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Apr 2024
Man Convicted Of 1989 Cold Case Rape-Murder
Law Enforcement News

Man Convicted Of 1989 Cold Case Rape-Murder

A 55-year-old man was convicted Monday of the 1989 cold case rape and murder of a woman whose body was found in a vacant lot just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway in the Westlake district. A downtown Los Angeles jury deliberated about two hours before finding Orlando Dejesus Arredondo Donis guilty of first-degree murder and rape in connection with the Sept. 17, 1989, killing of 39-year-old Monica Wertlieb, who was discovered dead in the 1300 block of West 3rd Street, near Bixel Street and Lucas Avenue. The jury also found true the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape. Arredondo Donis is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, with sentencing set May 29 before Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter. The defendant was arrested in October 2017 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show. Deputy District Attorney Alexander Lara told jurors during his closing argument that the evidence showed that the victim was knocked unconscious and then dragged about 190 feet from the sidewalk to an area that was “completely hidden” in an elevated lot, where she was raped and her throat was cut with a broken bottle.


Man Pleads Not Guilty To Trying To Kill Metro Bus Operator

A Hawthorne man who allegedly stabbed a Metro bus operator in the chest in the unincorporated Willowbrook area pleaded not guilty Monday to an attempted murder charge. The case against Darnell Marshon Bray, 30, includes allegations that he used a knife during the crime and personally inflicted great bodily injury during the April 13 attack, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The Metro bus operator was driving his bus route "when the suspect started yelling at him," according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "The victim stopped the bus at the intersection of 119th Street and Wilmington Avenue," according to a sheriff's department statement. "The suspect, without provocation, punched the victim in the face, then proceeded to stab the victim. The suspect exited the bus and fled northbound on Wilmington Avenue and out of view." The Metro bus operator -- who was stabbed in the chest -- was treated at the hospital for his injuries and released, according to the District Attorney's Office. Bray was arrested last Wednesday by the sheriff's department's Transit Services Bureau and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show.

Westside Current

Man Killed By Hit-and-Run Vehicle In Los Angeles

A 65-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run vehicle Sunday morning in the Harvard Heights area of Los Angeles, authorities said. The crash occurred at about 1:50 a.m. on Western Avenue, just south of Washington Boulevard and a little north of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The man was crossing east on Western Avenue, outside a marked crosswalk, when he was struck by a black pickup truck going southbound on Western Avenue, the LAPD’s Media Relations Division reported. “A second vehicle, also traveling south on Western Avenue, may have collided with the pedestrian while he was laying on the roadway,” according to a police statement. “Both drivers failed to remain at scene, identify themselves, or render aid to the pedestrian as required by law.” The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. LAPD West Traffic Bureau detectives urged anyone with information regarding the crash to call them at 213-473-0234, or, during non-business hours or weekends, at 877-527-3247. 


Man Shot In Neck On Los Angeles Street

A 48-year-old man was shot in the neck Saturday in the Historic South-Central area of Los Angeles. The shooting occurred about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of South Broadway, east of the Harbor (110) Freeway and south of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, Los Angeles Police Department Officer J. Chaves told City News Service. The man told his neighbor he was about a block away when a male suspect approached and shot him, Chaves said. The victim was conscious and breathing when paramedics took him to a hospital for treatment, the officer said.


Police Searching For Suspect After Man Stabbed, Pepper Sprayed In Downtown Los Angeles 

The search is on for a suspect who stabbed and pepper sprayed a man in downtown Los Angeles early Tuesday morning. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson confirmed to KTLA that officers responded to the area of 7th and Figueroa streets on a stabbing call. An exact time was not officially released, but preliminary information indicates that the attack occurred around 6:15 a.m. The reporting party, identified as a white man who is around 30 years old, was found to be suffering from a stab wound. He had also been pepper sprayed, the LAPD spokesperson said. First responders transported the victim to a local hospital in unknown condition. The suspect was described by authorities as a Black man wearing black clothing. Although reports from people near the scene indicated two stabbings had occurred, law enforcement officials confirmed that they were only investigating one. 


Residents Of Los Angeles Neighborhood Feeling ‘Unsafe’ After Multiple Home Break-Ins

A homeowner in Mar Vista is speaking out after their house was broken into for the fourth time in five years. The victim was at dinner with their family when the break-in occurred around 5:30 p.m. on April 20. When the family arrived back home, their home had been ransacked. The suspects took everything from appliances to a firearm. The thieves had gone through everything, throwing the victims’ belongings around the house. “It makes me feel pretty unsafe,” the homeowner said to KTLA 5’s Omar Lewis. The Los Angeles Police Department confirms there were numerous break-ins in the area on April 20, and many of the victims say the burglars used the same method. Security footage obtained by KTLA shows a woman walking up to the home with a mask on and knocking on the door. When it’s confirmed that no one is in the house, multiple men arrive moments later and smash their way into the home.


