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KVTA Local News

Suspect In Stabbing/Kidnapping Caught, Child Unhurt

KVTA News Saturday April 25, 2015

UPDATED--Ventura County Sheriff's deputies have caught the suspect in a stabbing and kidnapping Saturday night.

They also found the child that was taken, she was unharmed.

The incident was reported shortly after 9 PM on Casitas Vista Road near the 33 Freeway.

A woman, who was found wondering on the freeway, told deputies she had been stabbed and her daughter was taken by the 2-year-old girl's father, 25-year-old Edward Becerra.

The woman was taken to VCMC to be treated for multiple stab wounds, she will recover.

Meanwhile, deputies checked Becerra's known addresses in Ojai and Saticoy but he was not found.

Then, his father called and said his son and the child were at his home along Highway 118 near the Saticoy Country Club.

Around 11:50 PM, they took the Becerra into custody without incident and recovered the child who was unharmed.

Fire At Oil Field Operation Northeast Of Fillmore

KVTA News Friday April 24, 2015

(Photo from VC Sheriff's Copter 6 Over Oil Field Fire)

Updated--Firefighters remain at the scene of a fire at three storage tanks in a canyon between Fillmore and Piru.  

One of the tanks that contained residual paraffin and one that contained crude oil burned to the ground.

A third tank with crude oil was still burning as of 9 PM and fire crews were planning on letting that fire burn itself out.

Crews will stand by to make sure no product goes beyond the containment berms at the site, but otherwise it's hands off.

Firefighters say pipelines that feed product from nearby well sites to the tanks were shut down but the tank that is still on fire is still two thirds full and might collapse.

The site belongs to DCOR.

Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery told KVTA News from the scene that Friday afternoon a worker at the site checked the tanks, then left for awhile, and when he returned the tanks were on fire.

He says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

No reports of injuries. 

Most of the fire personnel and equipment that responded to the location at the north end of Hopper Canyon Road have been released.  

The remaining personnel and equipment are staying in a safe area above the tank.

The fire was reported around 5:15 PM Friday.

OPD Looking For Killer Of Elderly Man A Year Ago

KVTA News Friday April 24, 2015

(Sketch of suspect courtesy OPD)

A year after it happened, Oxnard police are still seeking public help in identifying the gang member who gunned down an innocent elderly man.

Police say 78-year-old Ruben Alfaro was in the 5300 block of Cypress Road in the early afternoon hours of April 27, 2014 when he was shot to death.

They believe he was the unintentional victim of gang violence.

Police have conducted multiple canvasses, examined evidence, and contacted numerous witnesses in what is still an active investigation.

So far they have not been able to identify Alfaro's killer.

But they have developed a sketch of a possible suspect and they're asking the public for help in ultimately determining who killed Alfaro. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gordon Currie at (805) 200-5682 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the Oxnard Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 982-7070.

Oxnard Man Beaten And Stabbed

KVTA News Friday April 24, 2015

Oxnard police are looking for a group of young men who stabbed and beat a man Thursday night.

Officers responded to the 400 block of W. Juniper Street around 8 PM where they found a 44-year-old victim who had been beaten and stabbed.

He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and admitted for his injuries.

Police say he is in stable condition.

Meanwhile, police say they are looking for 5-6 18-21 year old male suspects associated with a black SUV.

They're not sure whether the incident was gang related.

Rialto Man Killed By Train Near Camarillo

KVTA News Thursday April 23, 2015

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

The CHP says a 57-year-old Rialto Man was killed Thursday morning after he drove into a freight train near Camarillo.

It happened around 8:25 AM where the tracks cross Las Posas Road near 5th Street.

The CHP says the man was driving his 2014 Ford Explorer southbound on Las Posas when for some unknown reason he drove into the eastbound Union Pacific freight hauling lumber.

The impact sent the SUV careening eastbound along the shoulder, overturning several times before coming to rest facing north in a dirt ditch.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The freight train stopped about a quarter mile east of Las Posas.

The three crew members on the train were not hurt.

The man's name has not been released yet and the CHP is still investigating to determine exactly what happened and why.

Las Posas Road was shut down for several hours Thursday.

VPD Says Illegal Lab Caused Apartment Explosion

KVTA News Thursday April 23, 2015

(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)

Ventura police say they've solved that explosion and fire at an east end apartment last Saturday morning.

It happened around 5:30 AM in the apartment in the 6600 block of Telephone Road.

They say the explosion and fire was caused by what they termed "a drug conversion lab, specifically a marijuana butane honey oil (BHO) lab."

They also developed a suspect, a friend of the family who lived there who had fled the scene before police and fire arrived Saturday morning.

Police identified their suspect as 51-year-old Lance Hayball of Ventura.

They say he was staying with the family who lived there, a family that included children.

Police say that early Wednesday morning they learned that Hayball was staying at another friend's house in the area of Ralston Street and Johnson Drive in Ventura.

When they found him, they found him with second and third degree burns to his face, head and extremities and has since been taken to the hospital for treatment. 

Police say he will face charges once his condition improves.

