Did we skip Weekender Updater last weekend or has the sky fallen? Whichever of those happened, there are a ton of news items that need updating, so without further azul …
Update: A death sentence was handed down Friday (again) for Richard Raymond
Ramirez, who raped and killed a young woman in Garden Grove more than 30 years
ago.It was the second capital punishment sentence for the 55-year-old who was convicted in March 1985 of the Nov. 21, 1983, killing of 22-year-old Kim Gonzalez. Ramirez's first death sentence in July 1985 was overturned by a federal judge because the jury foreman failed to notify the court that he had applied for a job with the FBI.
Update: A jury this week found parolee Ean Keith Brown guilty of murdering a 21-year-old woman by strangling her to death in his RV that was parked in front of his parents' Huntington Beach home. A Feb. 27 hearing will determine if the 41-year-old will be eligible for a three-strikes sentence as he has prior strike convictions for second degree robbery in 1995 and burglary in 2008. Brown faces a maximum of 55 years to life in state prison if the prior strike are lumped in with his new second-degree murder conviction.
Update: Former Bible study teacher Christopher Joseph Guardado pleaded guilty this week to molesting two girls–starting when they were about 5 or 6 years old–at his Garden Grove home and the place he met them: Calvary Church Pacific Coast in Westminster. After the 50-year-old copped to six counts of lewd acts on a child and sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct, Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham sentenced Guardado to 36 years in prison. Despite the term coming as part of a plea deal, Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic called it a "de facto life sentence" because Guardado won't be freed until he is in his 80s. And he must register as a sex offender for life.
Jesus Vega Estrada Faces 25 Years to Life for Beating His 19-Month-Old Son to Death
Update: Jesus Vega Estrada was recently sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison for the beating death of his 19-month-old son. The 45-year-old Anaheim man was convicted Nov. 14 in Pomona of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death.
Update: As expected, convicted drunken driver Dallas Frank Reichstein III was charged this week with second-degree murder in an alleged hit-and-run that left 59-year-old pedestrian Pearleen Hopkins dead. The crash happened in Santa Ana, where Hopkins and 45-year-old Reichstein resided. He's still living in Santa Ana currently, only it's the Central Jail, site of his Feb. 27 arraignment.
Christopher Wright Fox and Curtis James Melone Loan-Mod Prosecution Does Not Surprise Blogger Who Has Dogged Them
Update: Christopher Wright Fox, 40, of Laguna Niguel, and Curtis James Melone, 40, of Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty this week to roles in a nationwide $6-million loan modification scam. Fox was then immediately sentenced to 90 days in jail, Melone got 10 days behind bars and both received 250 hours of community service. In exchange for admitting to conspiracy and illegally taking advance fees for foreclosure consultant work at Green Credit Solutions (which was later renamed Guardian Credit Services and Get My Credit Grade), the pair had multiple grand-theft counts dismissed. Co-defendant King Bethel Harris III, 45, of St. Louis, has a March 17 court date.
Luis Quintanilla Allegedly Stole and Sold Oakley Eyewear and Other Deliveries Meant for Troops
Update: Luis Albert Quintanilla copped to illegally selling Oakley eyewear intended for soldiers in the U.S. military on eBay after repeatedly stealing shipments from DHL processing centers. The former contract driver pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000. The 47-year-old Buena Park resident is expected to be sentenced to three years and four months in state prison and ordered to pay $299,000 in restitution and a $580,000 fine.
Save Saddleback Formed to Fight Closure of San Clemente Medical Center's Emergency Room
Update: Facing opposition from the public, the San Clemente City Council and two state legislators whose districts include San Clemente, MemorialCare CEO Steve Geidt pledged at a recent public information meeting that his board will reconsider closing the San Clemente campus of Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. At the very least, the board may opt for three-year delay of the closure, said Geidt. However, that board meeting has not yet been set, so Save Saddleback San Clemente Hospital activists are holding a letter-writing event from 10 this morning to 1 p.m. in the San Clemente Community Center Multi-purpose Room.
Irvine Animal Care Center Changes Already Under Way After Volunteers' Complaints
Update: Changes continue at Irvine Animal Care Center following well-publicized complaints, as senior administrator Michelle Quigley recently resigned and the City Council ordered all euthanizations to stop. The council has a two-person subcommittee reviewing operations at the so-called "no-kill shelter."
Super Bowl Weekend Kicks Off with Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint
Update: Costa Mesa's checkpoint the Friday night (Jan. 30) before the Super Bowl was held on northbound Harbor Boulevard at Peterson Place. According to the police department: 1,130 vehicles passed through the checkpoint; 542 vehicles were screened; 19 DUI investigations were launched; three people were arrested on suspicion of DUI (alcohol); 11 were cited or arrested on suspicion of driving without a license; 4 were cited/arrested for driving on suspended or revoked licenses; 1 other citation unrelated to DUI or licensing was given; eight vehicles were stored or impounded.
Knott's Berry Farm Will Have Guests Saving the Park via 4-D Attraction Voyage to the Iron Reef
Update: Knott's Berry Farm announced the opening date for the 4-D interactive Voyage To The Iron Reef ride: May 15. The Buena Park theme park also released the clip above as a teaser.