Actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, for the fifth straight time, did not appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court, compelling Judge Clifford Anderson to forfeit their bail and issue a felony arrest warrant. The two, who had each posted $20,000 bail, face charges that they bilked the swanky Montecito hotel San Ysidro Ranch out of $10,000 during a stay there this summer.
Judge Frank Ochoa decided there was enough evidence for five defendants-Andrew Baldarez, Jonathon Alonzo, Michelle Flores-Murillo, Imelda Guevarra, and David Martinez -to stand trial for the death of 22-year-old Baldemar Leal, who died on the Westside on 2/22. All face first-degree murder and conspiracy charges with gang enhancements. Ochoa decided there was not sufficient evidence to hold one defendant, Liliana Arrayga, to the charges, and she was released. Authorities allege Baldarez had admitted to stabbing Leal several times.
William Kerr, a 90-year-old Santa Barbara resident, committed suicide by jumping from Cold Spring Bridge on 12/13 at approximately 3:20 p.m. He had parked his vehicle and jumped off the Santa Ynez side. His death marks the eighth suicide at the historic landmark this year, more than double any other year since the bridge was built in 1964. Fifty-two people in total have jumped. Kerr’s next-of-kin have been notified.
A Caltrans electrician from Nipomo, Brandon Akers, received the Governor’s Silver Medal of Valor on 12/10 for going over and above the call of duty by protecting Santa Maria drivers on Highway 101 on 6/18. While driving on the 101, Akers noticed a Fish and Game truck being driven erratically by someone in physical distress. Akers used his Caltrans truck to try to signal the truck, while also blocking other vehicles from encountering it. After the truck eventually crashed, Akers helped in the rescue and extrication of the driver.