El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Neal Putnam

A Lakeside man was indicted April 11 by a federal grand jury for selling fentanyl to a La Mesa woman who died in an overdose.

Uriah Odish, 28, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court for knowingly distributing fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a 25-year-old woman who was only identified in court documents as T.H.

“There is a raging opioid epidemic in this country, and we want dealers to be on note: every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.

Bail of $2 million has been set for a Dulzura man who is accused of putting a deadly chemical in his wife’s food in order to kill her.

Extremely high levels of thallium were found in the system of Brigida Uto, 28, when she was hospitalized in March. Thallium is a heavy metal similar to mercury and lead, and has been used in rat poison before it was banned in the U.S.

An Alpine mother who pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the death of her 18-month-old daughter was sentenced, Mar. 27, to four years in state prison.

The sentence for Lillie Golden Brown, 22, was a bit of a surprise, considering she earlier had a plea agreement that called for up to a 1-year jail term with probation.

An El Cajon drunk driver pleaded guilty Mar. 20 to gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of her passenger, David Sarabia-Lopez, who was also her boyfriend.

Tania Molinar, 22, also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and causing great bodily injury to another driver, James Dodson, whose pick-up was torn in half in the horrific crash in El Cajon.

An April 4 preliminary hearing has been set for two people who are charged with murder and accessory in the Dec. 28, 2017, slaying of Candido D. Aragon, Jr., 21, of Spring Valley.

Aragon was found mortally wounded Dec. 27 at the intersection of Concepcion Avenue and San Francisco Street in Spring Valley at 6:52 p.m., according to the sheriff’s department.

A La Mesa man was ordered March 7 to stand trial for murder in the cold case homicide of a 19-year-old man who was stabbed to death in 2005.

Police witnesses identified Anthony Raymond Rivers, 31, as a gang member in the April 10, 2005 slaying of Luis Vasquez in National City. 

mistrial was declared Feb. 28 in the murder trial of an Alpine man after jurors said they could not reach a verdict on whether he killed his ex-girlfriend’s baby.

Jurors said they were deadlocked mostly in favor of acquittal for Wiliey Kevin Foster, Jr., 28, in the 2016 death of Leah Rose Brown-Meza, who was 18-months-old when she died of head injuries. They took 12 ballots.

A judge ordered a man on Aug. 17 to stand trial for murder of Leticia Arroyo, 34, whose body was found in her Santee townhome where she had been shot in the head.

Family members of Arroyo sat through three days of testimony in the preliminary hearing of Jose Nunez Torres, 22, also charged with committing a home invasion robbery in La Jolla with Gustavo Ceron, 25.

A jury convicted an El Cajon house painter July 27 of pre-meditated attempted murder of CBS Sports Director Kyle Kraska and making two death threats to two others.

Mike Montana, 55, showed little reaction in San Diego Superior Court. The eight men, four-woman jury deliberated 5.5 hours before reaching verdicts.

Mike Montana, an El Cajon house painter, was ordered June 3 to stand trial for pre-meditated attempted murder of KFMB-TV (Channel 8) sportscaster Kyle Kraska who was shot six times Feb. 10 following a dispute with Montana over his work.

Kraska, 48, who initially was in a 6-day medically induced coma after the Feb. 10 shootings, was the star witness in the 2-day preliminary hearing of Montana, 54. Kraska is back on the air at CBS.