FBI to investigate shooting of Calif. 13-year-old
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of a popular 13-year-old boy by a sheriff's deputy in Northern California.
Sheriff Steve Freitas said he will cooperate fully with federal investigators and welcomes their participation in the probe of Andy Lopez's killing on Tuesday afternoon. The shooting has generated numerous protests and marches in the suburban town of Santa Rosa, with many residents questioning the deputy's decision to fire on the youth.
In a statement late Friday afternoon, Freitas expressed sympathy to the Lopez family and thanked the Santa Rosa community for keeping protests peaceful.
RIDGECREST SHOOTING SPREE
Suspect ID'd in Mojave Desert shootout
RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) — A sister of a survivor in the Ridgecrest rampage says the gunman was a heroin dealer who wanted to eliminate snitches.
Dawn Meier told The Associated Press on Friday that 39-year-old Sergio Munoz was friends with her brother, but shot him and his girlfriend when the brother refused to go along with the plot.
The girlfriend was killed in the early morning shooting. Dawn Meier says her brother, Thaddeus Meier, is recovering at a hospital.
Munoz later took a man and woman hostage and led police on a lengthy car chase with the pair in his trunk.
Authorities say Munoz was killed when he stopped on the side of the road and began firing his gun into the trunk.
Police say the hostages are in critical condition.
DRUG WEBSITE SHUTDOWN
NY US Attorney: $28M in bitcoins seized
NEW YORK (AP) — The United States Attorney in New York says about $28 million worth of bitcoins have been seized from a man charged with operating a notorious online drug marketplace known as Silk Road.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) said Friday more than 144,000 bitcoins were found on computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht.
Federal authorities in New York have charged Ulbricht with three felonies related to the operation of the website. He was sent to New York from California earlier this month.
The federal public defender who represented Ulbricht in California declined to comment. His New York attorney didn't immediately return messages.
Silk Road gained notoriety as a black market bazaar where drugs could be bought and sold using bitcoins, a form of online cash.
Ex-Marine sentenced to more than 5 years for fraud
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A former Marine has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for accepting $150,000 from military contractors while he was deployed in Iraq.
U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino sentenced former Staff Sgt. Gilbert Mendez on Friday in federal court in San Diego.
Mendez pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 2012, to conspiring to defraud the United States by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from defense contractors.
The foreign contractors received millions of dollars in military contracts at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.
Mendez also must pay $150,000 in restitution to the Defense Department.
Boy, 15, arrested on suspicion of killing father
DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) — A 15-year-old Southern California boy is under arrest after allegedly calling police to say he'd killed his father.
Downey police say the teen made the 911 call Friday morning.
Officers who went to the home found the father shot to death in a bedroom. A handgun was recovered.
The boy was booked on suspicion of murder. His name hasn't been released.
There's no word on what prompted the killing.
The boy's parents were divorced and the teen lived with his father.
IMMIGRATION OFFICER SHOT
1 officer shot, 2 others wounded in Northern Calif
ROSEVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A federal immigration officer was shot and two local police officers were wounded during a violent confrontation with a parolee in a Sacramento suburb.
Dozens of officers were involved in a hunt for the suspect as night descended. The shootings occurred Friday afternoon in Roseville, a suburb about 20 miles northeast of the state capital.
Roseville Police Lt. Cal Walstad told reporters late Friday that officers believe they have the suspect surrounded, although he was not in custody. He was identified as Sammy Duran.
Walstad said the federal immigration officer was shot in the leg as he and other officers made initial contact with Duran. During a later exchange of gunfire, two Roseville officers sustained shrapnel wounds from rounds that hit near them.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said that agency's officer was stable and alert.
CHILD PORN ARRESTS
5 held in Southern California child porn crackdown
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five Southern California residents have been arrested in a crackdown on child pornography.
Authorities say four men, ranging from 19 to 72 years old, were arrested this week on suspicion of possessing and distributing child porn involving children as young as 1 year old.
A Palmdale woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance.
The arrests followed an investigation by a Los Angeles Cyber Crimes Task Force.
Authorities say they believe the men downloaded child porn on home and work computers and shared it online. Investigators say they seized hundreds of photos and videos of children engaging in sex acts with adults.
The victims are believed to be located around the world.
FATAL HIT AND RUN
Son of SF gardener in hit and run also arrested
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The son of a San Francisco gardener accused in a fatal hit and run has himself been arrested on suspicion of hit and run.
Police spokesman Albie Esparza says 19-year-old Jonathan Burnoski, the son of Thomas Burnoski, had just left his father's arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon when the right rear side of his car made contact with a bicyclist.
Esparza says the younger Burnoski continued driving and was later detained at his home. The cyclist suffered only minor cuts.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that he was booked on suspicion of hit and run but had not been charged as of Friday. He was free on $15,000 bail.
The elder Burnoski is accused of running over Christine Svanemyr as she relaxed in the grass with her baby and dog.
Rim Fire now 100 percent contained
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A fire that raged in forest land in and around Yosemite National Park and grew to become one of the largest wildfires in California history is now 100 percent contained.
U.S. Forest Service officials announced full containment of the Rim Fire on Friday. The fire burned 400 square miles and destroyed 11 residences, three commercial properties and 98 outbuildings.
It cost $127 million to fight.
It started on Aug. 17, when a hunter's fire spread. At one point, the fire was consuming up to 50,000 acres a day.
Researchers estimate that about 60 square miles burned so intensely, everything there died.
Quincy Jones sues Michael Jackson's estate
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Quincy Jones is suing Michael Jackson's estate claiming he is owed royalties on some of the superstar's hits and was improperly deprived of a producer credit on music used in the "This Is It" film.
Jones' lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles seeks millions in damages from the singer's estate. The suit claims Jackson's estate re-worked some of the superstar's music that Jones produced and cut him out of the royalties and other profits.
The producer is also asking a judge to order Jackson's estate to provide a full accounting of its proceeds to determine how much he is owed. Jones produced some of Jackson's most popular albums, including "Off the Wall" and "Thriller."
Jackson's estate had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
Jackie Chan completes mission with 'Zodiac' film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Jackie Chan says his mission is complete.
Chan wrote, directed and stars in "Chinese Zodiac," an action comedy which centers on a team attempting to steal some of the 12 bronze statues looted from a Chinese palace in 1860.
Since the movie was released in China last year, two of the real statues were returned to China by Francois Pinault, head of Gucci's parent company.
The 59-year-old Hong Kong star praised their return, saying he hopes all such looted artifacts can be returned from Western museums.
Chan says he isn't quitting anytime soon. He completed filming on another installment in his "Police Story" franchise and is discussing another movie alongside "Rush Hour" co-star Chris Tucker. He said scheduling conflicts prevented him from joining Sylvester Stallone's "Expendables 3" ensemble.
Stuntman and 'Smokey' director Hal Needham dies
(Information in the following story is from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hal Needham, a top Hollywood stuntman who turned to directing rousing action films including "Smokey and the Bandit" and "The Cannonball Run," has died. He was 82.
His business managers tell the Los Angeles Times that Needham died Friday in Los Angeles.
A former paratrooper, Needham appeared in thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of movies, performing and designing stunts and new equipment to execute them.
Needham jumped from planes, was dragged by horses and wrecked cars — breaking 56 bones in the process.
His best-known directing efforts involved 1970s Burt Reynolds action comedies, including "Smokey," ''Cannonball Run" and "Stroker Ace." He also directed Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Villain.
In a Twitter posting, Schwarzenegger calls Needham an icon.
Needham received an honorary Oscar last year.