A Ventura County Superior Court jury Friday decided that the man accused of a deadly shooting at a Simi Valley dentist's office six years ago that killed one person and wounded three others is not competent to stand trial.
36-year-old Jaime Paredes is accused of killing his wife and wounding three other people during a shooting rampage at Family Dental Care at 495 Los Angeles Avenue in Simi Valley on July 1, 2009.
The jury's decision was reached following a three week hearing that focused on expert testimony regarding Paredes's current mental state and about a day of deliberations.
The defense argued that Paredes, who is hearing impaired, has a mental disability that makes it impossible for him to understand the charges against him and to aid in his defense.
Prosecutors disputed that claim, but the jury agreed with the defense.
The hearing that ended with the jury's decision was not about whether Paredes was sane or insane at the time of the shootings but only his current ability to stand trial.
Paredes remains in jail on no bail and will be back in court on October 15th for a hearing on placement in a secure mental health facility.
An F-35 and F-16 chase plane out of Edwards Air Force Base conducted tests of the F-35 navigation system Thursday afternoon using Oxnard Airport and Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu.
Edwards officials said the tests would be conducted between 2-4 PM, but the jets could be heard and seen in the skies above parts of Ventura County as late at 5:20 PM before heading back to Edwards.
The Air Force created quite a stir earlier this year when they conducted the tests during the early morning hours.
They say the tests of the F-35's navigation system involved conducting what are called "missed approaches" to the airports, in otherwords coming close to a landing and then pulling up at the last minute.
The Air Force had said that the proximity of Oxnard Airport to the Point Mugu base and monitoring equipment at the base make western Ventura County a unique location to conduct the tests.
The tests conducted earlier this year were inconclusive because of problems with the equipment used to record the data so they made a return visit to Ventura County Thursday.
It's not known if this series of tests were successful or if they will need to return at a later date.
Updated--The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says the investigation continues into Wednesday night's arson fire at the Planned Parenthood office in Thousand Oaks.
Captain John Reilly tells KVTA News that a rather grainy security video shows a person in a hoodie wearing a mask approaching the building in the 1200 block of Hillcrest Drive.
He says the individual throws a large piece of cinderblock through a window to an Planned Parenthood office.
The individual then pours what is believed to have been a flammable liquid through the broken window and uses an open flame of some sort to ignite it.
The building's fire sprinkler system engaged and kept the fire confined to a small area of that office, but it cause extensive water damage on the first floor.
When firefighters and patrol deputies responded around 11:30 PM the fire was out.
Investigators say the suspect and a motive for the arson are unknown and they are seeking public help in their investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact Detective Michael Rompal at (805) 383-8743 or Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department has released the name of the suspect in the killings 35-years-ago of two still unidentified women.
They say it took until 2012 for DNA evidence to link 63-year-old Wilson Chouest to the crimes.
Chouest is currently serving a life sentence for the kidnap and rape of two other women in Tulare County also back in 1980.
He is eligible for parole for those crimes in 2017.
The authorities say the cold case DNA hit linked Chouest to the rape and murder of a pregnant woman whose body was found in the Westlake High School parking lot in 1980 and the slaying of a woman found in a Kern County orchard the same year.
The Ventura County DA’s office has filed multiple murder charges against Chouest who has been brought to the Ventura County Jail
Chouest is due in court Thursday to be arraigned.
These victims have been unidentified for 35 years.
Both women had live births prior to their death. Somewhere, there are two families whose mothers disappeared in July of 1980, never to be heard from or seen again.
We’d like nothing more than to bring the families answers and return their loved ones to them.
Chouest traveled throughout several counties during his four months of freedom in 1980.
Investigators believe these women’s kidnapping and murders could have occurred in Tulare, Kern, Ventura or Los Angeles Counties.
If you have information about Wilson Chouest’s activity between June and September 1980 or you have information about the victims’ identities, please email your tips to the Cold Case Unit at email@example.com.
An Oxnard man who is facing trial in a month for murder, kidnapping and robbery in Santa Paula was convicted Wednesday of the attempted murder of another man in Oxnard more than two years ago.
A jury found 30-year-old Andres Rodriguez guilty in connection with a June 2013 shooting on Crawford Street in Oxnard that wounded another man.
The panel also found true a host of special allegations in connection with the shooting and with Rodriguez' prior convictions.
