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Motorcyclist Killed In Upper Ojai Crash

KVTA News Thursday July 28, 2016

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Air Unit)

The CHP says a motorcyclist was killed and his passenger was critically injured in a crash with a pickup truck late Thursday morning.

It happened around 11:30 AM on Highway 150 at Chumash Road.

The CHP says the pickup truck, a white 2003 Chevrolet 1500 was being driven by a 23-year-old Long Beach man eastbound on the 150 approaching Chumash Road.

Meanwhile, a 67-year-old Fillmore man was riding his black 2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle also eastbound on the 150 behind the pickup truck.

The CHP says for reasons that are still under investigation, the pickup attempted to make a turn onto Chumash Road and the motorcycle veered to the right and collided with the right rear corner of the pickup.

The motorcycle rider and a 66-year-old Fillmore woman who was his passenger were ejected from the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist was airlifted by Air Squad 8 to VCMC where he died.

The female passenger was taken to VCMC by ambulance with major injuries.

The driver of the pickup was not injured.

Crews Work For Full Containment Of Sand Fire

KVTA News Thursday July 28, 2016

(Photo courtesy US Forest Service)

The 38,000 acre Sand Fire in the Santa Clarita Valley is now 65% contained as crews continue to work toward full containment and control.

The fire has been burning for almost a week and at least one life and 18 structures have been lost to the flames.

About 2700 personnel are assigned to the fire from local, state, and federal agencies, including units from Ventura County.

They've been involved in building containment lines, dealing with hot spots and protecting structures.

The cause is under investigation.

Trial Ordered In Hit & Run Death Of Ventura Teen

KVTA News Wednesday July 27, 2016

A judge Wednesday ordered the owner and operator of a Ventura tow company to stand trial in connection with the hit and run traffic collision that left a Ventura teen dead.

51-year-old Hermin Martin Henderson of Ventura is charged with a felony, leaving the scene of an accident that involved death, and, a misdemeanor, destroying evidence.

Prosecutors allege that Henderson was driving eastbound on Telegraph Road in a tow truck approaching Saticoy Avenue late on the night of February 18th when he struck and killed 14-year-old Jonathan Hernandez of Ventura as the teen crossed the road southbound on Saticoy Avenue on his bicycle.

The DA's office accuses Henderson of leaving the scene and later destroying evidence, in this case his license plate.

Henderson is due back in court on August 10th to have a trial date set.

He remains free on his own recognizance.

If convicted of the charges against him, the maximum sentence would be five years in prison.

No Murder Charge In Death Of Ventura Motorcyclist

KVTA News Tuesday July 26, 2016


Prosecutors decided not to file a murder charge in the Friday crash that killed a motorcyclist on Kimball Road in east Ventura.

Police had arrested 24-year-old Victor Martinez of Santa Paula for second degree murder in connection with the hit and run death of 80-year-old Richard Lunsford of Ventura.

Prosecutors instead filed felony vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run causing death, felony evading an officer causing death and a felony count of carrying a loaded, unregistered, firearm in a vehicle, among other charges and a special allegation.

Martinez, who had been in jail on more than $1 million bail, had his bail reduced to $500,000.

He is still in custody and will be in court Wednesday to be arraigned.

The authorities say the fatal crash occurred after Martinez, who had been out on bail pending an unrelated criminal case, was involved in a hit and run crash with an unmarked Ventura detective vehicle on the westbound 126 and then failed to stop when a marked patrol vehicle attempted to pull him over as he exited the 126 at Kimball.

They say Martinez traveled through a red light and collided with three vehicles, including the fatal collision with Lunsford's motorcycle.

Police say he then continued south of Kimball, abandoned his vehicle while it was still moving and fled on foot, dropping the gun along the way before convincing an unsuspecting motorist to give him a ride.

That vehicle was spotted later and Martinez was finally taken into custody. 

The charges filed against Martinez Tuesday by the DA would mean a maximum possible sentence of 16 years in prison if Martinez were convicted.

Public Help Sought In Thousand Oaks Pharmacy Burglaries

KVTA News Tuesday July 26, 2016


Deputies in Thousand Oaks are seeking public help in identifying the suspect in at least two pharmacy burglaries in that city.

They both happened on July 1st and involved a lone male suspect who was captured on security video (see photo).

Deputies say the suspect forced entry into the two pharmacies, removed prescription drugs from locked cabinets and then fled.

He was dressed differently in each burglary, dark colored Docker style pants and windbreaker jacket in one and a jumpsuit with a nylon stocking over his face in the other.

He is believed to be between 6' to 6'5", 170-200 pounds in his late 40's to early 50's and hunched over with a distinctive gait.

