See Update No. 2 at the bottom of Page 2 on a jury today finding Brian Hughes Benedict guilty of special circumstances murder of his ex-wife. Update No. 1 detailed the trial's opening statements. ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 5, 7:08 A.M.: Opening statements are expected this morning in the murder trial of ... More >>
Remember the guy who was shot to death while riding with family members on the 91 freeway through Anaheim last month? The Anaheim Police Department has announced an arrest has been made in the case but few other details about the circumstances. Here's what we know at this point: Just after 7:30 p ... More >>
Alleged serial killers Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon pleaded not guilty at their arraignment today to raping and killing four women in Anaheim and Santa last year and this year.
The fatal stabbing of 55-year-old Mikel Anthony Williams struck a chord at Irvine Valley College in 2012. After a rough life--Williams' mother and brother were murdered before him--he seemed to have turned his life around after getting a college education at IVC, moving into housing nearby and tradi ... More >>
See Update No. 2 at the end of this post with the DA's office alleging Oscar Morlett used "a type of axe" to kill his step-mother, Jeanne Ellen Morlett. Update No. 1 I.D.'s the suspected killer and victim. ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 9, 2:12 P.M.: Homicide detectives have been called to a residence in Lake ... More >>
A 26-year-old Dana Point man was sentenced this morning to 18 years and 8 months to life in state prison for the fatal New Year's party stabbing that was Orange County's first murder of 2011. Adam Randy Baker, shown in his booking photo at right, was convicted Dec. 12 of second-degree murder and att ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post identifying three adults who have been arrested for the boy's fatal stabbing and the disclosure that an unnamed juvenile was also held.ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 24, 9:12 A.M.: A 14-year-old boy died early Saturday from stab wounds he suffered hours hours earlier at t ... More >>
An Orange County Superior Court judge denied Rachel Mae Buffett's motion to dismiss felony accessory to murder charges against her.The 25-year-old was days away from marrying Daniel Patrick Wozniak in 2010 when he allegedly murdered the couple's neighbor Samuel Herr and the slain Orange Coast Colleg ... 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.
When gang banger Joseph Baez's special circumstances murder trial began last month, he was looking at the possibility of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted in Orange County's first murder of 2010. Thursday, a jury found him guilty instead of second degree murder and ... More >>
Today's arraignment of Cheyene Fuimaono for allegedly murdering his girlfriend's toddler son reminded me that I wanted to slap together a list of 10 Orange Countians who proved to be really bad boyfriends in 2012. Match.comming eHarmonizers take note of the results after the jump . . .
Vitaliy Krasnoperov was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the 2007 murders of an Anaheim Hills man and his daughter and the attempted murder of her mother.The bodies of the deceased were set aflame in an attempt to cover-up the crimes, and H ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post explaining why the deceased's husband has been released from custody.ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 5, 12:30 P.M.: Macaria Finefield was accused of killing a pregnant woman by stabbing her in the belly in 1974.On Saturday, the 71-year-old Santa Ana resident became a fatal ... More >>
See the update at the end of this post identifying the deceased as Heather K. Tuiolosega.ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 29, 4:39 P.M.: Huntington Beach Police responding to a call of a possible suicide arrived at 15555 Huntington Village Lane this morning to find a woman who had been murdered, according to the ... More >>
The wife of slain Salon Meritage owner Randy Lee Fannin is suing her business insurance company for delaying and withholding payments after last year's Seal Beach massacre that took the lives of her husband and seven others and nearly claimed the life of a ninth.Sandi Fannin, co-owner of the beauty ... More >>
Brittany Dawn Killgore was murdered three days after she filed papers to divorce her Camp Pendleton Marine husband serving in Afghanistan because a female sex slave feared the 22-year-old was moving in on her male "master" and his female servant.That's the story one of three murder suspects reported ... More >>
The death penalty will be sought against Yorba Linda 24-year-old Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, the accused serial killer of four homeless men and a mother and grown son fatally stabbed etween October 25 and January 13, prosecutors announced today.Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas convened a ... More >>
When 16-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez was murdered outside a Tustin house party in January 2010, police employed something of a "round-up-the-usual-suspects" strategy, hauling off eight or so young men and women for the murder. The list was later cut to six suspects. A statement from prosecutors on ... More >>
UPDATE, MARCH 28, 12:56 P.M.: Though a jury earlier this month convicted Jason Balcom for the rape and murder of a newly arrived bride in Costa Mesa in 1988, the panel deadlocked 10-2 on whether the 42-year-old Michigan rape convict deserves the death penalty.Superior Court Judge Francisco Brisen ... More >>
UPDATE, MARCH 26, 4:21 P.M.: Charles Anthony Murphy Jr. is now 2-for-2 in murder trials against him ending in mistrial. His first was declared in December, and today Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals declared a second to give the defense more time to examine evidence the prosecut ... More >>
UPDATE, MARCH 21, 2:17 P.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office has announced the 17-year-old accused of fatally stabbing Edgar Cervantes, 19, of Riverside, in Anaheim Monday night will be tried as an adult.As such, the OCDA identified him as Ryan Nichols Coale of Anaheim.
