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KVTA Local News

Suspect In Fatal Stabbing Near Ventura In Juvenile Hall

KVTA News Monday July 28, 2014

Ventura County Sheriff's officials say the suspect in last week's fatal stabbing near west Ventura is now in Juvenile Hall.

Captain Don Aguilar tells KVTA News that 18-year-old Howard Lovett was released from the County Jail Friday and transferred to juvenile hall in El Rio.

Aguilar says Lovett was never out of custody.

He would not give specifics about the transfer to juvenile hall but it's believed that Lovett is in juvenile hall on an unrelated juvenile case which allows prosecutors to keep him in custody while they determine what charges should be filed against him in the fatal stabbing last week of 25-year-old Devin Morris.

Details of juveniles cases are by law kept confidential except in rare circumstances so no one would provide any details about the juvenile case that is allowing the authorities to keep Lovett locked up without charges being filed in the fatal stabbing case.

And because of that, Lovett was being housed in juvenile hall even though he is over 18 years of age.

Deputies accused Lovett of fatally stabbing Morris while the two were involved in an altercation on Holt Street in the early morning hours of July 23rd.

Lovett was arrested about 12 hours later and initially booked into the Ventura County Jail.

But his scheduled arraignment Friday came and went without charges being filed and he was later taken to juvenile hall on the prior unrelated juvenile matter.

Defense Attorneys Propose Plea Deal In Faria Beach Murder Case

KVTA News Sunday July 27, 2014

A hearing is set for August 8th on whether accused Faria Beach killer Joshua Packer would be allowed to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

Packer is currently facing the possibly of the death penalty if convicted in the killings of Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child at their oceanfront home in May of 2009.

A motion was filed Friday by Packer's defense attorneys who say that in light of a recent federal judge ruling that California’s death penalty system is unconstitutional, a motion should be considered that would allow Packer to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole rather than the death penalty.

Defense attorneys believe the DA's office will oppose the motion.

The case has been bogged down in pretrial issues and is not likely to go to trial before next year.

The recent federal judge’s ruling regarding the state’s death penalty is not binding on the Packer case and only applies to a Los Angeles case.

But it is seen as one of several recent developments that have placed the death penalty under serious attack.

VPD Says Unrelated Crashes Involved Stolen Vehicles

KVTA News Saturday July 26, 2014

Ventura police say two people are in custody after they crashed stolen vehicles in unrelated incidents Saturday afternoon.

The first crash happened shortly before 1 PM in the 1800 block of E. Thompson Boulevard.

Police say the suspect driver, 37-year-old Conrad Moraga of Oxnard, tried to run from the scene but was caught and arrested.

They say the vehicle he was allegedly driving was stolen in Oxnard earlier in July and contained property taken in some vehicle burglaries in Ventura Friday.

Police say they also found some drugs, drug paraphernalia, a steel baton, and pepper spray.

Then, about an hour later Saturday afternoon, there was an unrelated crash in the 4200 block of Dean Drive near Camino Real Park.

Police say the driver, 24-year-old Eric Bujak of Ventura, was in a vehicle that was stolen sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning while parked in the 200 block of W. Lewis Street in west Ventura.

The vehicle owner reported it stolen Saturday morning and told police she had inadvertently left her purse containing her car keys in the front yard of her residence overnight.

Bujak was taken to VCMC to be treated for minor injuries and then was booked into the Ventura County Jail.

Motorcyclist Suffers Major Injuries In Ventura Crash

KVTA News Saturday July 26, 2014

Updated--A motorcyclist suffered major injuries in a crash on the NB 101 Freeway in Ventura Saturday afternoon.

It happened shortly before 6 PM on the NB 101 between the 126 and Seaward Avenue.

Initial report indicated the motorcyclist down in the roadway, not moving, and had suffered a traumatic leg injury.

The motorcyclist was rushed to VCMC, current condition is unknown.

The incident stopped all northbound traffic for a time but the roadway was cleared about an hour later.

The CHP is investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

No other details are available.

Former Ventura County Worker Sentenced For Stealing

KVTA News Friday July 25, 2014

A former employee of the Ventura County Human Services Agency has been sentenced to four years in state prison for stealing public money.
Prosecutors say that 38-year-old Ana Maria Castro of Oxnard worked as a client benefits specialist for HSA for 10 years.
They say during that time she used her position to appropriate food stamp benefits and cash aid benefits for two inactive clients and also created an account for a non-existent family, adding numerous bogus household members to each account to maximize the illegal benefits she received.
Prosecutors say Castro also provided CalFresh (food stamp) cards to two relatives who also illegally obtained benefits.
She earlier pleaded guilty to misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of public funds, public benefits fraud, and filing forged documents.
She was ordered to pay $252,903 in restitution to HSA.

A former employee of the Ventura County Human Services Agency has been sentenced to four years in state prison for stealing public money.

Prosecutors say that 38-year-old Ana Maria Castro of Oxnard worked as a client benefits specialist for HSA for 10 years.

They say during that time she used her position to appropriate food stamp benefits and cash aid benefits for two inactive clients and also created an account for a non-existent family, adding numerous bogus household members to each account to maximize the illegal benefits she received.

Prosecutors say Castro also provided CalFresh (food stamp) cards to two relatives who also illegally obtained benefits.

She earlier pleaded guilty to misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of public funds, public benefits fraud, and filing forged documents.

She was ordered to pay $252,903 in restitution to HSA.

