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KVTA Local News

Harbor Boulevard Closed To Arrest Murder Suspect

KVTA News Wednesday July 30, 2014

(Courtesy SPPD)

Update--Ventura police shut down Harbor Boulevard in the area of the Motel 6 Wednesday afternoon while their SWAT arrested a wanted homicide subject from Santa Paula.

Ventura police had been told by Santa Paula police that 40-year-old David Hernandez of Santa Paula was in the motel.

Santa Paula police say Hernandez was wanted in connection with the death on July 23rd of Hector Alamillo Jr. who was found shot to death in a home on Grant Line.

Hernandez was also wanted for a felony Post Release Offender violation warrant for domestic violence and police considered him armed and dangerous.

Wednesday afternoon the 2100 block of Harbor Boulevard was shut down as the SWAT deployed to take Hernandez into custody.

SWAT negotiators made contact with Hernandez in the motel room and after several minutes he came out and surrendered without further incident.

Harbor Boulevard was shut down for about an hour during the mid afternoon incident.

No one was hurt.

Trial Ordered For Suspect In Homeless Man's Death

KVTA News Wednesday July 30, 2014

A judge has ordered a Ventura murder defendant to stand trial for killing a homeless man last December.
30-year-old Brent Nash, a transient, is accused of killing 49-year-old William Pekarek, another transient.
Pekarek was found kicked to death behind the Trader Joe's in the Walmart shopping center on S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura in December.
Nash will be back in court on September 11th to be arraigned and have a trial date set.
He remains in jail with bail set at $1 million.

A judge has ordered a Ventura murder defendant to stand trial for killing a homeless man last December.

30-year-old Brent Nash, a transient, is accused of killing 49-year-old William Pekarek, another transient.

Pekarek was found kicked to death behind the Trader Joe's in the Walmart shopping center on S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura in December.

Nash will be back in court on September 11th to be arraigned and have a trial date set.

He remains in jail with bail set at $1 million.

Dead Whale Floats Into Naval Base At Port Hueneme

KVTA News Wednesday July 30, 2014

Officials at Naval Base Ventura County at Port Hueneme say a dead whale floated into their port late Tuesday night.

They say the 40 foot whale, believed to be a fin whale, appeared to have been dead for some time, possibly from being struck by a ship.

Government biologists arrived at the base Wednesday to take tissue samples and further assess the type of whale and how it died.

The whale was secured to a wharf at the port.

It will be towed out of the harbor and beached elsewhere on the base so that the scientists can complete their tests.

After that, the whale will be towed about 25 miles out to sea and released in an area where currents will keep it from coming back on shore.

Ventura County Fair Starts Today (Wednesday)

KVTA News Wednesday July 30, 2014

The Ventura County Fair starts today (Wednesday) in Ventura.

Gates open at 11 AM each day of the fair's 12 day run.

FREE parking and FREE shuttle service to the fair is available at the following locations...

*Ventura County Government Center

*Ventura High School 

*Pacific View Mall

*Ventura Unified Headquarters on Stanley Ave just east of the 33

*Oxnard Performing Arts Center on Hobson Way

All other parking lots for the fair cost between $8-$10

Fair parking information:

http://www.venturacountyfair.org/fair/transportation/

HERE'S A LINK FOR ALL FAIR INFORMATION: 

http://www.venturacountyfair.org/fair/

Amgen Announces Major Layoffs

KVTA News Tuesday July 29, 2014

Thousand Oaks-based biotech giant Amgen announced Tuesday it will be laying off between 2400 and 2900 of its 20,000 employees starting later this year and next.

The cutbacks will not only impact the headquarters but also facilities throughout the United States and the world.

Ventura County economist Bill Watkins, a professor and Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, tells KVTA News there's no doubt the downsizing will hit the local economy hard.

He says when you have a major player like Amgen do something like this it's going to be felt throughout the county.

Amgen officials say their plan is to keep the company strong by making it more efficient, keeping it on the cutting edge technologically, and reinvesting the savings.

Amgen's second quarter performance this year far exceeded Wall Street's expectations and the company is raising its forecasted earnings for 2014.

Retired Oxnard Officer Gets Life For Molestations

KVTA News Tuesday July 29, 2014

A Ventura County judge Tuesday sentenced a retired police officer to 83-years-to-life in prison for molesting two children.