Deputies say the illegal prescription drug problem has spawned more than 100 pharmacy burglaries in Southern California during the past six months with more than 20 of those in Ventura County.

If you have any information on this crime, please contact Thousand Oaks Detective Laura Natoli at (805) 494-8226 or at Laura.natoli@ventura.org.

Ex County Government Employee Sentenced For Worker's Comp Fraud

KVTA News Tuesday July 26, 2016

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office says a former employee for the County of Ventura was sentenced to five years formal probation, 109 days in jail and ordered to pay $14,007 in restitution for workers compensation fraud.

Prosecutors say that a jury convicted 49-year-old Linda Boggess of Ventura on four felony counts.

They say in March of 2007 Boggess, who worked for the Ventura County Human Services Agency, filed a workers comp claim saying she experienced "paralyzing pain".

She received medical treatment and temporary disability payments until November 2011 when she was cleared to return to work without restrictions.

The DA says shortly after that, Boggess provided new work restrictions from a separate doctor that limited her to lifting no more than five pounds.

The county, which is self insured, investigated her claim in January of 2012 and they say captured Boggess on video lifting car tires mounted on wheels each weighting 45 pounds and then carrying them for about 50 feet.

Prosecutors say that in March of 2012 Boggess testified at a deposition that she couldn't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk.

Driver Arrested In Fatal Newbury Park Crash

KVTA News Monday July 25, 2016


Deputies say they've arrested the driver of a vehicle that crashed in Newbury Park Sunday night, killing his passenger.

They say that 19-year-old Josue Arturo Hernandez of Mission Hills was driving southbound on Rancho Dos Vientos south of Via Bonito around 7:13 PM in a Porsche Boxster when he failed to negotiate a curve, left the roadway and hit a small tree.

Deputies say the vehicle continued southbound and slammed into a second, larger tree.

His passenger, 30-year-old Zachary Allen Crook of Thousand Oaks, was trapped in the wreckage and was extricated by firefighters and taken to Los Robles Medical Center where he died.

Hernandez was helped out of the vehicle by citizens before firefighters arrived and was taken to Los Robles for observation.

Deputies say when Hernandez was released from the hospital Monday he was arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony DUI-Alcohol.

Investigators say that alcohol and excessive speed were factors in the crash.

Local Fire Crews Helping Battle Against Sand Fire

KVTA News Monday July 25, 2016

(Ventura County Fire Engine 26 providing structure protection in Placerita Canyon)

A number of firefighters and equipment from fire departments in Ventura County are among the 3,000 local, state and federal personnel battling the massive Sand Fire burning along the east side of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The fire has burned more than 33,000 acres, destroyed at least 18 homes and is threatening thousands of others. It's only 10% contained.

The LA County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of one man found in his home on Iron Canyon Road Saturday that is believed to be fire related. 

The 14 Freeway through that area remains open, barely, and several ramps in the fire area are closed.

Woman Killed In Ojai Valley Crash Identified

KVTA News Monday July 25, 2016

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the woman killed in a head on crash in the Ojai Valley Friday.

They say that 29-year-old Kiera Boyd died after her 2003 Volkswagon Passat veered to the right on westbound 150 west of Old Baldwin Road, hit the guardrail on the right shoulder and then traveled back across the westbound lane and into the eastbound lane where she collided head on with a 2015 Tesla Model S.

Boyd was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 54-year-old Ojai man driving the Tesla received moderate injuries.

The CHP says they're still trying to determine why Boyd veered off the the right in the first place. 

The CHP said that Boyd was from Ventura, but the Medical Examiner's Office listed her home as Camarillo.

Oxnard Gang Member Gets 24 Years For Crime Spree

KVTA News Monday July 25, 2016


A judge Monday sentenced an Oxnard teen in connection with a crime spree in Oxnard during February of 2015.

Prosecutors say that on February 11, 2015, Salvador Maldonado, who was 17 at the time, robbed two people at gunpoint.

They say he took the keys to one victim's vehicle and drove it away.

It was found abandoned three days later.

Prosecutors say that on February 15, 2015, Maldonado brandished a shotgun at a 16-year-old male who was walking in Oxnard and robbed him of his cell phone, watch and cash.

They say a half hour later, Maldonado carjacked two people at gunpoint and forced them to drive him to another location in Oxnard where he robbed them of cash and their cell phones and then stole their vehicle.

The next day Maldonado was captured after a high speed pursuit in that stolen vehicle that ended when he crashed into a power pole.

Even thought Maldonado was a juvenile at the time of his crimes, the DA prosecuted him as an adult.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to several charges including several counts of carjacking and robbery with gang enhancements.

