Jaime Mejia Zaragosa was murdered in Santa Ana way back in January, but police there are making a new plea for someone with information that can find his killer to come forward. That's fine with me considering I don't see we reported on the slaying of the 38-year-old originally.
A 29-year-old Van Nuys man was accused in court Wednesday of brutally killing an Anaheim Hills man and his daughter and nearly killing her mother so he could leave his ex-girlfriend alone and "swoop in like a white knight" to comfort her and win back her love. Prosecutors are seeking the death pena ... More >>
The trial of suspected serial killer Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo likely will not begin until May 2014.While the 25-year-old Yorba Linda man accused of fatally stabbing a mother, her adult son and four homeless men has a Nov. 1 court date, his attorneys asked an Orange County Superior Court judge today fo ... More >>
A 23-year-old Santa Ana man was convicted today of murdering a male lover who was more than twice his age by beating him with a ceramic rock.Jose Fuentes now faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without parole at a scheduled Friday hearing.
Laguna Beach Police are dealing with three shooting deaths--husband Michael Brown, wife Mendy Brown and the family dog--that they believe are the result of murders followed by a suicide on Halloween. Bodies of all three were found after a co-worker of Michael Brown's went to check on the 49-year-old ... More >>
See update and correction at the end of this post.ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 10, 2011, 3:52 P.M.: A homicide case may finally be closed--oh, just 26 years after the crime, but who's counting? Stafford Joel Spicer, 59, of Las Vegas was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of murdering Joanne M ... More >>
As expected, William Leo McDougall received no prison time at sentencing today after pleading guilty in the same Orange County Superior Court in August to murdering Manh Ban Nguyen. Well, technically, the record will show McDougall got 16 years in prison, but Judge Thomas Goethals suspended the sent ... More >>
From his wheelchair at the defense table, 83-year-old William Leo McDougall of Laguna Woods pleaded guilty to murdering his convalescent home roommate because he believed the 94-year-old man was singing in Vietnamese.As part of a plea deal with the court, McDougall is expected to be sentenced Oct. 2 ... More >>
Calderon puts magical realism in the shade
The California Supreme Court Wednesday denied serial killer Rodney Alcala's request to block his extradition to New York, where he is accused of murdering two young women in the 1970s.Prosecutors in New York City filed extradition papers after Alcala, who is sitting on California's death row, was co ... More >>
Orange County authorities say items found during the search for the body of Christopher Ryan Smith in southern San Diego County over the weekend may be evidence tied to the Laguna Beach 31-year-old's murder in 2010.Edward Younghoon Shin, Smith's 32-year-old business partner, allegedly confessed t ... More >>
UPDATE, JAN. 25, 10:58 A.M.: Before the arrest of Itzcoatl Ocampo, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of a serial killer preying on homeless men. Union president Tom Dominguez is scheduled to hand Donny ... More >>
An Orange County District Attorney's office statement on Wednesday's scheduled arraignment of Ahmad Siddiqi fills in some holes about the murder of Soraya Faroqi and her unborn child.Currently, the Marine who spent several months in Afghanistan before the slaying faces a minimum sentence with a c ... More >>
Jesse ShockeyUPDATE, JAN. 5, 4:50 P.M.: Police and prosecutors have not officially divulged what Jesse Shockey and Dylan James Austin were arguing about before 16-year-old Shockey allegedly stabbed 19-year-old Austin to death last month.But Flickr has.