Families Of Nevada Troopers Struck And Killed In November 2023 Thank LEOs For Arresting DUI Drivers

It hasn’t been easy for Arlene Felix and her children since her husband was one of two Nevada Highway Patrol officers killed in the line of duty in November. “Not very well,” Felix said when asked how the family has been doing since Trooper Alberto Felix and Sgt. Michael Abbate died after they were struck by a suspected drunk driver on Interstate 15 on Nov. 30. The still-grieving family was among dozens of people, including many who also have lost loved ones to DUI crashes, to attend the nonprofit Stop DUI advocacy group’s Heroes and Handcuffs ceremony on Sunday at the Nevada Highway Patrol’s Southern Command offices on West Sunset Road near the 215 Beltway and Decatur Boulevard. Being among other people who have suffered a similar loss helps with the grief, said Alyssa Belle Felix, the 20-year-old daughter of the late Trooper Felix. “It was also extremely hard, but at the same time very heartwarming, in a sense, because I can see we aren’t alone in this and that we are going through this together,” she said of Sunday’s event, which gave victims’ families a chance to meet with police officers who routinely make DUI arrests in the Las Vegas Valley. Felix’s son, Aries Felix, 9, was one of eight people who have lost relatives to a DUI crash to present a set of handcuffs — each set bore the name of their loved one who was killed — to one of eight police officers who made a significant number of DUI arrests in 2023.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Criminal Schemes Targeting U.S. Seniors Account For $3.4 Billion In Reported Losses, FBI Says

Americans over 60 years of age fell victim to so-called elder fraud crimes more frequently last year than in any other year and accounted for an estimated $3.4 billion in total reported losses, according to a newly released FBI report. Reports of criminal schemes targeting seniors in the U.S. increased by 14% between 2022 and 2022, federal investigators said, warning that investment scams are the costliest to the elderly. In all, over 101,000 complaints of fraud perpetrated against individuals over 60 years of age were filed to federal law enforcement last year, the most of any age group throughout the country. There were 5,920 individuals over 60 who lost more than $100,000 as a result of criminal fraud and federal trends last year, demonstrating that seniors are increasingly being targeted and falling victim, the report said. FBI officials said Tuesday they hoped the new report will both shine a light on fraud schemes and prevent future victims from falling prey to illegal scammers. 


Public Safety News

Car Slams Into Leimert Park Home In Deadly Crash

One person was killed and three others were hurt overnight after a car crash-landed into a Leimert Park home, according to the Los Angeles City Fire Department. The crash was reported just before 3 a.m. Saturday on the 2600 block of Obama Boulevard. There, two vehicles crashed, causing one to shear a fire hydrant before crashing into a home. The other vehicle caught fire in the crash. Neighbors said the impact was so loud that it woke them up early in the morning. “Loud bang and I got up and saw the water in the air,” Marion Sadler recalled. “We came out and saw a car in the house and a person on the ground.” Three people aged 18 to 30 were taken to a nearby hospital, authorities said. The severity of their injuries was not disclosed. One person died at the scene. Authorities did not release that individual’s name nor did they release details about them such as their age or gender. According to Sadler, an elderly woman lives in the home where the car crashed. That person was not harmed and was taken in by her neighbor.


LA County's New 'Community Health Profile' Tool Offers Key Data On More Than 170 Areas

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched a new tool to give residents a voice when it comes to their quality of life in hopes of improving the health and well-being of all residents. Officials say numbers have the power to transform communities. That is thanks to every data point on their new Community Health Profiles tool, which represents a person, family and community. The data now available to everyone in a new format can help bring assistance to those who need it most. "An interactive platform to look at data on over a hundred indicators that stratified down into 179 communities within Los Angeles," said L.A. County Public Health Chief Deputy Director Dr. Anish Mahajan. Within the latest launch of Community Health Profiles, users can find how many liquor stores may be in one city or how many kids are enrolled in preschool, information that can help develop intervention strategies, create policy and direct funding. "You can drill down into neighborhood-level data, you can start to see where the problems are and then come up with solutions," Mahajan said.


California Will Supply First Responders, Universities With Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug For Free

California will provide first responders, universities and other qualifying organizations with a generic version of Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal drug, for free, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday. CalRx’s Naloxone Access Initiative will buy over-the-counter naloxone for $24 a pack, which is about half the market price, from Amneal Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based manufacturer, according to a news release from Newsom’s office. The deal enables the state to buy 3.2 million twin packs of the drug instead of the 2 million it bought at the previous price. “California is disrupting the drug industry with CalRx — securing life-saving drugs at lower and transparent prices,” Newsom said in a statement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved selling Narcan, the leading version of naloxone, without a prescription in March 2023. Last week, the FDA approved the generic version of Narcan spray made by Amneal Pharmaceuticals. Announced in 2019, CalRX is the state’s effort to contract with generic and biosimilar drug makers to offer cheaper versions of insulin and other medications. The goal is to reduce shortages and prod drugmakers to lower their prices, saving the state and its residents in the process.

Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council To Consider Redistricting Reform For November Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday will consider amending a proposed ballot measure to establish an independent redistricting commission that would be tasked with redrawing the boundaries of council districts for future elections. If the recommendations are approved, City Council members will instruct the city attorney’s office to update the ballot measure to reflect changes that were previously approved by the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Reform earlier this month. To establish an independent redistricting commission, the city will require changes to the City Charter, which will need approval by voters. These amendments cover different aspects of how the independent redistricting commission would work. The Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Reform recommended expanding the applicant pool to allow someone who is not a registered voter or a citizen of the U.S. to apply and serve on the commission. Another recommendation is to conduct a random drawing at a public meeting to select one person from eight geographic areas to serve on commission.


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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