Warm Weather Will Continue In Ventura County

KVTA News Friday July 25, 2014


While today's high temperatures are likely to be slightly cooler than Thursday's in Ventura County, the National Weather Service says the warm temperatures will be with us through next week.

On Thursday, the hot spot in Ventura County was Ojai at 104 with the other valleys areas ranging in the 90's.

Areas along the coast like Ventura and Oxnard were in the low 80's.

Camarillo was 87 which broke the previous record for that date in Camarillo which was 86 in 1974.

We can expect highs in the 80's and 90's to continue until at least the middle of next week, although some coastal areas could drop into the mid to upper 70's.

Gasoline Prices Drop In Ventura County

KVTA News Friday July 25, 2014

The average price for gasoline in Ventura County has been dropping.

According to the Triple-A Fuel Gauge Survey, the average for regular unleaded in the county as of Friday morning was $4.01 which is a penny less than Thursday, a nickel below a week ago, and 11 cents under a month ago.

It's eight cents less than a year ago.

Diesel is more expensive.

As of Friday morning the average was $4.12 a gallon which is about the same as Thursday, a penny under a week ago, a nickel below a month ago and about the same as a year ago.

Santa Paula Police Investigate Homicide

KVTA News Thursday July 24, 2014

Santa Paula police say a homicide investigation is underway after they found a man shot to death in a home Wednesday afternoon.

They say officers were called to the 400 block of Grant Line around 3:42 PM to a report of a man injured under suspicious circumstances.

Officers found 33-year-old Hector Alamillo Jr. of Santa Paula dead from a gunshot wound.

No other details were released by police.

Another Convenience Store Robbery In Oxnard

KVTA News Thursday July 24, 2014

Oxnard police are looking for a gunman who robbed a convenience store Wednesday night.

They say that shortly before 9:30 PM, the suspect walked into the 7-Eleven at 1955 S. Patterson Road wearing a cloth over his face.

Police say the suspect brandished a handgun and demanded cash from the register.

The clerk gave the suspect the money and the suspect fled the store.

There were no injuries.

Police say the suspect was a male in his 20's who was wearing a Laker's cap, a black sweatshirt, and black pants.

If you have any information for police regarding this incident call the Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 987-7070 or Crime Stopper at 1-800-222-8477.

Suspect In Oxnard Robbery Spree Arrested For Ventura Robbery

KVTA News Thursday July 24, 2014


Ventura police say the suspect in a July 13th robbery at the Burlington Coat Factory on Telephone Road in Ventura turns out to be the same person Oxnard police arrested three days later following a spree of robberies and one attempted robbery in Oxnard.

Ventura police arrested 39-year-old Salvador Medrano of Oxnard at the Ventura County Jail where he's been since being arrested on July 16th following a botched robbery at the cafeteria at Saint John's Medical Center in Oxnard.

His arrest came after Oxnard police say he robbed a Subway sandwich shop, the Food for Less, Home Depot, and Vallarta Market in Oxnard in a 12 hour period from the night of July 15 through the morning of July 16th in Oxnard.

He was caught that morning trying to flee the attempted holdup at Saint John's cafeteria.

Ventura police say two days before that Oxnard crime spree, Medrano allegedly went to the check out stand at the Burglington Coat Factory in Ventura and pretended to be buying a soda from the refrigerator.

Police say he instead demanded money from the sales clerk, put the cash in a bag and then fled.

Ventura police searched for him but he was not found.

Medrano is in jail on $750,000 and has pleaded not guilty to the Oxnard crimes.

Pair Arrested For Ventura Homicide

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Ventura police say they've arrested two suspects in connection with the killing of a young man near the Ventura County Fairgrounds almost a year ago.

On July 31st of last year, 18-year-old Gabriel Gutierrez of Ventura got involved in an altercation with two other young men at the fair.

Police say they left the fair and went to an area between the fairgrounds and the Ventura River where Gutierrez was shot to death.

Police say that they've arrested two suspects in that killing.

25-year-old Erick Estrada of Ventura was arrested in the Ventura County Jail where he's been in custody for an unrelated crime.

Police say 18-year-old Timothy Adams of Ventura fled the country after the killing but had recently returned to the United States and was hiding out with relatives in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

With the help of the authorities in Idaho and the federal authorities, Adams was located and arrested on July 14th as he left his father's home.

He is currently awaiting extradition.

Both will be charged with murder with a gang enhancement.

Train Kills Ventura Woman

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Ventura police say a 54-year-old woman was struck and kiled by a train as she stood on the tracks along Harbor Boulevard just west of California Street Wednesday morning.

It happened around 9:45 AM.

Police say the northbound Amtrak was traveling at 55 mph when train personnel spotted the woman standing on the tracks.

They sounded the horn, but the woman did not move.

They tried to stop the train, but it was too late and she was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Her name has not been released yet.

Suspect Arrested In West Ventura Homicide

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Updated--A suspect has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a young man near west Ventura early Wednesday morning.

Sgt. Denise Sliva tells KVTA News that 18-year-old Howard Lovett of Ventura was taken into custody at the sheriff's headquarters in Ventura early Wednesday afteroon.

He is being charged with the death of 25-year-old Devin Morris of Ventura.

Sliva says the two knew each other and lived in the same neighborhood.

She says that around 12:45 AM, they were involved in an altercation in the area of Holt Street near Ventura Avenue when Lovett fatally stabbed Morris.

Morris died at the scene.

Deputies conducted an extensive search of the area during the predawn hours and followed up on several leads provided by witnesses which led to Lovette's arrest.

Lovett was booked into the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $515,000.