Southern California -- this just in

Category: Homicide Report

Transient held in death of woman whose body was found in field

Jamie Farron Putnam was arrested in connection with the death of a woman in San Bernardino.A 47-year-old transient was arrested in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in a San Bernardino field, police said Monday night.

Jamie Farron Putnam was found near the 1700 block of South E  Street, where the body was recovered, police said.

The victim, who appeared to be in her 40s, showed evidence of blunt-force trauma, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. 

"A dispute between the victim and suspect may have led to the attack," police said in a statement.

Putnam was being held at county jail. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Michele Mahan at (909) 841-5361.


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Photo: Jamie Farron Putnam. Credit: San Bernardino Police Department

Police fatally shoot man in Monterey Park


A man was shot and killed by police in Monterey Park early Friday after they said he stepped out of his vehicle carrying a gun.

Officers with the Monterey Park Police Department were responding to a disturbance call just after midnight between a couple at a motel in the 400 block of Atlantic Boulevard when witnesses there pointed officers to a vehicle leaving the area.

Police pulled the vehicle over and said a male passenger stepped out of the car carrying a gun. Police shot him and he died at the scene. It was not immediately clear if the man fired at deputies. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

No officers were injured.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau is investigating the shooting. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call detectives at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be left at (800) 222-8477.


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-- Joseph Serna

Photo: Sheriff’s investigators inspect a weapon recovered at the scene where police shot and killed a man in Monterey Park. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Two more charged in fatal shooting of Westlake church deacon

Iglesia Principe de Paz at Beverly Boulevard and Reno Street, where one church member was killed and another was wounded in a confrontation with a tagger. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged two more people in the fatal shooting of a Westlake man outside a church, they said Thursday.

Pedro Martinez, 24, and Ivy Navarrete, 31, are scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder and vandalism Thursday in the Nov. 4 killing of Adres Ordonez outside Iglesia Principe de Paz.

The two join Janeth Lopez, 22, in facing murder charges in the case.

According to prosecutors, Lopez was spray-painting the walls of the Principe de Paz, which means “Prince of Peace,” at about 6:30 p.m. when she was confronted by a parishioners, including Ordonez.

During the confrontation, Martinez emerged from a waiting car and started shooting, fatally wounding Ordonez and wounding one other person, according to authorities. Navarrete was behind the wheel and helped Martinez escape, prosecutors said.

Martinez, Navarette and Lopez all face additional charges for allegedly being gang members.

Ordonez was a cook, church deacon and father of a 1-year-old boy with another child on the way. He had been attending the church since he was 10, the Times reported.

Lopez pleaded not guilty at her arraignment and is due back in court Feb. 19.


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-- Joseph Serna

Photo: Iglesia Principe de Paz at Beverly Boulevard and Reno Street, where one church member was killed and another was wounded in a confrontation with a tagger. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Friend: Ex-cop 'last guy' expected to be manhunt murder suspect

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Those who knew Christopher Jordan Dorner during college expressed shock at the news that the former college football player is allegedly responsible for shootings that have left three people dead and two wounded.

Dorner attended Southern Utah University from 1997 to 2001 and graduated with a bachelor of science with a major in political science and a minor in psychology, a university spokesman said.

Neil Gardner, an assistant athletic director who works with the student athletes in media relations, interacted with Dorner when he was on the school’s football team during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Gardner said Dorner was a backup running back who didn’t play a lot, but was “never a disgruntled guy.”

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

“When he was in college he was a great kid,” Gardner said. “He was a kid you hoped would do well. He was polite. I liked him.” 

Jamie Usera, an attorney in Salem, Ore., said he met Dorner in the spring of 1998 at Southern Utah. Usera, who grew up in Alaska, said he and Dorner, an African American from Southern California, bonded over their shared feelings of culture shock that came with being outsiders on the predominantly white, Mormon campus.

Usera and Dorner eventually joined the football team as running backs and became good friends, Usera said. They shared long hours on the practice field, but neither saw much playing time and both decided to quit the team after two years.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

The friendship endured throughout their remaining years at the school. Usera said he introduced Dorner to the world of hunting and other outdoor sporting. Usera recalled frequent trips into the Utah desert to hunt rabbits with Dorner.

Nothing about Dorner in college raised any red flags that he was mentally unstable or capable of such violence, Usera said.

“He was a typical guy. I liked him an awful lot,” Usera said. “Nothing about him struck me as violent or irrational in any way.  He was opinionated, but always seemed level-headed.”

INTERACTIVE MAP: Searching for suspected shooter

Usera said he and Dorner frequently had lively discussions. A recurring theme was race relations in the U.S., and the two often had heated but respectful arguments about the extent of racism in the county, Usera said.

