WEATHER »

Law and Disorder 2-12


I would say before a month; I would hope before two weeks.” That was Assistant District Attorney Eric Hansen’s offer of a timeline for when his department might name the so-called “Tea Fire Ten,” the group of people responsible for starting last November’s Tea Fire. In an interview with The Independent, Hansen also said his department understands the public’s frustration in the length of time it has taken to name the culprits in comparison to other fires. “It takes as long as it takes,” he said.

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Luis Sosa, on trial for the September 2006 murder of Frank Tacadena, heard his childhood friend John Lopez testify against him in Judge Frank Ochoa’s courtroom on 2/10, the trial’s second day. Sosa’s attorney claims Lopez pulled the trigger. Lopez, however, said Sosa fired the handgun on the same day the latter was released from jail and after a day of drinking. More than 60 people are on the witness list. (/sosa212)

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The Santa Barbara County coroner on 2/4 identified a body found floating in Shark’s Cove near Montecito as that of 24-year-old Daniel Zembrosky, the Santa Ana kayaker who went missing off the Montecito Coast on 1/25. There were no signs of foul play, but the coroner has yet to declare an official cause of death. (/zembrosky212)

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David Abraham, 48, former life insurance broker with Santa Barbara’s Brown & Brown Insurance, was arrested last month on charges of felony grand theft. Abraham allegedly engaged in illegal annuities trades, netting him $1.3 million in commission while costing policyholders $1.9 million from principal. The District Attorney is prosecuting. Abraham faces up to five years in prison if convicted. (/abraham212)

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In a joint sting operation by the Contractor’s State License Board, Santa Barbara Police and the District Attorney’s Office nabbed seven men on felony charges of bidding to perform contractor work without the necessary license in a declared disaster area. Some were also arrested on the additional charge of requiring an excessive down payment. Citizens are advised to get at least three bids for such work and to check references. (/contractor212)

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Former tennis star Jimmy Connors had a misdemeanor campus disruption charge against him dropped after he made a $500 donation to the Tea Fire Response Fund. Connors, 56, made the donation at the suggestion of prosecutor Liz O’Brien on 2/10. Connors was arrested outside UCSB’s Thunderdome before the start of an 11/21 UCSB men’s basketball game when he refused to leave an area near the sports complex despite being ordered by security to do so. (/connors212)

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A 2/8 fire in Isla Vista scorched a two-story home and caused an estimated $100,000 in property damage. The home, located at 779 Camino Pescadero, was inhabited by the rabbi associated with an orthodox Jewish center. The man and his family escaped unharmed. On 2/10, investigators announced that the blaze began as a result of the man’s children playing with matches. (/fire212)



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