ages 5-12. Ticket prices are slightly higher if purchased at the door. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at cerritos.edu/theatre or at the campus theatre Monday through Friday from 12-5 p.m. (cash only). For group ticket sales, call Renee Bloch at (562) 860-2451, ext. 2638.

********** Published: October 4, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 25