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Crime Stories

September 20, 1990

There are almost 8,000 stories in the naked city of Ojai, few of them interesting.

But that's by big-city crime standards. By the small-town standards that Ojai's leaders so fiercely maintain, there's plenty to keep a law enforcement officer busy, and sometimes entertained.

For instance:

* On Oct. 24, 1989, Darrow (Duke) Tully, publisher of the Ojai Valley News, shot a neighbor's dog after it wandered into his yard. The district attorney charged Tully with one count of cruelty to animals. The publisher was convicted of a misdemeanor and had to give up his BB gun. The dog, a 10-year-old cockapoo mix named Baby, recovered and was back in his yard the next day.

* On March 1, 1990, a student known as Shi Stone was handcuffed and led away from Nordhoff High School. Authorities alleged he was not the 17-year-old son of a U.S. soldier wounded in Panama, as he claimed, but a 31-year-old veteran con man named David Michael Murray. "Ojai was wide open to me," he told a reporter later, while jailed. "I could have taken the entire town." Stone/Murray, who has maintained that he is both innocent and 17 years old, is scheduled to begin trial in late September. He is expected to represent himself.

* On May 23, 1990, a man and woman on horseback rode into The Hub, a bar on Ojai Avenue, and ordered two beers to go. While they did so, their horses left droppings on the carpet. The owners of the bar, Jim and Leah Beard, said they knew the man, but they and police filed no charges.

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