Arrest Made In Death Of Pedestrian On 101 In Thousand Oaks A Year Ago

KVTA News Thursday April 23, 2015

The CHP says they've arrested a man in connection with the death of a teenage pedestrian killed on the 101 in Thousand Oaks almost a year ago.

The CHP says on May 2, 2014, 17-year-old Jorge Adolfo Ceballos of Los Angeles was struck and killed by a vehicle on the southbound 101 north of Conejo School Road.

They say the teenager had been dropped off on the freeway by 22-year-old Randy Orlando Ramos of Los Angeles.

The CHP says Ceballos had been drinking alcohol supplied by Ramos when Ramos left him on the freeway.

The authorities arrested Ramos Thursday and are charging him with providing a person under 21 with alcohol resulting in that person's injury or death. 

It's a misdemeanor.

VPD Officer Shoots Dog After It Bites Other Officer

KVTA News Thursday April 23, 2015

Ventura police say one of their officers shot a dog after the dog bit another officer during a struggle with a vandalism suspect.

The incident happened around 9:50 PM Wednesday night at the Ralph's market in the 1700 block of S. Victoria Avenue.

Officers had responded to the scene regarding a vandalism and they encountered the 21-year-old male suspect leaving the area.

Police say while they detained the suspect, he became violent and resisted arrest.

They say while the officers were taking him into custody, his pit bull attacked one of the officers.

Police say the dog bit the officer and did not release his bite on the officer.

They say that's when another officer shot the dog.

The injured officer was taken to VCMC, treated and released.

The dog was taken from the scene by Ventura County Animal Services.

Charges That Put Man In Prison For 36 Years Dismissed

KVTA News Wednesday April 22, 2015

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

A Ventura County judge Wednesday dismissed all charges against 68-year-old Michael Ray Hanline in connection with a 1978 murder that sent him to prison for 36 years.

The action came after the DA's office admitted that a new review of the evidence and the actions of prosecutors during Hanline's 1980 trial for the shooting death of J. T. McGarry cast doubt on the jury's verdict.

The DA's office last year agreed to Hanline's release from prison and on Wednesday moved for dismissal of the charges.

But the DA was not willing to go so far as to support a finding that Hanline was factually innocent.

All they would say was that they decided against a retrial after concluding the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

But others, including the California Innocence Project, insist that Hanline was a wrongfully convicted innocent man who spent 36 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Hanline thanked prosecutors and the Innocence Project saying that people who have been wrongfully convicted should never give up hope that they will be exonerated.

He also commented on experiencing the world outside prison after 36 years saying one of the biggest differences are cell phones and the sorry state of roadways and streets.

Laut Ordered To Stand Trial For Husband's Killing

KVTA News Wednesday April 22, 2015


Updated--A judge ruled Wednesday that there is sufficient evidence for 57-year-old Jane Laut of Oxnard to stand trial for murder in the August 2009 shooting death of her Olympic medalist husband Dave.

The judge's ruling came after a day-long preliminary hearing with testimony and evidence from primarily Oxnard police personnel regarding the night of the killing at the couple's home.

The defense admits that Jane Laut fatally shot her husband, but they contend it was in self defense after years of domestic abuse.

Laut was actually ready to go to trial earlier this month, but after the judge refused a prosecution request for a delay because of problems with scheduling needed witnesses, the DA's office made a strategic decision to dismiss the original case and refile a new case with the same charges.

That effectively reset the legal proceedings and required a preliminary hearing.

In the first go-around, the defense had waived a preliminary hearing but this time they requested it.

The first witnesses was a police dispatcher who testified about the 911call Laut made to police on the night of the shooting saying that her husband Dave had gone out to investigate what sounded like a prowler.

Another police witness testified about evidence gathered in the case including gunshot residue which the defense claims was lost by OPD.

After finding sufficient evidence for Laut to stand trial, he ordered her back to court on May 15th to be arraigned and to have a trial date set.

Laut remains free on $500,000 bail.

No Retrial Of Man Convicted Of 1978 Murder

KVTA News Tuesday April 21, 2015

DA WON'T SEEK RETRIAL FOR MAN WHO SOME SAY WAS WRONGFULLY CONVICTED OF 1978 MURDER
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office will not seek a retrial of a man who some say spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he did not commit.
The DA's office said Tuesday it will move to dismiss the case against 68-year-old Michael Ray Hanline who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1978 murder of J.T. McGarry (aka Mike Mathers).
The DA agreed with the California Innocence Project that new evidence cast doubt upon the correctness of the jury's verdict and prosecutors at the original trial should have, but did not, provide documents that would have been helpful to the defense.
The DA supported Hanline's release from prison last year after 36 years behind bars while they considered whether to dismiss the case against him.
And while they decided Tuesday to have the case dismissed, the DA said, "given the current state of the evidence, the District Attorney would oppose any motion seeking a finding of factual innocence. It is the position of the District Attorney's Office that the case against the defendant is still supported by probable cause, but cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."
(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office will not seek a retrial of a man who some say spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he did not commit.

