LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The son of a Hollywood studio executive who has been missing for a week said Monday that his father had not used his cellphone or credit cards, leaving no clues to his disappearance.
Gavin Smith, a 57-year-old film distribution executive for 20th Century Fox, was last seen on Tuesday night driving away from a friend’s house in the community of Oak Park, north of Los Angeles, in his black Mercedes.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday to order the execution of two condemned killers using a single drug for lethal injections, a move intended to end a 6-year hold on the death penalty in California over the method used by the state.
The move comes days after Democratic Governor Jerry Brown told prison officials to consider using the single-drug execution protocol, and ahead of a November ballot measure that seeks to repeal capital punishment in the state.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine sergeant who wrote in a Facebook post that he would not follow orders from President Barack Obama will be discharged from the military on “other than honorable” terms, a Marine spokesman said on Wednesday.
California-based Sergeant Gary Stein was advised of the decision after a commanding general upheld the recommendation by a review board, Major Michael Armistead said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California voters will decide in November whether to repeal the death penalty in a state that is home to nearly a quarter of the nation’s death row inmates, after activists collected the more than 500,000 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot.
The ballot initiative focuses on the high cost of the death penalty in a state that has executed 13 people since capital punishment was reinstated in the nation in 1976. Another 723 inmates sit on death row pending lengthy and expensive appeals.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure with no prescription or illegal drugs in his system, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s officials said on Friday.
There was no significant trauma to the body of Breitbart, who died in March at the age of 43, and foul play was not suspected, a coroner’s spokesman said in a written statement.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A convicted felon charged with robbing four University of Southern California (USC) students at gunpoint earlier this week has been eliminated as a suspect in the murders of two graduate students from China, police said on Friday.
Jeremy Hendricks, 24, was charged on Friday in Wednesday’s robbery near USC’s fraternity row. Police initially said they were probing possible links between the two crimes and testing the gun used in the robbery for a connection.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four students were robbed at gunpoint near the University of Southern California on Wednesday, and investigators were testing the weapon in that case to see if it was the same one used to murder two graduate students from China last week, police said.
A man brandishing a handgun confronted the three men and a woman as they walked near USC’s fraternity row after midnight, demanding property from them, Los Angeles police officer Sara Faden said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Perennial New Year’s Eve master of ceremonies and “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark, whose long-running television dance show helped rock ‘n’ roll win acceptance in mainstream America, died on Wednesday at age 82, a spokesman said.
Clark, one of America’s best-known TV personalities and the longtime host of ABC’s annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” broadcast from Times Square in Manhattan, suffered a heart attack and died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, publicist Paul Shefrin said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra was sentenced on Wednesday to 270 days in jail and 36 months probation over charges that he exposed himself to five women who answered his Craigslist ads for an assistant or housekeeper.
One woman told authorities the former ballplayer held a knife and forced her to massage him, prosecutors said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Eight men charged with running an elaborate online narcotics market that sold drugs to 3,000 people in the United States and 34 other countries have been arrested following a two-year investigation dubbed “Operation Adam Bomb,” prosecutors said on Monday.
The secret ring known as “The Farmer’s Market” operated through the TOR computer network, which allows users to communicate anonymously, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Monday in Los Angeles.