In June, a jury convicted 57-year-old Michael Williamson of six counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14, and one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14 by means of rape.

Prosecutors say Williamson molested one of the children from 1993 through 1997 and the other from 2004 through 2008. 

Those victims were female.

Evidence was presented to the jury that Williamson molested another girl and a boy in the early 1990's and in 1997, but those crimes could not be prosecuted.

Williamson retired from the Oxnard Police Department in 2001.

Trial Ordered For Ventura Woman In Keys Killing

KVTA News Tuesday July 29, 2014

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff)

A judge Tuesday ordered a Ventura woman to stand trial for murder in connection with the killing of her aunt in the Ventura Keys in June of 2009.

47-year-old Gina Drake is accused in the fatal stabbing of her aunt, 61-year-old Wendy Di Rodio.

Di Rodio was found dead in a bedroom of her parents' home on Sailor Avenue.

She had been living there in order to take care of her father.

The investigation into the killing lasted almost three years and was complicated by the fact that Drake was married to a Ventura Police officer at the time.

Police had to make sure there were no conflicts in the investigation and they had to make sure that Drake's husband was cleared of any involvement.

He divorced Drake not long after the killing.

Testimony during the two day preliminary hearing indicated that Drake and her aunt were involved in disagreements over several family issues and there had been prior confrontations.

Drake remains free on $1 million and will return to court on August 13th to be araigned and have a trial date set.

Woman Threatens To Jump Off Oxnard High Rise

KVTA News Tuesday July 29, 2014

Oxnard police say a suicidal woman was talked out of jumping off the roof of the 22-story Morgan-Stanley building Tuesday.

Officers responded to the structure around 11:15 AM to a report of a woman on the roof of the high rise.

When they arrived they found a 40-year-old Ventura woman straddling the short wall that runs around the top of the building.

She was threatening to jump.

A crisis intervention officer began talking to the woman and about an hour later she was convinced to surrender without further incident.

The woman was taken to Ventura County Mental Health for evaluation.

Police were not releasing how the woman got onto the roof in the first place.

SUV Crashes Into Ventura Condo

KVTA News Tuesday July 29, 2014

(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)

A woman suffered minor injuries after her SUV crashed into a condo building in the 2800 block of Harbor Boulevard in Ventura Tuesday morning.

They say it was reported around 10:17 AM.

The driver managed to get out of the wreckage on her own by the time firefighters arrived on scene.

No one in the condo was hurt.

Once the vehicle was removed from the building, fire crews were able to shore up the damaged structure so it was safe for occupancy.

Ventura Building and Safety and the building owner were assessing long term impacts and repairs.

Ventura police were investigating the crash.

Hearing Underway In Ventura Keys Killing

KVTA News Monday July 28, 2014 

A preliminary hearing will continue Tuesday for the Ventura woman charged with murder in the stabbing death of her aunt in the Ventura Keys in June 2009.

47-year-old Gina Drake is accused in the death of 61-year-old Wendy Di Rodio.

Di Rodio's mother found her stabbed to death in her parents' home in the 2800 block of Sailor Avenue.

Di Rodio had been staying with her parents to care for her father.

Ventura police conducted an extensive investigation over almost three years before arresting Drake for murder. 

The investigation was complicated by the fact that at the time of the killing, Drake was married to a Ventura Police Officer who divorced her shortly after she became a suspect in the killing.

Police wanted to make sure there were no conflicts in the investigation and that Officer Drake was fully cleared of any involvement.

At Drake's preliminary hearing Monday, a detective and two other witnesses testified.

The hearing, which is for the judge to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for Drake to stand trial, recessed for the day and will resume 9AM Tuesday.

Drake remains free on $1 million bail.

Ventura Man Pleads Guilty To Day Care Molestation

KVTA News Monday July 28, 2014


A Ventura man who was originally accused of molesting a young girl under his supervision at an after school day care camp pleaded guilty Monday.

27-year-old Matthew Winton was charged in connection with the molestation of two girls, ages 7 and 11 at the time.

Only the case of the 7-year-old had to do with the after school day care camp.

Winton entered a guilty plea to lewd acts with a child and admitted a specially allegation in one of the cases, the other case against him will be dismissed at sentencing.

Winton, who is currently being held without bail, faces eight years in prison when he is sentenced on October 23rd.

Fatal Stabbing Suspect 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 Wants 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.