He is scheduled to be sentenced October 29th, but two days before that, on October 27th, Rodriguez is scheduled to go on trial for murder in connection with the July 2013 shooting death of 33-year-old Angela Bryant of Santa Paula in Santa Paula.
He is also facing additional charges regarding a kidnapping and robbery of two other people in Santa Paula during the time of the fatal shooting.
Rodriguez remains in jail with bail for both cases set at $3.1 million.
Oxnard police are looking for a hit and run driver who ran down an elderly female pedestrian who then fled the scene.
It happened around 12:45 AM Wednesday morning in the 1100 block of Commercial Avenue.
They say the women pedestrian, in her 60's, was pushing a cart when she was struck by a 1970's black over gray sedan.
The driver then fled the scene.
The woman was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.
Ventura police are looking for a guman who robbed a gas station late Tuesday night.
They say that around 11 PM the suspect walked up to the counter at the Shell Gas Station at 2440 S. Victoria Avenue and displayed a handgun.
He demanded money and the clerks complied.
The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
No one was hurt.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 30's, about 5'8" tall and 225 pounds, wearing black clothing.
The Ventura County Fire Department is reporting a hiker died Tuesday afternoon climbing the Rose Valley Falls in the Los Padres National Forest.
Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery told KVTA News that they received the report of the hiker falling around 1:19 PM.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Air Squad helicopter also responded with firefighters.
Lindbery tells KVTA News the hiker was with a group of four people in the Rose Valley area when he alone hiked to the top of the lower falls and then fell 55 feet.
A paramedic from the Air Squad was lowered down to the hiker and pronounced him dead at the scene.
No other details were available.
(Photo courtesy of Ventura County Fire Department)
Updated--Ventura County firefighters cannot be certain about what exactly caused a hazardous materials incident at Cal State Channel Islands Tuesday afternoon.
Hazardous materials crews from Ventura County Fire responded shortly after 4 PM to Aliso Hall, a two story building on campus.
They were told that there had been a spill of an unknown chemical in a lab in the building.
Initially, seven people, five students and two staff members, were checked out by medical personnel because of their possible exposure to the substance.
However, all seven were pronounced OK.
The building was also evacuated and Tuesday night classes in Aliso Hall were cancelled.
Meanwhile, hazmat crews suited up and with monitoring devices entered the building.
Ultimately, though, they were unable to determine what the substance was because it had dissipated by the time they went into the room.
Captain Mike Lindbery told KVTA News the substance had come from something stored in a refrigerator in a prep room near the lab that had been released.
He says there was no evidence of a spill and no broken or overturned containers.
Lindbery says whatever it was, it was not in any active state when the hazmat crew checked it out and the building was turned back over to CSUCI for any needed clean up.
(Update-the jury spent much of Tuesday listening back to testimony from several witnesses at the trial and then they recessed for the day without reaching a verdict and will return Wednesday morning to resume deliberations.)
Jury deliberations resume this morning in the trial of an Oxnard man charged with the attempted murder of another man.
30-year-old Andres Rodriguez is charged in connection with the shooting of another man in Oxnard in June of 2013 in the 1500 block of Crawford Street.
The victim survived and testified against Rodriguez at his trial.
Rodriguez is charged with attempted murder and a host of other special allegations.
In a separate case that is set to go to trial next month, Rodriguez is also facing murder, kidnapping, and robbery charges in connection with a Santa Paula homicide.
33-year-old Angela Bryant of Santa Paula was shot and killed in July of 2013, a month after the shooting in Oxnard.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says a mother and her boyfriend who allegedly abducted her baby from El Rio Sunday were caught later trying to get into Mexico.
The authorities were alerted about what happened around 5:30 PM Sunday in the 3400 block of Cortez Street.
Deputies say the nine month old boy was taken from his biological father who had sole custody.
The mother and her boyfriend were stopped later as they tried to take the baby across the border into Mexico.
Updated--An Oxnard man was killed Sunday after he crashed his motorcycle.
It happened around 5:30 PM in the 400 block of W. Channel Islands Boulevard in Oxnard.
Police say that 21-year-old Adrian Magana Esparza was traveling eastbound on Channel Islands Boulevard approaching C Street at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his white 2014 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle.
Police say the motorcycle collided with a curb along the south side of the street and Esparza was ejected and then collided with a large palm tree.
Esparza was wearing a motorcycle helmet but police say he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say they don't know if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash and the investigation is continuing.
The roadway was closed for a couple of hours during the investigation but it has since reopened.