Stabbing of popular student devastates South El Monte High School; teen friend suspected in slaying

When administrators at South El Monte High School called Jeremy Sanchez’s parents to say he never showed up for class Wednesday, his father began to worry. It was unusual for the 17-year-old junior to miss school, so his father filed a missing person’s report and assembled two of Jeremy’s close…

Three hit-and-run crashes in South L.A. prompt calls for more Vision Zero action

Four fatal traffic collisions in a week in South Los Angeles, three of which were hit-and-run crashes, have drawn frustration and criticism from residents and advocates who say city officials should do more to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Since April 10, residents of four neighborhoods have…

As Stephon Clark lay motionless, officers thought he might be armed and ‘pretending,’ new footage shows

Video footage released Monday by the Sacramento Police Department shows that officers waited almost five minutes after firing their weapons to approach Stephon Clark to deliver medical aid out of apparent concern that he was armed and playing dead as he lay motionless in his grandmother’s backyard. …

Prosecutors say Durst murdered his best friend to cover his tracks for killing another woman: His wife

As Los Angeles County prosecutors pieced together their murder case against Robert Durst — the eccentric New York real estate scion accused of killing his best friend Susan Berman in 2000 — they followed a path that led to the opposite coast and decades into the past. Another devastated family….

Essential California: A renewed vision for The Times

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, April 14, Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend: TOP STORIES Something big is happening at the Los Angeles Times. We’re returning to local ownership after 18 tumultuous years under Chicago control. Billionaire…

Essential California: Calling the California National Guard

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, April 12, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with…

Kevin Spacey assault accusations under review by L.A. prosecutors

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is reviewing a case of alleged sexual abuse involving Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, officials said Wednesday. “Yes. I can confirm our office did receive a case involving Kevin Spacey,â€� Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office,…

Delano police ask D.A. to investigate ICE statements about crash that killed 2

The Delano Police Department has forwarded a report to the Kern County district attorney’s office asking prosecutors to review whether federal immigration agents gave false information to police investigating a traffic crash that killed a couple who were in the country illegally. Santos Hilario…

Hesperia retreats from crackdown on group homes, settles lawsuit

When Sharon Green sued the city of Hesperia two years ago for discriminating against the group homes she ran for homeless felons, city officials doubled down on their efforts to shut down her program. They levied daily fines on the houses she rented and pressured Green’s landlords to evict her.…

Police Commission clears LAPD officers who fatally shot a man who had a toy gun

Ten months after a man who had a toy gun was shot by Los Angeles police, then run over by an uncontrolled patrol car, police commissioners determined Tuesday that the officers were justified in using deadly force. Siding with Chief Charlie Beck, the five commissioners unanimously decided that officers…

Kern County sheriff is caught on tape saying it costs less to kill suspects than to wound them

In blue California, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has long bucked the liberal trend. He’s fought California’s “sanctuary stateâ€� movement, asked that Kern be labeled a “law and orderâ€� county and stood up for deputies accused of misconduct. When the county paid $3.4 million to the family of…

Weinstein sexual assault prosecution would be ‘the case of the century’ — so stakes high for DA

The L.A. district attorney’s office announced this week it would not bring sexual assault charges against director James Toback, but it continues to consider what to do about Harvey Weinstein and the sexual assault allegations against him. The DA has been reviewing the case for several weeks, and…

Essential California: Zuckerberg’s apology tour

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, April 10, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Washington is ready for what many expect to be the Mark Zuckerberg apology tour as he testifies on Capitol Hill today. Will it be enough? And is it…

Police report sheds light on fatal crash involving immigrant couple and ICE

Delano police say immigration agents gave statements that conflicted with surveillance footage in the wake of a crash in which two immigrants in the country illegally died while fleeing. The death of Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Profecto sparked protests in the Central Valley community….

California prisons investigate 2 inmate deaths as homicides

Officials in California prisons 200 miles apart are separately investigating the deaths of two inmates as homicides. Mule Creek State Prison officials say inmate Robert Hunter, 77, was found unresponsive in his cell Monday with blunt force injuries to his face. His cellmate, 46-year-old Matthew…

L.A. County prosecutors won’t charge director James Toback with sexual battery, citing statute of limitations

Writer-director James Toback, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women over his decades in Hollywood, will not face criminal charges in five investigations into his conduct because the allegations are beyond the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s…

10 alleged Sureños gang members charged in 7 Bay Area killings

Ten alleged members of the Sureños gang have been charged for their roles in seven killings, accused by prosecutors of engaging in a criminal enterprise that targeted suspected rivals and sought to maintain control of drug sales in San Francisco’s Mission District. According to a grand jury indictment,…

Police using ‘drone killers’ to disable flying devices in emergency situations

Drones have been used for a lot more than making videos and delivering pizzas. They have dropped drugs into prison yards, scouted out illegal border crossings and grounded lifesaving efforts by accidentally wandering into the flight paths of firefighting aircraft. The sky may be the limit for drones,…

Man steals LAPD vehicle in Hollywood, leads police on freeway chase

A man who may have been under the influence of drugs stole a Los Angeles Police Department vehicle early Friday morning and led officers on a chase from Hollywood to Woodland Hills, authorities said. Officers had exited their vehicle to chase a vandalism suspect on foot near Hollywood Boulevard…

Menendez brothers, serving life for murdering their parents, are reunited in San Diego prison

The Menendez brothers, who were convicted of murdering their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion nearly three decades ago, have been reunited. California corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says 47-year-old Erik Menendez has moved into the same housing unit as his 50-year-old brother,…

Experts say there was little reason for police to intercept Nasim Aghdam before YouTube shooting

In the days after Nasim Aghdam opened fire outside YouTube’s California headquarters, the woman’s relatives have insisted they gave police a chance to stop her from carrying out the attack. Aghdam’s father said that when he filed a missing persons report with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department…

Nasim Aghdam was on police radar before YouTube shooting. Were warning signs missed?

In the hours before Nasim Najafi Aghdam opened fire Tuesday at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., she had been on the radar of law enforcement. Family members say they reported the San Diego woman missing Monday because they were worried about her welfare, though there is some dispute about…

Nasim Aghdam raged at YouTube, but her family is stunned it ended in gunfire

In one video, Nasim Najafi Aghdam refers to herself as a “ninjaâ€� before making a series of odd, stunted motions spliced between clips from the reality series “America’s Got Talent.â€� In another video, she sports a blond pixie-cut wig while mocking people who choose to eat meat. In yet another…

How one L.A. father’s arrest put an entire neighborhood on edge

The air-conditioning system pumped cold air even during frigid winter nights on the high desert. To fall asleep under his thin blanket, Romulo Avelica Gonzalez, then 48, wore two pairs of socks, wrapped his feet in bath towels and tried to bring his mind to a warmer place. In the…