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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
As jurors begin their first full day of deliberations today in the Santa Monica Farmers' Market trial, they face an unusual twist: Key law enforcement officers testified for the defense of George Weller, the 89-year-old charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 10 shoppers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors were told to listen to the dead as they began deliberations Friday in the case of George Weller, on trial for 10 counts of manslaughter after he drove his car through an open-air market three years ago. "Dead bodies do speak," Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in her closing arguments. "They do tell you something. They tell you where they were. They tell you of their injuries."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors should believe dozens of Santa Monica residents who saw George Weller repeatedly turn the wheel, hit the brakes, and accelerate his car through a farmers' market three years ago, the prosecutor said Thursday. If Weller could see and steer, he could have stopped before killing 10 pedestrians, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in closing arguments in Weller's manslaughter trial. The prosecution closed its case against Weller, now 89, on Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors virtually sat behind George Russell Weller's steering wheel Tuesday, seeing a specially prepared graphic re-creation of his deadly 20-second drive through an open-air market three years ago. With the view that the 86-year-old Weller had through the windshield of his 1992 Buick, jurors could see and feel jarring impacts as he crashed at freeway speeds through the crowded market, striking dozens of stalls and injuring more than 70 people, 10 of them fatally.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2006 | John Spano and Michael Muskal, Times Staff Writers
More than an hour after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, leaving 10 people dead, George Russell Weller sat in a stark room at the police station shrouded in misery and frustration. "In that course of that one block, I knocked over those stands and hit those people," Weller, then 86, said the day of the 2003 tragedy. "When I finally came to a rest, [I said,] my God, what have I done?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
George Russell Weller felt he was lucky that he didn't have to pass a driving test the last time his California license was renewed, he told police after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, killing 10 people and injuring more than 60 three years ago. Weller, now 89, told police that he took a written test, but wasn't required to show that he could drive safely. "I lucked out," Weller said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2006 | Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer
A public beach club will be built on the former estate of early film star Marion Davies under an agreement reached between the city of Santa Monica and a property owners association. The City Council approved the settlement Tuesday after the city agreed to conditions relating to operating hours, parking, lighting, noise and security.
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August 2, 2006 | Russ Parsons, Times Staff Writer
NORMALLY, those big ads on the sides of city buses are given over to new movies or TV shows. But for the next couple of months in Santa Monica, farmers are the new drive-by celebrities. As part of the Santa Monica Farmers Market's summer-long 25th anniversary celebration, Santa Monica city buses will be adorned with portraits of farmers market stalwarts, bearing the title, "This Is the Face of California Farming."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2006 | Tanya Caldwell, Times Staff Writer
Lindsay Strachan hurried through the stalls at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on a recent Wednesday, hoping to find some premium Rainier cherries before they sold out. A regular at the market, which occupies several Santa Monica streets twice a week, Strachan says his routine has changed since an old Buick LeSabre slammed into shoppers and toppled farm stands, killing 10 people and injuring 63 others. "I look around a lot more," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2006 | Jason Felch, Times Staff Writer
Engine failure was the likely cause for the crash of a single- engine plane off the coast of Santa Monica on March 13 that killed former television game show host Peter Tomarken and his wife, Kathleen, according to a preliminary investigative report. Tomarken, 63, was piloting his 1973 Beechcraft A36 on a voluntary medical mission when he reported engine trouble shortly after takeoff and attempted to return to Santa Monica Airport.
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