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Jo Lula Haynes, the snowy-haired grandmother on trial on charges of fatally shooting Walt Disney Co. executive Kenneth Lisi, accepted a prosecution offer and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday. The plea ended the trial and made the testimony of her granddaughters, who Haynes said had been molested by Lisi, unnecessary.
April 21, 2014 | By Carla Hall
“Is it really that interesting when a 66-year-old woman becomes a grandmother?” That's the question my colleague and friend Robin Abcarian rhetorically posed in her column Friday as she recounted listening, disbelievingly, to someone in the media actually suggest that Hillary Rodham Clinton's impending grandmotherhood might have an effect on her possible presidential campaign. (The offending media person was New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. His fellow panelists on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” were as aghast as Abcarian.)
The grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez on Friday called on two California Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, as they concluded a week of intense and emotional lobbying to return the 6-year-old boy to his father in Cuba. So far, their campaign is bearing fruit on Capitol Hill. Legislation to declare Elian a U.S. citizen appears stalled, if not dead. Numerous lawmakers from both parties in recent days have declared their opposition.
April 19, 2014 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Daniel Swalm was researching his family when he came across a disturbing episode in immigration history. That discovery would lead to a move in the U.S. Senate to apologize for action the nation took more than a century ago. Swalm discovered that under an obscure 1907 law, his grandmother Elsie, born and raised in Minnesota, was stripped of her U.S. citizenship after marrying an immigrant from Sweden. Swalm had never heard of the Expatriation Act that required a U.S.-born woman who married a foreigner to "take the nationality of her husband.
May 23, 1996
Mary Ruth Blanco, a West Covina grandmother accused of trying to rob a gas station in a vain attempt to pay the family's taxes, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery charges by reason of temporary insanity as her attorney told the court she was "driven insane by the IRS." The 71-year-old woman faces a minimum of four years in state prison if convicted because of the special circumstance arising from the alleged use of a handgun in the botched May 4 robbery.
December 7, 2002
Grandmothers get in free this weekend at several Southland theaters showing the Korean film "The Way Home," provided they are accompanied by a grandchild. The movie, released by Paramount Classics, is about a 7-year-old boy and his grandmother. Participating theaters are the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, the Regal University in Irvine and the Plaza de Oro in Santa Barbara.
September 13, 1996
At the conclusion of what some considered a strange and heartbreaking attempted robbery case, a meek West Covina grandmother told a Pomona Superior Court judge Thursday that she would rather wear an electronic monitoring device for a year than spend that year in County Jail. Judge David Milton gave Mary Ruth Blanco, 71, the choice between the two in addition to sentencing her to three years' probation for attempting to hold up a gas station May 4.
June 5, 1996
As a Municipal Court judge ruled Tuesday that 71-year-old Mary Ruth Blanco must stand trial on charges of trying to rob a gas station to pay her family's taxes, a spokeswoman for the district attorney said it is unlikely that prosecutors will seek to send her to prison. Citrus Municipal Court Judge R. Bruce Minto ruled that there was sufficient evidence to order a trial on charges that could send the grandmother to prison for up to 13 years if she is convicted of attempted robbery.
July 18, 1996
Mary Ruth Blanco, a 71-year-old West Covina woman charged with the botched armed robbery of a gas station to help pay her taxes, has accepted a plea bargain offer from prosecutors and hopes a judge will approve it, her attorney said Wednesday. In a move that could mean she avoids time behind bars, the district attorney's office has offered to drop a special circumstances charge of using a gun, said Steve Angelo, her nephew and a family spokesman.
May 9, 1996
A new location was announced Wednesday for contributions to help a West Covina grandmother whom authorities suspect unsuccessfully tried to rob a gas station with a vintage handgun out of desperation over her family's financial situation. Contributions to help Mary Ruth Blanco, 71, can now be sent in care of Alex & Brinkis, 1500 West Covina Parkway, Suite 103, West Covina, 91790, the West Covina Police Department announced.
February 13, 2014 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Authorities Wednesday arrested a man in Chicago who is suspected of fatally stabbing a 45-year-old woman in her Gramercy Park apartment, officials said. Laevin Meikel Weatherspoon, 27, has been charged with murder in the killing of Wanda Threadgill , according to the L.A. County district attorney's office. Threadgill is believed to have been killed Dec. 5. Threadgill's body was discovered Dec. 17 after her daughter became suspicious because she hadn't heard from her mother in about two weeks.
