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Mass Murders Northern California

NEWS
August 10, 1993 | Associated Press
A jury ruled Monday that a man who shot up a high school, killing his former teacher and three students, was sane at the time, clearing the way for a possible death sentence. Eric Houston, 22, was armed with a shotgun and sawed-off rifle when he strode onto a high school campus in Olivehurst in May, 1992. The teacher he killed, Robert Brens, 28, had given him a failing grade that kept him from graduating. Houston was convicted last month on four counts of murder.
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NEWS
April 4, 1990 | From the Associated Press
A Superior Court judge said Tuesday that both sides in the Ramon Salcido mass murder case have tentatively agreed on moving his trial to Contra Costa, San Joaquin or San Mateo counties. Salcido is charged with the murders last April of his wife, Angela, 24; daughters, Sofia, 4, and Teresa, 1; his mother-in-law, Marion Richards, 47; Richards' daughters, Ruth, 12, and Marie, 8; and his boss, Tracy Toovey, 35.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 1995 | ANNA CEKOLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Board of Supervisors has reluctantly signed off on an agreement that holds the state and a Northern California county responsible for the cost of trying accused serial killer Charles Ng, whose trial was moved here before Orange County's Dec. 6 bankruptcy. Supervisors had repeatedly said cash-strapped Orange County should be relieved of the massive and costly trial, which was transferred from rural Calaveras County last year because of extensive pretrial publicity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2001 | From Times Wire Services
Five Californians who helped lead police to a mass killer in September will receive a $50,000 reward, after the governor Friday overruled arguments that they didn't qualify for it because the suspect killed himself. "After reviewing the information, I will reverse a staff decision regarding the $50,000 reward," Gov. Gray Davis said in a statement. A Sacramento woman and four companions helped to guide authorities to suspect Joseph Ferguson, who killed five people in a rampage Sept. 9.
NEWS
August 23, 2001 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The portrait of a deliberate, calculating killer emerged Wednesday as authorities continued the search for a 27-year-old man suspected in the murders of half a dozen family members, including his wife and son. Investigators believe that suspect Nikolay Soltys switched cars after a murderous rampage Monday, had his second vehicle repaired and left behind a grisly manifest of victims offering the first hints of a motive: He was angered by how some of his relatives spoke to him.
NEWS
November 10, 1992 | Associated Press
A man who killed six people in a weekend shooting spree and then killed himself had threatened violence, but friends didn't believe him because he was such a "nut," authorities said Monday. The killer also left a suicide note in which he wrote, "Damn the American family to hell." None of the verbal threats by Lynwood C. Drake, 48, were reported, said San Luis Obispo County sheriff's Sgt. Greg Beuer. The latest came Saturday, the day of the killings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 1994 | From Associated Press
A Superior Court judge on Friday ordered the mass murder trial of Charles Ng transferred to Orange County, but gave defense lawyers 30 days to file an appeal. Retired Siskiyou County Judge James Kleaver, who was assigned to the case by state legal authorities, said he shifted the long-delayed trial to Southern California because of extensive pretrial news coverage in the northern area. Ng, 33, described as a martial arts expert, faces a dozen murder counts.
NEWS
September 28, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A state appellate court rejected pleas by Northern California news organizations to allow cameras into the Redwood City mass-murder trial of winery worker Ramon Salcido. The 1st District Court of Appeal issued a two-paragraph order refusing to hear further argument on the appeal by television, newspaper and radio organizations, which had sought to halt the trial while the issue was in dispute.
NEWS
November 17, 1990 | From Associated Press
Nineteen months after Ramon Salcido slashed his wife and two of their daughters to death in a wine-country rampage that claimed seven lives, a jury Friday said he should die in the gas chamber. Salcido, 29, reacted with the same faraway stare he wore throughout most the trial, as a Spanish interpreter translated the jury's decision. "He doesn't know where he is," defense attorney Marteen Miller said. "He's not insane, but he's a little goofy."
NEWS
September 18, 1990 | United Press International
A public defender conceded Monday that Ramon Salcido killed seven people but said the former winery worker was under a "psychotic depression" at the time of the rampage. Marteen Miller made the admission in his opening statement before a San Mateo County Superior Court jury of eight women and four men at the trial of Salcido on seven counts of first-degree murder. Sonoma County Assistant Dist. Atty.
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