El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Neal Putnam

An Alpine man was sentenced June 7 to six years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler.

A murder charge was dismissed Thursday by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador, who immediately sentenced Wiley Kevin Foster, Jr., 28. Foster will not face a retrial after jurors deadlocked on Feb. 28.

Foster admitted to personally causing the fatal injury to Leah Rose Brown-Meza, who was 18 months old when her mother found her dead in an Alpine mobile home on Dec. 6, 2016.

Bail of $750,000 was set May 31 for a man accused of trying to hijack a Campo Elementary School bus with two knives during a bizarre incident which his father said may be a result of methamphetamine use.

Matthew Douglas Barker, 36, pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include attempted kidnapping during a carjacking, three counts of child endangerment, assault with a knife, assault on transportation personnel and elder abuse.

Three former East County residents have been charged in a 2000 cold case homicide of a 71-year-old man who was severely beaten with a baseball bat and later died following a robbery.

Recent advances in forensic technology led to the arrests of the trio who were arrested in other states and are fighting extradition proceedings to San Diego.

The drunk driver who caused the death of a Spring Valley man was sentenced May 17 to six years in state prison.

David Armando Olvera, 30, said nothing in court before he was sentenced for causing the death of Gregory Scott, 40, who was killed June 17, 2017. 

 A Spring Valley man who smuggled multiple narcotics while driving his truck through a border checkpoint has been sentenced to 50 months in federal prison.

Oscar Vasquez-Alamilla, 36, will receive credits of eight months spent in jail since his Sept. 26, 2017 arrest at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers noticed some anomalies in a spare tire in his Ford F-150 and found five packages inside it, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

A Lakeside man was ordered May 1 to stand trial for second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of a man crossing an El Cajon street.

Joshua Colby Ness, 32, will stand trial Oct. 23 in the Oct. 10, 2017, death of Michael O’Rourke, 60, who was struck in the 300 block of North Second Street near Madison Avenue around 10 p.m.

Ness pleaded not guilty immediately after the preliminary hearing, which was heard by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Evan Kirvin. He was also ordered to stand trial for hit and run and DUI.

An El Cajon Superior Court jury convicted a man on April 26 of first-degree murder in the 2007 slaying of an acquaintance in Spring Valley.

Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said Marlin Lattereal Royal, 44, faces a state prison term of 50 years to life in prison for killing Idris “Rashad” Jones, 29.

The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at 10:28 p.m. on May 7, 2007 of a body on the side of the road in the 2300 block of Millar Rancho Road in Spring Valley.

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.