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April 6, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who had been hired to clean a backyard deck was convicted in New City of raping and murdering a suburban homemaker. The slaying drew wide attention because afterward the man allegedly used the victim's cellphone to brag about the crime to her relatives. Douglas Herrera Castellanos, 30, faces life in prison without parole when he is sentenced in May.
June 23, 2005
Re "Suspects Chafing in Ankle Monitors," June 21: Requiring undocumented worker Juan Chavez to wear an ankle bracelet and undergo electronic surveillance for 10 weeks because he "got job after job in Northern California without the required work permits" epitomizes the hypocrisy of how our immigration laws are crafted and prosecuted. If Chavez belongs in ankle bracelets, so does the guy who hired him; so do I, and more than likely, so do you, dear citizen reader. Let those who have never hired an undocumented gardener, baby-sitter, farmworker or handyman cast the first stone.
January 27, 2005 | Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
Setting the stage for key testimony, a retired Hollywood stuntman told jurors Wednesday that he put Robert Blake in touch with two colleagues who later alleged the actor tried to hire them to kill his wife. Roy "Snuffy" Harrison, who performed stunts for more than 30 years, testified at Blake's murder trial in Van Nuys that the actor never asked him to do anything illegal.
June 3, 2004 | Chris Erskine
MY WIFE HAS A COLD. I have a hangover. Both of us have the throaty purrs of people who are sexier than we normally are. I consider having an affair with her, my wife, but I don't think our suburb is ready for such a thing. Our little town could handle almost any scandal, except actual intimate relations between a married couple. The preachers would have a field day. "Did you get the diapers?" my wife rasps in her Blythe Danner voice. It is the sound of linen ripping.
May 25, 2004 | Claire Luna, Times Staff Writer
A hit man will be sentenced in June to life in prison after pleading guilty to gunning down a woman at her husband's behest -- then killing the husband as well -- five years ago on a remote stretch of Ortega Highway. Prosecutors decided two weeks ago not to pursue the death penalty against Dennis Earl Godley, 35, after learning he had been tortured and abused as a child. Godley pleaded guilty Friday, and Orange County Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg will formally sentence him June 11.
May 5, 2004 | Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer
First he said he did it. Then he said he didn't. Next he blamed the killings of the American couple on two thugs who scared him into taking the rap. Then he retracted that statement as well. Jossiel Conceicao dos Santos, 20, is out of jail and about to undergo psychological testing.
February 10, 2004 | Richard Fausset, Times Staff Writer
A Van Nuys faith healer was sentenced to nine years in state prison Monday for operating an illegal medical practice and injecting drugs into a man who later died, prosecutors said. Reina Chavarria attracted numerous working-class "patients" to her house with promotions in the Spanish-language media. She was arrested in October 2002 after administering the drugs to Roberto Caceres, an Orange County handyman who had visited her for treatment of a persistent skin condition.
January 22, 2004 | John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
In the backroom realm of presidential politics, Michael J. Whouley is known as a candidate fix-it man, the hush-hush operative the big boss summons when strategies go south. Four years ago, the plain-spoken campaign advisor brought his genius for field tactics to help Al Gore engineer a comeback when insurgent Bill Bradley seized the initiative in the Democratic primaries.
November 1, 2003 | Jean Guccione and Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writers
In a blow to prosecutors, a judge threw out part of the capital murder case against Robert Blake on Friday, ruling that the evidence "carries very little weight" toward proving the actor had conspired with his handyman to kill his wife. The 70-year-old Blake still faces a murder charge and a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for allegedly shooting Bonny Lee Bakley two years ago outside the Studio City restaurant where the couple had dined.
October 17, 2003 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
A handyman who allegedly tied up a Newport Beach physician and then set fire to her house was arrested early Thursday morning when he returned to the motel room where he had been living. Kevin Duane Carpenter tried to run when he saw Newport Beach officers in the parking lot but then stopped and was arrested without a struggle, police said. The motel is in the 2200 block of Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, less than two miles from the home where he allegedly attacked Carol A. Jackson.
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