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Murders Orange County

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2001 | From Times Staff Writers
A Santa Ana man was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the slaying of his 14-year-old stepson, whose battered body was found half-buried in an Irvine drainage ditch. Francisco Muniz Gonzalez, 60, faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 14. The body of Mario Espinobarrios, a Santa Ana High School freshman, was found Jan. 29, 1999, in the creek bed with a rock on his head.
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NEWS
August 7, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Witnesses have died or disappeared. Pieces of evidence are lost. Even the murder scene has been demolished. But the oldest "cold case" in Orange County history to result in murder charges went to trial Monday, with prosecutors arguing that they can prove who was behind the 1975 shooting of Larry Wheelock.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Witnesses have died or disappeared. Pieces of evidence have been lost. Even the murder scene has been demolished. But the oldest "cold case" in Orange County history to result in murder charges went to trial Monday, with prosecutors arguing that they can, in fact, prove who was behind the 1975 shooting of Larry Wheelock.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2001 | MATTHEW EBNET and MAI TRAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The family of 17-year-old Kenneth Chiu, who was stabbed to death this week outside his Laguna Hills home, said they fear racism may have been behind the attack. Christopher and Minnie Chiu, Kenneth's parents, recalled numerous instances in the 10 years they have lived in the 27000 block of Woodbluff Road, a hilly neighborhood with mountain views. Several times, eggs were thrown at their house, said the Chius, both born in Taiwan. Once blue paint was splashed along the side.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2001 | MAI TRAN and DAVID HALDANE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A Laguna Hills teenager died early Monday after being stabbed several times in his driveway, and a 20-year-old neighbor was arrested shortly afterward, police said. Before he died at the hospital, Kenneth Chiu, 17, told police that his assailant was his next-door neighbor Christopher Charles Hearn, 20. Officers found Hearn on his own front porch. A large knife was recovered at the scene. Investigators questioned Hearn, who is deaf and cannot speak, through a sign language interpreter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2001 | MAI TRAN and DAVID HALDANE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A Laguna Hills teenager died early Monday after being stabbed several times in his driveway, and a 20-year-old neighbor was arrested shortly afterward, police said. Before he died at the hospital, Kenneth Chiu, 17, told police that his assailant was his next-door neighbor, Christopher Charles Hearn, 20. Officers found Hearn on his own front porch. A large knife was recovered at the scene.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The governor's office is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of a 20-year-old college student, stabbed to death in February 1994. Investigators are at a standstill and hope that the additional reward, which brings the total to $70,000, could help solve the murder of Cathy Torrez, said Placentia police spokeswoman Corinne Loomis. Torrez, a Cal State Fullerton student, was last seen Feb.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2001
A lawyer who fled California shortly after becoming a suspect in a 1997 slaying was sighted twice in West Los Angeles a month ago, authorities said Monday. Hugh "Randy" McDonald, 52, took a 1988 BMW 733i to a repair shop in the city and was seen the same day at the federal building in Westwood, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said. McDonald, an Orange County attorney, was using the alias Kevin O'Conner, Amormino said. A tipster said the car was silver-gray, license 2KVR518.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2001 | Jack Leonard
Orange County sheriff's investigators appealed for help Monday in finding a truck driver who allegedly killed his girlfriend at her San Juan Capistrano workplace this month. Sheriff Mike Carona said detectives believe Frederick Guest, 44, of Ontario, fatally stabbed Julie Marie Sangari at a video distribution business on July 13. Neighbors heard screams that afternoon from her office on Alipaz Street and went to investigate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2001 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A lawyer who fled California shortly after becoming a suspect in the 1997 slaying of a Villa Park woman was sighted twice last month in West Los Angeles, authorities said Monday. Hugh "Randy" McDonald, 52, took a 1988 BMW 733i to a repair shop in the city and was seen the same day at the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. McDonald, an Orange County attorney, was using the alias Kevin O'Conner, Amormino said.
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