Law and Disorder 4-30

A man died in a single-car collision on Modoc Road south of the State Street intersection late on 4/27. William Calhoun, 26, was driving a 2001 BMW 540 westbound on Modoc at around 11:25 p.m. when the car veered off the roadway and hit a large palm tree on the passenger side. The crash split the car in two. Calhoun, according to a CHP report, was wearing his seatbelt and the airbags in the car deployed.


The long road to finding a jury in the murder trial of Jesse James Hollywood got underway on 4/27. Hundreds of prospective jurors are being asked to fill out a questionnaire that includes questions about the movie Alpha Dog-based on the events surrounding the shooting death of Nicholas Markowitz-as well as media publicity generated by the case. While not Markowitz’s shooter, Hollywood, who could face the death penalty if convicted, is alleged to be the mastermind behind the murder.


During a 4/28 hearing, landlord Dario Pini was denied a temporary restraining order against John LoVetere. After entering a three-year lease agreement, Pini alleges that LoVetere abandoned the property at 236 North Milpas Street-the site of Milpas Auto Mart-and stopped paying rent less than a year after establishing the contract. Pini stated that his attempted restraining order was meant to prevent LoVetere from having access to the business or generating funds from it.


Tharon and Scott Weighill, 45 and 43, respectively, were arrested 4/27 for conspiracy, extortion, false imprisonment, and robbery. The two cousins-with the assistance of other unidentified suspects-held an unnamed 34-year-old victim at knifepoint, forcing him to relinquish his part-ownership of the Sacred Mountain medical marijuana dispensary, located at 27 Parker Way, stemming from a dispute over $400,000 and an undisclosed amount of marijuana. The victim, after signing a makeshift contract, was able to escape unharmed from the back room of the business. The investigation is ongoing.


A Solvang man was shot twice in the parking lot of Mission Santa Ines late on 4/26, leaving him with wounds to the knee. The sheriff’s press release indicates the 32-year-old apparently met a man and woman at a nearby restaurant, then later met them at the mission, where he was shot during an attempted robbery. The suspects remain at large. Witnesses are urged to call 681-4100 with information.


Police arrested Raul Santana, 44, on 4/27, alleging he bilked an Eastside woman out of roughly $12,000 in a lottery ticket scam. Police say Santana approached a woman saying he had a winning lottery ticket but couldn’t cash it in because the winner was in the U.S. illegally. She could have the money, he allegedly said, if she put down a down payment. The suspect then allegedly made off with the woman’s payment-her life savings.


Members of the Santa Barbara Fire and Police Commission have demanded statistical records showing the disposition of rape kits taken by law enforcement personnel from alleged victims of sexual assault. The request was inspired by the scandal brewing in Los Angeles County, where many such kits have languished in refrigerated evidence lockers until after the statute of limitations has expired, meaning they could not be used as evidence in any potential prosecution. Police officials are hoping to have that information ready for the Fire and Police Commission meeting next month.

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