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Murders Orange County

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2001 | STUART PFEIFER and JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A former CHP officer accused of ordering the slaying of a man who co-owned several nude dance clubs with him was convicted of first-degree murder Friday, 12 1/2 years after Horace "Big Mac" McKenna was gunned down outside his Brea mansion. Michael Woods, 59, dropped his head as the guilty verdict touched off commotion in the Santa Ana courtroom. Woods' wife and two grown daughters sobbed hysterically, prompting a bailiff to ask them to calm down.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2001 | MONTE MORIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A judge rejected requests Friday by Michael Goodwin's lawyer to remove Orange County Dist. Atty. Anthony Rackauckas and his office from a grand jury investigation into the deaths of racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife. Goodwin, who investigators say is the prime suspect in the couple's deaths 13 years ago, also failed to get a gag order on grand jury witnesses dropped or to have authorities return copies of legal papers seized in a search of his home in June.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2001 | MAI TRAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A $5,000 reward was offered Wednesday for the location of a Huntington Beach man suspected of killing a restaurant co-worker in 1994 by hitting her with a chunk of concrete and running her over with his car in Westminster. Family members and officials said they hope the reward, being offered by the Carole Sund-Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, will attract information leading to the arrest and conviction of Carlos Garcia Berdeja, 37, who is wanted by police for kidnapping and murder.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
A Newport Beach woman was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for running over her estranged husband. Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey in Santa Ana denied the request of Leslie Van Houten, 41, that she receive a sentence of probation. Van Houten was accused of deliberately running down Kenneth Van Houten, 52, after arguing over the use of the family's car last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
A Newport Beach woman was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for running over her estranged husband. Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey in Santa Ana denied Leslie Van Houten's request that she be given probation. Van Houten, 41, was accused of deliberately running down Kenneth Van Houten, 52, after arguing over the use of the family's car last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A judge Wednesday dismissed murder charges against three men accused of a 1996 drive-by shooting, the third Orange County "cold case" in as many months to fail in court. Only three weeks before the start of trial, prosecutors abruptly asked Judge Francisco P. Briseno to drop the charges after acknowledging they could not corroborate incriminating statements one of the suspects made to police.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A judge Wednesday dismissed murder charges against three men accused of a 1996 drive-by shooting, the third Orange County "cold case" in as many months to fail in court. Only three weeks before the start of the trial, prosecutors abruptly asked Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno to drop the charges after acknowledging that they could not corroborate incriminating statements one of the suspects made to police.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2001 | CHRISTINE HANLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The star witness in the murder case of Horace "Big Mac" McKenna testified Thursday that the strip-club owner was gunned down in 1989 after allegedly threatening to hurt the daughters of his business partner. Prosecutors have charged McKenna's partner, Michael Woods, with ordering the hit on McKenna outside the victim's Brea estate in an attempt to take over the nude clubs the pair owned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two Orange County sheriff's detectives working in Canada on a murder case have stirred up an international flap, with accusations that they partied at a club under surveillance by the local constabulary, fell asleep while serving a search warrant and violated the terms of a U.S. treaty with Canada.
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