It took little more than a day for Santa Maria jurors to find a
16-year-old Goleta resident guilty of the brutal
first-degree murder of his mother; a separate jury
found the victim’s live-in boyfriend guilty of second-degree murder
for the same crime. Darrick Hernandez stabbed his mother, Tina
Keglar, 45 times on January 1, 2006. Keglar’s boyfriend Burton
Metzger helped Hernandez dispose of the body off Harris Grade Road
near Lompoc. The two will be sentenced in March, with Hernandez
facing 25 years to life behind bars and Metzger 15 years to

Jessica Blinkerd, 22, was sentenced on Friday,
January 26, to five years in prison after pleading no contest to
charges of driving under the influence and causing an accident that
killed 25-year-old Alexander Baer on August 6. Baer’s mother, Susan
Barich, had pleaded leniency for Blinkerd, suggesting she pay her
debt by doing community service and speaking out about the dangers
of drunken driving. But Judge Joseph Lodge questioned whether
Blinkerd had reformed enough, citing evidence like photos that
appeared on her MySpace account depicting her around alcohol.

Though he was sentenced late last fall, the charter jet company
owner convicted of illegally videotaping Michael
on his infamous 2003 flight from Las Vegas to
Santa Barbara before his 2005 molestation trial is back in the news
this week. Jeffery Boyer pleaded no contest to the federal charges
last March and was sentenced to house arrest but – due to a mold
infestation at his Marina del Rey house – has chosen to serve his
time at the luxurious five diamond-rated Marina del Rey
Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Santa Barbara City Council agreed to expand the number of
places where people who are otherwise homeless can legally
sleep in recreational vehicles
, a move that Mayor Marty
Blum characterized as in effect increasing the supply of low-income
housing. If approved by a 5-2 city council majority on its second
reading, the proposed ordinance would increase the number of public
lots participating in the New Beginnings Safe Parking Program for
vans and RVs. Though the ordinance would also permit RVs to park on
private property in manufacturing zones north of the freeway, it
would strictly forbid overnight parking south of it.


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