A Camp Pendleton Marine and drug dealer was sentenced today to 28 years and eight months to life in state prison for murdering a fellow Marine in a secluded area of San Clemente in 2008.Lance Cpl. Christian William Carney, 25, of Manorville, New York, was found guilty by a jury in December of ... More >>
UPDATE, FEB. 21, 11:40 A.M.: To give you the proper visual for this post, picture Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo at right with an al Qaeda beard. That's how he appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom this morning when he pleaded not guilty to the stabbing-murders of a mother, her son and four homeless men sinc ... More >>
UPDATE, JAN. 11, 6:23 P.M.: An autopsy determined that 49-year-old homeless man Antonio Ruiz Martinez, whose body was found Monday morning in Santa Ana, next to an auto shop's pickup truck with a large amount of blood inside, died as a result of "gastrointestinal issues," according to police. ... More >>
The body of a homeless man was found near a puddle of blood at the base of a Yorba Linda Public Library stairwell Friday evening, and Brea Police homicide investigators believe 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit was murdered.Cops were called out to a 5 p.m. report of a man down in an area behind t ... More >>
UPDATE, NOV. 29, 12:30 P.M.: During today's arraignment hearing, where Scott Evans Dekraai pleaded not guilty to murdering eight people and critically injuring a ninth, Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders objected to press photographers being in the courtroom, saying this kind of media coverage ... More >>
The inside story of covering—and becoming part of—the county's most disturbing jailhouse murder case
A mistrial was declared in May at the murder trial of Oscar Robles Diaz, a 26-year-old Santa Ana man accused of stabbing his former roommate to death after a night of drinking, singing and chatting up friends.Today, prosecutors are scheduled to get another crack at Diaz, who is charged with one f ... More >>
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's OfficeOfficer Manuel RamosUPDATE, SEPT 21, 4:03 P.M.: At his arraignment this afternoon, which the Weekly's Marisa Gerber attended, a handcuffed Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree murder and involuntary ma ... More >>
Dead: Rodrigo Valle, 13Killer: Ramon Diaz, then just shy of 17.Dead: Manuel Raul Orozco, 17.Killer: Andrew Cervantes, then 14.What do the two murders have in common other than they happened two years apart in Santa Ana and the teen killers were tried as adults?Stare downs.
Monaco JewelersUPDATE, SEPT. 9, 3:09 P.M.: Well, we still haven't received our invite to Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens' presumably rescheduled press conference on the murder arrests of four suspects in the June attempted robbery of a San Juan Capistrano jeweler that resulted in would-be ... More >>
UPDATE, JULY 29, 3:02 P.M.: 29-year-old Thanh Van Tran, who a jury found guilty last month of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Lunar New Year celebrant leaving a Garden Grove restaurant in 2009, was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison.Co-defendant and fellow Garden ... More >>
UPDATED, JULY 15, 12:30 P.M.: 36-year-old Robert Allan Lehmann is due at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach today for a preliminary hearing tied to the murder counts he faces for allegedly executing his former wife and father-in-law in May.It will be lonely at the defense table as a judge las ... More >>
Eight months after Martin Blanco Trujillo was shot to death outside a home in Stanton, his family is joining the Orange County Sheriff's Department in stepping up the search for the 30-year-old's killer.A new $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer or murderers ... More >>
UPDATE, MAY 3, 4:35 P.M.: 46-year-old Rebeca Nivarez of Garden Grove has been sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison for robbing and murdering Mario Hernandez, a 78-year-old Santa Ana jewelry salesman whose body was never found.A Santa Ana jury on Feb. 1 agreed the mother plotted the crime ... More >>
[Moxley Confidential] Was the cold-case homicide of William McLaughlin cold for so long that exculpatory evidence disappeared?
UPDATED, FEB. 22, 12:15 P.M.: 33-year-old Michael David Balderas of Cypress was sentenced this morning to 25 years to life in state prison for his role in the death of his 2-and-a-half-year-old niece Baby Jo Jade in October 2005.Balderas, who took custody of the girl when his sister was sent to p ... More >>
CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED POST DETAILING REBECA NIVAREZ'S CONVICTION.Rebeca Nivarez, 46, of Garden Grove, is expected in a Santa Ana courtroom this morning for the start of her murder trial. She and her 25-year-old son allegedly plotted to rob and murder a Santa Ana jewelry salesman whose body was n ... More >>
The late Luis Alejandro Rivera, with his son Isik.Update, December 16, 3:35 p.m.: 24-year-old Alfredo "Freddy" Cruz was convicted today of murdering Luis Rivera outside the young father's Lake Forest home. Cruz could get up to 15 years to life in state prison at the Lake Forest resident's sentenc ... More >>
William Leo McDougall, the 81-year-old Laguna Woods man accused of becoming angry over his rehabilitation center roommate's singing and killing the 94-year-old with a metal closet rod, is due to be arraigned in Orange County Superior Court this morning after the county Grand ... More >>
UPDATE: The Orange County District Attorney's Office lays down the charges (see end of post) . . . After Rebeca Garcia's son called police around 2:30 a.m. Thursday to say he found the dead body of his 57-year-old mother in the living room of her home in the 1900 block of Carlton Place in Santa A ... More >>
Brian Hughes Benedict, the 36-year-old grad student accused of killing his ex-wife outside his UC Irvine apartment last year, will stand trial for what is so far the only shooting death on campus.A judge ruled during a preliminary hearing at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach Wednesday ... More >>
UPDATE: There have been two more arrests in this case (see end of post) . . . Stephen Moore dropped his daughter off at the Ocean Township, New Jersey, home of his ex-wife on Aug. 16. That was the last time anyone saw the 42-year-old Huntington Beach native alive. Moore's body was found Aug. 18 ... 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 >>
Watch CBS Videos Online Sunday night, 60 Minutes replayed "DWI: Was It Murder?" Reporter Bob Simon interviewed a prosecutor who pursues murder charges against drunken drivers whose traffic collisions result in deaths of people in the other vehicles. Nassau County, New York, district attorney Kathlee ... More >>
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