The body count is piling up in Orange County this last month of 2011, with some slayings so awful they made the following compilation of the 11 most ucked fup murder scenes of the year.Please note that this will also be my last list of 2011 that includes the Salon Meritage massacre. As much as I ... More >>
Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison has ruled that the presumed killers of an Orange County sheriff's sergeant must be released immediately. Compelling legal twists led to Robison's ruling for Robert Duston Strong and David Michael Knick, the strongest being the lack of judicial supp ... More >>
Five former inmates will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison for the jailhouse killing, while the man who many say instigated it wasn't even charged
Paul Bersebach, OC Register pool photographerJared Petrovich enters the courtroom on Oct. 24UPDATED, Oct. 26 11:42 P.M.: You could see it in the faces of the five handcuffed men as they were led into Judge James Stotler's courtroom shortly after 5:30 p.m last night. Just over 24 hours earlier, th ... More >>
Courtesy of OCDAPasquel Raul LoeraFifty-year-old Dennis Koire was in a coma for the 13 months after he was shot in the head on Feb. 14, 2010. The Westminster man succumbed to his injuries this past March.In announcing the death penalty will be sought for Pasqual Raul Loera, who is also accused of ... More >>
Andre UrdialesThe Orange County District Attorney's office announced today it will seek the death penalty for two men: Navy deserter Pasqual Raul Loera, who allegedly slayed a Westminster couple under the pretense of buying their car on Valentine's Day 2010, and Camp Pendleton serial killer Andre ... More >>
Opening statements are scheduled this morning in the trial of a 20-year-old Santa Ana man accused of murdering his girlfriend's 9-month-old son by fracturing the child's skull to make him stop crying. Alexander Lucas Barnes could get 25 years to life in state prison if he is convicted in ... More >>
Andrew UrdialesMore than 25 years after he allegedly stabbed Saddleback College drama student Robbin Brandley 41 times in an unlit campus parking lot, Andrew Urdiales is finally on his way to Orange County to face trial for her murder. Urdiales, 47, who was the subject of a Nov. 2007 OC Weekly fe ... More >>
Courtesy of OCDAArmando MaciasUPDATE, SEPT. 1, 1:26 P.M.: Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno today affirmed the death sentence for gang member Armando Macias, the triggerman in a bizarre family murder plot in 2002.A jury that convicted Macias in April for his role in the slaying followed up ... More >>
DMVAnnamaria Mango GanaUPDATE, JULY 5, 10:01 A.M.: Prosecutors filed additional charges today against Annamaria Magno Gana, the 41-year-old accused of killing her husband and trying to kill her sons on Mother's Day at their Tustin Ranch home.Besides a murder count and sentencing enhancements, Gan ... More >>
Navel Gazing began tracking every murder (we know of) in Orange County on June 2, 2009. At that time, the roundup was called "Just Another Orange County Murder," but we now assign a number to each homicide victim.Our first victim was Leon Abarca Torres, a 47-year-old who was stabbed multiple time ... More >>
Courtesy of OCDAArmando MaciasUPDATE, MAY 19, 6:08 P.M.: A jury today recommended that gang member Armando Macias, 35, of Lancaster, receive the death penalty for his role in a bizarre family murder plot in 2002.It was Macias who "executed" 44-year-old David Montemayor, who was fleeing after bri ... More >>
Courtesy of OCDAArmando MaciasUPDATE, APRIL 21, 5:56 P.M.: A jury in Santa Ana today found Armando Macias guilty of murder--a conviction that could bring the 35-year-old Lancaster gang banger the death penalty.Macias was part of the family murder plot of businessman David Montemayor, 44, of Buena ... More >>
UPDATE, MARCH 28, 1:39 P.M.: The same day the third and final defendant was sentenced in the 2008 shooting death of a 22-year-old Lake Forest father, the shooter in that case lost an appeal over his confession.The California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, disagreed with the contentions of Edg ... More >>
David MontemayorUPDATE, MARCH 28, 9:34 A.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) today goes for a third death penalty conviction and sixth and final conviction overall in the 2002 murder of a Buena Park man that was set in motion by his sister, who was jealous he was being handed ... More >>
