LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A venture capitalist seeking to break California into six new states has won approval to begin collecting signatures needed to get his plan on the ballot in November, but experts said such a measure likely stands little chance of success.
The proposal, which would also require approval by the Congress, would split California into six new states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a requirement by San Diego County that residents show “good cause” to carry a concealed firearm, a ruling that could force local governments across California to revisit the way they license handguns.
A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on a 2009 lawsuit, ruled in a 2-1 decision that San Diego County’s restrictions amounted to an unconstitutional infringement on citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former Guatemalan army commander convicted of covering up his role in the massacre of 250 men, women and children during that country’s bloody civil war in order to gain U.S. citizenship was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in federal prison.
Prosecutors say Jorge Sosa lied to immigration officials about his involvement in the 1982 mass killings at the Guatemalan farming village of Dos Erres, which was considered one of the worst atrocities in that country’s bloody 36-year civil war.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies accused of punching, kicking and pepper-spraying an inmate, then falsely claiming that he attacked them, have been indicted on federal charges amid an ongoing probe of the country’s largest jail system.
The indictments against deputies Mariano Ramirez and Joey Aguiar came two months after 18 other current or former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were charged with corruption and civil rights violations at the county’s jails.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A man accused in the 2012 killing of two University of Southern California graduate students from China, a crime that stunned the prestigious private school, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison.
Bryan Barnes entered his guilty plea during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors that spares him the possibility of receiving the death penalty if he had been convicted at trial.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Four people were arrested on Tuesday in connection with drugs found at the home of film star Philip Seymour Hoffman following his death of an apparent heroin overdose, the New York Daily News reported, citing unidentified police sources.
The arrests came during a raid on a building in the Chinatown district of Manhattan after police traced the heroin believed to have killed the Oscar-winning actor there, the newspaper reported.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine sergeant who was found guilty of murder in the 2006 death of an Iraqi civilian, only to have his conviction overturned, will face a retrial on the same charges, a Marine spokesman said on Monday.
Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins III will be arraigned at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California on Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kloppel said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fast-moving California wildfire, started accidentally by three campers, roared out of control in foothills above Los Angeles on Thursday, destroying at least two homes and forcing more than 1,000 residents to flee, fire and law enforcement officials said.
The wind-whipped blaze erupted before dawn in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in a national forest east of Los Angeles, whipped up by winds and fueled by bone-dry brush, had damaged homes and forced the evacuation of dozens of residents, officials said.
The so-called Colby Fire broke out before dawn in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, and by mid-morning had blackened more than 1,700 acres, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The FBI said on Tuesday it will re-examine the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man in the California city of Fullerton, following the acquittal of two former police officers on state charges in the case.
An Orange County Superior Court jury found ex-Fullerton officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli not guilty on Monday on all charges in the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, after a monthlong trial.