Monday Maldonado, who prosecutors say is a member of the Colonia Chiques Gang, was sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison.

His defense attorney says he'll be eligible for parole in 20 years.

Woman Accused Of DUI Hit & Run With Son In Car

KVTA News Monday July 25, 2016


Oxnard police say they arrested a woman after she was allegedly involved in a hit and run injury traffic collision while under the influence of alcohol and with her child in the vehicle.

They say the incident happened around 8:22 PM Sunday on Danvers River Street at Seaglass Way in Oxnard.

Police say they responded to a hit and run traffic collision that left a 23-year-old female Santa Paula resident with minor injuries.

They found the suspect vehicle in the 2500 block of Detroit Avenue.

Police say based on witness information they identified the driver of the hit and run vehicle as 23-year-old Christina Sotelo of Port Hueneme.

They say Sotelo was arrested for felony hit and run, DUI and for child endangerment since her five-year-old son was in her vehicle at the time of the incident.

He was not injured.

Sand Fire Grows To 33,172 Acres

KVTA News Sunday July 24, 2016

(Top photo courtesy Angeles National Forest, USFS)

(Bottom photo courtesy LA County Fire Department Air Ops)

UPDATED---Fire officials say an unanticipated shift in the wind Sunday exploded the Sand Fire, moving it out of the Angeles National Forest in a northwesterly direction back towards the 14 Freeway and hundreds of additional homes.

The fire has grown to 33,172 acres and is still only 10% contained.

Fire officials say Canyon Country up to Acton is now under the gun.

The 14 Freeway between I-5 in the San Fernando Valley and Avenue N in Palmdale was closed for several hours in both directions but has since reopened.

The fire, that broke out Friday afternoon, has destroyed 18 structures and might be responsible for at least one death.

The LA County Sheriff's Department says a man's body was found Saturday in a home along Iron Canyon Road just off of Sand Canyon Road where the fire started in Santa Clarita.

The wind shift is putting all of the smoke and ash over the Antelope Valley as the flames move in that direction.

All evacuations orders remain in place and new evacuation orders were issued with the wind shift Sunday.

Almost 3000 personnel are assigned to the fire including units from Ventura County, LA County and the USFS.

Ventura County Heat Wave Peaked Saturday

KVTA News Sunday July 24, 2016

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

The heat wave that brought 100-plus temperatures to Ventura County's valleys peaked Saturday with relatively cooler weather expected through the rest of the week.

According to the National Weather Service Office in Oxnard, the hot spot in Ventura County Saturday was Ojai at 107.

They say Fillmore was second at 105 with Thousand Oaks at 102 and Simi Valley at 101.

Santa Paula and Moorpark were also above 100.

On Saturday Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo were in the upper 80's to low 90's.

Sunday temperatures dropped to the upper 90's in the valleys and the upper 70's and low 80's in the coastal and inland coastal areas like Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo.

We can expect those high temperatures to drop another five degrees across the board for the rest of the work week.

Ventura Bar Security Guard Beaten Up By Two Men

KVTA News Sunday July 24, 2016

Ventura police say they arrested two men for allegedly attacking a security guard at a local bar.

They say the incident happened outside the El Rey Cantina at 294 E. Main Street around 5 PM Sunday.

Police say that the security guard, a 24-year-old Ventura man, was trying to keep an intoxicated subject from entering the bar.

They say the man's friends, who were in the bar already, came out and saw him being detained by the security guard so they allegedly started attacking the security guard.

Police were called and took two men into custody for felony battery.

They were identified as 29-year-old Brandon Gutierrez and 26-year-old Eriberto Alvarez, both of Ventura.

The security guard was taken to the hospital for treatment of several facial fractures suffered in the altercation.

Ventura County Transient Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Two Santa Barbara Girls As They Slept

KVTA News Sunday July 24, 2016


Santa Barbara police say they've arrested a transient with ties to Ventura County for allegedly sexually assaulting two Santa Barbara girls while they slept.

They say that around 4 AM Saturday morning, a man entered a house on the Santa Barbara waterfront through an unlocked door, went to the bedroom where two girls under the age of 14 were sleeping, and sexually assaulted them.

Police say the noise made by the girls woke up their father and he confronted the suspect and threw him out of the residence.

It was only after the suspect was gone that the father checked with his daughters and realized they had been sexually assaulted and that's when he called police.

Officers searched the area but did not find the suspect, but they did find a security camera at a nearby business that contained pictures of the suspect.

Police put the photos out on social media and received calls from people who said the same man was seen in the area of State and Carrillo streets.

Police staked out the area and caught the suspect, identified as 39-year-old Matthew Robert Torres, a transient with ties to Ventura County.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on two counts of sexual assault and burglary.