Stephen MooreUpdate, Jan. 13, 3:09 p.m.: Another in-law of Stephen Moore, a popular speed skater originally from Huntington Beach, has been arrested and charged with conspiring to murder, but authorities say the target was not the slain Moore, but rather an unidentified member of his family.Le ... More >>
Hilbert Pineil Thomas, a 39-year-old Garden Grove resident accused of killing a mobile home salesman and his secretary in Stanton in 2009, will face the death penalty, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced today.Thomas, who is being held without bail on two felony counts of ... More >>
SAPDFrankie GiraldoUpdate, December 9, 3:36 p.m.: A second man has been arrested in the murder of a Santa Ana man who was pouring himself a coffee in a local bakery.After Santa Ana police detectives served a search warrant of a residence in the 1500 block of South Diamond Street in Santa Ana Wed ... More >>
Update, Nov. 29, 1:04 p.m.: Long Beach 50-year-old Paul Gentile Smith, who was found guilty earlier this month of stabbing, torturing and murdering his long-time high school friend in 1988, was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.At his sentencing hea ... More >>
Update, November 19, 12:35 p.m.: Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has issued a statement about the charges filed against two men Thursday for the murder of Sgt. Ira Gabor Essoe, Jr. in 1980."The criminal justice system will not let the passage of time protect the men who brutally shot and ki ... More >>
Andrew Thomas GalloSeparate murder trials for two alleged drunken drivers begin this morning in Orange County.One you've heard a lot about, the other not so much.Guess that's to be expected when a rookie phenom Angels pitcher is a murder victim in the more talked-about case.
Deborah Perna, who was the office manager at her family's trucking business, was jealous that her father intended to pass control to her brother, who she was also convinced was stealing from the company. So, the 53-year-old Anaheim resident arranged to have her brother whacked. Today, a second ga ... More >>
What in the devil is going on in Rancho Santa Margarita?Essentially a giant master planned community, the 10-year-old city boasts neighborhoods with rows of million-dollar homes, locations where most of The Real Housewives of Orange County are filmed and, until the past 13 days, no reported homic ... More >>
UPDATE: Victim identified, DA announces sentence sought against her husband, updates throughout . . .Santa Ana Police say Michael Eugene Upton told them he and his wife lost their jobs, burned through their cash and were about to be evicted. Fearing life on the streets, he is said to have told co ... More >>
Guilty!Jose Alonso Najera, Jr., the Garden Grove man we told you last month was on trial for allegedly murdering his parents in a plot to steal money they pulled out of the bank before Y2K, was convicted today.
Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police DepartmentSammy Herr went from murder suspect to murder victim.Originally believing Samuel Eliezer Herr to be the prime suspect in the murder of 23-year-old Irvine resident Juri Julie Kibuishi in his own apartment (see OC Homicide No. 19), Costa Mesa police detective ... More >>
A Santa Ana man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for murdering an addict who stole cocaine from the defendant prosecutors described as a street dealer.Guadalupe Serna, 30, had been found guilty by a jury Sept. 30, 2009, of one felony count of first degree murder with a s ... More >>
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's OfficeJose Alonso Najera, Jr.Elena and Jose Najera Sr. withdrew their life savings from a bank in anticipation of a Y2K disaster. Disaster came early, as the couple was stabbed to death in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 1999. Their 19-year-old so ... More >>
The trial begins in a Santa Ana courtroom this morning for a 21-year-old Santa Ana man who allegedly murdered a Lake Forest man over a dispute involving a friend's girlfriend. Luis Rivera, 22, had told people in his Lake Forest neighborhood that Edgar Calvillo, Santos Escamilla, 21, of Santa Ana, ... More >>
Robbin Brandley’s confessed killer sits on death row. So why don’t her parents consider the case closed?
Since Ronald Reagan turned it into a bloodsport, most journalists in this country are routinely assumed to carry a liberal media bias ("Guilty!"). One place you'll often see that bandied about is in the Orange County Register--not directed at its own fleet of word monkeys, oh no, no, no, but journos ... More >>
Register engages in reckless gunplay
Now we begin the search for the guilty