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Law and Disorder 3-26


The body of a Santa Barbara woman was found washed up on West Beach between Stearns Wharf and Sea Landing at 7:22 a.m. on 3/19. The 46-year-old woman, whose name hasn’t been released by Santa Barbara Police, had a local address in the 1000 block of Castillo Street. Detectives are investigating the death and calling it an “apparent suicide by drowning.” (/suicide326)

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David and James Allison-30 and 32, respectively-were taken into custody 3/22 on charges of attempted murder and assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon. The Santa Barbara brothers, after shooting at a third man on Milpas Street, attempted to flee, rammed an officer’s vehicle, and finally rolled their truck while circling through the Milpas roundabout. Neither the third man nor any police officers were injured in the incident. (/allison326)

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A majority of the defendants in a civil suit brought by Oded and Anat Gottesman admitted during a 3/24 hearing that their negligence caused the death the Gottesmans’ four-year-old son, Yoni, who drowned in a swimming pool at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club in 2005. Opening statements are scheduled to start today on 3/26. Club owner Cal-West Group, LLC, denies negligence, while the Gottesmans claim the defendants-which include lifeguards and owners-are liable for willful misconduct. (/pool326)

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Leianna Arzate, a 33-year-old woman accused of kidnapping an hours-old infant from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on 2/27, pled not guilty to Commissioner Edward DeCaro on 3/23. Authorities say Arzate managed to escape from the hospital before workers realized the baby had been taken, and made it up to Santa Maria, where she and the baby were both found in a residence.

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Orson Mozes, facing dozens of felony theft by false pretense charges, pleaded not guilty on 3/23. Mozes was found in Florida last year after escaping authorities for several months. Mozes, who is still in custody, was one of a “dirty dozen” featured on America’s Most Wanted and is accused of stealing in excess of $1 million from clients of his Adoption International Program who thought they were putting down a payment to adopt a child.

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Citing a lack of new information or evidence, police have closed their investigation into the 2/5 death of Ross Stiles, a homeless man. The head injuries Stiles sustained could not be explicitly linked to the action of another person, said police spokesperson Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte. Homeless advocates and social workers expressed disappointment with the brevity of the inquiry, including the as-yet incomplete coroner’s report. (/stiles326)

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Edward Blomfield was sentenced on 3/17 to one year in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to forging the will of his slain girlfriend, Beverly Graham. The fabricated will left Graham’s $750,000 estate to Blomfield. In a separate civil case, Blomfield was ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution to the Graham family. Three accomplices previously pled guilty to will forgery, conspiracy, and perjury. (/blomfield326)

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Socorro Pantoja, who pled no contest last year to two felony counts of child molestation, was on 3/18 sentenced to eight years in state prison. The victim’s family gave their testimony in December, but Pantoja’s sentencing was delayed. Probation reports suggest that Pantoja is at a medium-low risk of committing another offense and he must register as a sex offender when released. (/pantoja326)

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The sheriff on 3/21 informed residents of the Cebada Canyon Road neighborhood that sexually violent predator Kenneth Rasmuson was moving to a nearby residence. Rasmuson, who has served prison time for sexually assaulting two boys, is under constant supervision by the State Department of Mental Health through in-house security as well as a Global Positioning System monitor.

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Casa Pacifica Centers for Children is suing the County of Santa Barbara for failing to provide agreed-upon funding for Casa’s social programs. The center, opened in 1994 to provide support and aid to abused, neglected, or at-risk children and their families, claims to currently be owed $800,000 by the county. The center is arguing that while all their paperwork was on time and in order, the county simply failed to pay.



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