January 28, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
A 52-year-old woman who was one of five family members struck by a car outside an elementary school in Highland Park on Friday has died, officials said. The woman, Guadalupe Chavez, along with her daughter and three grandchildren, were struck when a car drove through the intersection of Avenue 57 and Meridian Street outside Yorkdale Elementary School about 8:12 a.m., Los Angeles police said. Chavez succumbed to her injuries on Sunday, police said. Chavez's 10-year-old granddaughter, Marina Carrillo, remains in critical condition.
September 24, 2013 | By Rick Rojas and Joseph Serna
When 2-year-old Samuel Zamudio's grandmother came home and asked where the toddler was, family members frantically searched every room and even asked neighbors if they'd seen him. Finally, the grandmother, 42-year-old Eustulia Zamudio, tried the backyard and screamed. Lying in the dirt, his clothes torn from his body, was Samuel's mangled, lifeless body. Police said the five pit bull mixes Zamudio kept out back had fatally mauled the boy. PHOTOS: Toddler mauled to death by pit bulls "We just don't have an explanation," said Erica Vega, a family friend who was one of the adults at the house on Citrus Street in Colton when the attack occurred.
September 12, 2013 | By Kate Mather and Nicole Santa Cruz
Long Beach police have arrested two people in the 2009 slaying of a 76-year-old grandmother who was stabbed inside her home. Leam Sovanasy's daughter, Samantha Sovanasy, said her last memory of her mother was watching her kneel in prayer and meditation the morning of Jan. 31, 2009. She left for work and her brother, who lived in a nearby unit, found their mother stabbed to death in what police at the time said was a "crime of opportunity. " The case was cold for years, but then investigators in July received a tip about a car spotted nearby on the same day of the crime.
September 12, 2013 | By David Ng
Amy Herzog's "4000 Miles" follows the bumpy relationship between a feisty nonagenarian and her directionless grandson, who turns up by surprise one day at her New York home. The play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year, debuted in New York in 2011 in a production by Lincoln Center. It will make its local debut at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, opening Oct. 25. Herzog said in a recent phone interview that the character of Vera Joseph, a 91-year-old radical who has become a semi-recluse in her Greenwich Village apartment, was inspired by her own grandmother, whom she described as a hard-line leftist.
August 19, 2013 | By Kate Mather
James Lee DiMaggio, the man at the center of the kidnapping saga involving San Diego County teenager Hannah Anderson and the killings of her mother and 8-year-old brother, left his life insurance to the children's grandmother, a family spokesman confirmed Monday. Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for James DiMaggio's family, said the 40-year-old left $112,000 to Bernice Anderson, whom he named his beneficiary in 2011. DiMaggio's sister spoke to him once about his beneficiary, Spanswick said, and he indicated that the money was to go to Hannah and her brother, Ethan.
May 31, 1996
Capital murder charges were filed Thursday against the mother and grandmother of two East Los Angeles children whose badly decomposed bodies were found in their home last weekend. Martha Israel-Lopez, 35, and her 65-year-old mother, Graciela Israel, are expected to be arraigned on two charges each of murder June 13. If convicted, the women could face the death penalty in the slayings of the two youngsters--Judith, 4, and Victor, 8. Authorities believe a knife was used in the slayings.
May 30, 1996 | JOHN COX
Alice Hurst knows she has come too far to indulge in the second-guessing that haunts younger graduates at today's commencement ceremonies at Cal State Long Beach. On one level, experience precludes it. She is a great-grandmother and widow who, at 72, long has settled familiar questions about marriage and career. Yet to those around her, Hurst seems confident of the path she now hopes to pursue by taking her bachelor's degree in human development and joining the Peace Corps.
August 15, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A 67-year-old great-grandmother on Thursday accused Mayor Bob Filner of sexually harassing her even as he must have known that a scandal about his conduct toward women was about to become public. Peggy Shannon, who was working part-time at the senior citizens service desk at City Hall, said that Filner made sexually inappropriate comments to her last month about wanting to begin a personal relationship. Among other comments, Shannon said Filner asked her in recent months: "Do you think I could go eight hours straight?"
July 15, 2013 | By Ben Bolch
LAS VEGAS - Reggie Bullock pulls up the short sleeve on his red T-shirt to reveal a tattoo of the place he'll always remember and the woman he'll never forget. The design on his left arm shows the intersection of East and Bright streets, a convergence of drug-infested blight near the place he grew up in Kinston, N.C. In a wraparound ribbon is the name of Bullock's maternal grandmother, Patricia Williams, who protected the Clippers rookie from the evils of the neighborhood. "She basically raised me all my life," Bullock said Monday night after scoring 12 points in the Clippers' 77-65 loss to the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League.
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