Continue reading »

Woman killed in attempted store robbery in Lynwood

Lynwood Homicides
A woman working as a store clerk in Lynwood was shot and killed in an attempted robbery, authorities said Thursday night.

The victim was shot multiple times in the torso at the convenience store in the 11000 block of South Alameda Street, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was not released because relatives had not been notified.

Detectives were at the scene Thursday night gathering evidence.

Since January 2007, at least 42 homicides have been reported in Lynwood, according to the Times Homicide Report database.


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Map shows Lynwood homicides. Credit: Times Homicide Report

Man fatally shot after argument at taco truck

A 27-year-old man died Sunday morning after being shot several times during an argument at a taco truck parked in El Sereno Saturday night, according to Los Angeles police.

Officers responded to a 911 call of a shooting in the 5100 block of Huntington Drive about 10:15 p.m. and found a wounded Angel Serna Mancilla laying on the sidewalk.

Paramedics took the wounded man to L.A. County/USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead several hours later.

Police said Mancilla and another man had argued before the shooting. The suspect pulled out a pistol, shot him and fled in a white sedan, police said.

City News Service reported that the shooting took place as Mancilla bought food from a taco truck.


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-- Jeff Gottlieb

3 arrested in stabbing death of 16-year-old Hemet boy

Two juveniles and an adult were arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Hemet boy, authorities said.

The three suspects were taken into custody Thursday by deputies and officers from a Riverside County gang task force, authorities said.

Eric Ronald Sargeant Jr. was stabbed repeatedly during the confrontation Tuesday afternoon. Detectives are investigating reports that Sergeant was stabbed because he refused to allow the attackers to use his cellphone.

The adult taken into custody was identified as 20-year-old Francisco Zavala, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The other suspects were described as 15 years old and 17 years old. All three live in an unincorporated area east of Hemet.

Anyone with information is asked to contact  homicide detectives at (760) 393-3500 or the sheriff's dispatch center at (951) 776-1099.


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Suspect in Hollywood nightclub slaying arrested in Las Vegas

Police arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting another man during a brawl outside a popular Hollywood nightclub, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody at a residence in the Las Vegas area Tuesday evening, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.

Officers were called about 2 a.m. Sunday to the Empire Club on Cahuenga Boulevard, north of Hollywood Boulevard, authorities said.

A critically injured 19-year-old man at the scene was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A second man had a bloody lip from a punch and was taken to a hospital and later released, said Sgt. Mark Ro of the LAPD's Hollywood station. A woman, who possibly was a bystander, was shot in the foot.

The gunman fled before police arrived.

Police believe the dispute began inside the club, then spilled into the street at closing time. The club often draws long lines on weekends and typically has bouncers at the door who frisk those entering, according to website reviews of the nightspot.

The FBI assisted in the case.


2 arrested, a third sought in Postal Service plastics theft

State agency says U.S. cleared wildlife habitat without permit

More possible victims of tattoo artist accused of molestation sought

-- Andrew Blankstein

16-year-old boy stabbed to death by attackers in Hemet

A 16-year-old boy died after he was stabbed multiple times during a confrontation with other youths in Hemet, authorities said Tuesday.

Eric Ronald Sargeant Jr. was attacked by several juveniles near Acacia Avenue and Cherrywood Drive on Monday afternoon, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The attackers fled the scene. 

The youth was taken in a helicopter to a local hospital, where he died Monday night from his wounds, authorities said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at (760) 393-3500.


L.A. councilman weighs city ban on high-capacity gun ammo

Natalie Wood probe hampered by 'fading memories,' source says

Actor Edward Furlong charged in alleged domestic violence case

— Robert J. Lopez

Sylmar man sentenced for killing father, injuring brother with car

 A woman places flowers at the crushed brick mailbox in Sylmar where Martin Casares Martinez allegedly ran over and killed his father Francisco Fariaf Martinez, 62. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

A Sylmar man will serve 11½ years in state prison for killing his father and injuring his brother by hitting them with a car, authorities said Tuesday.

Martin Casares Martinez, 27, was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest in December to charges of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

In June 2011, Martinez got into an argument with two of his brothers at the family’s Sylmar home, got behind the wheel of a car and drove at one of them. He struck his brother and father, fracturing his brother’s legs and killing his father.

Francisco Martinez, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department said at the time of the incident. Authorities arrested Martinez after the killing and prosecutors filed charges against him on June 10, 2011. Martinez has been in custody since that time.

Martinez pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and attempted voluntary manslaughter with great bodily injury and using the car as a deadly weapon in early December.


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-- Adolfo Flores

Photo: A woman places flowers at the toppled brick mailbox in Sylmar where Martin Casares Martinez ran over and killed his father, Francisco Martinez, and injured his brother. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


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