Richard Rodriguez, accused of killing two people following a collision in which he was allegedly driving the wrong way down Highway 101, pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara Superior Court on 2/19. Rodriguez, 20, of Tustin, is facing a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving intoxicated. Rodriguez was allegedly traveling north on southbound 101 when he hit the vehicle of his victims near Storke Road.
A former engineering professor at UCSB, Neil Baker, whose long messages and rants are commonplace on local message boards, was arrested on 2/15 near Kennewick, Washington, for “threats made” to the university. According to a news release from the Kennewick Police Department, Neil Baker was posting comments on Internet sites and sending direct emails to UCSB staff and police, and these comments were “taken as a threat to damage property and possibly to take human life. Baker fantasized about and contemplated killing people at UCSB and blowing up the university for sabotaging his future employment possibilities.”