Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Inside the News: September 10, 2013

Suspected serial killer's trial set to begin
Rebecca Howes, Daily Press

SAN BERNARDINO • The murder trial of a suspected serial killer and three-time convicted rapist apprehended by two former Daily Press pressmen in 2006 is scheduled to begin Monday, according to court records.

John Wayne Thomson, 53, was arrested Aug. 7, 2006, on suspicion of the fatal stabbing of Charles Hedlund, 55, of Lucerne Valley. Thomson was also charged with robbery, aggravated mayhem, carjacking and two counts of attempted car jacking, records show.

Hedlund was fatally stabbed after he stopped on the side of the road in the Cajon Pass to help Thomson. Hedlund’s abandoned truck, the interior soaked with blood, was found in the vicinity of Cajon Pass on August 2, 2006.

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Legislative leaders, Gov. reach compromise on prison population reduction
Don Thompson, The Associated Press
Lori Fowler, San Bernardino Sun

SACRAMENTO >> Gov. Jerry Brown and the four leaders of California’s Legislature reached a compromise Monday on reducing the state’s prison population, offering to spend more money on rehabilitation efforts if a panel of federal judges will extend an end-of-the-year deadline to release thousands of inmates.

The deal relies on the state persuading three federal judges to give California time to let rehabilitation programs work rather than spend $315 million to lease cells in private prisons and county jails.

Local officials said they are pleased with the compromise.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said he supports the recent outcome for two reasons — the most important being it avoids early release of inmates.

“We have reached our limit of non-violent felons, we can’t let anymore out,” Ramos said Monday. “This is a good compromise for me.”

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Planned shows of remembrance for 9/11
Daily Press


Local military, schools and authorities, along with the city of Barstow, will put on or participate in separate shows of remembrance Wednesday for 9/11.

The Fort Irwin National Training Center will remember 9/11 by breaking ground on a memorial site.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin 10 a.m. on post at the intersection of Langford Lake and Barstow roads. The memorial will be dedicated to the 2,996 people who died during the terrorist attacks 12 years ago.



Victorville girl, 6, identified as homicide victim
Melissa Pinion-Whit, San Bernardino Sun

MORENO VALLEY -- A 6-year-old girl who died Sunday following a shooting in Moreno Valley has been identified as a Victorville resident.

Tiana Ricks was pronounced dead at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley at 12:09 a.m., less than three hours after the shooting in the 25000 block of Harker Lane, Riverside County coroner’s officials said.

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District Attorney agrees to medical transport for soldier shooting trial
Melissa Pinion-Whit, San Bernardino Sun

SAN BERNARDINO >> Army Spec. Christopher Sullivan has one wish to find some closure in the December 2011 homecoming party shooting that left him a quadriplegic.

The Purple Heart recipient hopes to face his alleged attacker, Ruben Ray Jurado, in a courtroom.

“I’m still here. I want to be able to let him see what he’s done to me,” said Sullivan, now a Texas resident.

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San Bernardino man convicted of human trafficking
Lori Fowler, San Bernardino Sun

SAN BERNARDINO >> For the first time since Prop. 35 was passed in California, a local man who was convicted this morning of human trafficking could face a life sentence, official said.

Christopher Lee Knox is now the first defendant in the state to be eligible for the increased prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions spurred by the 2012 proposition.

Knox, 28, was found guilty today of procuring another person for the purpose of prostitution, pimping a minor, and persuading a minor to engage in commercial sex, according to court records.

He faces 15 years to life.

The jury started deliberating on Monday inside the San Bernardino Superior Courthouse after a 5-day trial. They announced they had a verdict this morning.

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