The DA's office said Tuesday it will move to dismiss the case against 68-year-old Michael Ray Hanline who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1978 murder of J.T. McGarry (aka Mike Mathers).

The DA agreed with the California Innocence Project that new evidence cast doubt upon the correctness of the jury's verdict and prosecutors at the original trial should have, but did not, provide documents that would have been helpful to the defense.

The DA supported Hanline's release from prison last year after 36 years behind bars while they considered whether to dismiss the case against him.

And while they decided Tuesday to have the case dismissed, the DA said, "given the current state of the evidence, the District Attorney would oppose any motion seeking a finding of factual innocence. It is the position of the District Attorney's Office that the case against the defendant is still supported by probable cause, but cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Family Dispute Leads To Stabbing In Moorpark

KVTA News Tuesday April 21, 2015

Deputies say they've arrested a suspect in a stabbing Monday night in Moorpark.

The incident happened around 10 PM on 1st Street and deputies say it involved a family dispute that led to the stabbing.

They say the suspect, a 20-year-old male, stabbed a family member in the back and then fled the scene.

Deputies caught him a short distance away.

The victim was taken to the hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Deputies say their investigation has been hampered by the fact that no one is willing to talk to them about specifically what happened and why. 

No other details have been released.

Salmonella Outbreak Includes 4 Ventura County Cases

KVTA News Monday April 20, 2015

Updated--The Ventura County Public Health Department says a recent Salmonella outbreak that they say probably is linked to raw fish includes four confirmed cases in Ventura County.

The outbreak was reported on April 9th and as of Monday April 20th there have been 25 confirmed cases, including 18 in California and that includes the four in Ventura County.

The patients who have been able to complete detailed food questionnaires stated that they had consumed sushi and over 80% report eating raw tuna.

But Ventura County's Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Levin told KVTA News they are saying it's probably linked to raw fish it's not definite yet.

He also says they believe the Salmonella contamination did not occur at the point where the product was sold to the public, but rather at a supplier or someplace closer to the source, but they've not identified a source or sources yet.

The strain of Salmonella identified in the cases so far had never been seen in animals or humans before March 2015.

Members of the public who become ill after eating sushi or any other foods can report concerns to Ventura County Environmental Health at http://www.ventura.org/rma/envhealth/complaint-form.html.

The phone number for Environmental Health is 805-654-2813. 

If you have nausea, diarrhea (with or without blood), abdominal cramping and fever, especially if you have recently eaten raw fish, please seek medical attention and diagnostic testing.

PH Man Arrested For Series Of Home Burglaries

KVTA News Monday April 20, 2015

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department say they've arrested a gang member from Port Hueneme in connection with a series of residential burglaries in the unincorporated community of Nyeland Acres near Oxnard.

They say there have been more than a dozen burglaries, including one in which the suspect threatened the victim with a knife when he tried to stop him from leaving.

Detectives say that with the help of the Ventura PD's Street Crimes Unit, they able to identify a suspect, 20-year-old Ivan Ruiz Reyes of Port Hueneme.

On April 18th, the Sheriff's Gang Unit contact Reyes and observed that his white 4-door Honda Civic matched the description of a vehicle seen at some of the Nyeland Acres burglaries.

Deputies say property found in the vehicle, at his residence and at his family's Oak View residence, is believed to from the burglaries.

He was booked into the Ventura County Jail for multiple counts of felony residential burglary, receiving stolen property, assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of making criminal threats.

His bail was set at $250,000. 

Detectives believe there may be other suspects and other residential burglaries in other areas that might be connected to this case and they're asking anyone with information to contact Detective Foote at (805) 654-2856.

Deputies Arrest Suspect In Moorpark Carjacking

KVTA News Monday April 20, 2015

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

Deputies say a suspect has been arrested in connection with a carjacking in Moorpark last month.

They say that on March 21st around 11:30 PM deputies responded to the Alliance Gas Station at Los Angeles Avenue and Moorpark Avenue to a report of a carjacking.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives say they were able to identify a possible suspect, 25-year-old Jose Nunez of Moorpark.

On April 18th members of the Special Enforcement Unit and deputies assigned to the Moorpark station located Nunez in the area of Millard and Second Street in Moorpark.

They conducted a high risk traffic stop and took Nunez into custody without incident.

He was booked into the Ventura County Jail for carjacking with bail set at $100,000 and is due in court Tuesday to be arraigned.

VPD Looks For Gunman In Store Robbery

KVTA News Monday April 20, 2015

Ventura police are looking for the gunman who robbed a convenience store Sunday night.

It happened around 9:30 PM at the Arco AM/PM located at 5669 Valentine Road.

Police say the suspect was wearing a black ski mask and was armed with a handgun when he entered the store and confronted the clerk.

The suspect brandished the gun and demand money from the register.

The clerk complied and the suspect took the cash and ran from the store, last seen heading west on Valentine Road.

The clerk was not injured.

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his mid 20's wearing a black hooded jacket and tan pants.

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call Ventura police at (805) 339-4309.