CA man ordered to stand trial in girl's kidnapping
SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Los Angeles girl has been ordered to stand trial.
A judge on Wednesday said 32-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers who has pleaded not guilty to 38 counts will return to court Oct. 30. Daniel Martinez, who is accused of being an accomplice, also was ordered to stand trial.
Summers was picked up by FBI agents in April in a Mexican village where he'd checked himself into a rehabilitation facility under a fake name.
Authorities had sought him for nearly a month after he and Martinez allegedly kidnapped the girl from her bedroom in her Northridge home in March. She was then dropped off near a hospital.
Burbank police officer charged in extortion scheme
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Burbank police officer has been freed on bond after being charged with lying to the FBI during an investigation of a suspected extortion scheme involving his girlfriend and her estranged husband.
Anthony Valento made his first court appearance Wednesday where he was released on $25,000 bond. Valento is accused of telling FBI agents he wasn't dating Gayle Bassett who was an alleged victim of restraining order violations in which Valento was the reporting officer.
Authorities say Valento allegedly told Bassett's husband that if he paid her more than $100,000, Valento could get pending domestic violence charges against him either reduced or dropped.
Valento has been with the Burbank Police Department for 17 years.
DEADLY HOUSE FIRE
1 killed in Los Angeles house fire
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fire officials say a man has died in a Los Angeles house fire and his wife was able to escape but suffered smoke inhalation.
The blaze occurred shortly before 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at an 87-year-old home in North Hollywood. The woman was in a bedroom and heard a smoke detector. Authorities say she tried to escape through the front door but was pushed back by the flames.
The man was not immediately identified.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Millions to take part in global earthquake drill
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hoping to survive a real earthquake, many Californians and people in some earthquake prone areas of the world will drop, cover and hold on during an annual preparedness drill.
The Great ShakeOut was first held in California in 2008 and participation has since spread around the globe.
Some 24 million people, including 9 ½ million in California, have signed up to duck under their desks and cover their heads at 10:17 a.m. local time Thursday.
Participating countries include Japan, Canada, Italy and Guam.
Powerful quakes have rattled the world in recent weeks, including a magnitude-7.1 jolt that killed over 100 people in the Philippines and damaged historic churches.
Drill organizers say the focus this year is on fires that may be sparked after a quake because of ruptured utility lines.
Ex-CFO of tech company sentenced for embezzlement
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The former chief financial officer of an Orange County technology company has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for embezzling roughly $15 million from the company.
City News Services reports that Jean Joseph Ibrahim was given a 50-month sentence Wednesday and ordered to pay $15 million in restitution.
Ibrahim pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for stealing the money from his former employer, Trustin Technology. Company executives alerted federal authorities last year, saying they believed Ibrahim had embezzled millions before he resigned.
Authorities say Ibrahim took the stolen funds and put it into his own accounts. He then spent the money gambling, going on vacations and buying items such as suits and shoes.
Veteran character actor Ed Lauter dies at age 74
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, has died at age 74.
Lauter's publicist, Edward Lozzi, says the actor died Wednesday of mesothelioma (meh-soh-thee-lee-OH'-muh), a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure.
Lauter's presence as an irascible authority figure, a brutal thug or a conniving con man made him all but impossible to miss in any film he was in.
He was the brutal prison guard who was Burt Reynolds' nemesis in the 1974 comedy-drama "The Longest Yard" and the sleazy gas station attendant in Alfred Hitchcock's last film, "The Family Plot."
His TV appearances included "The Office," ''ER," ''Murder, She Wrote" and "The Rockford Files."
RARE WHALE FOUND
Rare whale found dead in Southern California
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A rare whale that has a dolphin-shaped head and saber-like teeth has been found dead on Los Angeles' Venice Beach, even though it prefers frigid subarctic waters.
The Los Angeles Times reports the roughly 15-foot-long female Stejneger's beaked whale washed ashore Tuesday night.
A truck hauled away the mammal, which will be autopsied by scientists to learn more about it and how it died.
The Stejneger's beaked whale is rarely seen in the wild. The species typically dive deep in subarctic waters to feed on squid and small fish. They're believed to migrate as far south as Northern California.
Males are known for their saber teeth that stick up midway from each side of the lower jaw. However, the teeth of females and their offspring remain hidden beneath the gum tissue.
Greinke, Dodgers beat Cardinals 6-4 to extend NLCS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the clutch performance they needed in a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis' lead to 3-2 in the NL championship series.
Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also went deep for the Dodgers, who rediscovered their power stroke just in time to save their season. They held in the ninth, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.
The best-of-seven series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, when ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers against rookie Michael Wacha.
When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.